This is a well-crafted car. It has spirit and performance. It boasts the ‘AMG life’ and you will not go wrong
By MAJ / Pic By TMR
I first drove the Mercedes-Benz C-Class way back in the 1990s. It was the C220 W202 model, considered then as the entry luxury model. In fact, it was the first C-Class model introduced by the German carmaker. The C220 replaced what was Mercedes’ former entry model, the 190E.
The C220 was a straight box-like car. From above, it looks like a matchbox with wheels. No frills and curvy bodyline. But it does offer luxury, as expected from the German marque. The C220 comes with a 2.2-litre engine that churns out 148hp. One drawback for such a heavy car was the performance.
Nevertheless, it is a Silver Arrow. Put four AMG sport rims, 18-inch tyres, lowered suspension and side skirting, and sleek AMG front and back bumpers. You would get a head turner at a time when a Porsche or Ferrari is a rare sight, like getting a teh tarik for 50 sen today.
Mercedes continued to upgrade the C-Class model, including putting a massive 4.3-litre V8 engine that delivered up to 302hp back then.
Fast forward 20 years, the C-Class is Mercedes’ best-selling models over the years. Its evolution traced back to the W202, to the sleek-looking W203 and a better upgrade of the W204.
So, when the chance came to test the latest generation of the C-Class, the W205, it was not difficult to accept.
Good Looks Inside and Out
Mercedes C 250 AMG is embellished with the full AMG Line kit. I drove the car up to Penang over the weekend and put it through the pace. An over 600km journey would be sufficient to really spin the car.
First and foremost, you know it is different from the other C-Class variants. You will get the more aggressive front and rear bumpers, and side skirts. For the wheels, you ride on a set of 18-inch five-spoke AMG alloy wheels. The sleek outside would already get people to give you the right of way on the highway. Added to the bright daylight front light which could be seen from miles.
Inside you are spoilt with the usual AMG Line add-ons. A three-spoke, flat-bottomed multi-function steering wheel, paddle shifters, aluminium foot pedals and AMG floor mats.
Owners will appreciate the cabin’s interior. It is neat and spacious. No fuss sporty trimming design. Functionalities are at their best.
The steering wheel feels so good to grip. Making sudden lane changes at a reasonable speed was a delight. You can adjust many of the car’s settings from the steering wheels — from the radio station, to driver assist and to collision prevention features.
The black open-pore ash wood trim and the Artico leather, wrapping the top section of the dashboard, add to the luxury. It gives a sporty feel. Silver dials and control (silver works with black), add to the contrasting look.
For an old-fashioned touch, there is an analogue clock at the bottom of the centre console. That is a nice touch to an already top-of-the-line interior. The sport leather seat sits comfortably. All sit positions are configurable from door panel and can easily be preset.
Performance You Will Appreciate
The C 250 AMG is a pleasure to drive. The car is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-charged petrol engine that delivers 155kW (211hp). It could reach 100kph from a standstill at a rated 6.5 seconds.
Pressing the pedal to the metal was a breeze on the highway. It ran smoothly. Gear changes at higher speed was so smooth you will not even notice you are already at D9. This is due to the 9G-Tronic automatic transmission, a transmission upgrade for the C-Class models. You are already at D9 when you reach 130kph.
But the car does go faster than that. Change to the “Sport” mode or “Sport +” mode, and you would release the beast in the car.
One thing you will enjoy at high speed is the handling. Road grip is superb like the tyres are glued to the tarmac. Fast lane changing can be done with confident.
Today’s car is packed with electronics and that add to the excellent handling. But much of the C 250 AMG firm handling is due to the sports suspension. Some may find the suspension to be too stiff for bumpy roads.
But on straight open highways, the ride lowered suspension and stiffness give the car the extra agility. The car’s overall height is also lower, adding to the better handling. The C 250 agility was also obvious when taking those sharp corners at Batu Ferringhi. You will feel like going through sharp chicanes at a race track.
Safety First Always in a Merc
Cars today are as intelligent as they come. If the C 250 AMG is to go by, you do not need to wait for smart cars. The C 250 comes with various smart and safety features. You will get the Pre-Safe system, active brake assist, parking pilot with Parktronic and a reverse camera.
You can set all the Pre-Safe and brake assist features easily after some manual memorisation. The sensor will alert you if the car in front is making a sudden stop. Changing lanes too close to the car in front will get a buzzing. Distance from the car on the front and at the back are measured. The car even tells you to take a coffee break after a few hours of driving. (I am not sure if it was due to the long hours of continuous driving or the rapid lane changing that triggered the coffee break message.)
The C 250 AMG braking system adds to the overall confidence of driving. Overall, the safety features make you a better driver. Speed and safety bring you home in one piece.
Night driving was also a joy, aided with the LED intelligent light system with adaptive high-beam assist. My only advice is for the engineers at Mercedes — put the “Sport” mode and “Sport +” mode as buttons on the flat-bottomed steering wheel. Give the car the Formula 1 feel.
Overall, this is a well-crafted car. It has spirit and performance. It boasts the “AMG life” and you will not go wrong at the price of RM287,888. Luxury add-ons like the Burmester sound system, remote boot lid closing and the smart features make the C 250 AMG a class of its own. It is a matter of putting the desire to the purchase.