SPECS & VER­DICT Model En­gine

Friday - - Motoring - Sev­en­speed auto, RWD 211bhp @ 5,500rpm 350Nm @ 1,200rpm 250kph 6.6 seconds Dh176,500 Solid per­for­mance, very com­fort­able, lots of tech­nol­ogy That stunted rear end/roof

for that. But ba­si­cally, this car has the lot. Or does it?

This is a much im­proved model in almost ev­ery area, give or take a few nig­gles such as the in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem’s free-stand­ing mon­i­tor that looks like an af­ter­thought; hur­riedly stuck on by the de­sign team who may have been far more pre­oc­cu­pied with mak­ing sure the rest of the cabin was top notch, which it is.

And, apart from the stop-start func­tion, which causes the AC to blow warm when the en­gine shuts down, I can’t re­ally com­plain too much about this car. Ex­cept for the roof; it doesn’t ta­per into the deck lid as sharply as it ought to inmy opin­ion, although this al­lows for plenty of head­room for back-seat pas­sen­gers. But there is far more here to like than dis­like. he ag­gres­sive front end with those sinewy head­lights, the 18in wheels and the dou­ble character lines on the pro­file get my seal of ap­proval. It’s dot­ted with cam­eras (rear and over­head view), radars (to pre­vent a crash if you’re not pay­ing at­ten­tion), lane-de­par­ture warn­ings, LEDs and a heads-up dis­play.

Throw in nine airbags and a fa­tigue-de­tec­tion sys­tem that mon­i­tors steer­ing be­hav­iour and you could live for­ever in this.

It’s well up to the task of tak­ing the fight to the bench­mark of the seg­ment, the 3 Se­ries, and gives the Audi A4 and strong up­starts like the Lexus IS and the Cadil­lac ATS some­thing to think about.

Now weigh­ing 100kg less than be­fore thanks to a new struc­ture that uses alu­minium ex­ten­sively through­out the body, and with all of that ex­tra torque, you can re­ally feel its new­found agility. The agree­able 1,480kg at which it tips the scales helps it to be­have ea­gerly in the cor­ners and com­posed in the straights, and means it sips less fuel.

The 1,991cc mo­tor doesn’t just feel com­pe­tent; it has a will­ing na­ture and does an im­pres­sive job in mov­ing the hand­some Benz quickly, and with a min­i­mum of fuss. The 0-100kph run is done in a brisk 6.6 seconds and its top speed is a limited 250kph. There’s lit­tle drama in the way it goes about its business and to tap into its power re­serves you don’t need to wring its neck. Peak torque of 350Nm is de­liv­ered across a wide range of revs, giv­ing it plenty of in-gear flex­i­bil­ity.

Speak­ing of gears, the seven-speed au­to­matic swaps the cogs with­out a fuss. It’s smooth, as is the ride; the op­tional air-sus­pen­sion sys­tem on our test car, pre­vi­ously re­served for the top-end li­mou­sine, of­fers five driv­ing modes (In­di­vid­ual, Eco, Com­fort, Sport and Sport Plus) with the set­tings ad­just­ing re­sponse to the trans­mis­sion, throt­tle, en­gine brak­ing and the amount of slip al­lowed by the sta­bil­i­ty­con­trol sys­tem.

Newly de­vel­oped, the electro­mechan­i­cal steer­ing gets stiffer with each set­ting, while the wheel it­self is thick, fits well in the hand and in­spires con­fi­dence to throw the strik­ing W205 around. It not only han­dles the rough stuff but seems to revel in it; the chas­sis doesn’t flex as you dart from left to right and there’s very lit­tle body roll in Sport Plus. In Com­fort, it soaks up the bumps and thumps with ease, giv­ing you the best of both worlds when you need it.

The brand’s core val­ues are well rep­re­sented here; it’s roomy, quiet, at­trac­tive, well man­nered and has solid per­for­mance, not to men­tion bags of tech­nol­ogy usu­ally as­so­ci­ated with the big­ger E- and S-Classes, which makes this C 250 a su­per lit­tle all-rounder.

C 250 2.0-litre four-cyl Trans­mis­sion

Max power

Max torque Top speed 0-100kph Price Highs It’s a thor­oughly mod­ern cabin, but the ‘stuck on’ mon­i­tor lets it down

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