MERCEDES-BENZ C 200
Indicative drive away price: $66,897
The new Mercedes-Benz C 200 took out awards plenty upon its release in 2014, including a category win and Judges’ Choice in Australia’s Best Cars. We saw it as a game changer, setting a new benchmark for others to try to emulate or better. But, as the results show, the C 200 remains peerless.
The 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo-charged engine is matched to a seven-speed automatic transmission. It’s a smooth operator, and there’s never a sense that you have to push it hard to get the best out of it.
Manufacturers are getting increasingly improved economy out of petrol engines, and the C 200 is no exception. Its ADR combined cycle figure of a frugal 6.0 litres/100km is achieved with the help of a fuel-saving stop/start system.
Discerning drivers will appreciate the Agility Control selective damping system which allows the suspension to be set to suit the road conditions.
Active and passive safety is paramount with nine airbags, blind-spot assistance, an attention assistant which monitors the driver’s steering behaviour to recognise signs of drowsiness or distraction, and an active bonnet to reduce the severity of an impact with a pedestrian or cyclist.
The C 200’s comfort and convenience levels are also considerable, starting with electric front seats with electro-pneumatic lumbar support, reversing camera, sat-nav, digital radio, synthetic leather upholstery, steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles and keyless start. On top of that, there’s Active Park Assist, which helps the driver manoeuvre into a parking space.
No car in this class did outstandingly well for space, but the C 200’s interior is classy and comfortable and the seats are cosseting. The quality of build and finish is, as expected, top-notch.
|1ST: MERCEDES-BENZ C 200, 918
|2ND: BMW 330i LUXURY LINE, 882
|3RD: LEXUS IS 300H LUXURY HYBRID, 854