Mon, 04 February 2019
When I was asked by Ed to test drive two new Mercedes, and to take each one for a full day, it took me a nano-second to say yes!
Ed said it was the new C200 and C300 models, OK I thought, which ones are they? In my more frequently occurring senile moments, I get confused with letters and numbers not only with Mercedes but with also with other manufacturers. I liked it when they called a car a Spitfire, a Cooper, Interceptor Testarossa or Countach.
I digress, back to the Mercs. On day one, upon exiting my trusty old E280 Mercedes model in Al Haddad customer car park, I was met with a quite “simpleh loveleh” C200.
As I nestled into the seat the seatbelt kindly glided out of a side recess to greet me – and remind me to wear it – my senses were then hit with the interior aromas and visuals. The ergonomic layout of the car is stunning. Full stop.
Alas, in Bahrain – as indeed every other place in the world – it can be a tad difficult to road test owing to speed limits. A distinct lack of challenging roads here doesn’t help either. However, given the luxuriousness of my cockpit, believe me, being stuck in traffic wasn’t exactly a hardship.
Eventually on the open road towards Zallaq, my word, this car was smooth and responsive and, with the pedal to the metal, fast. The Heads Up Display (HUD) keeping me up to date on various data.
Incidentally on the C200 if you want to keep to speed limits then this clever car can be programmed to not exceed a specific speed which is excellent news for forgetful people like me to avoid incurring speeding tickets.
The C200 is a two door – perfect for the younger set perhaps as a typical family might be a tad cramped and the trunk is on the smallish size. But hey, this is Bahrain so who needs a big trunk?
The next day’s drive in the C300 was as pleasurable, albeit in a more family-orientated model, with four doors and a bigger trunk. The ergonomic design is much the same as the C200 with a slightly more sedate look than its racier C200 sister. That said, it still had a lot of oomph with a light responsive feel.
In the past, the C series was really just a sporty looking version of the saloon. This is not so now. The new C Class models are lighter than their predecessors utilising more aluminum and other lighter composite materials which results in a sportier car but with a stronger body.
Both models possess the latest driving assisted features. This allows the driver to pilot the car semi autonomously utilising camera and radar seeing up to 500 metres ahead.
We extend a very warm welcome to these two lovely models; stylish, progressive, comfortable and fun – a bit like myself really, but more expensive!