C-class shape still looks attractive
New V6 spins smoothly but lacks torque in small-capacity form
Familiar C-class cabin, 7G-tronic gearbox has wheel-mounted shift buttons
Not the badge. The name stays the same but the old C230’s 1.8-litre supercharged four-cylinder is swapped for a naturally aspirated 2.5 V6.
Do the changes work?
Being a larger unit with more cylinders, it’s no surprise the new engine is much smoother, especially at high revs. But despite offering marginally more power (a 9bhp increase), without the supercharger’s help the torque drops slightly to 181lb ft, blunting outright performance: 0-62mph is nearly a second slower than the outgoing model’s time. With the optional 7G-Tronic auto gearbox (£1095) the take-off can be a little slovenly, and at times the kick-down too hesitant. But once above 5000rpm the engine spins eagerly and the up-changes are seamless. But only then does the powerplant feel like it has 201bhp.
Should I buy one?
If you want a petrol C-class, there’s a strong case for this entry-level six-cylinder model. Despite feeling a little slow to respond at low revs, the engine’s smoothness bestows this C-class with refinement that’s a million miles away from the old four-pot.