- The car: 2015 Mercedes-Benz C220 Bluetec Sport Premium Plus Saloon
- Run by: Alex Robbins, Used Cars Editor
- Why it’s here: It’s one of the best-selling used executive cars, so we want to find out what all the fuss is about – and whether buying a two-year-old example is a worthwhile alternative to a newer car from a less upmarket brand.
- Needs to: Cosset through city traffic jams and motorway snarl-ups during the week, and smooth away the miles on longer weekend trips.
3 October 2017 – first report
To buy used – and to be able to afford a smart car with a prestige badge on its nose – or to buy new – and get the benefit of a full manufacturer’s warranty, albeit from a more workaday brand? It’s a question many car buyers wonder about. If, for your budget, you can afford a used model that’s more upmarket, or a new car with all the bells and whistles that go therewith, which should you choose?
That’s what we intend to find out with the aid of our latest used long-termer. The Mercedes C-Class is one of the best-selling executive cars, so it should be perfectly placed to help us find out.
Our example – a C220 Bluetec Sport with the Premium Plus package – would set you back around £24,000, if you were to find one at a Mercedes dealership today. That sort of money goes a long way on the new car market, and with a bit of haggling, could put you into a top-of-the-range Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport with an identically powerful engine, or even a classy mid-range Volkswagen Passat.
Both of those new cars come with three years’ worth of warranty attached to them; the best the Merc’s buyer can hope for is a year remaining on the manufacturer’s guarantee – or the year’s used car warranty you get with the Mercedes Approved scheme.
But of course, the Mercedes has so much to offer besides. For starters, it’s a Mercedes – which brings with it a higher-quality interior, smart paint finishes and, supposedly, a better class of dealer, not to mention the prestige of the three-pointed star.
Don’t forget that Premium Plus package, either, which adds such perks as ambient internal lighting, keyless entry and starting, a panoramic glass sunroof, a top-notch Burmester sound system, memory seats and uprated infotainment. These are not insignificant toys, the like of which you’d be hard-pushed to find on any new car of a similar size for the same cash.
Our example has had a few option boxes ticked by its first owner, too: £845-worth of spangly Hyacinth Red paintwork; privacy glass at £265; the £545 intelligent LED lighting; and the £825 head-up display.
Not bad going for just shy of £25,000, in other words – and it shows what you get if you’re prepared to sacrifice a couple of years’ warranty (and 8,000 miles’ use – which, to most modern cars, is barely anything). It’s easy
That’s before we’ve even talked about the ownership experience afforded even to buyers of used cars from Mercedes’s dealerships. When we arrived at Mercedes-Benz Bromley to collect our car, we were given a tour of the swanky dealership before being led to a special customer collection bay, where LS15TXX sat waiting beneath a cover, complete with a VIP placard welcoming us.
After the big reveal, a theatrical touch which added to the sparkle of collecting the car (and something not necessarily afforded buyers of even new models from other manufacturers), Edward Harrison, the dealership’s ‘Star Expert’ – which means he doesn’t sell cars, but instead specialises in answering customers’ questions and helping them to learn about their cars – gave me an in-depth tour of the C-Class’s controls, before guiding me out through the glass door to show me a few more tips and tricks.
Edward also left me with his mobile number, and the offer to pop back into the dealership if there was anything else that needed explaining. Certainly, Merc’s best dealers lack nothing in terms of customer service, if our experience so far is to be believed.
Our Merc has already been pressed into daily use, so next month, we should have some useful first impressions. Watch this space for those, and make sure you keep checking back on this page to find out whether buying a premium used car really is as good as it looks.
Price when new £35,655
Value on arrival £24,270
Value now £24,270
Mileage on arrival 7998
Mileage now 7998
Test fuel economy N/A
Official fuel economy 68.9mpg
Emissions/yearly tax 106g/km/£20
0-62mph 7.8 seconds
Top speed 145mph
Insurance group 31
Prices based on a standard car without optional extras