What is it?
Mercedes’ new contender in the junior executive class, which has the unenviable task of taking on the BMW 3-series.
This all-new C-class was developed entirely within a computer until late on in the prototype stage, and also embraces plenty of new technology in its production form: electronic dampers, a new generation of voice control, and S-class-style COMAND system to name but a few.
Essentially, though, it’s the familiar recipe of sophisticated suspension and rear-wheel drive.
There’s a predictable – yet carefully developed – range of engines from the four-cylinder petrol to the V6 350 and diesel 320CDi engines.
What’s it like?
We tried the C320 CDi in Sport trim. The fact that it was a Sport is now quite important, because Mercedes has put more air between the differing trim levels in the range.
An Elegance is very much the luxury variant; a Sport gets switchable dampers, a quicker steering rack, an AMG bodykit including a totally different grille and sportier interior.
In the glinting black of our test car, the Sport looks really rather effective indeed. Mercedes has really tried to put the gravitas back into the C-class and the mixture of current S-class themes and the big, upright grille – like that on a 1980s 560 SEC – give this car genuine presence.