The latest version of Mercedes-Benz C-Class BlueEfficiency range is the C250 CDi. Performance is brisk, with the 204 hp engine accelerating to 62 mph in 7 seconds dead, whilst still returning up to 55 mpg according to official figures. However during our testing the car, an automatic, has struggled to deliver over 45 mpg. We feel that this may be due to our over-zealous right foot activity. It seems that both the economy and performance figures are technically correct, but unfortunately mutually exclusive.
Available in Sport and Elegance trim, it’s easy to spot the difference between the two. Sport trim comes complete with 17 inch alloy wheels, a full AMG body kit and no sticky-out Mercedes three pointed star, wearing a raised badge on the bonnet instead. Elegance trim has 16 inch wheels, and the archetypal Mercedes-Benz roundel. Sports trim also has a younger, fresher interior, with dark plastic and chrome finish, the AMG multi function steering wheel, together with the media kit including Bluetooth phone connection which is Blackberry compatible for the busy executive, whilst the Elegance interior still exudes quality. The Sport also features excellent cruise control as standard, giving easy control in either 1 or 5 mile per hour increments.
Almost all engines in the C Class range now bear the BlueEfficiency badge, with the notable exceptions being the C63 AMG models for obvious reasons. Enhancements made on these models E include reduced windscreen thickness, removal of acoustic damping materials and lighter alloy wheels. Along with specially designed tyres, BlueEfficiency models now offer less rolling resistance and friction on the road, and engines have also been improved to reduce emission, increase miles per gallon results with lower friction and lighter parts.
On the road, handling is assured in the dry, with the traction control/ESP a little too keen for our liking in the wet. As a long distance cruiser the C-Class comes into its own, with low engine noise, super driving position and an appetite for eating up the miles whilst returning 50 plus MPG making it a great choice for a family car or a company car.
Mercedes-Benz C250 CDi BlueEfficiency prices start from £29870 for the Elegance with a manual gearbox, up to £33200 for the C250 CDI Auto Estate. Mercedes have a range of low rate finance packages with monthly payments starting from around £350 per month at 5.9% APR.