C Class - Out with the Old, in with the New

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Active Member
Sep 22, 2011
E350 Estate Night Edition 2015
On Friday I said a fond farewell to my trusty 2008 W204 C320 CDI Elegance after 94k fast, comfortable, economical and utterly reliable miles in a little under 4 years. Happily, the nice man from the leasing company left me a nice new C250 CDI Sport Auto Ed125 (pause for breath) in its place, so I thought I’d do a little write up comparing the two.



I thought long and hard about going for a C350 as a more direct replacement, but as a high mileage company car driver I am clearly smack in the middle of the target market for the current eco-downsizing trend. At the end of the day it’s just a business tool for me so I decided to take the £105 per month saving in tax, and if the economy lives up to expectations, it should give me an overall saving nearer £200 per month, which is a pretty powerful argument to forego the creamy V6. On paper the 250 is pretty similar in performance terms to my old 320, so I’ll be interested in how big a compromise it turns out to be in the real world.

So, some initial impressions.

Looks – I like the facelift revisions and with the Sport kit and seven spoke alloys it looks dramatically different considering how little sheet metal is actually different. I had an Elegance before due to the bizarre restrictions of our (then) company car policy, but in the end I quite liked the Q car aspect of a car that looked like my grandad’s but went like stink – highly amusing with tailgating M Sport 318ds…

Interior – New dash is a big step forward and looks and feels very classy. I didn’t have Comand on the old one so the Comand Online is a nice bit of kit to have. Seems very intuitive compared to the equivalent BMW Professional in my wife’s X3 and integrated my blackberry very easily. Linguatronic can speak Glaswegian, which is a first in my experience, and I got the online bit up and running easily enough. I can now update my facebook from my car, although I am struggling to think of why on earth I’d ever want to? Ditto any other web use, though maybe the Google maps integration will come in handy, we’ll see.

Ride and Handling – the Sport set up as expected feels much sharper and more responsive around the bends, but what has surprised me is how good the ride is; I was expecting something a bit less forgiving but it’s still smooth and comfortable. Not sure how well these nice 18s will survive the potholed rural roads round here but they certainly look the part and it hangs on nicely.

Engine – too soon to tell on performance really with only 250 miles on the engine but it certainly seems fairly quick, so I suspect with a few thousand on the clock it’ll be as close as the quoted figures say, and therefore not an issue. The four pot is of course a bit gruff compared to the old V6, but it’s still civilised enough to not be an issue for me. It is certainly comparable to the BMW 2.0D in the X3.

Economy – the killer question really and so far I’m very impressed – a 120 mile round trip yesterday to Canary Wharf in M25 rush hour traffic give me 50mpg on a tight engine and without particularly trying. That was consistently a 38mpg journey on the 320.

So, initial impressions are very positive. I really liked the C320 and ran it longer and further than any other car I’ve had. Although the new one is essentially the same car, the combination of facelift and Sport spec seems to complete the package nicely, and so far the 250 seems like it’s going to be a reasonable compromise for the financial benefits. No it doesn’t sound as nice as the V6. But then again, nice as it was, it in turn never sounded as nice as the petrol V8 in my Land Rover either, but that’s another story…

Good write up!

Welcome to the forum, I've heard good things about the new 220 & 250 engines so it will be interesting to see how things go when the car 'loosens' up. As a company car it certainly makes sense financially to down size...
Nice post, thanks. Very similar car to mine - I thought long and hard about the wheel options and went for the 5x2s instead but the 7 spoked hubs do look great ... I've put on 5.5k miles and the engine is starting to feel a little less tight and slightly more fun to drive.
More info on the LR please.... 3.9 or bigger? For a 1990 model it looks good, especially on the fatter rims....

Oh, dangerous ground encouraging me to drone on about my Landy...

She's an original 1989 factory built 3.5 V8 which I bought five years ago to play in the mud with and do general dogs / kids / house restoration materials carrying duties. I got the mud thing out my system and after all the abuse restored her on a new galvanised chassis last year - details here if interested.
Defender2 - View topic - Say Hello to Grandma

She now lives a slightly more sedentary existence of weekend trundling about (the kids refuse to go in anything else) and a bit of gentle green laning, and stays a lot cleaner than she used to!
Thanks for the info and pics.

Is that magnetite black?

Nice C-Class, nice landie, nice house!! Welcome to MBClub
Thanks all for the welcome and nice comments.

@ Khamen, it's solid black

Good write up - thanks. Out of interest, when did you order it? I've been waiting over 3 months now and starting to get more than a tad impatient!
My order last October resulted in a factory collection at the end of November - would have been available from UK dealershp about 7-10 days thereafter.
Nice write up & pics,hope you enjoy it as much as the one it replaced:)
Thanks for the write up. Solid black looks quite nice thankfully as I have spec'd mine in this colour. I was a little nervous not going for a metallic.

Not Riz from Tyresmoke??
gIzzE said:
Not Riz from Tyresmoke??

Not the 'main' Riz. I am/ was on Tyresmoke also but there was another Riz who was prominent there. I do remember you there
I remember Riz having a MKIV R32 and then saw your current car as a MKV GTi and thought you may have been one and the same.

So when are you getting your C Class?
Nice car!! And a very good comparison!

Im thinking, if opting for metallic paint is a waste of money??

Especially if it shines just as well as solid paint...
Very tidy car - I have to say, when they first launched this model, I was left a little underwhelmed, but they've really improved it to a very desirable level. Congrats and welcome!
gIzzE said:
I remember Riz having a MKIV R32 and then saw your current car as a MKV GTi and thought you may have been one and the same.

So when are you getting your C Class?

End of April approx
Good write up - thanks. Out of interest, when did you order it? I've been waiting over 3 months now and starting to get more than a tad impatient!

The order went in during October, but it's leased so they held it over for a 12 plate, so 5 months is probably not representative. Just savour the building anticipation!

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