So, Mercedes is having another crack at the 3-series then?
Not really. This time around the C-Class is more of a small S-Class. It's not trying so hard to be a sports saloon. Think comfort and safety, hand-in-hand with top-notch economy.
Can I have some numbers?
This is the C250 BlueTEC. Its 2.1-litre diesel makes 204bhp, surfing the car to 62mph in 6.6 seconds. Yet it's rated at 65.7mpg in the official cycle, for 109g/km CO2 (though this AMG line trim cuts about 2mpg and adds 4g/km or so). Mighty good figures for a big, quick automatic saloon.
So big, in fact, the interior and outside measurements are uncannily similar to the 1995-2002 E-Class. That's the one with twin round headlamps, now doing service as a late-night minicab near you.