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The C-Class Coupe serves up a low key but high concept slice of modern Mercedes design. June Neary tries it.
Added 23rd March, 2018
Mercedes’ SL sports car has re-invented itself. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.
With the EQS, Mercedes re-writes the rules of what a luxury limo should be. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.
Here’s the car that tops our guilty pleasures list. Whether you want to make a really big statement with your choice of SUV or you simply want the most capable, road-sensible off roader there is, the Mercedes G-Class offers a money-no-object solution. With a design dating back to the Seventies, it may be old in concept, but it remains classily cool with an appeal remaining undimmed against the changing fads of automotive fashion. Judging this car by the usual criteria just doesn’t work. As ever with a Gelandewagen, the normal rules resolutely don’t apply. What changed in 2018 was the way that with this new-era model, that appeal was very cleverly updated. It became thoroughly modern, but all the things that make a G-Class special and unique remained intact. We could have been served up a lifestyle-orientated copy of the original. But this remains the real thing.
Which is no mean achievement, given the fact that for the first time in nearly half a century of production, the G-Wagen is an SUV you could reasonably live with as an only car. Provided of course, you don’t mind its ostentatious gangster swagger, its military demeanour and its prodigious running costs. What you get in return is something that in comparison is missing from obvious rivals: character. If all you want to do is impress other oligarchs, the wild G 63 variant would be ideal. But if you really want to experience everything a G-Wagen can do, the G 350d version is the only choice to make. Yes of course the high pricing in both cases is difficult to justify. And you could spend far less on a larger, more practical and better handling luxury SUV. But G-Class buyers want something more than just another luxury SUV. They want something exclusive. And something more capable in the world’s toughest terrains than just about anything else on four wheels. It’s at home anywhere, from Afghanistan to the Amazon, from Kensington to the Kings Road. And it is, quite simply, unique.
If you thought Mercedes-AMG models were all power and no precision, you need to drive a second generation C 63 AMG, offered primarily in saloon and estate (S205) forms but also available in Coupe (C205) and Cabriolet (A205) guises. A potent burbling V8 that plays an exhilarating soundtrack is the kind of thing you’d expect, but it was very different engine in this MK2 form. And the class-leading handling prowess may come as even more of a shock. With this car, AMG finally came of age.
Ferrying the family around isn’t something most of us especially look forward to doing. But Mercedes doesn’t see why it shouldn’t be. In this third generation B-Class, Stuttgart has made great strides in engine efficiency, safety and hi-tech driving aids. Its real importance though, is in proving its maker capable of delivering Mercedes quality to the mainstream,
True, it isn’t perfect. Whether the alternatives you’re considering are plusher versions of either family hatchbacks or five-seater mid-sized MPVs, you’ll find sharper-handling rivals out there and many that can offer more rear seat space. I have a feeling though, that few potential buyers of this Mercedes will be put off by these issues. These people will recognise in this third generation model the car the B-Class should always been. A car that nobody but Mercedes could have built.
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