Test Drive: 2013 Mercedes Benz C250

I got a flat tire recently so I took my car to the dealership. They gave me a Mercedes Benz C250 as a loaner car for the weekend, which was pretty cool. I figured I’d give it a little review since I’ve always wanted to drive one.

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In a nutshell, the 2012 C250 is a turbocharged 4 cylinder engine with a 7 speed automatic transmission. It puts out 201 hps at 5,500 rpm, and has a rear-wheel drivetrain. To me, it’s a big sedan with a tiny engine. If you want something that has power, you’ll have to step up to the C350 or go for the AMG.

Power
So the car has a really sporty look. It conveys that it’s muscular and aggressive. For a 4 cylinder engine, it’s pretty impressive… but it doesn’t live up to what the car visually advertises on the exterior. It’s kind of like a big dog with a tiny bark. Most of the time, the car feels like it’s going to stall because it’s pulling at 1500rpm all the time. The power is there, but you have to be going above 40mph at 5000rpm—that’s when the turbo’s kick in. Once you get the engine going, the car feels like it has more than 201hps. The trick is to get the turbos to spool. In order to do this, you’ll have to have a pretty heavy foot. The automatic transmission is a little sluggish, so you just have to keep your foot planted on the gas.

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Handling
So this is the best part about the C250. It probably handles better than most sedans. I was astonished by how well it could take on ramps and corners. And the ride is just so compliant. It’s super soft, but stays planted around the turns. For a sedan that feels like it’s the size of a boat, it handles really well. In addition, the braking setup is stellar—it really inspires confidence. The way the brakes were tuned made the car feel like it could take on much more power.

Comfort
What can I say, it’s a really comfortable car. If you get a fully loaded C class, it’ll have all the bells and whistles. The seats are good, but not as good as BMW’s 3 series. I feel myself sliding around in the seat when taking a more “spirited” corner. on a side note, the steering wheel is really good. Felt really beefy and sportscar-like.

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Style
For the price, I think it’s probably one of the best looking sedans. In fact, I like the exterior more than the new 3 series. However, the interior is a little bland. It feels luxurious, but doesn’t make me feel special. For example, I feel like the exterior design makes the car look like a $60k car. on the other hand, the interior looks and feels plain, like a $20k car. Buttons are plastic, the dashboard is boring, etc.

Conclusion
I think that the C250 has a lot of false advertising. The exterior is really sexy and conveys that the car will aggressive and blow your socks off. However, when you start driving it, you realize that it’s an entry level Mercedes Benz.

It’s probably one of the best looking sedans out there though… so if you’re into impressing people with the badge, it’s the car to get. If you want something more driver friendly, the other german cars (like BMW and Audi) will give you a much more rewarding drive.