BEHIND THE WHEEL: Mercedes Benz C200
MONDAY APRIL 20, 2015
Since the launch of the W205 C-class, people have been banging on how it is a mini S class and it being a free upgrade to business class. I ain’t sure how much of that is true but it is quite a looker, especially so from the back lighted up in the golden hour.
It was on a Saturday morning where my friend (who is approaching 40 at heart) and I visited a Mercedes-Benz dealership. He is very much into the new C-class because has been driving many of its predecessors and is very keen on getting a replacement.
A Mercedes for everyone
Snug rear seats
Not quite 'business class'
0-100 km/h: 7.8s
Top speed: 235km/h
0-100 km/h: 7.2s
Top speed: 240km/h
Looks aside, it is common where manufacturer say this new version is bigger but lighter which improves the handling and provide a better ride. So we requested for a drive to find out how much we like the 2015 C Class. Mercedes may be rich but they only have a C200 Avantgarde for testing purposes so the 40-year old man took the driver seat while I slot myself into the rear bench. We both agreed on everything is well put together and the use of extensive soft touch is very nice indeed but they seem to have ran out to apply some on its rear air conditioning console.
"A Mercedes Benz must first be comfortable then
rewarding to drive "
It is wonderful to be in the back where sufficient space, comfort and recline was offered to both its rear passengers but do watch your head while getting in and out as the roof line is quite raked. Dashboard, knobs and switches too are great if you excuse the massively bezel-ed screen. Once the wheel got rolling, the ride is firm and crashes at potholes.
We then swapped seats and I was soon faced with confusion as the gear lever is on the steering column requires getting used to. No matter how many times I remind myself, I would reach to the center console whenever I wish to engage in going forward or backwards. Moving on to the drive, one thing is for sure, this C200 does not like speed. It does well going in and out of corners but the steering is uncommunicative and inaccurate so you really have got to be really brave to go fast. At least, it does stopping rather well.
Everything in the new C has been improved in terms of refinement, turbo lag and gearbox (which has always been Mercedes’ Achilles heel) compared to its predecessor. Not best in the market but a vast improvement. A good car or not, every new C class will be very appealing to those who aspire to have their first Mercedes and to those who have been driving Benz in the past. For me, I’d drive a little further down to have a go in a 328i just to be sure.