Mercedes Benz and BMW have over the years been high on the shopping list in the A/B income group. Mercedes possibly had a slightly higher age profile with BMW shoppers being the type of person who enjoys pure power and excitement provided by the BMW marque. This over the years has changed, and none so much as with the all new C-Class Mercedes Benz.
We tested the all new C250-rocket ship on wheels. This all new model is loaded with innovation. To mention all of the features would take an article on its own, so I will not list feature after feature, but rather provide a driving impression of the vehicle.
Approaching the car with the key in your pocket, the doors unlock automatically. Slip into the comfortable leather seating and gaze around. Understated luxury is the order of the day, from the clean sculpture of the dash board to the centre console which surprisingly does not feature a gear knob. The only controls on the centre console are for the radio and to change the power settings. Besides the radio control knob there is a touch pad which you can use to move the radio stations. The gear knob is a very understated control stalk on the steering column, which allows you to select drive/neutral or reverse. None of this can be done including starting the car can be completed without depressing the brake. A button on the dashboard instantly fires the engine. The hand brake is also a button beneath the dashboard which activates or de activates the park brake. When stopping at a traffic light the engine stops and instantly restarts when the brake is released and accelerator is depressed.
Acceleration is mind blowing through the7G-Tronic plus transmission, with 0-100km/hr being reached in 6.6 secs. For those drivers who prefer to change gears manually, paddles are fitted on either side of the steering wheel. Power output is rated at155/5500 rpm and torque at 350Nm at 1200-4000rpm.
Some of the innovative features that your normal family saloon does not have are Collision Prevention Assist. This automatically slows you down if you are getting too close to the car in front of you. An interesting feature is the way the vehicle gently pulls you back into the road if you find you are wandering over the yellow line. I did not try this, but is would surely wake you up if you fell asleep at the wheel and the car got too close to the curb. Rain censors switch on the wipers when it starts raining and the tyre pressure is constantly monitors to ensure a tyre does not go flat without you being aware of it. The radio is a masterpiece on its own with Audio 20 CD, Bluetooth, a high resolution display with a a 17.8 cm screen, and a touch pad to adjust the operating menus. 2 USB ports for external audio and video devices, although I am not sure if it would be a good idea to drive whilst watching your favourite video!
Automatic climate control with two zones ensures the driver and the passenger can adjust the climate for their comfort.
I have listed only few of the standard features. There are also a list of additional features such as a heads up display, reverse camera, electric front seats with a memory feature and a Garmin MAP Pilot. A very handy feature is the blind spot assist, which warns the driver of a car approaching in the blind spot.
This car is without doubt in a league of its own, and is pure indulgence in its segment of the market.