What is it?
Probably the most interesting version of Mercedes’ recently refreshed junior saloon — even if it’s unlikely to be the one that will top sales charts.
The first fourth-generation C-Class to receive the EQ Boost mild hybrid engine, the C200 mates a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-pot (down from two litres in the outgoing car) with a 48V electrical system.
Belt-driven pumps, compressors and generators have been swapped for electric ones in the name of fuel economy, letting the engine disengage completely when coasting in Eco mode.
But beyond eradicating parasitic power losses, this double-duty set-up also brings a performance benefit. By using the auxiliary compressor to prime the turbocharger, it temporarily boosts engine output by 21bhp and delivers a hefty 184lb ft of instant torque.
The combination delivers, according to Mercedes, the performance of the old 2.0-litre engine, without the fuel consumption to match.
Having driven a C200 in Germany earlier this year, this was our first opportunity to test one on UK roads and find out how AMG Line’s sports suspension, which sits 15mm lower than entry-level SE trim, copes with less pristine Tarmac.