Owner Review

2011 Mercedes-Benz C200 CGI review

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My passion for Mercs was derived from my senior high school classmate who owns various Mercedes-Benz sedans. While my fellow Mercedes enthusiast is driving a gigantic, lavish, tank-looking, rear passenger-oriented W140 S320 sedan, I decided to go for the C-Class due to its compact size that doesn’t take much space in a garage. Mine was second-hand from a first buyer, however the condition was quite satisfying without major issues with the engine and body.

Despite previously being Mercedes's entry-level sedan back in 2011 (before the introduction of the CLA-Class), the front end looks dashing with a big three-pointed star on the grille, however the rear end looks somewhat plain. On the other hand, it looks classy inside with Mercedes characteristics all round, just like its larger and more luxurious cousins, i.e. E-Class and S-Class.

My C200 is equipped with an updated engine: the 1.8-litre turbocharged direct injection known as CGI (Charger Gasoline Injection) that claimed to be more efficient than a supercharger (Kompressor). It develops 137kW, which equals a car with a larger engine, and transports it from 0–100km/h in 8.2 seconds – more than enough for a daily driven car. The five-speed Tiptronic gearbox is very smooth but remains reactive. More importantly, the C-Class comes in rear-wheel-drive layout as standard, which provides smooth acceleration and makes it indeed fun to drive!

Inside, the C-Class is well equipped with several features that spoil drivers, such as tilt and telescopic steering wheel, rain sensor, cruise control, auto-dimming side and rear-view mirrors, dual-zone air-conditioner and many more. My favourite is the Bluetooth connectivity that can store phone numbers, so that I can make a call while driving without even touching my mobile phone.

The C-Class is a trustworthy car with various passive and active safety features. It has six airbags, electronic stability, anti-lock brakes, etc.

The driving position is excellent thanks to the seat position that is slightly higher than the front passenger seat. Both driver and front passenger are spoiled with decent legroom and semi-automatic-adjustment seats. However, I wish they were fully automatic, given that the mid-’90s Mercedes W124 had this feature.

However, I’m quite disappointed with my C-Class's rear cabin due to tight legroom and a rather upright backrest. I’ve ridden in my friend’s W203 C-Class many times and found there is no major improvement on its younger brother's rear cabin, despite having a longer and wider body. Mercedes is well known to have a primary focus on passenger comfort, so I wish it had worked well with my car’s rear cabin. Nevertheless, I’m happy with the retractable rear seat cup holder that is secretly located inside the rear passenger armrest.

Overall, the C-Class is a car that can impress everyone – not only me, but also my relatives. It is good to look at as well, due to its simple yet elegant design that may last for many years. It is also built as solid as a rock thanks to Mercedes, which spent five years developing the W204 C-Class from scratch.

The C-Class is easy to drive and maintain. It really is a Mercedes that's fit for everyone, including those who've never driven or previously owned a Merc. It is indeed a car that is definitely suitable for city or long-distance driving (it rides beautifully on a long and straight motorway).

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