Test Drive – Merc C250
I’ll admit I had a silly grin on my face when I pulled out of Mercedes Melbourne in a charcoal grey C250 CDI – a bit like the car park attendants in Ferris Bueller.
Do not read on if you have children under 5 years of age – this is a two door coupe, and if you have the budget for a C250 then you probably don’t want to be doing your back-in clambering into the back seat to lift and fasten babies and toddlers into car seats – you probably don’t want mashed banana in your C250 either.
It’s been awhile since I’ve driven a car that’s not a 4WD wagon (that is when I drive, as I am usually on foot) so being behind the wheel of a coupe that moved like lightning was a real treat (hence stupid grin mentioned above).
The C250 was super comfortable to drive – local speed bumps were mild compared to the usual bone jolting I experience in ours and my mums (thanks mum for your frequent loans) 4WD. The accelerator was (as you can imagine) fabulously responsive (without inducing whiplash) and (obviously when it was safe to do so) the kids loved me taking off from standstill to 60km as fast as it would allow (yup they are speed freaks) which is only a matter of seconds as it apparently does 0-100km in 7 seconds (I didn’t get to test that).
Another hit with the kids was the super long sunroof – we have a sunroof in our car so I wouldn’t have imagined it would have been so popular, but every time we got in the car they begged me to open it. Being two door there were no back seat windows that opened – I don’t know about yours, but my kids love to fiddle with the windows (or if they are locked, which they frequently are to stop the fiddling, they are pestering to have them unlocked) and so this was a bonus that I am sure the designers didn’t factor in as a selling point – but something I am sure other parents will take note of.
The front seats are partial electric seats (you still have to slide them back and forth) and the back seat only caters for two passengers – the space that would usually be the middle seat is a arm rest and double cup holder. The back seats have car-seat mounting points built into them – I can only imagine they are there labeled like that as a sales gimmick for dads who are buying this car and wanting to convince their wives they are still able to take the baby – yes it might all be very possible, but personally I would suggest highly impractical; our big booster seat sat awkwardly, although I didn’t mess about seeing if I could make it fit I just swapped it out for the small one. That said the back seat is designed perfectly for small passengers – the kids looked really comfortable and secure sitting in there. And most likely if the front seat occupants have long legs, then really the back seat is limited to children aged 5 – 15 (maybe younger if they also have long legs!).
Some general car stuff
The standard C250 comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, dual-zone climate-control air-conditioning, leather seats, rain-sensing wipers, auto lights and Bluetooth connectivity. The Comand system also includes a 10GB hard drive for downloading music.
Safety is covered by nine airbags, a tyre pressure-monitoring system and Pre-Safe, which prepares seat-belts and other safety functions if a crash is imminent. There’s also a display to show how many of the rear belts are in use, a reverse camera and parking sensors at the front and back.
The car automatically defaults to ECO setting – which means instead of the engine idling at traffic lights it will turn off, releasing the brake pedal re-engages the engine and you’re off – no down time in so far as the drive is concerned – but engine down time = fuel saving. In a whole week of average city driving (say 80km) I barely used 1/8th of the tank. Switch off ECO and switch on Sport and you immediately notice a change in noise and performance.
Oh and the boot is huge – even the kids commented.
The main message I got from Mercedes Melbourne was that this car is incredibly safe to drive.
Overall I loved this car, but the low seats did have me clambering in and out a little less glamorously than one would imagine themselves disembarking a luxury car (possibly some practice would have corrected this) and so by day four my back was aching a little, by day five it was getting used to it. Those coupe doors are quite heavy and large so you have to be careful negotiating your way in a car park; really just some minor adjustments for this 4WD driver.
Naturally being behind the wheel of a Merc makes me think of the Skyhooks.
“Mercedes Ladies they got it made
Cos when they dig they use a silver spade
Mercedes Ladies….Mercedes Ladies
Mercedes Ladies….Mercedes Ladies
You look so smug on your Persian rug
Say your Afghan’s got a pedigree
You rest your head on your antique bed
And talk about your arts degree
You act so cool by your heated pool
And take your lunch at three
Own half a boutique that’s oh so chic
And work hard for charity”
Price point – somewhere about $65K.