The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a multiple award-winner. The C250, for example, was the Business Class category winner in the inaugural Cars.co.za Consumer Awards. We spent some time with the most potent four-cylinder Mercedes-Benz C-Class derivative to see what it adds to the range.
The previous-generation Mercedes-Benz C300 made use of an old-school V6, but for the new 2016 model, a high-output 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder motor is bolted into the engine bay. With 180 kW and 370 Nm, the on-paper engine outputs seem meaty enough to give this C-Class a sporty edge. This Mercedes-Benz C300 is rear-wheel driven and power reaches these wheels through a 7G-tronic transmission, with paddles located behind the steering wheel.
Mercedes-Benz claims its C300 can hit 100 kph from standstill in 5.9 seconds and go onto a top speed of 250 kph. In terms of economy, it’s said to consume just 6.3 L/100km on a combined cycle. During our week-long test we achieved an average of 9.5 L/100km following a test period that included a lot of time spent in heavy traffic and out on open roads.
With some performance credentials under its belt, we were expecting an altogether brisker Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Did it deliver? The short answer is no. Even with Sport+ mode engaged (with the engine and transmission set to their sportiest throttle/shift mapping), it didn't reward enthusiastic driver inputs satisfactorily. The engine sounded strained at its upper reaches, but, to be fair, most turbocharged 4-cylinder motors sound rough when revved hard.
The cabin of the Mercedes-Benz C-class delivers comprehensively in the luxury stakes and the interior never feels like anything but a premium place to be. Specification levels are high, which is what you’d expect when paying R600 000 for a vehicle. And, of course, you can open the options book and further enhance your C300… Well worth a tick are the COMAND infotainment and navigation system (R25 900) and Burmester high-end audio setup (R11 000).
In terms of safety equipment the C300 is comprehensively covered. Seven airbags are fitted as standard as well as an array of systems that will keep you safe. You can even specify further safety features if you like, such as the Driving Assistance package plus, which includes Distronic Plus with steer assist, active blind spot assist, active lane keep assist, rear impact warning, BAS Plus, cross-traffic assist, as well as Pre-Safe Plus and Pre-Safe Brake functions.
Price for the Mercedes-Benz C300
The C300 costs R612 518, which includes a 2-year/unlimited kilometres warranty and 6-year/100 000 km maintenance plan.