You know when everyone is saying the same thing and are all in complete agreement, there is always that one person who comes across and sanguine and guarded who utters the immortal words “I don’t know now” and suddenly grabs the attention of everyone.
You then hear a reason to question the common agreement and that one person’s interjection only then opens up the debate and forces the group to really do their homework and make sure they are happy with their collective position.
Well, the C Class estate is kind of like that contrarian.
Not that the position is a contrarian one for the sake of it but just because it makes sense and make the group think.
Why? Well, here we have a car that’ll perform a multiplicity of roles because of its shape. It can lug around a big load, will take all your activity equipment or luggage, carry 5 adults comfortably and do so in a high degree of comfort and luxury.
So what, other cars do that? The punch in the face moment came when I started the car up and it indicated a range of 1,120 kms. It could probably do more but the computer bases this on the previous drivers’ performance to assess how far you can go. The reason why it was a punch in the face moment was because the car was a… diesel.
Dirty, filthy, neighbours will hate me diesel. How quicky diesel has gone from being the fuel we nearly all were using to being an outcast. As quickly as we embraced diesel we have ran away as if we were going to get worse than Covid from it.
The argument the diesel forces us to consider is how is the electricity made for our electric cars and then do a deep dive on the entire energy argument around that.
There is also the manufacturing energy and mining energy to produce the batteries and already there are environmental rumblings as to the damage the mining is doing to get the metals out of the ground and the amount of energy needed to extract it.
That’s the “I don’t know now” voice that’s beginning to peep. My tuppence worth is that if you buy an electric car then you can only charge it using electricity that is fully renewable. That’s the one measure that will transform our transportation and energy use and is the logical rationale for proper electricity use in our cars.
Back to the C Class though. I love an estate and am convinced that once a driver buys one, they’ll always want one.
It’s like drivers of manual cars insisting that they’d never drive an automatic car, until they do, and then there is no going back. My main reason for liking them is that I think in most cases they are better looking than the saloon version which is also the most impractical shape. The popular hatchback is the middle ground and very popular.
The C Class when all the seats are folded flat has a luggage capacity of 1,510litres and that will allow you do lots of things a lot easier. For me the most important benefit is the ability for it to swallow a bicycle, or three, whole.
The engine in my C Class was 2.0l diesel with 200hp and I can say this without fear of contradiction it has all the power you’d ever need for whatever roads you propose to travel on, loaded or not. It had a 9-speed gearbox and always chose the right one.
The interiors of the current Mercedes models are amazing and leading the field. To get into a Mercedes interior the first requirement is luxury fell and longevity and everting seems to fit that bill. The steering wheel is all about feel both in terms of material used and feedback from the front wheels and in both it scores excellently.
The dashboard is an all-digital affair with the right-hand side controlling the drivers display and the left-hand side controlling the central display.
Once you get used to it, it is very intuitive and easy but as I only had a short time with the car I relied on the excellent “Hey Mercedes” voice control when I got stuck and couldn’t find the feature I wanted. Trust me, I may not be right on the trajectory of an all EV motoring world, but I am when it comes to voice control – it’s the business.
I managed 5.2l/100km for a variety of trips and onboard passengers – 4.5 to 4.8 is predicted by Mercedes so not far off. When I left it in cruise on the motorway at 110km/hr it showed current fuel consumption of 4.1l/100km – amazing for a car that also had the air conditioning on.
The contribution from the 48V mild hybrid system must be a factor here. You’d have a Hobsons choice between comfort, recharging and range if you were in an electric car.
Driving manners in a Mercedes lean towards comfort and balance and it’s available in abundance here. I’ll use its ample performance capability on a motorway but when the Rs arrive, I tend to back off and allow the car perform its main function – delivery you as fresh as a daisy to you destination after a comfortable trip. There are few cars better to do this in.
Right now, if I had the €70,776 asking price for my AMG line version, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.
One of the most complete cars I’ve driven this year. Is the “I don’t know now” person right now and more importantly in the future? I’d take my chances with this C Class diesel estate.
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