LUXMOBILE AHEAD OF THE PACK
WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE? C-CLASS HAS IT ALL
IT'S totally redesigned, a bit longer, wider and lower than last year's model, has new styling, more space, and a whole lot of good things under its sleek body.
The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan is much like the Mercedes Formula One cars; ahead of the pack.
The fifth generation of Australia's top luxury brand is keenly priced too, starting from $60,900 for the C200 and topping out at $74,990 for the C300 hybrid.
And, due to their frugal fuel needs, the CClass models escape the dreaded luxury car tax.
We had the $70,400 C250 Bluetec Diesel, likely to be the most popular of the fivemodel range, because of its fine blend of standard features, performance and economy.
It runs on 19-inch alloy wheels with fat lo-pro tyres, and uses a 2.2litre turbo-diesel that generates 155kW and a massive 500Nm.
The latter gives it the acceleration equal to that of the C250 petrol at 6.6seconds to 100km/h, but uses somewhat less fuel. Try 4.5litres/100km. That's about 63mpg in the old money, what one might expect from a scooter.
Economy apart, the South African-built luxmobile is a work of art inside and out.
Get behind the wheel of the sun-roofed, leather-interiored car and the controls initially appear a bit bewildering. The gear lever, for instance, is a little stalk to the right of the wheel. Up for reverse, down for drive, press the button for park.
It has a proximity key, button start, and the parking brake is a button. Lift that, select your gear and off you go.
There's a heads-up speedo and a top re- versing camera as well.
The transmission is a smooth sevenspeeder; for ride quality and control response, you can select between comfort, eco, sport, sport and individual modes, and the dash includes the latest version of Merc's Comand infotainment system. You select what you want via a rotary dial and touch interface.
A Bluetooth-capable mobile phone with data option is all it takes to make the audio system internet-capable. On the move, apps such as Weather, Google Local Search, Destination/Route Download and Facebook can be used.
The elegant five-seater now has more front shoulder room, front-seat height adjustment and more rear legroom than its predecessor.
Decent boot too, that shuts via a touch of a button.
It drives well, with more performance than you'd ever need, plus exceptionally responsive steering, which can be tailored via mode selection, sports-tuned handling and great stopping power.
Safety features abound. It has a superstrong lightweight rigid body and a plethora of electronic aids, including autonomous braking and collision prevention assist, pedestrian recognition, cross-traffic assist and several more.
Verdict: Faultless quality, class, safety, comfort, performance, economy and wanting for nothing. What's not to love?
The new Mercedes-Benz C250 is king of the luxury compacts.