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