Mercedes-Benz C180 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY Review: Ace of Base

Mercedes-Benz C180 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY Review: Ace of Base

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
26 Apr 2010
What we like:
pros
Audi: Sporty looks
pros
quality interior
pros
seamless performance
pros
more refined motor than the Merc's Mercedes-Benz: Direct steering
pros
mid-range torque
pros
prestige of the three-pointed star
What we dislike:
cons
Audi: Lifeless steering
cons
it has a CVT gearbox
cons
bare interior Mercedes-Benz: Woeful five-speed automatic gearbox
cons
engine can be more refined
cons
doesn't ride as well as a Mercedes should
cons
bare interior
cons
mushy throttle

The previous generation C-Class received a lot of flak for its lack of build quality and perceived luxury in the cabin. With this current model, Mercedes has made a big leap forward in terms of build quality, although the latest E-Class is a further improvement. The cabin feels very well screwed together and the surfaces feel good to the touch. With a good and comfortable driving position and high quality switchgear, the ergonomics are also about spot on. Disappointingly, this base spec C-Class doesn't offer front seats with full electrical adjustments.

If the C-Class' cabin was good, the A4's even more impressive. It looks and feels classier inside the A4 and the materials and finishing are just top notch. The MMI system is not as intuitive to use as the latest generation iDrive or the MMI in the new A8 but is at least easier to tune the radio in here than with the C-Class' COMAND knob.

With a 48mm longer wheelbase, the Audi offers slightly more legroom for rear passengers. The A4 also has the more comfortable rear seat as well.

It used to be just between the C-Class and the 3 Series when it comes to main choices in the compact executive class. With the A4 though, it's now a three way fight. Between the Mercedes and the Audi, the latter is more convincing in many ways, including in terms of looks, the interior, performance, refinement, price and quality. The Merc though, is the better all-rounder and still has a stronger brand image in the Singapore market but give Audi a little more time and surely the Four Rings can equal the Three-pointed Star's prestige and badge snobbery.

With cars like the A4, it's simple to see why Audi has in recent times eaten deep into the premium pie and establish itself as a serious and more than credible player in the segment. The next BMW3 Series due next year has to be very good indeed to surpass the A4's wide variety of talents.

Credits: Story and Photos by Raymond Lai

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