From £15,285
A brilliant combination of economy, performance and refinement
14 October 2008

What is it?

The greenest C-class yet. The C 250 CDI BlueEfficiency, to give it its slightly convoluted full name, which uses a brand-new twin-turbocharged, four-cylinder common-rail diesel engine.

Don’t believe the badge on the boot: the C 250 does not run a 2.5-litre engine. Rather the ‘250’ nomenclature indicates that the engine sitting up front is the most powerful version of Merc’s four-cylinder, twin-turbocharged 2143cc common rail diesel engine. The new powerplant delivers 201bhp at 4200rpm, along with a prodigious 369lb ft from just 1600rpm.

What’s it like?

The key to the performance is low-end torque, something the C 250 possesses in spades. There’s no need to work the engine hard – just keep it percolating along somewhere between 1500 and 3500rpm and you’ve got plenty of thrust.

Thanks to the two different sized turbochargers, the power delivery is linear and smooth all the way to the red line, making the C 250 feel more like a big capacity six-cylinder engine, and giving some genuine reason to explore the outer limits of the rev counter.

Merc claims a 0-62mph time of 7.0 seconds, but with all that pull and an ability to rev to 5200rpm it feels much livelier off the line and through the gears than this figure suggests. It’s also powerful enough to warrant fitment of the familiar 155mph electronic speed limiter.

Refinement is impressive, generating nothing more than a distant murmur and very little characteristic diesel vibration at motorway speeds.

But it’s economy that really sets the C 250 CDI apart. Mercedes claims a combined cycle average of 54.3mpg, thanks to low rolling resistance tyres, underbody cladding, low-drag door mirrors and a standard six-speed manual gearbox. Impressive enough, although we saw an indicated 70.6mpg showing on the trip computer after a motorway run.

Should I buy one?

Why not? With fuel consumption figures like this, it’s hard not to be impressed. Factor in the C 250 CDI’s solid performance, unruffled ride and excellent refinement you’ve got a very enticing package.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Join the debate

Comments
18
Add a comment…
Christian Galea 1 September 2010

Re: Mercedes C250 CDI BlueEfficiency

CambsBill wrote:
So Toyota come clean about a safety-related problem and get slated for it

Actually, the whole issue was that they knew about the problem and didn't say anything about it...only when the press found out and started making pressure did Toyota admit they had a problem and started issuing recalls. Also, Merc's issue isn't so hazardous and is on a smaller scale.

Zedboy 28 August 2010

Re: Mercedes C250 CDI BlueEfficiency

Late late post from me. I have an 8 month old C250, 33,000 on the clock, just broken 6th (yes SIXTH) set of injectors - RUBBISH OLD SHED!

CambsBill 23 March 2010

Re: Mercedes C250 CDI BlueEfficiency

Lee23404 wrote:

Yes but as far as I'm aware Mercedes problems haven't killed anybody have they.

This seems to me to be a reliabilty issue and not specifically a safety issue although I'm sure you can come up with a scenario like breaking down in the fast lane, etc

Sorry, I wasn't trying to suggest that the safety aspects were comparable (although looking at posts elsewhere some breakdowns have been happening at speed so their will be a risk), more that Mercedes, by keeping quiet in what could be seen as trying to avoid bad publicity, are setting a very bad and potentially dangerous example for the future.

Find an Autocar car review