Mercedes-Benz know how to make safe, high quality, high end, cars. The C-Class is no exception. The first generation of C-Class hit showrooms in 1993 and has proven to be a popular luxury vehicle among Irish drivers. The fact that the first generation is still very visible on Irish roads can only be a good thing. It’s a car that gets better looking with age, which might explain the amount of older models that are still floating around. We’re currently in the fourth generation of this mark and things have only gotten better. The style is more aggressive than ever and it’s available as an Estate, a Saloon or as a Coupé. For this review we have tested the C-Class Estate.
There is a good choice of both petrol and diesel models available from the manufacturer. There are two petrol engines available offering various out puts. The 1.6 litre engine is available with 129 bhp or 156 bhp, while the 2.0 litre offering gives 184 bhp. The diesel choice is vast too with the 1.6 litre engine offering 116 bhp or 136 bhp. The 2.2 litre engine offers 170 bhp, while the 2.2 litre hybrid offering bring the horses up to 204 bhp. Our test model came with the 1.6 litre diesel in the C200 Bluetec. This gives 0-100 km/h in 10.6 seconds, and we’re informed that it has a top speed of 214 km/h.
The model we drove came with the 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission. This can be slow to change gears when put under pressure and add frustration when climbing the speedometer on the motorway. Apart from that the C-Class Estate offers plenty of grip. The ride can be a bit bouncy in “Eco” mode, but change that to “Comfort” and everything becomes crisper. This vehicle deals with twisty roads with ease and corners nicely.
The biggest complaint here would be the noise of the engine wanting to change gear when you put the foot down on the motorway. Apart from that it is a very refined cruiser. Road noise is not a major issue, although some wind noise comes through.
The interior of the C-Class is of excellent standard. There are no signs of cheap plastics or of the manufacturer cutting corners. There’s plenty of choices when it comes to the steering wheel and seating position, which will allow the driver to get very comfortable. Our test vehicle had very comfortable ARTICO leather seats. The infotainment system is presented on a seven inch screen. Initially it takes some getting used to the system as it can be complicated, but owners shouldn’t have a problem as they will have time to learn.
Mercedes-Benz are renowned for being innovators when it comes to safety. The C-Class in whatever form you look at is jam-packed with driver assistant aids and systems. The interior of the C-Class is surrounded by no less than seven airbags
Leg room to the front and rear is ample. The C-Class has a sloped roof towards the rear, but head height does not suffer. The boot area should be enough for most families, but it wouldn’t offer the same space as its rivals – a new benchmark has been laid down here by Skoda with the Superb and the Superb Combi.