From £15,285
Mid-life changes lift the appearance and overall appeal of the three-year-old C-class
24 February 2011

What is it?

It may not appear so on the outside, but the latest changes to the C-class are more extensive than those of any other mid-life facelift carried out in Mercedes’ 125-year existence, the company claims. No fewer than 2000 individual components are said to have been replaced or altered.

What's it like?

You can pick out the new model by its more curvaceous headlamps, reprofiled bumpers, slightly more contoured aluminium bonnet and revised rear lamps. The changes inside are similarly subtle, led by a new upper dashboard fascia with a cubbyhole to house the monitor for latest Comand control system. There are also 10 new driving assistance programmes, but not all are standard.

The biggest changes are under the bonnet. Every engine has been upgraded and combined with a range of so-called BlueEfficiency features, including automatic stop-start.

The C 250 CDI saloon, driven here, slots in at the upper end of the line-up. Its 2.2-litre diesel engine is the same as that in the C 220 CDI but uses a second turbocharger and added boost pressure to increase power to 201bhp and torque to 369lb ft at 1600rpm.

The responsive nature of the engine and the silky seven-speed automatic gearbox (an option even on the C 250 CDI) make for effortless performance and class-leading levels of mechanical refinement. With a combined cycle average of 58.9mpg, it’s also more economical than before.

Changes to the underpinnings also make the new model a more engaging drive without ruining its wonderfully compliant ride. In short, it’s now an even more complete car.

Should I buy one?

Has Mercedes done enough to ensure the C-class remains competitive? On the strength of this C 250, it would appear so. But with a new BMW 3-series and facelifted Audi A4 due towards the end of the year, it won’t have it all its own way.

Mercedes-Benz C 250 CDI Elegance

Price: £31,565; Top speed: 149mph; 0-62mph: 7.0sec; Economy: 58.9mpg; CO2: 144g/km; Kerb weight: 1540kg; Engine: 4 cyls, 2143cc, twin-turbodiesel; Power: 201bhp at 4200rpm; Torque: 369lb ft at 1600rpm; Gearbox: 7-spd automatic


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2 March 2011

Iwould still have one over a 3 series.The facelift was unnecessary but the interior upgrade looks the part.

2 March 2011

2000 new componants - and if you buy the C250CDI you get 4 new componants every few weeks as the injectors inject themselves in to the cylinders.

C220CDI estate is the sweetspot - I'd have one in a heartbeat. Used to be I found C-Class too small and E-class was needed, the latest generation is more than big enough.

2 March 2011

I reckon the revamp is timely. C series is a bit conservative and heavy-looking compared with the German opposition. Hopefully, the enhanced engines will add to its appeal too. Engelbert

2 March 2011

[quote Engelbert]C series is a bit conservative and heavy-looking compared with the German opposition.[/quote]

I think that's the point of it and I don't think the face lift has done much to change that. Mercedes aren't trying to "me too" BMW at the moment and they are producing a much better car because of it.

2 March 2011

I reckon this is the pick of the range now you can fit the 7-speed auto. Still the most attractive car in it's class, IMO.

2 March 2011

Facelift or not, this is still a car with no identity. The interior is defo an improvement though.

I ran a 2006, facelifted version of the previous shape for a few years and even the most unenthusiastic motoring person would instantaneously associate the car with Mercedes Benz, especially with the lowered sports package. My car oozed road presence. (At least it made the high running costs a little more bearable!).

Pity then the current shape still blends in with the rest of the crowd. Remove those badges and most ordinary punters would be struggling to tell who manufactured this car.

2 March 2011

[quote ronmcdonald]Facelift or not, this is still a car with no identity[/quote] i disagree. i think it's sharp lines and taut appearance make it look very strong and very contemporary. [quote ronmcdonald]The interior is defo an improvement though.[/quote] agree 100%! i was 50/50 between buying my 330i and a c350 cgi, but the interior put me off. the design of the dials and the cowling around them were horribly old fashioned and in my view designed for older drivers. It was a pity because the rest of the car (in full AMG sports trim) was very athletic, youthful and dynamic.


2 March 2011

This engine was described as noisy in the pre face lift has that point of issue been corrected in the facelift?

2 March 2011

If you compare this saloon with the SLK 250 cgi it is interesting to note that the saloon weighs over 100kg more and the horsepower is identical with the 0-62 mph times close, allowing for the auto in the diesel car, and the top speeds very close. The diesel saloon has 369 lbs/ft against the petrol of 228. The CO2 figure is identical at 144g/km but the combined mpg numbers are in favour of the diesel by a big margin. Any thoughts on why the big difference in fuel consumption with identical CO2 numbers?

2 March 2011

[quote theonlydt]2000 new componants - and if you buy the C250CDI you get 4 new componants every few weeks as the injectors inject themselves in to the cylinders.[/quote]

Misinformed rubbish! - I actually own a 2009 C250CDi. Had the injectors replaced via recall before any breakdown. The car has now done 30000 miles in 15 months. It remains as tight and rattle free as the day it left the showroom, goes like stink and rarely drops below 40mpg. The only fault, peeling paint from the Merc badge on the bonnet - 5 minute fix under warranty


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