The old tricks
Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Perhaps I should be careful here as the dog in this instance is the popular Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the trick would be their Edition C model. So before I answer my own question, let’s examine this latest offer from the world’s favourite luxury automobile brand.
The C-Class is far from a dog to look at or drive. Have a good stare around you in traffic and the impressive quantity of C-Classes will confirm how many people chose it. Even better, there are tons of models from the previous and the previous-previous generation still gracefully wafting about.
The favoured Mercedes sedan is classy, pretty and hardy. I owned one for ten years and still miss it. This current one is also nearing the end of its lifespan which is where the Edition C trick comes in. Trick is actually a nasty word, so let’s call it a “persuasion” to get more people into the firm but comfortable seats.
Sales of the internally-known W204 range are starting to drop off for a few good reasons. Main rivals Audi and BMW both have newer products and the next generation C-Class should be here in a year or so. It’s only natural that buyers look elsewhere and/or wait for the new one to arrive.
Or is it?
Yes, I’ll admit that the C-Class isn’t on the same page as its refurbished rivals but after driving it for a week that didn’t bother me the slightest bit. Part of that was probably the work of the Edition C package which comprises AMG and Avantgarde styling as well as the 7G-Tronic automatic gearbox.
Another fact to consider is that this model is at the peak of its life. It’s had a facelift and all niggles are ironed out by now so you’ll be buying a highly accomplished car. My folks have inadvertently done that a few times and never regretted it, also because you get a better deal and more freebies (e.g. Edition C).
Mercedes-Benz South Africa extends the Edition C offer to other models like the popular C180; coupé or estate appear to have been overlooked and the most bespoke model is our C300 test unit with a 3.5-litre 24-valve petrol V6 sporting 185kW or 340Nm.
Derived from the C350’s latest-generation 225kW motor, this engine may also be a swansong of naturally breathing, meaty V6’s before Merc sticks a turbocharger on each cylinder bank. And just like its donor engine, this one has a lovely deep growl as it digs into low-rev torque but will also yell to almost 7,000rpm.
Claimed fuel consumption is 8.7L/100km which seems spot-on. Around town with start/stop system it’ll drink about ten but cruising just below the national speed limit, our C300 Edition C approached seven. We heard a bit of wind noise from the square-ish mirrors and those good-looking five-spoke low-profile wheels rumble a bit.
They also make the ride slightly harsh over rutted surfaces but provide heaps of grip.
Many attempts at breaking the Merc’s composure failed, it has slightly vague steering, a bit of body roll and a lacklustre gearbox but still leaves enough excitement for an enthusiastic journey up or around a mountain.
Obviously you also get a full range of safety and comfort features, the C300 Edition C distinguishing itself by a media interface, rear seat through-load, Artico leather and alcantara trim with blue stitching. The fantastic Intelligent Light system and a full 6-year/120,000km maintenance plan are also included in the price of N$499,443.
If you’re in the market for a Merc and tempted by this car, I have a suggestion. Buy an Edition C now and put your name on the waiting list for the next C-Class. Once that arrives you can trade this one in and I’m sure you’ll get a good price for it. After all, it’s a C-Class with lots of special bits on it.
Good dog, great trick.
0-100m: 5.8s / 92.0km/h
0-200m: 9.0s / 122.0km/h
0-300m: 11.7s / 144.4km/h
0-400m: 14.1 / 152.7km/h
1/4mile: 14.1s @ 95.0mph (152.9km/h)
Altitude Sea level
Road Dry tarmac, level
Occupants Driver, no passengers
Fuel level 1/3