Mercedes has revamped the trim levels on its C-class, which now reads Executive SE, AMG Sport and, driven here, AMG Sport Plus. Designed to help lower running costs, improve RVs and cut driver’s BIK bills, the new trim levels bring improved specification levels over the previous line-up, and also help Merc leverage more branding from its sporting AMG label, much in the way BMW has made hay with its M-sport trim level off the back of its range of M-branded performance cars.

This AMG Sport Plus trim costs £1k more than the AMG Sport models, and adds attractive 18-inch alloys, bi-Xenon headlamps, AMG sports seats and AMG-tailored enhancements such as red seatbelts.

The C-class is still a good looking and good driving compact executive model, and these changes make it even more appealing. The only problem is that emissions and running costs still can’t yet match what the equivalent BMW 320d or Audi A4 would offer.

Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI AMG Sport
P11D price £33,105
Model price range £25,915-£57,775
Fuel consumption 54.3mpg
CO2 (tax) 136g/km (%)
BIK 20/40% per month £115/£229
Insurance (1-50) group 34
Warranty 3yrs/unlimited mls
Boot space 475 litres
Engine size/power 2143cc/170hp
Top speed/0-62mph 144mph/8.1secs
On sale September 2012
Score 7/10
Verdict More appealing than ever
with new trim levels, but
still adrift of rivals for
costs and emissions