With such stiff competition (with the Xception of the X-Type, did you see what I did there lol) from the rivals it's a hard choice to make. Both the Audi and the Beemer have outstanding build quality, superb handling and performance, price wise they are also very evenly matched. So my review has to be based on looks (how very shallow, but I am a gay after all). Not such an easy choice, I think they're all great looking cars, so what's a boy to do?
The Merc has it by the bucket load, it's a stunning motor, its sharp lines and big fat 'I'm the prettiest in the playground by far' attitude filled grille mean that all the other cars in the playground have now sent it to Coventry for stealing their boyfriends. Interiors have always been a MB strong point and it would appear that no expense was spared when it came to the new C-Class's. The C220 CDI Sport I tested had seats with a split personality disorder, one minute they were so comfortable I could have slept, the next (upon planting one's foot into the shag pile) they'd transformed into sports seats, hugging tighter than a desperate queen onto the last man in the club. If you actually take time to look long and hard at the C-Class it is actually a design master stroke. It's designed to latch on to those primal instincts within us all, it looks strong, aggressive, sporty but also safe. I absolutely love this new C-class (and god knows I hated the one before it with a passion).
If you are currently thinking 'diesel and performance' don't exactly go together hand in hand, where have you been, living under a ROCK! The 2.2L lump under the bonnet is outstanding, loads of low down 'I'm the fastest rep in the world' pull-away power. Shed loads of overtaking power (perfect for when you need to get to that 9am sales meeting) and it's as quiet as a hibernating mouse, with the added benefit of some kick-ass noise under more aggressive driving. 0-62mph takes 8.5 seconds but feels much quicker, to be fair though, with the AMG body-kit and wheels pack added on the Sport model, ain't nobody gonna be trying to take you at the lights anyways . The six-speed gear-box that comes as standard when you choose the Sport model is smoother than Angelina Jolie's adoption process.
Well we we're averaging around 45mpg combined and nearly 60mpg on the motorways, so yep it's economical.
Not huge on the 'free gadgets' but then it is a Merc, its not that long ago that a steering wheel was considered an optional extra. What you do get, by the arm full, is safety features, ASR (skid control), ABS (anti-lock braking), BAS (braking assist) and ESP (stability program, not the ability to see the future). You will have to butter up ya boss / bank manager if you want toys, I had the excellent COMMAND comm's pack in my test vehicle and its well worth the £2,500 (including adding the LOGIC7 Harmon Kardon surround sound system, which results in a stereo system worthy of a nightclub).
Aggressive, bullish, stylish, sexy, quick and with the úber sporty C220 CDI coming in at under 28k, it's a good buy.