Monday, December 1, 2014

Used Car Review - Mercedes Benz C Class Sedan (2007-2014)

Myk Belmonte gives you a desirable car in time for Christmas.

2007-2014 Mercedes Benz C Class Sedan

Mention the word "European compact executive" and the two cars that comes to mind are the 3 Series and C Class, both popular for many reasons. The 3 Series is the benchmark of the class nearly snatching all (except for one model) the accolades for Car and Driver's 10Best. The C Class is an alternative since the BMW has it all. Let's skip that part.

Under the W204 chassis code, this C Class was developed using a digital prototype before an actual test mule was utilized. The 2.1 terabyte digital replica was subjected to a 15 million mile road test and its design was selected in 2003 and design patents were filed a year later which showcased a fiberglass design model of what would be the W204 model. Bet you didn't know: this car was a serious contender of the E90 3 Series when it comes to sales since the differences aren't much huge.

CATS Motors launched the C Class in sedan form only, with the old wagon being discontinued for the local market while the coupe was added in 2011.

Value and Costs
Since this is a Benz, resale values are excellent when compared to other brands like Audi and Volvo. With this car not being too old, prices would hover above a million peso mark regardless of model.

Being a luxury model, go for something that had been inspected by the local dealer for your peace of mind. Also, using low octane fuel for certain cars that has a supercharger (2007-2011) or turbocharger (2011-2014) in it can deteriorate the performance of the vehicle. No serious issues have been reported apart from those usual wear and tear.

Exterior and Interior
Replacing the W203's softer lines and rounder headlights is a much more bold and striking body which defines Benzes nowadays. 2007 to 2010 C180 models made do with 16 inch steel wheels with cover until it used alloys later on. AMG Sport models have, well, body kits from AMG.

In Mercedes jargon, Avantgarde models are the ones having stainless steel and aluminum accents while Elegance is luxury oriented with wood panels but this model is only available during the first part of the vehicle's run. In other items, there's the COMAND control system with a 4.5 inch colored instrumental panel which may be confusing for first timers but easy to use for novices to the three pointed brand. Some higher variants get triple zone air-conditioning while others have dual.

A confusing array of engines comes standard in the W204 C Class, especially that six engine options were available during the first half while only five (three of them are the 1.8 having varying horsepower figures) remained later on. Do take note that 2011 to 2014 models have a CGI treatment which gains a turbocharger. Acceleration may vary from the fast and steady to the extremely fast while the 7-speed automatic is smooth with this one defaulting to second gear when accelerating from a stop.

Driving Impressions
Prefer a Benz while getting a BMW's driving athleticism? Then this model is for you, especially that older models are fast in straights but acts like a boat on corners. Due to a stiff body shell and an excellent suspension set up, this is one C Class that can take on the 3 Series when it comes to driving fun. While the efforts are there, it does not still knock out the benchmark especially that handling is on the safe side plus steering feel is tuned for comfort. Speaking of comfort, it does make an edge over the closest rival. You get the best of both worlds.

Yes, the 3 Series may be the top dog of the class but let us not forget the efforts done by Mercedes Benz on making their compact executive being a little sporty.
The Good:
  • Very solid
  • A delight to drive
  • Spacious
The Bad:
  • Expensive to maintain (if you don't have the money)
  • The 3 Series is still fun to drive
  • Noisy at high speeds
The Pick: C200

Engines: 1.8 M271 DE ML I4 supercharged (2007-2011) or AL I4 turbocharged (2011-2014) - C180, 2011-2014 C200 and C250 CGI, 2.0 M271 DE AL I4 supercharged - 2007-2011 C200, 2.5 and 3.0 M272 KE 25 V6 - 2007-2011 C250 (2.5) and 2007-2011 C280 and C300 (3.0), 3.5 M272 KE V6 - 2007-2011 C350, 3.5 M276 DE V6 - 2011-2014 C300, 6.2 M156 K3 V8 - C63
Power: 141hp @ 5,200rpm (2007-2008 C180), 156hp @ 5,200rpm (2008-2011 C180), 154hp @ 5,000rpm (2011-2014 C180), 181hp @ 5,250rpm (2011-2014 C200), 184hp @ 5,500rpm (2007-2011 C200), 201hp @ 5,500rpm (2011-2014 C250), 204hp @ 6,100rpm (2007-2011 C250), 231hp @ 6,000rpm (2007-2011 C280 and C300), 248hp @ 6,500rpm (2011-2014 C300), 272hp @ 6,000rpm (2007-2011 C350), 457hp @ 6,800rpm (C63)
Torque: 220Nm @ 2,500-4,200rpm (2007-2008 C180), 230Nm @ 2,800-4,600rpm (2008-2011 C180), 250Nm @ 1,600rpm (2011-2014 C180), 250Nm @ 2,800-5,000rpm (2007-2010 C200), 270Nm @ 1,800-4,600rpm (2010-2011 C200), 270Nm @ 1,800rpm (2011-2014 C200), 245Nm @ 2,900-5,500rpm (2010-2011 C250), 300Nm @ 2,500-5,000rpm (2007-2011 C280 and C300), 310Nm @ 2,000-4,300rpm (2011-2014 C250), 340Nm @ 3,500-4,500rpm (2011-2014 C300), 350Nm @ 2,400-5,000rpm (2007-2011 C350), 600Nm @5,000rpm (C63)
Fuel Consumption: 5-8km/L (city), 8-11km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies per engine model)
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Suspension: Front McPherson strut, rear multi-link

Price (New): P2,700,000-P6,500,000 (encompasses all models)
Price (Now): P1,490,000-P2,300,000
Rivals: Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Lexus IS, Volvo S60
On Sale: 2007-2014

CATS Pre-Owned - (02) 784-5000

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