Find a car review

Make
Model

Mercedes-Benz C-class review - Can it take on the mighty 3-series? - Performance and 0-60 time

Trades some dynamic ability and excitement for comfort - unless you opt for the AMG C63

Evo rating
Price
from £30,850
  • S-class looks, exceptional interior quality, refined manners
  • Ultimately lacks driver engagement, four-cylinder models not the most inspiring

The C200d can dip under 10 seconds for 0-62mph in manual saloon form (9.7 seconds) and go on to 135mph, which are commendable stats for a small engine in a relatively big car. The C200 petrol is quicker still, covering the same sprint in 7.5 seconds - hitting 147mph to the diesel's 135mph.

The larger diesels can all do the 0-62mph sprint in less than eight seconds (6.6sec for the C250d) and the hybrids are commendably brisk; the C300h is a 6.4-second-to-62mph car (topping out at 152mph) while the plug-in hybrid C350e covers the same sprint in 5.9 seconds and reaches an electronic limiter at 155mph.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

The C43 covers the same 0-62mph sprint in 4.7sec and hits the same 155mph limiter. With nine gears to choose from that performance is always on tap and throttle response is good too, despite the engine's turbocharging. The estate is a tenth slower, while the coupe matches the saloon and the convertible matches the estate. In Sport or Sport+ mode there's a welcome increase in exhaust roar but it's not instantly recognisable as a V6 engine.

> More: Read our Mercedes-AMG C43 review

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

In practice, C-class models feel every bit as quick as the figures suggest. Linear acceleration from the 2.1-litre diesel is met with some slightly unwanted engine noise in the cabin and the 2-litre petrol isn't best-suited to the C-class either. Peak torque arrives as low as 1400rpm in the C220d, with maximum power arriving soon after. Keep to a cruise and the four-cylinder models do settle down.

Even better is the C300h's step-off acceleration, which is aided by the electric motor's instantaneous punch. On the move, it's harder to discern the hybrid's power advantage over standard diesels. The C43 is the most satisfying of the lot. It lacks the drama of AMG's V8 models, but performance is strong and it shows a willingness to rev right to the red line.

In terms of weight, the estate is around 60kg heavier spec-for-spec compared to the saloon, while the auto adds 20kg over manual equivalents. Emissions and performance don’t necessarily suffer on all auto-equipped versions, though, as it depends on model-specific gearing.

Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/best-cars/201772/best-v8-cars-past-and-present-our-favourite-eights-and-the-cars-theyre-found-in
Best cars

Best V8 cars past and present – our favourite eights and the cars they’re found in

Whether it’s smooth and sophisticated or motorsport-like in its aggression, the V8 remains one of our favourite engine types, warts and all
20 Sep 2019
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019
Visit/volkswagen/golf/21122/volkswagen-golf-mk8-spied-near-free-of-camouflage-before-october-debut
Volkswagen Golf hatchback

Volkswagen Golf Mk8 spied near-free of camouflage before October debut

All-new eighth-generation Golf is only weeks away from its reveal – this is all you need to know.
18 Sep 2019
Visit/features/22773/goodyear-eagle-f1-supersport-chosen-by-those-in-the-know-advertisement-feature
Advertisement Feature

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport - chosen by those in the know

The perfect choice for those looking to extract every last drop of performance, we run down Goodyear's Eagle F1 SuperSport range
12 Jun 2019