Mercedes C-Class test drive

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 I was in Europe a few weeks ago, and had to rent a car for a few days.
I didn’t request a Mercedes, just the typical “Golf equivalent”.
But, as it often happens, I was bumped up to a better car. In this case, a Mercedes C-Class sedan. And I though I would write about my experience with it.
Since I have not test driven Mercedes models as of yet. (And I was actually curious…)

Of course, we do not get the diesel engine in the US. So it is hard to completely compare it to a US model.
Plus, I am sure some settings might be different as far as suspension etc…
Otherwise, this is pretty much the same care we get here.

This one had a AMG package. Upgraded wheels and interior. A double sunroof etc…
I figured the equivalent of this one would probably be around $50 000 in the US (Without the diesel, of course) Since the US C-Class starts at around $41 500.

The current C-Class came out over 5 years ago. But its interior still looks fine and pretty modern.

Although in real life, all that silver trim looks rather plasticky.
And as you can see on these pix, there is a lot of it. Everywhere.
It just ends up looking busy more than upscale.

The back seat is actually pretty roomy. The rear part of the center console includes vents. But not much else…
The seats in general are very comfortable.

Everything works fine, but nothing really feels like I would expect in a $50 000 car.

The shifter is also quite strange, very Prius-like and not very intuitive.
The wood trim is ok. Nothing really high end.
The stereo sounds fine.
The doors feel OK, but nothing like an old Mercedes. And nothing like current, much less expensive cars (like the Accord or Passat)

Basically, I kept thinking this was not as nice as the loaded Honda Accord I test drove  recently.

On the road, the car does feel well planted. But again, like many cars these days.
The suspension is comfortable, but not amazing. The steering is a bit light, like most new cars.
Everything does feel fine, but again, nothing better than a current Accord.
As a side note, the diesel engine was surprisingly noisy. And felt much less refined than most VW Diesels I drove a few years ago. (Before Dieselgate..)
The 2.0 Liter offered in the US is probably much nicer.

I think it is getting harder and harder for “luxury” brands to offer something special. Something worthy of the huge premium over a “regular” brand.
Since “non-luxury” cars have gotten so much better in the past few years.

The current C-Class, while very nice, doesn’t really feel special.
Since I drove a couple of them recently, I kept comparing it to the Honda Accord.
The Accord is a wonderful driving car. It feels even more solid than the C-Class. Has more power and is far roomier.
It offers about the same amount of tech. Has a wonderful ride and steering feel.
And will no doubt be more reliable than the C-class in the long run.
All this, while costing about $15 000 less (For a loaded Touring model)
The same could be said of a few other cars too.

Since I am not someone who is willing to spend over $15 000 for a luxury badge on the hood,
I guess the C-Class isn’t for me…

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