The luxury compact saloon class on the market is one of the most competitive ever.
Big names like BMW, Audi, Jaguar, and Mercedes are flailing for bragging rights as the best small sedan on the market.
This, in turn, has taken the quality and technology used in these cars to new heights.
Take the C-Class. It’s no fairy tale to say that this model’s cabin wouldn’t rock an S-class limousine in a long time. This is good.
Conventional cars like the C-Class may not be as popular as they once were, but they are still very important to manufacturers who consider it the alluring entry point into their broader model range.
That’s why Mercedes has left no stone unturned in trying to make this C-Class the best ever.
looks good; A bit like a shrink-wrapped E-Class, just sporty. There are visual connections to the larger car all around, the most obvious being the power bulges in the hood and dramatic front grille with the iconic three-pointed star badge.
The range consists of four cylinders petrol and diesel, all with 48-volt mild-hybrid assistance to help improve fuel economy.
Even the base 1.5 petrol model has 201 hp, although it was the 197 hp C220d that Mercedes sent for evaluation, and there’s also a C300d with 261 hp if you want more power. All of them come with a nine-speed automatic gearbox as standard.
Trim levels have been downgraded to Sport and AMG Line only (which can be increased with the optional Premium and Premium Plus packages).
The connection to the luxury S-Class is stronger than you think.
The C-Class was developed on the MRA platform, just as it is on a Mercedes super limousine, so it benefits from the same fanatical attention to detail in terms of noise, vibration and harshness.
On the road you feel calm and collected. The noise from the diesel engine is a distant hum and the turbulence caused by the wind and road surface is negligible.
With 440 Nm of torque available at 1,800 rpm, you’ll never feel like you’re superior in the 2.0-liter diesel, and there’s plenty of acceleration in reserve at all legal speeds.
The C220d features an engine position for every occasion. Choose from: Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport + and Individual. In the city, I’ve used Comfort to smooth out our worst roadside excesses and it’s best to leave cruising on the highway in eco mode getting the max miles out of every precious gallon of diesel.
Ergonomically driven, more than 60 mpg is at your fingertips, giving the C220d a range of more than 500 miles between fills (more if you’re keen on your right foot).
So the engine is good and the handling is comfortable, but it’s the interior design that makes the C-Class a bit special.
Despite the almost coupe body, there is more room inside for passengers and everything you can see or touch is made of the highest quality materials.
The 12.9-inch digital instrument package exemplifies clarity and a generous 11.9-inch infotainment screen as the class standard. It’s borrowed from the S-Class and, as you’d expect, feels fast and easy to use. The graphics are crystal clear and you can swipe left or right for options just like on a tablet. If you use an iPad or similar device, you will instantly feel right at home.
Even entry-level models have a large number of equipment, including cruise control, climate and leather trim.
Long gone are the days when German cars felt austere without a host of costly extras.
Gone are the days when the C-Class felt a bad relationship in the Mercedes line-up. It’s an authentic S-Class Jeep with a cabin that’s more than a match for anything in the segment.
As they say in motorsports: competition improves breed.
How do you stack?
Performance: With a large alloy of torque at just 1,800 rpm, the C220 pulls like a train. ****
Cabin: Best in class so far. Looks like an S class. *****
Practicality: the luggage compartment has a capacity of 450 liters and there is a good passenger room inside. *** 1/2
Value: Made like a Swiss watch. You pay a premium for the lower winnings, but in this case, it’s worth it. ****
Specs: Price: from £28,035 Engine: Four-cylinder diesel Maximum power: 197 hp Maximum torque: 440 Nm Top speed: 152 mph 0-62 MP: 7.3 sec. mph when tested: 58.4
Summing up: a beautifully built car with a brilliant engine with broad appeal. All the cars you could ever want.
I want to know more? Visit the Mercedes C-Class website here