The emblem is a bastion for quality, safety and fastidious engineering – I can attest to this. Many years ago, there was a beautiful E-Class of the W123 series in the family. Finished in gleaming black paint, the E-Class had a bit of a sinister edge to it too – it reminded me of those Mercedes used by gun-brandishing thugs seen in gangster films.
Unfortunately, the black E-Class was put to rest way before I was able to get behind the wheel. It was a hot day in Johannesburg, my uncle was driving, and I – then a four-year-old – was asleep in the passenger seat with my seatbelt snugly fastened. The ride came to a sharp stop – we had driven into the stationary car in front of us, the only option to avoid being hit by the swift moving cars on the highway’s left and right lanes. Thankfully, my uncle and I emerged unscathed. But I’m pretty sure that if it had been any other car, the ending might have been different.
There are probably many stories out there of owners who were never let down by their Mercedes-Benz cars. It’s this kind of faith in the brand that must have lead to their current C-Class reaching sales figures around the million mark since being launched in 2007.
The C 200 CGI Blue Efficiency looks set to build on this success, appealing to eco-minded buyers, as well as being one of the cheaper models in the range.
Bearing the Blue Efficiency nomenclature – a term by Mercedes-Benz that denotes models with eco-friendly credentials – this C-Class promises to give the driver more from a little less, saving you some extra change in the pocket at the end of the day.
CGI is a fancy term that stands for Charged Gasoline Injection – referring the sort of engine employed in the C200. It’s a four-cylinder powerplant that uses a turbocharger, rendering a power output characteristic of a vehicle with a slightly larger engine capacity. The engine produces 135kW and 270 Nm of torque and Mercedes claim that it will manage the 0-100km/h sprint in 8.2 seconds. The top speed figure for the C200 CGI according to Mercedes is 237km/h. But of course, this isn’t a model intended to satisfy your need for speed – that’s what the beastly AMG derivatives are for.
To aid aerodynamics, the C200 CGI is equipped with smooth-surfaced underbody, sealed headlamp panels, lightweight wheels and lowered suspension. In the cockpit, there is a gear change indicator that tells you when it’s best to shift. The windscreen is of a weight-saving laminated variety, featuring what the press release calls “Maybach technology” – now that’s a cool fact to tell your friends.
Aesthetically, it has those typical Mercedes-Benz hallmarks: an elegant, graceful shape, long hood and the famous grille with the three-pointed star. It might not look as sporty and aggressive as a BMW 3-Series – but remember, Mercedes products have always been aimed at the tasteful, conservative type of buyer.
In terms of safety equipment, you get the Mercedes-Benz PRE-SAFE® system that anticipates an impending collision and makes necessary adjustments to ensure that occupants are in the ideal position upon impact. The C200 CGI is also fitted with disc brakes all-round, in addition to Anti-lock Braking System and Brake Assist.
Pricing starts at
R359 000 for the C200 CGI Blue Efficiency sedan. But you can also get into the roomier estate model, for R368 000. The price includes a Mobilo Drive 120 maintenance plan, with a 2 year/120 000 km warranty.