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

Overview

Mercedes-Benz launches an all-new C-class like we've never known - or have we?

26 Jul 2007

STUNG by critics blasting the previous model for being too uninvolving to drive and un-Mercedes like in quality, the Germans have created a different type of C-class – one in which a BMW driver might feel at home one that rivals Audi for ambience and cabin presentation and one that won’t be left too far behind by Lexus’ compelling value pricing. The question is though: Is the new W204 a new and better type of compact luxury car for the marque, or is it closer to the old Mercedes ideal of bank-vault design and engineering?

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Model release date: 1 August 2007 to 1 May 2010

Previous model

Mercedes-Benz W203 C-class sedan

Released: November 2000
Ended: July 2007
Family Tree: C-Class

With its shrunken S-class styling and vast array of engines, the W203 should have been a Benz classic. And the many new-to-Mercedes buyers would be happy with the dynamics, speed, driveability and space that the good-looking and well-proportioned sedan offered. But the cabin quality not only lagged behind Mercedes’ previously rock-solid levels, the competition seemed to build their cars better. A bewildering model array was offered, from the early (2000—02) 95kW/185Nm 2.0-litre petrol four, and its 105kW/220Nm C180K and 120kW/240Nm C200K 1.8-litre supercharged Kompressor successor, to the smooth 125kW/240Nm 2.6-litre C240 V6 and 160kW/310Nm 3.2-litre C320 Turbo-diesels also figures strongly, with the 105kW/315Nm 2.2-litre C220 CDI remaining throughout the W203’s almost seven-year run. For performance fans, there was also the 260kW/460Nm 3.2-litre supercharged V6 C32 AMG until 2004, when a thorough facelift for the whole range saw the 270kW/510Nm 5.4-litre V8 C55 AMG replace it, as well as a 150kW/245Nm 2.5-litre V6 C230 and 200kW/350Nm V6 C350 in the more mundane V6 models.

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