MERCEDES BENZ AND THE ELEGANCE OF THE C CLASS
On a hot summer’s day, I took delivery of a C180 Mercedes Benz. I had driven the vehicle on the launch weekend at Mercedes Benz Bryanston and was impressed with it overall. On this occasion, I had been given the vehicle for a week and had so much time to discover all the different features in it. One of those features was the very helpful fuel economy feature which showed you, over a period of time, the fuel consumption you achieved. The vehicle’s information was relayed to you under the main screen where it showed you all details regarding the current status of the vehicle. A very impressive tool within the vehicle. I pushed the “stop/start” button and actually didn’t know if the vehicle was off or on. The engine noise throughout was extremely quiet and its fuel economy was sitting at 16L per hundred kilometres but this was through heavy driving in sport plus and comfort mode. I put the drive into “eco” mode and the fuel economy went below 10 litres per hundred kilometres under a stiffened suspension and more careful driving. The difference between the new and old model was the shape of the vehicle. The new model is longer with different headlights and for me, more impressive. It looks like a mini S Class with features that actually sit in its older sibling as well.
The boot is spacious and can easily accommodate golf clubs for your weekend run of 18 holes before you go to the restaurant to meet with family for dinner. It easily can accommodate golf clubs and then more in a very desirable sized boot. I started to use the media entertainment system and found the system to be quite frustrating. The knob should have been replaced by a touch screen. To drive and control the knob could be seen as quite dangerous and therefore a touch screen with voice interaction could be the solution. Overall though, the media features were impressive as a whole.
During the course of the first week, I had the opportunity of taking passengers with me in the vehicle. All the passengers mentioned that they felt so comfortable in the seats and one highlighted that he could have had a nap because of the comfort of the seats. This for me, highlighted just how important the vehicle was to the market. It offered more, albeit at a higher price, than its competitors but it is for me, a better vehicle than the 3 series. I have yet to test drive the Audi A4 but this Mercedes is a taste of great things to come. The drive of the C class is comfortable.
It sits well at comfortable speeds and there is no need to hesitate about safety as the vehicle has side and all round cameras to assist in reverse parking and other situations. I was well impressed but found the beeping to be slightly irritating when I was quite far away from objects. The C class defines objectivity, luxury and comfort. It would be a great start into the mid size car market and don’t be alarmed with the size of the 180 engine as it has plenty of power to back into free lanes and out of situations.
This medium sized car is a serious contender in my view for car of the year in the medium size category. Well done Mercedes on a great vehicle.
Price: R586 000
+Features +media entertainment knob
+airconditioning +beeping of assistance systems
+Comfort +Fuel economy at high speeds