Mercedes-Benz C220d review New Zealand
With the automotive world forging ahead with mobile equivalent of skyscrapers, we grab the keys to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class 220d and find that this smart saloon has got a bit of a spring in its tail.
As sales figures can confirm, Cars, as I know them, are being overtaken by SUVs, SAVs Utes and the like. Added to this, there is the growing demand for electric powertrains and autonomous driving – so to review a diesel-powered saloon would seem rather pointless right? Well that’s what they’d have you believe, but quite frankly, ‘They’ are wrong.
Picking up any Mercedes-Benz on a sunny day is never really what you’d call a chore, but my C220d looked exceptionally splendid in polar white. To add to its good looks, this model came with AMG line styling and a couple of added ‘packs’. The front and rear aprons were enhanced with black and chrome accents. Two chrome tailpipe vents visually balanced up the rear while the LED tail lights have a tint to them. The 19-inch AMG feet enhanced the saloon’s profile and the rear window privacy glass contrasted well with the chrome surround. Alright, so I am a bit partial to 4-door saloon cars but the contours and flow of this new C-Class are quite a standout.
The addition of the Mercedes-Benz ‘Vision package’ meant that my C220d also sported active LED headlights and a full-length Panoramic roof that bathed the black AMG ARTICO interior with tinted light.
Black and chrome on the inside merged cohesively with the open-pore Ash trim and when you throw in well bolstered ‘comfort package’ seats and a D-shaped AMG leather wheel, you’re pretty much ready for anything.
The command centre infotainment screen can be accessed via voice, the touchpad on the console or using your left thumb on the steering wheel, while the all singing, all dancing digital instrument cluster can be controlled with your right thumb, damn it’s impressive.
Under its shapely bonnet is a 2L turbo diesel engine that produces a 143kW and 400Nm connected to a 9G-TRONIC gearbox. It takes the saloon from 0-100km in a very, very respectable 6.9 seconds while still keeping you away from the fuel pumps for long periods thanks to it boasting 4.7L/100km.
Comfortably ensconced in the cabin, I bade farewell to Mercedes-Benz HQ and headed for the motorway on-ramp. The C220d comes with all manner of driver’s aids and safety features, in fact, even more than you’d expect from this prestigious marque, but I left most of them off, preferring just to drive – and drive it does.
In city traffic, the saloon sits quietly at low revs and lets you (or is that me) fiddle with the stereo. My thumbs working hard to select the appropriate radio station and set the right tone, before moving on to select the instrument screen I wanted and the information I wished to receive – the options seem endless.
Away from the hustle and bustle, I slipped into sport + and pushed down hard on the go-faster pedal, the C220d quickly changes its temperament. It moves from sedate to energized, from mild to, not exactly wild, but let’s say highly-spirited.
The steering feels strong, the handling fun and the engine is powerful. It’s not an AMG sportscar but it seems to know where its roots lie. It’s really enjoyable.
Mercedes-Benz themselves are paving the way forward in SUV land and their range continues to expand but thankfully they haven’t turned their back on cars. I know I’m old school and often appear stuck in my ways, but the C-Class has evolved in both looks and technology and when pushed, that 2L diesel engine really makes this saloon zoom.