W205 test in What Car

Roger Bill

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The August edition of What Car magazine (publication date 26th June) will contain a road test report comparing the new W205 C Class to it's rivals.

Although there have been some first drive reports, etc. I'm surprised there haven't been any full road test reports in Autocar, AutoExpress or any of the other car magazines. Or have I missed something?
 

geraldrobins

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there was a reasonable account in Autocar a few weeks ago comparing the new C220 to the BMW320d. not a full road test but several pages.
 
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Roger Bill

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Thanks Gerald. I'm interested to hear what the journalists and earlier owners think of how the car drives. I had a look at a couple of cars in a local MB dealer this week and I was really impressed, especially by the interior. If it drives as good as it looks then I'm fairly sure it'll be my next car. It's just unfortunate that circumstances mean I'll have to wait until later in the year before I'll be able to place an order. However, I suppose by the time I get delivery any initial teething problems should have been resolved.
 

grober

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Most of the reviews I have read had cars equiped with the optional air suspension. At less than a £1000 its a "must have" option IMHO
 
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Roger Bill

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Most of the reviews I have read had cars equiped with the optional air suspension. At less than a £1000 its a "must have" option IMHO
I totally agree and the Airmatic option is one of the main things that caused me to check out the W205 in detail.
 

geraldrobins

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Auto car said it was a an improvement over the W204. Handling nearly as good as the 3 series, but they said that about the W204. They thought the interior materials and standard of fit and finish was better than the 3 series.
 
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Roger Bill

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The What Car review seemed a little confused. While the text stated the test car was a Sport the pictures were of an AMG Line.

The difference is important for me because I’m thinking of buying a C Class Sport with the Airmatic air suspension option mainly because I’m hoping it will offer a more comfortable ride than a BMW 3, Audi A4 or Lexus IS300h. The C Class AMG Line has lowered sports suspension and 18” wheels fitted with run flat, low profile tyres (225/45 & 245/40) whereas the Sport has lowered comfort suspension and 17” inch wheels with 225/50 non-run flat tyres. This could at least in part explain the article’s comments “it struggles to cope with sharp-edged bumps in town, potholes sending jolts through the cabin” , “things become crashy in towns” and that the low speed ride counted against it in the final verdict.

I emailed What Car and in their reply they said the Airmatic setup was the same on the Sport and AMG Line. Is this right and, if so, does it mean the Sport with Airmatic is a firmer setup than a Sport with standard steel springs?
 

grober

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Think the lesson from that review is that quite lot of motoring Journos get as mixed up as the rest of us.;)
First all models come with Agility Select suspension with Comfort, ECO, Sport, Sport+, Individual settings which I can only assume refers to different valving on adjustable shock absorbers??? They then go on to refer to SE = Comfort suspension -----Sport= comfort suspension lowered by 15mm and AMG= sport suspension lowered by 15mm. FOR STEEL SPRING SETUPS.
add to that

AirMATIC Agility Package Available only on Sport and AMG lines
Enhances the ability to tailor the driving experience by combining
suspension set-up with each of the driving modes accessed via the
Agility Select switch
Self-levelling suspension
Suspension can be raised by 25
mm to increase ground clearance and
automatically lowers by up to 15
mm at high speeds to help reduce
aerodynamic drag and improve handling stability
Variable damper control, which optimises damping at each wheel to suit
the speed and road conditions

As I read it adds variable spring rates/ride height to existing variable dampers??

Point being with AirMatic you can vary the suspension sttings to a greater extent than with the variable damper+steel spring setup

See
http://tools.mercedes-benz.co.uk/current/passenger-cars/pricelists/c-class-saloon-estate.pdf
 
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Roger Bill

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If the car is on standard steel springs agility select settings eco, comfort, sport, sport+ and individual adjust response to transmission, throttle, engine braking and the amount of slip allowed by the stability control system. I understand it is only cars with Airmatic air suspension that provides adjustable suspension. The Airmatic suspension units are a complete replacement for the steel springs and shock absorbers.
 

mbenz1

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I'm guessing that the airmatic system in the c-class will not be a major jump in handling, comfort refinement etc etc compared to spring set-up, because if it is then its an attack on the exclusive and unique ride of the S?? Airmatic is a signature of exclusivity for the S and now it's in a entry-level C-class? I'm totally against this idea IMHO guys. I would like to see what the reviews conclude in terms of how good the airmatic really is... If I was in.a situation of buying the new C, I would definitely stick to the spring setup IMHO and go for Sport (why not call it Avantgarde ??? ) which should have a good balance between handling, refinement, comfort etc. I remember once travelling in a W204 Elegance and Sport and I really cannot ask for any better :), for their class they have a really good ride...
 

V12

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I don't believe air suspension alone is the key selling point for s class drivers.
The s class is greater than the sum of it's parts. The e class has had airmatic for 2 generations and I can tell you that the refinement offered is not a patch on the s class.
It's the combination of ride, noise insulation, seats, space and engine options that really set the car apart.

I have finally had a chance to drive a new s class 2 weeks ago and I must say that it is an amazing piece of engineering. I will be truly shocked if the c class can get close in any area other than handling!
 

grober

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If the car is on standard steel springs agility select settings eco, comfort, sport, sport+ and individual adjust response to transmission, throttle, engine braking and the amount of slip allowed by the stability control system. I understand it is only cars with Airmatic air suspension that provides adjustable suspension. The Airmatic suspension units are a complete replacement for the steel springs and shock absorbers.
That certainly makes more sense. I assume Mercedes are still using the inertially adjusted dampers they used in the majority of the W204 models. Ultimate ride quality refinement was an issue on that model because of that in comparison to previous models imho . So I guess the answer is what priority you put on ride comfort and what priority you put on handling. At least now with the W205 the buyer has the choice.[ Availability permitting of course ;)]

ps perhaps the overwhelming demand for airmatic has lead to this recent availability issue- which for some might be taken as a customer endorsement?? Could go 2 ways in 3 years time the salesman might be saying-----oh it hasn't got airmatic---that's a pity ----- or-------airmatic model eh tsk tsk. :rolleyes:
 
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mbenz1

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I don't believe air suspension alone is the key selling point for s class drivers.
The s class is greater than the sum of it's parts. The e class has had airmatic for 2 generations and I can tell you that the refinement offered is not a patch on the s class.
It's the combination of ride, noise insulation, seats, space and engine options that really set the car apart.

I have finally had a chance to drive a new s class 2 weeks ago and I must say that it is an amazing piece of engineering. I will be truly shocked if the c class can get close in any area other than handling!
I agree... Besides airmatic, there are many other factors that make the S a one of a kind. But I personally think airmatic on a C is kind of beating the object...its like having an option of airmatic on a CLA or A.

How would you compare your drive experience in the 222 compared to 221? I think to make it a fair test, its only worth comparing if the 222 did not have magic ride control?
 

Dryce

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I'm guessing that the airmatic system in the c-class will not be a major jump in handling, comfort refinement etc etc compared to spring set-up, because if it is then its an attack on the exclusive and unique ride of the S?? Airmatic is a signature of exclusivity for the S and now it's in a entry-level C-class? I'm totally against this idea IMHO guys.
I think it's irrelevant to the S. The S stands apart.
 

V12

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How would you compare your drive experience in the 222 compared to 221? I think to make it a fair test, its only worth comparing if the 222 did not have magic ride control?
Don't want to thread hijack but it is the biggest leap in *perceived* quality i've witnessed from one generation to the next.
I'm extremely familiar with the W108, W116, W126, W140, W220 and reasonably familiar with the W221.
The jump from W126 to W140 was quite extreme in many aspects, but since then the W220 and W221 seem to have been smaller improvements from my point of view.
The model I drove didn't have magic ride but the handling and ride quality were still exceptional, it was only a standard wheel base and reasonably low spec but still very impressive from a tech point of view.

I am interested to drive a C class estate and see how the refinement really compares with an S. I am the kind of buyer that quite frankly can't afford a brand new fully loaded s class, but could afford a brand new fully loaded c class. In the past I have stuck with old second hand S classes and got myself a bargain. Along the way i've test driven many C classes but the cabin noise and ride quality have always been a serious let down for me.
 

grober

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Post on the "other side " which appears to confirm transfer of production of RHD versions of the W205 C class to the South African plant meaning a 5 week delivery extension. [ sea transport time?? ] This is separate from the Airmatic / 360 degree camera component supply issue.
 

Rayza

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grober said:
Post on the "other side " which appears to confirm transfer of production of RHD versions of the W205 C class to the South African plant meaning a 5 week delivery extension. [ sea transport time?? ] This is separate from the Airmatic / 360 degree camera component supply issue.
Yes correct when I 1st saw dealer times were quoted for early sept delivery. I placed order approx 4 days later and he confirmed prod moved to SA and delayed to early-mid Oct.
 

Rayza

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V12 said:
Don't want to thread hijack but it is the biggest leap in *perceived* quality i've witnessed from one generation to the next. I'm extremely familiar with the W108, W116, W126, W140, W220 and reasonably familiar with the W221. The jump from W126 to W140 was quite extreme in many aspects, but since then the W220 and W221 seem to have been smaller improvements from my point of view. The model I drove didn't have magic ride but the handling and ride quality were still exceptional, it was only a standard wheel base and reasonably low spec but still very impressive from a tech point of view. I am interested to drive a C class estate and see how the refinement really compares with an S. I am the kind of buyer that quite frankly can't afford a brand new fully loaded s class, but could afford a brand new fully loaded c class. In the past I have stuck with old second hand S classes and got myself a bargain. Along the way i've test driven many C classes but the cabin noise and ride quality have always been a serious let down for me.
I really like the look of new s class looks so right inside and out. Def see similarities to c, obviously not as good and to the same level of quality but still impressive and great leap over the w204
 

Jonobigblind

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Rayza said:
Yes correct when I 1st saw dealer times were quoted for early sept delivery. I placed order approx 4 days later and he confirmed prod moved to SA and delayed to early-mid Oct.
My order was confirmed this afternoon. Placed last Tuesday and delivery scheduled for 12 December. Perhaps mine is touring SA before hopping on the ship?
 

Rayza

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Jonobigblind said:
My order was confirmed this afternoon. Placed last Tuesday and delivery scheduled for 12 December. Perhaps mine is touring SA before hopping on the ship?
Did you manage to change your order for a c300h in the end?
 

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