Mercedes-Benz C250 AMG – C-aptivating your senses

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24 January 2015 – For the longest time ever, the brand of Mercedes-Benz was quite commonly known to others as a businessman’s car, or to put it in harsher terms, a brand which young adults steer far from. Well this we understood, no doubt due to its boxy and more traditional designs.

However, the scenes have changed and now, the three-pointed star marque moves in the direction of appealing to the younger senses. This was exemplified with the launch of the new A-Class, followed by the sleek CLA-Class.

Now, it seems that the improvement in the marque’s aesthetic department has paid off, especially with the launch of the new compact luxury sedan – the W205 C-Class. While we remember the old W204 as a “still-relatively-boxy” ride, the W205 gives none of that, but in fact, a whole new dimension to styling.

Exterior

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Parked next to its flagship brother of the W222 S-Class, it is evident where the W205 C-Class got its looks from. Elegance is now married with sportiness, presented in the form of what you would not expect from the compact range of sedans.

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This baby S-Class offers multiple trims, as per all Mercedes-Benz cars. From the elegant Exclusive line to the sportier “Avantgarde”, you could customize your ride according to how you would wish for your star to shine on the roads. Our test car, however, came in the different form of a fiercer sports look – the AMG line.

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You could still opt for your emblem standing proudly on your bonnet, or for the more new-age design of the three-pointed star embedded into your front grille. The latter, of course, would appeal to young adults, while the former applies only if you choose the “Exclusive” line.

Fitted with much of chrome linings and larger front air-intakes, the C250 AMG, like the rest in its class, boasts an 80 mm increase in wheelbase length, making it bigger than its sportier coupe brother – the CLA-Class, and its predecessor, the W204 C-Class.

The W205 also brings you a wide range of technology and features, making it worthy of yet another impressive continental. Mercedes-Benz has since proudly included its LILS (LED Intelligent Light System) into the C-Class, and active light functions and the works aside, you and me both know that the appeal of the LED daytime running lights eyebrow is more than its functionality.

Interior

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Besides looking like its flagship brother, there is another reason why everyone’s calling the W205 a baby S-Class. Slip into the interior and you’ll be introduced to a world of class.

While the older W204 appeared to retain Mercedes’ conventional gear knobs and rectangular air-conditioning vents, its newer brother exudes a much more “premium” feel, with the CLA/A-Class inspired circular air-con vents, and the “new-generation” gearstick lever – freeing up much needed space in the centre dash console.

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Right smack in the middle, the 14 cm TFT infotainment COMAND display catches your eye, providing you one-stop entertainment AND information about your ride, all controlled easily via either the COMAND wheel or Mercedes’ new touch-sensitive controller. The controller did pose a problem for us though – being right handers, it IS relatively challenging to write the alphabet or key in a number to make a call.

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Of course, the other remarkable features would be the new electronic brake (compared to the predecessor’s foot-operated, hand-released one), digital heads-up display (HUD), and the W221 S-Class inspired switches on the central console to give you that luxurious “click” when you toggle it.

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But that being said, technology and features ain’t going to fully impress the ordinary businessman. The rear space of the W205 offers plenty of seating room for 3 full-sized adults (if you don’t mind the transmission tunnel), perhaps even enough to squeeze fit four in.

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Out at the rear, the boot offers up to 480 litres of space, sufficient for the standard golf bag and a few other barang-barangs. The rear seats offer split-folding, so do not fret if you need that little bit more space for your belongings.

Certainly impressive in both quality and the presentation.

The Drive

The new W205 still retains Mercedes’ 7G-tronic Plus gearbox. Of course, we will not be comparing the C250 with the entry-level C180, but the C250 put out enough oomph for us to fall in love with it almost instantly.

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Delivering 208 horses from the 1,991cc plant, the C250 propels you forward to the 100 km/h mark in just 6.6 seconds. Take-off from a stand-still is relatively easy, thanks to the 350 Nm of torque available under your feet.

For an “extra”-urban environment like Singapore (considering the amount of traffic jams we encounter on a daily basis), the 7G-tronic Plus transmission proves extremely seamless. It might not be as split-second responsive, but it certainly does enough to provide a smooth and unnoticeable ride for the average passenger. As for the driver, well, let’s just say the torque from the turbo plant will do the job in fast gear-changes.

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The new C-Class also comes with Agility Select, providing you five different driving modes. Not one, not two, not the average three, but FIVE – Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport +, and Individual. The engine’s throttle response and steering feel is significantly changed as you scroll through them. While Mercedes’ claims that the dampers are adjusted according to the modes too, we thought it was too little of a change for the average passenger to notice.

We left the C250 mostly in Individual mode, given our OCD in setting our own steering feel and engine response. But even with the mildest of Comfort mode, the W205 took the rougher roads and tight corners with impressive handling and minimal oversteer.

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The only grouse for us would be the engine note of the W205. Even with an AMG line plonked onto the C250, the engine sounded nothing like the older AMG line cars (we remember an old W211 AMG line’s exhaust sounding so awesome we swooned). The W205’s exhaust, unfortunately, did not live up to that expectation.

Conclusion

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Mercedes-Benz has improved a fair bit since the days of boxy-looking durable limousines to classy, funky, and stylish coupes and sedans. It is no doubt that the new C-Class serves as a testimonial to Mercedes’ successful direction going forward.

With the new W205 C-Class, the German marque has successfully created a car that suits both the uncle as well as the young executive driver, keeping them happy and contended with all of luxury, comfort, and technology. We shan’t name all the technology and sciences behind this wonder, but it will make you do a double-take to believe it.

This baby S-Class indeed lived up to its (and our) expectations in all aspects, and while its driveability and handling may feel as sharp as the BMW’s ZF gearboxes, we dare say that it will make even the potential 3-Series buyer think (and look) twice.

For us, we’re absolutely in love with this beauty.

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We like:

  • Looks like a baby S-Class
  • Classy interior which makes you feel pampered
  • Wide variety of features and gadgets to satisfy the tech junkie

We don’t like:

  • Engine note sounds a little plain
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