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The Top Gear car review:Mercedes-Benz C-Class
On the inside
Layout, finish and space
Mercedes is nailing car interiors these days, and the C-Class is no different. There’s lots of new stuff, most notably its steering wheel, digital dials and widescreen media display, an amalgamation of the dashboards of the latest A-Class and S-Class.
It initially looks daunting as you climb inside, with a needlessly complex array of buttons on the wheel, but once you’re on the go, it works wonderfully. The combination of the little touchpads on the wheel and the curiously thin media screen help ensure your eyes rarely stray from the road, even when you’re operating something complex within the satnav.
Avoid the base spec C-Class and you’ll get digital dials ahead of you, and they’re ludicrously customisable, with three different colour schemes and the ability to switch the right-hand dial between a big sat nav display, a G meter, detailed trip info, or a good old fashioned rev counter. In the C43 AMG, there’s a further dial setup that sticks a huge rev counter slap-bang centre and opens up lap timers (plus some other gimmicky displays).
While an Alfa Giulia or BMW 3 Series is better to drive, the C-Class fights back with more interior room and useful practical touches. Tall adults will fit neatly in the back, their only possible bugbear being not quite enough room to slot their feet under the front seats.
As mentioned in previous slides, it’s super refined in here, too. We sampled the C-Class on the autobahn – naturally – and at anything below 120mph, both wind and engine noise are spookily absent when you’re cruising. So just imagine how easy going it’ll be on a British motorway with more stringent speed limits.
The C has always looked like a downsized S-Class on the outside, and it does a decent impression of its big brother’s luxury inside, too. Praise for car interiors doesn’t get much bigger, we’d suggest.