Why would I buy it?
- Blistering performance
- Dynamically enthralling
Why would I avoid it?
- Stiff slow speed ride
- Noise at high revs
Engine and Performance
With AMG plastered in this C300d’s badge, it’s obvious that expectations run sky-high with its performance. Undeniably, even the output figures look salivating too. However, you see, it isn’t as maniac as true AMGs truly turn out to be. Plus, it sure as hell misses out on all the exhaust drama (pops and crackles) that one would expect from a seriously tinkered motor. Apart from that, though, the drive is frankly quite invigorating. It’s only after you hit the highway that you understand the monstrosities this car is capable of. With an abundance of torque that’s sent to the wheels fittingly via the nine-gear automatic, it’d appear that this one sort of idles as it sits at 100kmph!
And while at it, relying on the speedometer seems the only way of knowing the speeds being travelled at because one’s so engaged that they lose their basic senses! In Sport+ mode, one can literally attack corners; I mean it is an AMG after all, right? So yes, the steering weighs up appropriately, the throttle becomes addictively alert, and the transmission clings on to each cog for longer to offer that wee bit of dope performance. All things said, I think the best part has to be its capability of being a true ‘sleeper’.
And the mode to toggle to for that experience is the Comfort mode. Here, the steering feels light but is still quick, the throttle is adequately responsive, and the gearshifts although less aggressive, are still quick enough for both an easy and enjoyable drive. Also adding to easy-drive nature is the pristine visibility out the front which is a courtesy of the low dash and the thin A-pillars. In short, as fine as it is a sniper rifle (long distance), this one also works as a short-barrel shotgun (short distance).
Ride Quality and Handling
Just like how this C’s straight-line stability is outstanding, its sheer light-footedness around corners is simply exceptional. Plainly put, it changes direction in a nimble, alert, and quick fashion with supreme chassis balance and almost zilch understeer. Plus, there’s enormous grip even in the wet. On the downside though, the ride can get unexpectedly jarring and noisy, to say the least, over bumpy roads and potholes. Thankfully, it’s borderline okay over the mildly broken surfaces/undulations.
Comfort, Convenience, and Features
We specifically liked the new steering that gets touchpads to efficiently control the detailed driver information system and the new multimedia system. Now, although the high-resolution screen is new, the absence of touch functionality can be a bummer for some. Nevertheless, the Mercedes COMAND system offers loads of information, customisation, and features that keep one occupied at traffic signals. As for the looks, there’s porous wood trim on the centre console, along with lots of curvaceous design lines and elements to admire every time one switches on the ignition.
As for the seats throughout, they’re super comfy with crisp operability and the cabin is quite spacious too. There are lots of storage spaces along with a long list of features such as dual-zone climate control with rear AC vents, the grippy steering wheel with electrical adjustments for both rake and reach, 12-way electric front seats, and an electric rear sunblind. It also comes equipped with cruise control, auto-dimming mirrors, and auto parking brake/wipers/headlamps. There are driving modes such as Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual.
The safety features on the C300d include seven airbags, ABS with EBD, brake assist, electronic stability program, and traction control. It also comes with hill-hold, enough gadgetry to let the driver know about when to take a break, tyre pressure monitoring, and ISOFIX child seat mounts.
In this shady silver hue, the C-Class sure seems like an executive love at first sight. A balanced and flowing silhouette, in crisp alloys, wonderfully crafted from end to end; much like a lady in Jacquemus tight formals wearing shapely Christian Louboutin heels. Interestingly, this gorgeous lady can clasp her skirt and make a solid run for it at the 100m dash too.
Retailing at about Rs 60 lakh (OTR Mumbai in July 2019), one wouldn’t term the Mercedes C300d AMG Line as tempting in an affordable manner. Rather, what it deserves is true attention for the fact that it’s the most powerful C-Class available in India. I strongly admit that apart from the rather stiff slow speed ride, there’s absolutely no flaw in its armour, which of course says a lot. Doesn’t it?
Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi