Sim­ple as B and C-class

Added value and nicer prices for the most pop­u­lar Mercs

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - CRAIG DUFF craig.duff@cars­

THE C-Class has kicked butt this year and its lat­est up­grades are in­tended to boot its ri­vals right be­tween the tail-lights.

Fet­tling of the C-Class coupe brings the $59,990 base model’s fuel use to just 6.3L/100km, a sub­stan­tial 1.0L im­prove­ment on the cur­rent model. At the other end of the line-up is the C250 Sport, based onAMGtweaks to the steer­ing and sus­pen­sion.

The C-Class is al­ready a sharp steerer and an ex­clu­sive

Cars­guide drive shows the re­cal­i­brated wheel brings more pre­ci­sion to the party, with crisper turn-in and bet­ter on­road feel at speed. More ag­gres­sive cam­ber set­tings keep the wheels flat­ter un­der cor­ner­ing load and, along with up­graded spring and damper set­tings, give the car tena­cious mid-cor­ner grip.

There’s no more power on the $78,550 Sport model— buy­ers need to spend $6840 more for theAMGper­for­mance pack to gain an ex­tra 22kW— but the ac­cel­er­a­tor re­sponse has been remapped for bet­ter re­sponse and the seven-speed auto’s gear changes have been sharp­ened.

Price and pos­ture have made the C-Class the car to be seen in so far this year.

BMWhas held its own in the sedan field, where pric­ing is sim­i­lar to its arch ri­val, but its coupes are about $10,000 dearer than com­pa­ra­ble Ben­zes.

A new pro­pel­ler-badged coupe is due late next year and BMWspokesman Piers Scott says as the cur­rent model en­ters runout mode buy­ers can ‘‘ ex­pect to get se­ri­ously good deals at the re­tail level’’.

Mean­while, Merc’s B-Class line-up also has earned a topto-bot­tom over­haul.

The en­try-level B180 rises by $1000 to $39,990 but gains 17-inch wheels, a re­vers­ing cam­era and fuel use of 5.8L/100km, an im­prove­ment of 0.3L. The B250 now heads the range— at least un­til the ar­rival of theAMG ver­sion— and runs on 18-inch wheels and low­ered sus­pen­sion.

The $49,500 front-wheel drive

sports tourer’’ hits 100km/h in just 6.8 sec­onds and still man­ages an of­fi­cial fuel use of just 6.5L/100km.

Tena­cious C:

The C-Class gets steer­ing up­grades and bet­ter on-road feel

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