Mercedes-Benz C200 Dynamic Sedan 2013 Review

Mercedes-Benz C200 Dynamic Sedan 2013 Review

Your entry into the Mercedes-Benz C-class starts with the C200 at just under $70,000, and you can go right up to the C63 AMG which is a beast of a car at just under $167,000. At the fiscally sensible end of the scale the C200 comes in three flavours: C200, C200 CDi (diesel-powered), and C200 Dynamic (our test car).

mercedes-benz-c200-dynamic-sedan-rear-quarterThis Dynamic model gets 18-inch wheels, satellite navigation, a glass sunroof and electric seats with 3 memories per side. Everything about the seats is electrically adjustable. The other big improvement over the standard C200 are the headlights. It has Intelligent Light System with Bi-Xenon headlamps, Active Light System, variable light distribution, headlamp cleaning system and dynamic headlight beam control. Basically, as you turn the wheel, extra lights illuminate to the side of you to help you see as you turn.

mercedes-benz-c200-dynamic-sedan-front-seatsIt packs a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine under the bonnet. This is good for 135kW and 270Nm. Acceleration is perfectly adequate for any driving you’ll need to do without trying to scare passengers. Quoted fuel consumption is 6.8l/100km combined, and it takes 95 RON petrol. I could get nowhere near these figures, eventually settling on 10l/100km with a mixture of around town and motorway driving, and that was leaving it in eco mode where the engine is turned off when the car is at rest. There is a sport mode which sharpens up the gearbox and is nicer on more challenging roads.

mercedes-benz-c200-dynamic-sedan-sideNine airbags will deploy in the right type of accident, along with crash-responsive front head restraints. The C200’s handling safety features are ESP (electronic stability program), ASR (acceleration skid control), adaptive brake, antilock brakes and brake-assist.

mercedes-benz-c200-dynamic-sedan-dashboardAnd, of course, being a European car, there are endless options for wheel styles, colours, interior trim, upholstery, Active or Passive Blind Spot Assist, Active or Passive Lane Keep Assist, keyless entry and start, a Harman Kardon surround sound system, and tri-zone climate control.

You don’t need the Harman Kardon sound system, though, because I already tested the standard Audio 20 system with some Shapeshifter at significant volume and it’s all you’ll ever need unless you’re a total audiophile.

mercedes-benz-c200-dynamic-sedan-rear-seatsIf I was picking a car based on ride and handling I certainly have no problem with the C200. It’s solid in the corners, it’s smooth when cruising, and it’s got the right amount of power. My problem with it is the choices Mercedes-Benz made when kitting it out. I don’t want an electrically adjustable headrest because I’m only ever going to adjust that once; I want a reversing camera (without having to pay $85,900 for the C250 Avantgarde or $3200 as an option). I don’t want an electrically adjustable steering wheel, or three seat memories, again because I’m only ever going to adjust them once; put a bottle holder in the door so that my water bottle isn’t in the way of the gearstick. And why have two completely different methods when you activate and release the handbrake? It’s not intuitive. I’d prefer to have heated seats (a $2500 option, but they are ventilated, too).

There are useful cubbyholes on the front of the front seats – big enough to hide wallets and small objects. The glovebox is 50% taken up by the mammoth instruction manual which doesn’t have an index so is difficult to navigate. Also, I had to resort to the manual to find out how to activate Bluetooth streaming from my phone. Every other car on the market has an ‘aux’ button for this (or some kind of similar navigation option), but Mercedes-Benz forces you to push the ‘disc’ button several times. No wonder I didn’t find it.

I enjoyed driving the C200. I really like the styling and I can’t fault the ride, handling, engine performance or comfort. But for me it’s compromised. If I got the C200 I know I would want the C250 because I want a reversing camera.

Price: $71,900

Pros

  • Excellent ride and handling

Cons

  • Compromised proposition

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