REVIEW DATE: 12 Nov 2009
Added value and more efficiency is the twin appeal of the latest Mercedes C-Class Special Edition. Steve Ghosley reports on Executive SE model.
Mercedes has introduced a compelling version of its popular C-Class model offering added value along with its ultra-efficient C180 Kompressor BlueEFFICIENCY engine. A car just right for these environmentally and cost conscious times perhaps?
Following on from the success of their E-Class Executive SE, Mercedes is hoping to repeat the same trick with this latest C-Class special edition. By choosing to base the car on the energy-efficient C180 Kompessor BlueEFFICIENCY model, the manufacturer is aiming the car at both the environmentally conscious private buyer and the lucrative business market of up and coming executives. With other prestige brands like BMW making significant play of the efficiency gains of their engines, Mercedes is now well placed with cars like the C-Class Executive SE to offer an alternative that is aimed more at the comfort seeker than the out and out sports enthusiast. The C-Class Executive SE is available in either saloon or estate bodystyles.
This C180K model retains performance sprightly enough to surprise you if you'd surmised that a 1597cc engine wasn't much to move a car of this kind of bulk. You'd think so but you'd be reckoning without the Kompressor supercharger that plumps power up to a very healthy 156bhp. This means that the C180K will zip off the line and through 60mph in an entirely respectable 9.2 seconds on the way to a top speed of 139mph.
Not too shabby indeed. With that small engine in the nose, turn-in and handling are both extremely vivid. There's no doubt that the motorway ride of this current C-Class is superb, refinement is excellent and steering response is also very good. Drive the car harder and it steps up to the plate at an acceptable level although the chassis is still a few degrees off the class best when really letting it all hang out. Mercedes play to a different script in this regard, opting for a more comfort-oriented set-up than rivals sporting roundels.
Some of this BlueEFFICIENCY model's emissions improvements have been achieved with the aid of 195/60 low rolling-resistance tyres. Smaller exterior mirrors also play their part, improving the aerodynamics of the car and featuring an LED arrow shaped indicator lens. Another advantage of the new BlueEFFICIENCY C-Class model is the efficient energy management system which only activates power-assisted steering when it is needed.
"Pricewise, the C-Class Executive SE is only £600 more than a standard C-Class SE model with the same engine, yet it offers over £2,000 in added value.."
You'll find this current C-Class notably bigger than its predecessor, 55mm longer and 45mm wider, but in a welcome buck against current trends, the car has become lighter. Mercedes has also moved the engine down and back, improving the car's weight balance. The interior is supremely comfortable with decent storage space and it feels very well bolted together. Space inside is decent with more knee and shoulder room in the rear than before. There's even a respectable boot. As usual, both saloon and estate derivatives are available.
Pricewise, the C-Class Executive SE is only £600 more than a standard C-Class SE model with the same engine, yet it offers over £2,000 in added value. For a start, you get Mercedes' Sport Grille with the integrated Mercedes-Benz star which is usually only found on its Sport models. The exterior is further distinguished by 16" 'Pristix' alloy wheels and chrome finishes on both the boot lid and exhaust.
It is on the inside that the Executive SE demonstrates its real value with Mercedes' menu-driven control interface - COMAND - which is fitted as standard. This multimedia system includes hard disk drive navigation, Linguatronic voice control, a 6 GB music register and a PCMCIA slot. All of this impressive technology can be fully controlled through the Executive SE's upgraded multi-function steering wheel. This Executive SE also features Hill Start Assist, removing the need to operate the parking brake whilst moving away from a standstill. This is a very useful addition which eliminates that embarrassing stall just when you don't need it. The C-Class is also fitted with Adaptive brake lights so that if the driver applies the brakes suddenly and forcefully, the brake lights will start to flash to alert drivers behind them.
BlueEFFICIENCY is the name Mercedes-Benz has given to a range of measures to improve fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions and this car does just that with weight saving measures, energy management and enhanced aerodynamics. Fuel consumption has been improved by up to 11 per cent with the manual saloon returning 44.8 mpg on the combined cycle. This can be improved further if you make good use of the fuel economy and Shift Point indicators on the dash. Both of these measures encourage the driver to monitor the effects their driving style has on fuel economy. CO2 emissions are an impressive 149g/km. This should make this particular C180 KOMPRESSOR BlueEFFICIENCY model an attractive choice for fleet managers, sitting as it does in the 17 per cent company car tax band.
It's a sign of the times that even Mercedes must look to up the value of its core products - and here's a great example. This Executive SE C-Class is based on the engine option that will make most sense to business buyers - and its equipment quota will be pretty appealing too.
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 C220 CDI BlueEFF AMG Sport Plus 4dr Auto [MPilot] diesel saloon|
|Price £28,949||Save £4,826|
|Mercedes Benz C Class C250 BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 2dr Auto coupe|
|Price £29,558||Save £4,882|
|Mercedes Benz C Class C220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 2dr Auto diesel coupe|
|Price £29,554||Save £4,886|
|Mercedes Benz C Class C180 BlueEFF Executive SE 4dr Auto [Map Pilot] saloon|
|Price £23,940||Save £4,325|
|VIEW MORE DISCOUNT C CLASS DEALS|
|For C-CLASS EXECUTIVE SE|
|OVERALL||7.9 OUT OF 10|
|Space / Versatility||6|
Let our car quote assistant help you configure your ideal new C Class - it's 100% free and easy to use...
Click below for more information: