In less than two weeks from now – on 2nd November 2007 to be exact - DaimlerChrysler Malaysia (soon-to-be renamed Mercedes-Benz Malaysia) will officially launch the all-new W204 C-Class.
Nonetheless, I was glad to be briefly acquainted with this sample of W203 C200K Elegance, dubbed the Celeano Edition, from Cycle & Carriage Bintang (CCB). Almost packed to the brim with last batch goodies like 17” Designo alloys shod with Pirelli P-Zero Rosso 225/45/R17 tyres, lighted M-B lettered sill plate, bi-Xenons headlamps plus Avantgarde bumpers, chrome trims and side skirts.
The C200K drive was decent even though it was 7 years ago that the first W203 rolled off production line in Sindelfingen, Germany. Body roll was a tad more pronounced than my regular W211 E-Class but those Pirellis were grippy, silent and comfortably pliant. Turn-in was noticeably sharper while tracking of corners were tighter due to the C-Class inherent smaller dimensions e.g. wheelbase. Having said that, the trademark Merc smooth and gliding ride is still omnipresent, despite being a rather compact junior executive sedan. There’s room for improvement for braking power though, something hopefully more biting – as with the uprated engine performance – in the new C-Class.
While interior space isn’t class leading anymore, there are still decent legroom and shoulder room at the rear. Boot space is just adequate but anterior occupants’ elbow room is definitely slacking.
For century sprint, a best timing of 9.75secs was squeezed from the supercharged all-aluminum M271 motor capable of 163bhp and 240Nm. In contrast, the new C200K will punch out a combo of 184bhp and 250Nm. Claimed 0-100km/h figure is 8.8secs.
With this, For Wheels bid a sweet farewell to the W203 in its final facelifted form of C200K where all bugbears by design, of cost-cutting and initial production hiccups were ironed out. Here’s looking forward to a new chapter in the evolution of Mercedes-Benz C-Class…bring on the new W204!!!
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