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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Myles Mercedes Benz C Class-Photos, details, comparison with 320d

Sharing close up photos of the Mercedes Benz C Class that I drove [Rented from Carzonrent-Myles, Rental experience here], with brief description/review where possible. Also read: Drive a Mercedes Benz without robbing a bank.

Exteriors: Nothing much to comment- this is an older generation C Class with protruding tri-star logo. Current models do not come with such logos. I would have liked the other Benz at their yard with AMG front grill better. Nevertheless, you've seen enough of Mercs on the road, so I will not write much about its looks.
 Click to view enlarged photos
 The fin look so out of place- not body colored and poorly shaped.

Driver's seat-Good thing about driver's seat was that it had both manual and electric controls. In BMW 320d I had to press a button and wait patiently while the motors pull the seat back- in C Class, you can either do that, or pull a lever and push the seat back, just the way we do in ordinary cars. This helps save several seconds. Seat was showing signs of aging.
If I pull the seat to its front most position and sit upright, my head would touch the roof. For maximum comfort, I needed to move back a little and sit in a slightly inclined position to ensure that there's some space above my head. It is similar situation in 320d as well.

A small storage box exists under driver's seat and co passenger's seat. (This and other storage space was filled with car's regular driver's stuff).

Not having a sunroof was a disappointment. Some higher variants in both 320d and C Class get sunroof, not the cheapest variants.

Gearbox: Again less posh than 320d. No Sports mode. Took couple of moments to get used to it. Each time car is started, it defaults to economy mode (must be one of the fuel saving configuration done for Carzonrent) and I had to keep turning it off. I tried changing manually (+ and - signs)- I couldn't. Not sure if I missed something.


In comparison, 320d's gear lever (below) looks neat, clean and better overall. Operating in manual mode was also easy and fun. 320d is available for rent with Zoomcars Bangalore


Speedo console: Looked better than 320d. Car's photo pops up each time car is started. The coffee cup symbol you see is the attention assist- if the car is being driven in a zip zag manner, car detects that driver might need some rest and the coffee icon suggests driver to take some rest.
Above: C Class speedo console,
Below: BMW 320d's speedo console

Drive:  Engine appeared to be heavily de-tuned for fuel economy, at the cost of performance. In my 2 hour drive I couldn't get enough of empty straight road, but when I pushed the car to 140 kmph, C Class pulled itself fairly OK, but it felt as if forced to go fast, not voluntary to go faster. Noise was clearly audible inside the cabin as the revs increased. BMW 320d on the other hand had much smoother pickup and less engine noise (To be noted that 320d was new while C Class was close to 2 years, 83000kms old)

I had a 50km limit for 2 hours, so couldn't go long distance.

320d has a limit switch on the steering wheel, while C Class gets an additional lever to provide that input. (Limit switch helps setting top speed and ensure that car doesn't go faster than that).

Central console:
Feels outdated by today's standards and current C Class should be having much better units. Had all the standard stuff. As I had very little time, I couldn't explore it much.
 Above: BMW 320d steering wheel, below, C Class

There're lots of lighting overhead.


Second row seat: If first row seats are pushed backward to maximum, second row seats are just as spacious as an Indigo. Only if first row seats are moved little forward, legroom for second row passengers gets decent enough. 320d also has same problems. Probably it is a psychological way of forcing customers to upgrade to a bigger/spacious E Class/5 series after a while.

As is 320d (below), 2nd row is designed for 2. Centre armrest in C Class is multi purpose- can be opened to hold cups and other materials, or can be used as armrests or can be pushed back into backrest.
Seats in 320d are a bit thinner, hence can give more space.

Second row central armrest- can be expanded to serve as cup holder and other utilities. As far as I can remember, 320d's armrest wasn't this multi functional.


Boot
Both cars have boot space large enough for 3 people to sleep :)

Above:  C Class boot
Below: 320d boot
C Class comes with a spare wheel which sits under the boot floor mat, while BMW doesn’t offer spare wheels. (BMW has run flat tyres which can go for 200kms even after a flat, hence BMW claims there’s no need for a spare tyre. In fact their boot design can’t even accommodate a spare tyre, hence when Zoom bought an additional tyre, they had to keep it exposed in the boot.)

Similar: BMW 320d review * More BMW 320d photos *

2 comments :

Prasad Np said...

very comprehensive review... I think in India BMW is doing better, though for chauffeur driven cars Merc is still the car of choice

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Prasad.

Merc is trying to get back to top slot with A and B Class- they did't have under 30 lakh cars to play volume game. Let us see how they fare in future. They also give good discount and support to bulk customers like carzonrent, hence rental agencies prefer them