What alternatives should I consider to a used Mercedes-Benz C-Class saloon?
It’s the strength of the C-Class’s competition that, in some eyes, is its undoing. The compact executive class has one of the strongest fields of any class and going up against both the super-competent Audi A4 and the class-establishing BMW 3 Series is distinctly bad luck.
The A4 is more practical than the C-Class, with more space inside and a larger boot. It’s more refined, too, with a number of highly efficient and very smooth engines. It’s also better to drive, thanks to its sharper steering and more eager handling. The interior has always impressed us for its relative simplicity yet high-quality feel and its infotainment system, operated by a rotary-style controller, is clear and intuitive to use.
The 3 Series has been the class leader for so many years that it’s become the very definition of the compact executive car. It is, to most degrees, still the class leader in this segment, edging ahead of even the brilliant A4. Its success is centred on its entertaining rear-wheel-drive handling, an effortlessly upmarket feel and the excellent build quality. Here is a premium car that will more than satisfy the demands of the high-mileage executive plodding the UK’s byways, a family in need of decent space and reasonable running costs, as well as the enthusiastic motorist wanting something fun to drive.