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Car reviews - Mercedes-Benz - C-Class - sedan and wagon range


The best just gets better as Mercedes-Benz launches its revised C-class line-up

26 May 2011

IN JUST four short years, the C-class has firmly placed Mercedes at the top of the premium medium car segment, comfortably outselling the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. To help keep its best-seller on top, the Germans have introduced a facelifted, improved version with fresh diesels, seven-speed autos across the range and a host of safety, driveability and functionality enhancements that should keep the opposition scrambling.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Model release date: 1 May 2011 to 1 July 2014

Previous model

C-class sedan/wagon

Released: July 2007
Ended: May 2011
Family Tree: C-Class

A MILESTONE model for Mercedes, the W204 Series 1 – in four-door sedan and Estate wagon shapes – proved to be a much-welcomed return to form for the brand after years of languishing in the low-quality wilderness with the preceding version. The base model, though, suffered from a coarse – though punchy down low – 135kW/250Nm 1.8L twin-cam supercharged four-cylinder petrol engine mated to a five-speed auto or (rare) six-speed manual gearbox. Next up was the 125kW/400Nm 2.1L four-cylinder turbo-diesel C220 CDI with the same auto gearbox, while the short-lived C280 (rechristened C300 in late ’09) featured a 170kW/300Nm 3.0L V6 petrol tied to a 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic transmission. A performance V6 diesel also arrived in ’07 in the form of the 165kW/510Nm 3.0L C320 CDI 7G-Tronic (also inexplicably renamed C350 CDI from early 2010). The first of the direct-injection CGI models arrived to replace the C200 Kompressor with the 135kW/270Nm 1.8L C200 and 150kW/310Nm C250 CGIs (still with the five-speed auto), also in early 2010. Meanwhile, AMG produced the stonking 336kW/600Nm 6.2L naturally aspirated V8 C63 AMG with a modified 7G-Tronic gearbox. Launched in 2008 and offered in both body styles, it took on the mighty BMW M3, Audi RS4 and more latterly the Lexus ISF.

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