We are in the new Mercedes Benz C250 AMG today. And I could have sworn that when Mercedes showed us the car that we were meant to drive, I nearly said, “Mate we asked for a C class not a S class”, until I looked to my left and saw a bigger version of the car that I was looking at. Then it dawned on me that this is what people meant when they said this car is the “baby S”. It really does bear a striking resemblance to its older brother and while some might be sceptical about that, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. It’s like complaining that you look just like your very good looking older brother.
So what has changed here? Everything. I was happy to see that this was not just a facelift or the “nose jobs” we’ve been seeing in other new Mercedes Benz’s which are then dubbed “completely new”. The car looks great, a combination of sharp lines in the front and an elongated torso make for a classy-aggressive look. The car we have is equipped with the AMG package which means it’s the sportier looking of the group. The new car is around 95mm longer than the old car and 40mm wider too which means your rear passengers won’t battle to feel like their being chauffeured in the back and there is enough space for your golf clubs too old sport. Panels aren’t cheap looking, which is nice to see, it’s never good to be greeted with a beautiful exterior and then disappointed with a Tupperware feeling interior, thank goodness this isn’t the case here.
Start her up and you automatically hear that this is a lightweight 4 pot ticking in the front, this sound has become the norm in this class of car. Whether its BMW, Audi or Merc, all in the name of saving weight and fuel. The car shares the same punchy power plant of the new nearly new Mercedes Benz A250 AMG, so it produces the same 155KW and 350NM of torque that you get in the smaller car. The only difference is that you glide smoothly in this car, it’s so comfortable you don’t mind leaving the gearbox in auto and cruising along, I didn’t feel the need to prove a point like how I felt whilst driving the A250 AMG. I must admit the 8 speed auto’s in the BMW’s are nicer gearbox’s but I would’ve be lying to have said that I didn’t enjoy the 7G-Tronic Plus.
When you do give the car the beans, you don’t feel nervous to do so, the chassis allows you to give a little more and more. I would have enjoyed more feel in the steering wheel though, but this is not meant to be the most hardcore of the bunch so maybe they have reserved that for the upcoming big daddy of the group. Rumour has it that they too will be cutting down on displacement and slapping on some forced induction for more power, so let’s wait and see. Overall, the cars ride and handling is soft and supple, something you expect from Mercedes Benz.
Nowadays as with anything, you can customize your C-Class but I’m not talking about just looks here. There is an option called AIR-BALANCE Package, an option which subtly emits nice smells into the cabin. You have the choice of four smells from Mercedes or if you really like your own smell you can put your own perfume in an empty flask supplied by Merc. Yes you read right, not only is BMW and Audi in trouble but so is Glade and Airwick too. So Pick and Pay need to start stocking less car air fresheners because the new C- Class owners are coming to a town near you. The list goes on, safety features are not left out trust me. With the Driver Assistance Package Plus, depending on your reaction or lack thereof, the car will break for you if it detects a potential accident between the speeds of 30-200km/h.
The list still goes on, but you have the internet for that. We’re just here to tell you that she looks good, she drives well and she’s not badly priced too starting at R415 000 (for the C180 that is). Overall I would say that the likes of BMW and Audi should be weary, because Mercedes is currently on a roll with the cars they’re coming out with and they have really beefed up their offering. In the end, for this segment of car there isn’t such a thing as bad car so the choices for the customer are there. In my opinion, the new Mercedes Benz looks better, the new BMW 3 series drives better and the Audi…is an Audi and people will always like Audis. The A4 is the grandpa in the group so let’s be fair and give them a chance to come out with something new. So for now it’s between the BMW and the Mercedes, my suggestion? Eeny meeny miny mo will be your best bet, but not Jeremy Clarckson’s version;).
TheMotorist reviews the new Mercedes Benz C-Class