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Car reviews - Mercedes-Benz - C-Class - C180 Esprit sedan

Used Rivals

20 Jun 2003

BMW 318i 4D SEDAN (1991-1998)
HANDSOME, well-proportioned, good riding and a delight to drive except for a lack of power. Uncommonly good engineering and excellent interior layout make the E36 model 318i a dynamic 1990s executive car benchmark, although rear space is tight.

AUDI A4 1.8 20V 4D SEDAN (1995-2001)
EXQUISITELY made, great to drive and with a superb interior, the front-drive A4 sits between the driver's car 3 Series and solidly engineered C-class. The economical 20-valve engine needs high revs for best performance. Cramped back seat. Ageing well.

MAZDA/EUNOS 500 4D SEDAN (1992-1999)
SENSUOUS lines and silky-smooth 2.0-litre V6 specification only highlight a disappointingly plasticky interior and dull dynamics. Tight rear leg and headroom. Standard feature and comfort levels high. Rebadged as a Mazda Eunos 500 from June 1996.

PEERLESS build quality (last Japanese-built Accord) and a roomy and practical interior are let down by a drab dash. Equipment levels are high while the VTEC engine is an economical yet powerful rev-happy gem. Expertly juggles executive and family sedan duties.

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