I personally am extremely familiar with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class as our C220d long term test car transported me to and fro from my house in suburban Mumbai to our offices in central Mumbai for three months along with a fair few quick trips to neighboring cities like Poona. And until recently, if you wanted a ‘not very expensive’ luxury car with a diesel engine for about Rs 50 lakh or so, the C220d was pretty much the best though you could buy. It was refined, quick enough and the interiors never once failed to impress. But now, Mercedes-Benz India have gone a step further and launched the more powerful C250d. And whats not to like about a little more power!! But, is it worth the extra money?
For starters, unlike the last generation C250 CDI which when originally launched came with an AMG bodykit, AMG wheels and some other mechanical upgrades (apart from the engine) as standard, the new C250d is identical in every way to its slightly less powerful sibling. The stylish design on the exterior continues and much to the delight of Eshan Shetty, the man responsible for all the beautiful photographs you see here, the test car was white in color.
Now normally, white is not a color I would advocate but the C-Class with all its subtle lines, curves and creases seems to look best in white especially offset with the silver 17-inch wheels that you get as standard on the C-Class. The old CDI badges have of course been replaced by a simple ‘d’ nomenclature immediately after the model number ‘C250’ which lends a cleaner and uncluttered look to the boot of the car.
The familiarity continues as we enter the car. The beige interiors and the lovely leather seats makes me miss my long term test car that we returned last month and the ergonomic and well designed interior is both warm and inviting. There are no changes on the interior front either apart from an update in the infotainment system’s navigation function. And the update, thankfully, is for the better. Navigation is now much easier to use and the colorful display feels a lot more ‘smartphone-like’ making it easier to relate to. But, the C250d is not about its beautiful exterior or comfortable interior. It is all about the engine.
Now the C220d and the C250d both get the same 2.1-litre, four cylinder turbocharged diesel engine. But where the C220d makes a 172PS of peak power and 400Nm of peak torque, the C250d makes a more interesting 207PS and 500Nm of peak torque. So how has the 20 percent increase in power and 25 percent increase in torque improved performance. Well, if you were not familiar with the older C220d, the C250d would feel pretty identical. Luckily, as we mentioned earlier, we have driven the less powerful car a lot which is why we can safely say that the C250d is a lot more responsive, less urgent and yet quicker than the older car.
Where the C220d’s power comes in at a certain point in the rev-range, the C250d makes power all the way from lower revs to higher revs while maintaining a lot more composure. There is almost no turbo lag, which in turn means no sudden turbo-boosted power delivery and the engine in the C250d also feels a lot more refined and easier to drive. The extra torque and power also means that the C250d makes it much easier to overtake a slower moving car on the highways. And of course, more torque and more power which result in a an engine that has better drivability also results in a more frugal engine which explains the marginal increase in fuel economy on the new C-Class.
But is it worth that extra Rs 5 lakh difference over the C220d? Well, if you just need ‘a diesel luxury car’ where most of your time will be spent in the rear seat with your chauffer driving, then no. But if like us, performance is a primary factor, then the Rs 5 lakh should not be a deterrent. Of course, getting yourself the C250d will also bring you some bragging rights and since when has that been a bad thing.
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