What’s it like?
It’s quite refined. If you’re going to be doing motorway miles in a C200, you won’t be faced with much noise. In fact, it’s not until 3500rpm that you can even really hear the engine and those kind of revs aren’t a requirement of getting up to speed, unless you want to get there particularly quickly.
There’s enough low-end torque to make satisfying progress in relative hush, but there’s also a decent glug of it if you’re accelerating hard. The hybrid system is incorporated seamlessly into the experience, with none of the grabbiness in braking of other hybrids, and a distinctly smooth power delivery.
That’s in part thanks to the nine gears on offer. Shifts are smooth and well executed when on the go, and it’s not until you venture into the car’s Sport+ mode that it gets a little clingy in lower gears to deliver more revs and more power.
It’s sophisticated and refined until you encounter stop-start traffic, where it can be a little juddery when starting back up. It lasts only a second though, then the C200 gets back into its stride and next-to-no vibrations leak through to the cabin.
When traffic clears, the ride up to around 50mph can be a little nervous, but settles above this. Larger ruts around town upset the car rather more than they ought, though, and the car’s extra weight over the rear end causes it to thump a little over speedbumps.
There’s more wind noise than engine noise, though. There’s an audible rustle from the door mirrors above 60mph, and a fair amount above your head from the panoramic sunroof. Nothing too intrusive, but a constant background soundtrack if you’re on the motorway for any length of time.
The steering is weighted nicely and feels more direct than the C-Class’s size should allow, but there’s little in the way of feedback. Motorway cruising is what it does best, although you’ll have to set up an Individual drive mode to get the best out of the car – cruise-friendly Comfort mode is a little sluggish to respond when you want to overtake slickly.