I HAVE always had a close interest in cars from Mercedes-Benz since doing a feature many years ago about a Merc owning army officer who liked his car so much he named his baby daughter Mercedes after it writes Bryan Longworth.
So it was nice to drive the latest C-Class car which has just been given a mid term facelift four years after the German company launched the latest generation of their best selling model in Spain.
There are over 2,000 new components in the latest C-Class car which has a more striking appearance at the front and rear especially the front.
I like the new grille with the large three pointed Mercedes star in the centre - there is now no traditional star on top of the radiator but the new style front looks much more impressive.
My test car was the C250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Saloon Sport which at £32,020 is the most expensive saloon in the range although my car cost £39,245 because of the options which included sat nav, seven speed automatic transmission and panoramic glass sunroof.
In the early days of Mercedes in the UK standard equipment was very sparse but now it is extremely generous and my car even had the AMG wheels and bodystyling kit which made it look very cool and attracted much attention from admirers.
The test car had the 2.0-litre four cylinder fuel efficient 204bhp diesel engine which produced a top speed of 149mph, a zero to 62mph time of 7.1 seconds and combined fuel consumption of 58.9mpg which is exactly the same as the car with the six speed manual gearbox although the on-board computer showed the consumption to be less than this.
I liked the new style leather clad interior which is very user friendly once one gets used to the various systems that includes Attention Assist that warns the driver if they are feeling drowsy.
With the latest C-Class car Mercedes has provided an extremely sensitive and precise steering system that makes driving the car such an enjoyable experience and the road holding qualities are just as impressive.
Coupled with the very econonomical engine this particular model is arguably the best in the sector as the other two rival German car manufacturers will no doubt have noticed.
At the rear the roomy and easily accessible boot has a space saver spare tyre beneath it which is another plus point for I don’t like cars with puncture kits and no spare but watch out for the bootlid as it springs open very quickly and nearly hit my face!
This particular model is the best C-Class car I have driven and the subtle facelift has certainly given the car a new lease of life until the next generation is launched.
My Verdict: I can now appreciate why some Mercedes owners name their daughters after the marque.
Model: Mercedes new C 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Saloon Sport.
Engine: 2.0-litre four cylinder diesel.
Output: 204bhp at 4200rpm.
Transmission: Seven speed automatic.
Top speed: 149mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 7.1 seconds.
Fuel consumption: Combined 58.9mpg.
CO2 emissions: 136g/km.