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Mercedes C-Class review - price,specs and 0-60 time
Striking exterior looks and a sumptuous cabin that proves Mercedes is back at the top of its game give the W205 C-Class a great platform to build on, which it duly does with a driving experience as cultured as you’d expect from its shrunken S-Class appearance. In terms of handling, the C-Class is adept in most situations and has decent steering feel too. But like many a Mercedes before it, when you start asking tough questions of the dynamics it doesn’t really yield up any meaningful answers. The C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic model rectifies this issue, however, if you can’t stretch to the awesome Mercedes-AMG C63.
If you can wait for a C-Class until summer 2016, you’d be best off choosing the C 450 AMG Sport 4Matic. Fitting in between AMG Line-equipped regular Mercs and the full-on Mercedes-AMG C 63, this 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 develops 362bhp, 384lb ft and can hit 62mph from a standstill in just 4.9 seconds. The best news is that the C 450 manages to tread a fine line between the standard C-Class and the C 63 in terms of driver involvement.
When a full plug-in petrol-electric hybrid model called the C 350 e comes on stream in mid-2016, a couple of hybrid options will be lurking within the C-Class line-up. The current C 300 BlueTec Hybrid would be our recommendation of the existing C-Class range if you’re after the best balance of economy and power. It’s a mild diesel-electric hybrid, the 27hp supplementary motor housed in the 7G-Tronic transmission and working with the 2.1-litre combustion engine in 201bhp output. The C 300 can’t be used in fully electric mode above about 20mph, but the torque-fill provided by electric power ekes the most out of the C’s diesel reserves. It’s also eerily brilliant when the C 300 seamlessly switches the combustion engine off and back on at A-road speeds when you momentarily come off the throttle and, although Mercedes’ 2143cc diesel can occasionally be a noisy operator, in the C 300 BlueTec it’s remarkably hushed. It’s probably the best-matched drivetrain for the C-Class’ laid-back chassis set-up.
Performance and 0-60 time > The Mercedes C350e petrol-eletric plug-in hybrid hits 62mph in 5.9sec and registers a top speed of 142mph.
Engine and gearbox > AMG models aside, there’s only one purely petrol-engined model in the C-class line-up – the C200 – but several diesel and hybrid models. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard while a seven-speed automatic can be optioned.
Ride and handling > Tyre roar is superbly contained and the C-class generally negotiates British roads with aplomb, as you might expect.
MPG and running costs > The mainstay of the Mercedes range is more frugal than ever. AMG models aside, C-class combined fuel economy ranges from 62.8 to 72.4mpg with carbon dioxide emissions from 101 to 117g/km.
Prices, specs and rivals > The C-class range starts at £27,270, which is reasonable for a basic model that comes impressively specced as standard. Obvious rivals are BMW’s 3-series, Audi’s A4 and the Jaguar XE.
Interior and tech > The S-class-inspired interior boasts excellent fit and finish, a lavishly wide transmission tunnel and a full suite of electronic toys and gadgets.
Design > Were it our money we’d opt for an AMG Line C-class Estate painted in Brilliant Blue – understated, comfortable, practical and effortlessly handsome.