At some point in time you want to start rewarding yourself with things you’ve always aspired to. You know it’s time then to take a serious look at the Mercedes-Benz C Class
Words Aninda Sardar
Photography Roshni Manghani
Location The Mills, Pune
At idling, you can barely hear it. A deep, gentle hum. Nothing more. You have to muster some genuine faith to believe that under that stoutish bonnet is a 1950cc four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine that puts out 245 horses. If you’re the sort that enjoys quiet powerplays in meeting rooms as you climb towards that coveted seat at the table in the boardroom, I’d say you’re looking at the right car. The fact that it can sprint from nought to 100kmph in just 5.9 seconds and then on to a top speed of 250km/h will not fail to impress you either. What you’re looking at is a genuine performer.
Why buy a Mercedes-Benz C Class at all?
That performance though is only a part of the lure of the Mercedes-Benz C 300 d for there are others who offer similar performance. Sometimes even more. No, that can’t be the only reason why you’d want this. There has to be something more, isn’t it? And there’s plenty more here than meets the eye.
Speaking of which, the first thing that really does meet the eye is the way it looks. Its silhouette is not the ready-to-pounce on the mouse kind that reeks of aggressive dynamism. No, a Merc must be a statement in understatement. It must announce its presence without postures and this shiny black C Class with its studded chrome grille achieves this flawlessly. You look and you know that you’re dealing with a smooth and sophisticated customer here. This one, parked in your garage will tell a story. Of your rise not just in stature and wealth but also in sophistication and evolution.
It’s a story of subtle sophistry inside the Mercedes-Benz C Class
Inside out, the story of subtle sophistry continues. There’s a touch of the premium in everything you touch. Be it the ARTICO man-made leather of the seats on the inlays on the dashboard or the switches and buttons or the leather wrapped steering wheel with its multiple controls. While you can get the regular Progressive variant, you’d be better off with the range-topping AMG Line’s flat bottomed steering and AMG pedals if you’re the sort that enjoys a touch of the sport in your ride. The rear seats are fairly spacious and comfortable too but hey, the C stands for Compact and you’d rather be up front where all the action is. Doesn’t matter if it’s the nine-speaker Midline sound system that will keep your ears soothed or your heart pumping harder (depending on your choice of tunes) or the drive experience.
In Pune’s traffic laden streets the C’s steering feels light but not vague and there’s plenty of torque coming in from low in the rev range. I potter about town wondering how easy it is to manage this Rs 50.25 lakh (ex-showroom) sedan. It sort of shrinks itself around you and makes it so easy to filter through the riff raff. On a whim I head out towards the outskirts in search of emptier roads. I find them about half and hour of cruising later and let loose.
Who would the Mercedes-Benz C Class impress?
The Merc doesn’t really shred its veneer of sophistication and go all hooligan on me. Instead, it responds in a quiet efficient Teutonic manner that is befitting any vehicle carrying the three-pointed star. The ride, which has been comfortably plush till now, continues to do its job of soaking in all that Indian roads can throw at it with aplomb and I sprint on. Up ahead, there’s a right turn. It’s wide enough but I still need a dab of the brakes before I can turn in. The stoppers are sharp but progressive so while you’ll be surprised by the bite there are no nasty shocks in store. And then it’s time to make the turn. I flick the steering wheel and the C turns in smoothly. Without drama. Again, that quiet efficient Teuton.
Perfect for someone who wants to announce his presence but not shout it out.