What is it?
Thirty years and 8.5 million sales since the launch of the 190E, Mercedes’ compact rear-drive executive machine is now the company’s best-selling model.
And four years after the current model went on sale, Mercedes has executed what it calls its most extensive facelift which sees the C-class benefitting from 2000 new components including an aluminium bonnet and wings and part-aluminium doors.
This C 350 is the range-topping petrol machine until the full-on AMG version is launched. The mid-rank Elegance trim gets 17in, 9-spoke, alloys, chrome trim and daylight running lights and fogs on top of the SE’s ‘Agility Control’ suspension, climate control, cruise, leather wheel, colour screen, ‘Attention Assist’ and pedestrian-protecting, pop-up bonnet.
What’s it like?
Although the exterior and interior have had a very smart brush-up, the big news with this model is the new, direct-injection, V6 engine. Compared to the outgoing unit, not only is the output up by 34bhp, but fuel economy has been improved by a remarkable 31 percent. The new engine drives an updated version of Merc’s seven-speed autobox.
Despite the brisk performance, this is not a hot-shoe saloon. Driven at pace on the demanding hairpins of Tenerife, the C 350 demonstrated a remarkable calm and sophistication.