From £15,285
Good, but too expensive

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The Mercedes C-Class marks a return to the company's old-school values of all-round quality and maturity

27 September 2005

What’s new?

Mercedes’ smallest coupé gets a new range-topping 268bhp 3.5-litre V6 and 7G-Tronic automatic gearbox.

Do the changes work?

The Sports Coupé has always been popular thanks to its enjoyable chassis, but to date the powerplants have been more ‘smooth progress’ than ‘punchy fun’. The new V6 changes all that: put your foot down and this SC launches down the road at an impressive rate. Keep the throttle planted and licence-theatening speeds arrive in seconds.

Around town there can be a slight hesitancy while the seven-speed ’box thinks which of its seven gears would work best, but most of the time it is slick. With a short wheelbase and all that grunt, the CS can be pushed into oversteer at will — it’s just a shame then that there’s no manual gearbox or limited-slip differential option.

Should I buy one?

The new engine makes the C350 SC a genuine rival for the BMW 130i, but at £28k for the basic car it’s mighty expensive. So a good car, but not worth the price tag.

Jamie Corstorphine

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