A dream drive?

The inside screen was impressive

The inside screen was impressive - Credit: Archant

When I was asked to review the new Mercedes C Class for Somerset Life I initially had two thoughts.

The first was ‘good grief’ (or similar!) ‘I’ve never driven an automatic before’ and the second was ‘wow a Mercedes!’

For women I believe a lot of the appeal is about the image driving a Mercedes gives you.

For men I’m sure it’s more about what goes on under the bonnet that revs them up.

I don’t mind admitting that I know next to nothing about the mechanics of the car I drove for a week; the new C-Class estate 250cdi (my husband told me that bit).

But the purpose of this review is to talk about the kind of things a woman like myself, with little knowledge of mechanics, might like about the car.

Firstly, let’s tackle the issue of an automatic drive. Surely I cannot be the only woman out there who has only ever driven manual cars?

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Perhaps I should hang my head in shame but if I’m not alone, well let me tell you, we have missed a trick here. Why aren’t all cars made automatic? Less work for the same result – not rocket science really.

Moving on to the specifics about the Mercedes; lots of room in the boot for your shopping, pushchairs, husband’s golf clubs (two pairs go in without the seats having to go down apparently).

But if your January sale shopping is still spilling out, a quick flick of two switches and the back seats go down with minimal fuss.

Other things I particularly liked about the car; it’s quick off the mark, the seats are adjustable in four different places to enable that perfect fit, the huge double sunroof is a useful and eye-catching feature and the car was long and roomy without feeling awkward to drive – verging on a sporty feel.

What really caught my eye was the centre console system - an impressive screen that holds satnav information, music, internal functions and much more.

This is a really smart (both in nature and appearance) way to do this and looked classy.

What I also thought was really clever was the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system, which, if you break down, transmits data such as the location to a rescue centre, which can then send help.

In addition, the vehicle automatically detects when the oil or brake pads need to be changed, for instance, and reports this to the dealer, which can then contact the driver in turn.

Overall, as I’m sure you can tell, I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience driving a Mercedes.

The diesel version wasn’t very smooth sounding, but for me the great fuel consumption outweighs this - it is really economical for the size of engine.

My slight niggles were that the car’s brakes were a bit noisy when put into reverse, but that may just have been the car I was driving, and the parking assist, which is designed to let the car do the steering for you when you reverse or parallel park, needs a bit of fine tuning. But the pros well outweigh these points.

Mercedes has a captive audience, granted, but in my opinion it well derserves the reputation it has earnt over the years.

I haven’t driven many cars, but this one definitely tops the ones I have. n

The car I used was on loan from mercedes-benzoftaunton.co.uk