Road trip. Two little words with so much promise. The Mercedes-Benz C180 was everything two ladies on the open road needed and so much more.
By MICHELLE YORK
For starters a Mercedes-Benz always delivers a comfortable cruise – they haven’t been crowned the best-selling luxury brand in the world for nothing. For our extended periods of drive time the new interior layout, infotainment systems, safety and ergonomics deserved every accolade. The revised steering wheel made activating cruise control much simpler and the little touchpad allows access to a host of features.
Of course, looking good matters when going out for a spot of lunch in Camps Bay and the C-Class was almost as pretty as the occupants. The upgrades to the C-Class exterior are subtle, updates on the grill, bumpers and head and tail lights, plus a few other tweaks that helped to enhance an already attractive vehicle. The range offers a host of options from our entry level C180 to the extreme C43 AMG (there’s a lot in between, the C200, C300, C220d and at a later date the C63 joins the line-up) but I was extremely happy to have the “baby” of the family. Quite simply, the smaller 1,6-litre turbo petrol engine paired to a 9-speed automatic gearbox with outputs of 115kW and 250Nm might not have the grunt and shunt of the other derivatives, but taking a mellow drive through the winelands ensured we saved on fuel costs which we put to better use buying human fuel from the wine farms. Things got a little trickier on the mountain passes when I sometimes wished there was just a little more oomph.
The Mercedes-Benz C180 is the perfect entry-level in the C-Class line-up whether you’re taking on the traffic or the open road. An added bonus to our road trip was that it somehow seemed fitting viewing some of our beautiful country in a car assembled on our own shores.