Buy a Mercedes C-Class and you know it’s going to be well built and residually stronger than most, though the three-year warranty is small beer compared to what, for instance, Korean manufacturers offer on cars costing half as much.
In fuel consumption terms, the AMG is a nightmare: the official stats say 23.5mpg, which is bad enough but still a world away from what you’re likely to achieve if you drive as its maker intended. Even with a fuel tank seven litres bigger than the 59-litre tank used in other C-Classes, you’re looking at a real-world range on the wrong side of 250 miles.
The petrol models are commendably frugal given which pump they fill from, but the 47.9mpg offered by the 1.6-litre, 156bhp C 180 is no better than that achieved by the C 350 CDI with its 3.0-litre V6 motor, 265bhp and well in excess of twice the amount of torque.
As for the smaller diesels, you’d think the C 200 CDI would use least fuel, but you’d be wrong. On paper at least it manages 57.7mpg in manual or automatic form compared to the outstanding 68.9mpg of the manual C 220 CDI with its band B tax disc.
Think about that for a moment: this is a 144mph Mercedes saloon that costs nothing to tax in year one and a paltry £20 per year thereafter