Green and clean fuels seem to be the mantra these days. Bio-fuels, hybrids and electric cars are what car manufacturers are leaning towards. The development costs of these technologies are high and the impact of this directly impacts customers. Mercedes-Benz too believes in saving our blue planet (as earth appears when viewed from the space) and recently we saw their BlueEfficiency technology being used in their new cars (Yes, BlueEfficiency won the CarWale Green initiative award). We first saw it on the E350 CDI, and now even the new C200 CGI has been badged with the BlueEfficiency tag. The BlueEfficiency cars have undergone changes in their aerodynamic design, powertrains and have made use of lighter construction materials in some cases.Design:
The C200 CGI hasn’t undergone any cosmetic changes on its exteriors and interiors. The car comes with the same wide chrome horizontal slats on the front grille (more spaced on the Avantgarde trim with the large central star), sculpted bone line and flared wheel arches. The C-Class had scored a maximum of 5-stars in the EuroNCAP rating, in which the saloon scored these 5-stars in adult occupant protection. Interiors:
The interiors haven’t changed either. We still miss the Harmon/Kardon Logic 7 music system and to our dismay, the rear seat space (for tall people) is a bit cramped, the left hand side mirror is too small and we also missed the USB port in the sedan. The interiors are well insulated from the outside resulting in barely any sound intruding into the cabin (at speeds in excess of 120kph there is some wind noise) and you don’t even feel speed in the car.Powertrain:
Mercedes-Benz launched the C-Class with a new engine and badged it as the C200 CGI Blue Efficiency. This sedan replaced the old C200 Kompressor, which is basically a 1.8-litre petrol engine (code name: M271) with supercharger. Now, the new C200 CGI comes with the same 1.8-litre engine block (new code name: M271 Evo) and now has direct injection with spray-guided combustion and a turbocharger. This new valvetrain has piezo-injectors which help to deliver multiple injections during a power stroke resulting in enhanced performance and the intake manifold can even supply excess air while cruising for improved fuel efficiency.
The 2496cc V6 musters 204bhp@6100rpm and a massive 245Nm from 2900 to 5500rpm. Open the engine bay and you’ll find everything is swathed under plastic, which makes everything look really neat, but will disappoint the people who prefer DIY work. That flat torque curve reflects in the way the car responds to every throttle input – not once did we feel that the car was underpowered. Of course, the A4 with the 3.2 V6 is much faster and has a 60bhp advantage, but that car is scary fast. The C never makes you feel like you’re biting off more than you can chew, it’s just a smooth surge to the redline and the next upshift.
It pootles along in the highest possible gear when driven carefully, never giving a hint of what it is capable of. Floor the throttle, however, and it will not snap your head back, but give you a strong shove in the small of your back, and before you know it, you’ll be doing silly speeds. Driving Dynamics:
The C200CGI like any other Mercedes-Benz has a smooth and composed ride at both low and high speeds. The seats are very comfortable unfortunately the front row seats aren’t completely electric (we had a similar complaint when we drove theE-Coupe). The lumbar support is adjustable manually. The C200 CGI is a good handler and the C-Class comes with Agility Control suspension which adjusts the shock absorbers according to driving conditions and driving mode. The Agility Control speed sensitive steering feels very artificial however, the car takes up most of the bends well at good speeds. The C-Class comes with either 16” or 17” wheels. The C250 CDI and C250 come with 17-inch tyres, while the C200 CGI is equipped with 205/55/R16 tyres. Our test car ran on Dunlop Sport 01 tyres which gripped well on dry as well as on wet surfaces, however, there was some tyre roar on concrete roads. The brakes on the C200 CGI were good and they bite progressively. The brake pedal felt a bit soggy, but the brakes did their job. In our brake test, the C200 CGI covered 32.2m from a speed of 80kph to come to a complete standstill.Overall Evaluation:
The Mercedes-Class C200 CGI BlueEfficiency (the cheapest C-Class) costs Rs 28.44lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai) which is a little expensive considering its overall features, but let us not forget that this is also your passport into the elite Three-Pointed Star club. The C200 CGI is the most basic Mercedes-Benz sold in India. It is a perfect car for those wanting it merely to enhance their status in society. In India, Mercedes-Benz is considered to one of the biggest luxury car makers and has a better resale value than most its competition. If a chauffer drives you to work during the day and you are a boy racer by night, this is undoubtedly the Mercedes for you at this price tag.