Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: Mercedes C200 CDI - 3rd Report Update
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Our Fleet Test Drive: Mercedes C200 CDI - 3rd Report Update

Date: 04 March 2008   |   Author:


It's with good reason that we said we liked the local Mercedes dealer so much last time out...

4 MARCH 2008
Mileage 8764
Forecast CPM 35.2p
Actual CPM 39.5p
Auto lights predictably fixed themselves on the way to the dealer, but the car still needed attention due to a jamming seatbelt. Dealer was again excellent and it’s all sorted now.

21 FEBRUARY 2008
Mileage 8462
Forecast CPM 35.2p
Actual CPM 39.5p
Having been impressed with the Merc dealer service, we’ve another chance to try our local service centre because the automatic lights have stopped working. More to follow.

Main Report - 6 February 2008

Our C-class is a supreme motorway mile-muncher, having clocked up well over 1000 a month so far despite a short-commute urban lifestyle.

Good ride quality and impressive refinement mean


s devouring distances are a C-class forte, as frequent trips around a London-Folkstone-Sussex coast triangle over Christmas proved. And even though it's the entry-level 136PS diesel, the car doesn't feel short on power.

The car's also great for the urban runs that make up my daily commute - 13 miles across south London. The suspension copes easily with the more rutted elements of the South Circular, and the auto gearbox saves my left leg from a hefty work-out. The automatic's not without fault, though. There's an annoying lurch when it shifts from first to second gear on light throttle - which seems to afflict all Mercedes models with this gearbox - and it won't quickly change up if you've accelerated on a heavy throttle then lifted off. It also seems to get a little flustered when changing down speedily, taking a moment to decide which gear to select. But overall the auto gearbox suits the C-class better than a manual.

We had to try out Mercedes' customer service after hearing an annoying rubbing noise around the steering column, and the service from Mercedes-Benz Orpington After Sales was first class. I was able to book the car in when I wanted, the facilities were clean and tidy, I was offered a coffee while I waited for my dedicated 'handler', and they were happy for me to sit and read a newspaper before my lift back to the office arrived. I also received a message at 4pm to say they'd greased the steering column and our car was ready, and another call a while later to check I'd picked up the voicemail. The car was spotless when I collected it, too, which wasn't the case when I dropped it off. It sounds like an excuse (and probably is) but the Cubanite Silver metallic paint tends to hide all but the most obvious of winter dirt and grime.

We'll soon find out if the dealer's service was par for the course because the automatic headlamps have stopped working. Not sure how long it's been out of action because I've an aversion to auto lights and prefer to decide for myself if it's dark, but BusinessCar editor Tristan Young uses them and noticed the Merc isn't playing ball. More next time on whether the dealer continued to offer tip-top service.