This is the new Mercedes-Benz C250d. And it's here to give C-Class buyers a bit more choice so that they don't go fishing elsewhere to satisfy their desires to own something more powerful and better equipped than the regular C220d. There's only one trim of the C250d on sale currently and it costs around Rs 54 lakh on the road in Mumbai, which also makes it the only 'ordinary' C-Class to have breached the Rs 50 lakh barrier. It better be special then...
Grey is probably one of the worst colours to buy the C-Class in. But that's exactly what we have here. And no it doesn’t look extraordinary compared to the 220d either. That’s of course till you take a closer look. Because when you do, you will notice that Mercedes has added its all-LED intelligent lighting system as standard to the C250d. It's a smart system this wherein it dips the main lights automatically for the convenience of oncoming traffic, and it also swings around to light up a corner before you actually enter one. But, that’s the only telling change. In every other regard – the sloping roofline, the buff front, the flared front wheel arches, and the overall soft contours – the C250d is exactly like its C200 and C220d twins.
As on the outside, there’s just one telling difference inside as well. The centre console on the 250d now gets gloss wood finish, which also extends to the door panels. Not that the C-Class' interiors needed a serious revamp; it is, after all, the best cabin in class today be it in terms of look or feel, quality levels, or the attention to detail that one can notice in the operability of the switches, the layout of controls, and the easy user interface for both the COMAND system and the driver information system. Why the latter two need different UIs isn't something we have been able to figure though.
What's more, with all that beige and a reasonably large glass area, the C250d feels roomy. And it has acceptable levels of knee room too. Shoulder and headroom though, especially at the rear, isn’t great. We would have preferred better support and larger rear seat squabs as well. Plus, the seat back angle for the rear seats is a tad too much. The ones at the front, however, are roomy, supportive and comfy.
As far as equipment goes, the C250d gets a self-park feature over and above everything else the C220d Avantgarde comes with. And so when you get to a crowded market place or a business district, the C250d will spot a parallel parking space for you and guide you into it. It manages the steering, while the driver must operate the throttle and brake. And just to be sure that the driver is paying attention; it applies some amount of brakes by itself, just to prime the driver. It is convenient to say the least.
There's other good stuff on board as well, albeit shared with the C220d Avantgarde – a two-zone climate control, a sunroof, electric front seats with memory function, cruise control, cup and bottle holders front and back, and a reversing camera with parking sensors front and back. On the safety front, it gets seven airbags (including one for the driver's knee), attention assist, auto headlights and wipers, ABS, ESP, and some more safety related acronyms. The bottom-line is, the C250d gets our thumbs up on the safety front.
Besides safety, another equally important reason to buy the Mercedes C250d, that’s if the self-park feature doesn't catch your fancy, is its engine. It's the same as on the C220d but it runs two turbos now. And as a result the horsepower has increased by over 30bhp to 204bhp compared to the C220d. The peak torque has climbed too, to 500Nm, an addition of a hefty 100Nm of grunt. It still isn't the most refined engine though and can sound coarse when revved high. But, the on-road performance is well worth the upgrade.
The C250d's 0-100kmph time of 7.37s isn't the best in class, but it isn’t off the mark by much. Crucially, it is quicker than its lesser powerful twin. Ditto for the 0-150kmph time of 16.50s and the 20-80kmph and 40-100kmph kickdown times of just 4.87s and 5.87s. The top speed as claimed by Mercedes is a tad under 250kmph, a still very fast 247kmph to be precise.
This is in Sport+ mode; one of the four drive modes the 250d comes with as standard. Other modes include Eco for fuel economy, Comfort for relaxed commuting or cruising, and Sport for aggressive driving. The Sport+, of course, is for the enthusiast, for those who won’t settle for anything but the maximum. Switching between modes changes the engine and throttle response, the gearshift times, the steering response and the functioning of the climate control system.
As the names suggests, Eco has the dullest settings and Sport+, the most reactive. One can also opt for the Individual mode wherein different settings for these four parameters can be married together as the driver chooses. So, if you want a light steering but quick throttle response and gear shift times, you can choose Comfort for steering and Sport+ for the drivetrain via the COMAND system. This particular setting, by the way, was our default choice.
The drive modes don't alter the suspension's working, however. So no matter what mode you choose, you will always end up with a quiet, supple and absorbent ride quality. And unless you hit a bad bump, the C250d never really crashes through anything. It's planted in a straight line too. Handling wise, it feels light and willing around long, sweeping corners, but give it a tight and winding section, and its responses begin to feel blunt. It struggles for front-end grip when subjected to quick direction changes even though it has a quick and consistent steering rack. So, the Mercedes C250d, 200+bhp or not, is still more about comfort and luxury than outright driver involvement.
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||204 @ 3800|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||500 @ 1600|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||NA|
|Tyre size||225/50 R17|
|Rear AC vents||Yes|
|Dual Zone Climate control||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||188 @ 4000||181 @ 4250||204 @ 3800|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||400 @ 1750||400 @ 1750||500 @ 1600|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||57||67.5||NA|
|Tyre size||225/45 R18||235/40 R18||225/50 R17|
The Mercedes-Benz C250d sits on top of the C-Class food chain, not considering the AMG, of course. And this puts it head-on against the BMW 320d in M Sport guise and the Volvo S60 R-Design. The BMW is more expensive but gets its own unique set of bells and whistles like HUD, flashy wheels, fat rear tyres, and front seats with adjustable side bolstering. The Volvo on the other hand, has its good looks, a responsive engine, and a fun to drive character as its likeable traits. But, what you get with the Mercedes is a sense of luxury and that easy to drive nature its competition lacks. And, of course, there’s the self-park! How can one say no to that…
Photo Courtesy By : Ameya Dandekar