This Merc oozes with real class

Bruce Fraser

Bruce Fraser

Question: When is blue actually green and when is a 1,8-litre engine actually a 1,6-litre engine? Answer: When it comes in the form of the new Mercedes-Benz C180 Kompressor BlueEfficiency.


Let me explain. In an attempt to save the planet, Mercedes-Benz have replaced the old C180 Kompressor with a vehicle that is lighter, more fuel efficient, less hazardous to the environment and yet retains the same power as its predecessor.

As director of development at Mercedes-Benz Thomas Ruhl explained at a press launch in the United Kingdom last year: "Blue is the new green. The blue name is meant to suggest cleaner air, as in blue sky."

And the C180 badge on a car that is powered by a 1,6-litre engine? That one I can't explain, but perhaps from a marketing point of view they feel it's important to keep the successful C180 logo. As they would probably point out, the new 1,6-litre engine is equal to its predecessor, power wise.

So with the environmental issues out of the way, what is the car actually like?

For me, that three-pointed star that sits on the bonnet speaks volumes.

From the lush leather interior to the classy wood panelling on the door sides, from the surround sound system to technically-advanced automatic transmission system, the C180 oozes class.

From a safety and comfort point of view the car is loaded. Everything you can think of is there for your convenience.

And to drive? Once you release the handbrake, select "D", you are quickly off on a silky smooth journey.

Mercedes-Benz claims the new model is 12 percent more fuel efficient than its predecessor and you should get a combined 6,7 litres per 100km travelled. Around town expect, that figure to shoot up to around 10 litres per 100km. Gear changes kick in when expected and braking is enhanced with ABS brakes.

Driving the C180 is as easy as 1-2-3. Pity their marketing strategy isn't the same.