Most diesel C-Class models are quick enough. True, the C220d struggles for out-and-out pace, but it has enough shove to carry you along briskly. In fact, it’s the engine we’d choose; we wouldn’t bother spending the extra cash for the modest increase in power and pace that the C250d brings.
There’s also a diesel-electric hybrid edition, badged C300h, that allows you to trickle along on battery power alone in heavy traffic. The diesel engine cuts in quickly if demanded, and when it does performance is strong.
The plug-in hybrid C350e uses a bigger battery hooked up to an electric motor to give proper electric-only use for town commuting, although for a real-world range of only 11-12 miles. With the 2.0-litre petrol engine added into the mix, it’s quick, but not as quick as the claimed 0-62mph sprint of 5.9sec would have you believe.
As for the regular petrol options, the C200 is fast enough, but it requires plenty of revs. At the other end of the spectrum, Mercedes offers the unhinged but brilliant AMG C63 and C63 S models. Both feel bullet-fast, with the latter packing 503bhp. If you want something fast but a little less crazy, there’s a more manageable C43 that has less power and four-wheel drive.