After four BMW 3 series and the last shape Merc C320CDi, I think I can safely say this is the best car I have ever had. Handling is first rate, it corners like a hot hatch, ride is good, its quiet too. I missed the 6 cylinder engine to begin with of the last Merc and its standing start pace, but this model is more than fast enough, plus in sport trim (mine is silver) it looks good, several people have said it also looks more like a BMW, I think it looks better.
Some people have griped about the 5 speed auto box. My last Merc had the 7G tronic box. I dont know what the fuss is about, I prefer the new car, 5 gears seems plenty, I never knew what gear the 7G was in and its the same story with this one, plus I say it is actually smoother when changing gear too. Only down side seems to be pub talk of not having 7 or 6 gears.
Having a sport mode, gear shift change and paddle shifts, plus Manual mode too does give you too many options for the gearbox, also with the torque available kickdown seems pointless. I find its better to leave it in Drive and forget it. 34mpg average so far since May, but its driven fairly hard, a gentle run will yield 45mpg.
This is my first executive car and it was a big decision to spend over £30k on a car (including options). However I am very pleased indeed with it.
The most impressive feature is the incredible handling. Compared with previous cars I've owned, I feel like I can throw the car around virtually all kinds of corner and do tight manouvres and it responds really well. This is couple with the fact that the automatic gear box appears almost to read my mind and changes up or down at exactly the right times. Incredible.
I have the optional sat nav fitted. It works very well and it a super toy (if you're in to that kind of thing).
My only caveats are that a five or six speed auto box would I suspect have been smoother and more economical and the fact that it is not as frugal as I would hope from a diesel. Otherwise I have no complaints and find that I anjoy every journey which I drive in this car.
I bought this car 6 months back and absolutely love it (driving 2k miles of A roads a month). A few tips - go for the Sports package - the dealer tried to dissuade me saying it takes longer to deliver (car arrived on time) - its worth it. It took getting used to, but now love driving in manual when on twisty roads. 2ndly - go for the Brabus upgrade - gives you 320CDI performance for 1350££ only !! (MB charge you 4k more for the same - though you do get the 7 speed gearbox). Finally I have the glass roof -must have - completely worth it. Gripes - sports mode ride can be quite firm - no way to adjust this (guess need an AMG to do this); wife scrapped the front skirt (cost 400£ to fix) as the car moves a bit after you put in park + engage handbrake on a slope -MB said this was std behaviour - really strange; the paddle gear changes on non sports mode are painfully slow; the handbrake lever came off on day 5 of owning the car -MB fixed it (defective part).
Have had the C 220 Auto for only a month now but so impressed the ride is excellent, the finish is superb, along with the build quality, the sat nav is one of the best i've seen, and the sound system is fantastic.
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