REVIEW DATE: 26 Jun 2007
The latest Mercedes-Benz C-class would be a useful accessory in the business arena - and it's surprisingly affordable, as June discovers
If you're determined to break through the glass ceiling in your company's management structure, you'll know that image, like it or not, has a part to play. How you dress is part of that, what you drive another. You'll want a car that sets you apart, a statement of confidence and individual style, above all a car that, like you, means to be taken seriously. Behind the wheel of the third generation Mercedes-Benz C class, you'll know that you've found what you're looking for. Or so I was told by the dealer..
At first glance, I found it hard to decide exactly what size the latest C-class really was, so cleverly packaged are beautiful lines clearly derived from the larger S-class. I discovered pretty quickly mind you, after taking a seat in the back. There's supposed to be more space than was on offer in the old model but it doesn't feel like it. For rear seat passengers, any Mondeo or Vectra would be preferable. Look beyond the sleek shape however, and longer-lasting virtues begin to appear. For a start, this is one of the safest cars in its class, a simple fact has far-reaching effects.
There's a choice of C200, C220 and C320CDI diesels while petrol buyers get the choice of C180, C200, C230, C280 or C350 petrol variants. Apart from sheer comfort and impeccable interior design, even the entry-level C180K delivers punchy performance. No, the 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine is not a little too small for a Mercedes-Benz. This 156bhp unit is state-of-the-art, with a supercharger to provide the extra oomph. Performance figures on paper are more than adequate - the C180K manages rest to sixty in around 9.6 seconds on the way to a maximum of around 138mph. Keep the fast track for your career advancement... The engineers from Stuttgart have worked hard to make this car handle better too - and have to some extent succeeded. The traction and ride quality are class leading, though the overall package is still not calculated to please the real enthusiast. Inside, the C-Class instantly feels like a Mercedes. The switchgear and dashboard layout follow on from the themes established in the marque's larger saloons. The quality of the materials, the fit and the finish also leap out at you, there's a real solidity to the controls and the fascia is rock solid. Nice detailing abounds too, with the highlight being the fold out screen that emerges from the dash on models equipped with the top spec satellite navigation package. The ventilation controls are beautifully tactile dials and the instruments are in simple black and white with the needles picked out in orange. The number of buttons and switches indicate not only the depth of technology contained with in the C-Class but also that the designers have kept the major systems accessible with only the more complex functions accessed through the menu-driven computer system. Take note BMW. The C-Class is a bigger car than the model it supersedes, 45mm longer in the wheelbase and 42mm wider overall. Legroom is generous in the back but passengers over six feet tall may have an issue with the amount of headroom available. The boot capacity is a sizable 475 litres and the lid opens nice and wide to enable larger items to be lowered inside. The performance car magazines will tell you that there are a handful of competitors who arguably shade the C-class in terms of handling finesse. Most experts however, suggest that the difference is so slight that even if you wished to drive your car to the limit, you'd be unlikely to notice it. Over more typical day-to-day journeys, all you'd notice is the indisputable fact that this 'small' Mercedes has the best ride quality in its class.
The more closely you examine the C-class, particularly in C180 form, the more sense it makes. The same could be said of almost any model bearing the famous three-pointed star, of course. It's just that in the case of the C180K, most of us can act on it. I'd like to...
The results below show the top C CLASS deals on buyacar
|Mercedes Benz C Class C220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 2dr diesel coupe|
|Price £28,190||Save £4,750|
|Mercedes Benz C Class C180 BlueEFF Executive SE 4dr Auto [Map Pilot] saloon|
|Price £23,940||Save £4,325|
|Mercedes Benz C Class C250 BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 2dr Auto coupe|
|Price £29,558||Save £4,882|
|Mercedes Benz C Class C250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 5dr Auto diesel estate|
|Price £29,626||Save £4,894|
|Mercedes Benz C Class C220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 2dr Auto diesel coupe|
|Price £29,554||Save £4,886|
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