Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: Mercedes C200 CDI - 2nd Report Update
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Our Fleet Test Drive: Mercedes C200 CDI - 2nd Report Update

Date: 25 January 2008   |   Author:

There's a whole lot of booty love going on where our Merc is concerned...

25 JANUARY 2008
Mileage 6776
Forecast CPM 36.1p
Actual CPM 39.5p
We’re loving the boot release button on the keyfob that flicks open the C-class’s bootlid from a distance. Really handy when you’ve got bags of shopping or just when the car’s filthy.

10 JANUARY 2008
Mileage 4213
Forecast CPM 36.1p
Actual CPM 39.5p
It’s a shame Merc has put the aux socket in the far side of the glovebox, which means draping a wire across the car. The cable keeps falling out and gets caught in the glovebox lid. Not good.

Main Report - 12 November 2007

When it came to picking a new C-class to join our long-term fleet, we headed towards the entry-level diesel engine, rather than the C320 CDI or C220 CDI we'd already tested and liked, to see if Mercedes-owning on a tighter budget is still as good.

Our C200 CDI is fitted with the 136PS version of Mercedes' 2.0-litre diesel engine, rather than the C220's 170PS alternative. Going for the lower-powered alternative saves £1000 on the P11D, as well as a couple of hundred pounds on the fuel consumption over three years and 60,000 miles. That saving meant we could choose the automatic [1] transmission, essential for a Mercedes as it's significantly better than the manual, but £1095 extra. In our opinion, if the budget is around £26,000, plumping for less power but with the auto is a better plan than more power and the manual gearbox.


The other big decision was the trim level. Mercedes has split its range, and the top Sport trim level gets a different, more aggressive and probably better looking front grille, while the SE and Elegance stick with the traditional bonnet-mounted three-pointed star [2] . We picked Elegance because the extra kit makes it worth the £1200 jump from SE. Stretch another £1700 to Sport and the cost starts mounting.

Elegance trim means standard kit including auto lights and wipers, plenty of chrome inside and out, leather-look interior and a host of other standard equipment such as Bluetooth hands-free phone system, alloy wheels, [3] seven airbags, dual-zone climate control and trip computer.

But that's where the sensible head ended. So that the car was delivered quicker, we took one that was already in stock, which is why we're trying out more than £8000 worth of stuff from the options list (see spec panel for the full list). Over the next six months we'll be working out which ticked boxes are worth shelling out for, and which are better left alone.

We're only a couple of tanks of diesel into the car's life, but early impressions are good. It arrived with almost 2000 miles on the clock, so we haven't had to pussyfoot through a running-in period, and we're discovering that, with a firm prod of the accelerator, the performance from the 2.2-litre diesel is fine. That firm prodding may be contributing to the 31.0 average mpg we've achieved so far, but I'd expect that to pick up with more of the motorway miles the C-class looks destined to excel in.