Mercedes C220 CDI Grand Edition

Posted by Sriram Narayanan at 08:28 am on Wednesday April 16, 2014

As we had reported earlier, more than 50,000 cars have rolled out of Merc’s Pune plant. To mark the occasion of the 50,000th car, it unveiled the C-Class Grand Edition. Which seems a bit much, since it just launched the Edition C, er, C-Class to mark 1 crore Cs sold around the world.

Unlike the Edition C, the Grand Edition is not limited to 500 cars. The Grand Edition is now the only trim on the C-Class that will roll out of Merc’s India plant till all stocks are sold, and the all-new C-Class comes in later this year. Officially, Merc is saying nothing about the new C-Class coming in 2014. But it’d be foolish not to launch it in the first half of 2014, and consequently watch people flock to Audi A4s and BMW 3s, instead. Our guess is they will wait till the last of the C – now the Grand Ed C – is sold.

How’s the car? Mechanically, it’s the same, solid C-Class. You can get the C220 CDI, with the 167bhp 2.1-litre 4-cylinder diesel; and the C200 CGI, with the 186bhp, 1.8-litre 4-cylinder petrol. We drove the diesel and it remains as sublime to drive as a C. Sure-footed handling, comfortable ride, incredible high-speed manners, a true, communicative steering, effective, assured brakes and a healthy appetite for hair-pins and long, high-speed bends.

The Grand Edition’s special features aren’t particularly hot. A panoramic sunroof is fancy, but in tropical India, you can very well live without one. The satellite navigation is difficult to get going to begin with. You need to keep the ‘C’ button beside the COMAND system knob depressed for about half a minute to get the sat-nav on the screen. And once on, the map graphics look very 1980s. The tiny screen doesn’t help.

As for Parktronic with Parking Guidance, activating it requires a specific set of conditions, such as speed below 30, empty parallel parking slots on your left, and some deft handling of the gear lever, steering and indicators. A simple button saying ‘Parktronic’ would have made life so much simpler. And compared to the older Avantgarde C, the only additional features in the Grand are the ‘Grand’ badges, the sat-nav and the AMG-style body cladding. Not worth the additional Rs 2.5 lakh.

Our advice? The Avantgarde isn’t rolling out of the plant anymore. However, local dealers have some stock left. The C-Class in any trim is a great car. If you want one, get to your dealer right now before your only choice left is this expensive, sat-nav-equipped Grand Edition.

The numbers
2,143cc, 4-cyl diesel, 168bhp, 400Nm, 7A, RWD, 0-100kph: 8.1sec (claimed), Top speed: 231kph (claimed), 1,610kg, Rs 43 lakh (on-road, Mumbai)

The verdict
Still a solid, comfortable, high-speed performer. Grand Edition variant needlessly expensive, though.

TAGS// mercedes, mercedes benz, c class, c220

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