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Old 14th December 2009, 20:00   #1
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Default In my Jetta to Lavasa. For a Merc C Class test

Lads,

I was invited to test drive the Merc C Class as part of the Mercedes-Benz Experience ' 09 at Lavasa on 13th December. This was an event organised by Mercedes Benz India and by AutoCar India (ACI). The idea was to showcase the entry level Mercs to potential future customers and people interested in the Mercedes brand.

The programme in brief was as follows :
1. Assembly at Inorbit Mall, Vashi for breakfast and briefing
2. Drive to Lavasa in one's own vehicle
3. Lunch at ITC Fortune hotel
4. Presentation on the Mercedes C Class –features, with a briefing of the slalom
5. Small slalom, followed by TD around Lavasa
6. Cocktails & dinner
7. Breakfast and check out the following day

Brief description of my experience :

1. I and my better half started at 7.02 am from my home and reached Inorbit Mall, Vashi at 7.34 am, by asking our way through the Jijabai Bhosale Marg which connects the Eastern Express Highway directly to Vashi. Had breakfast with the other assembled guests and the ACI staff.

2. All the cars were flagged off by Hormazd Sorabjee, editor of ACI from Inorbit Mall.

3. Drove on the Pune Expressway at speeds averaging about 90 kmph, with a top speed of approximately 120-125 kmph. Used the Speed mode in the DSG for the first time; could discern the muted growl of higher revs for gear changes and discernibly quicker pick up. The Jetta seemed as if on rails. Reached Lavasa at about 11.45 am. Slowed down after the Expressway ended. Used the normal D mode to climb up to Lavasa. I remember using the first gear (with the ac switched off) on certain steep sections of the Lavasa road, after the Temghat dam, when I went there last February in an Indiac DLS. But this time had no problem as the Jetta with its far greater torque sprinted up effortlessly like a mountain goat.

4. The Merc staff made a small presentation on the traditional Merc attributes of safety, comfort, agility and so on and shared very brief information on their agility control feature, which essentially processes steering inputs ( sudden steering inputs in a particular direction) to reduce oversteer and understeer, as the case may be to prevent loss of directional control. The other feature which was mentioned were auto settings for the suspension for different driving inputs - comfort, speed and highway- for a tradeoff between ride and firmness. All fairly standard and not exactly jawdropping. Dr. Wilfried Aulbur, MD, Mercedes Benz India was introduced and posited the Mercedes attributes and their relevance to the discerning Indian buyer.

5. We went to the Dasve bridge for a small slalom section which required drivers to negotiate through a pathway made from plastic blocks and cones; required us to i. accelerate first near to the first chicane, brake and negotiate the chicane, turn right, then left, speed up and then do the small slalom -take a left, then a right, and then a left. Finally accelerate again and slam on the brakes to ensure the car stops within a 'box'. The total length of the course was approximately 100 metres.

6. Based on the draw of lots, all the invited guests put through their paces. This was not a competitive event and so there was no intention of outdoing each other, just to get a first hand feel of the steering quality of the car, through a series of narrow, tight bends, such as you would hope to encounter daily if you were to have Andheri East, or SV Road or the infamous Andheri-Kurla Road as your beat. Also there was hardly any width, as the slalom course was on a narrow bridge, so any excessive speed during the bends would imply banging some expensive machinery on the concrete sides! There were basically two variants of the C Class which were used- the C220 CDI ( a 2.1 litre 4 in,line diesel, developing a torque of 410 NM @ 2000 revs and 178 bhp @5600 revs) and the C230 ( a 2.5 litre V6 petrol, developing 204 bhp @6100 and a torque of 245 Nm @2900 revs onwards upto about 5000 revs). I was hoping for the C 220 CDI and got it too. I found the steering very light and the car very manouevrable through the slalom, although I drove very carefully and was therefore not exactly fast. But I am happy to say that I did not knock down any of the cones, as quite a few of my fellow invitees did ( as I saw later on the video).

7. After this there was the longer TD of a C Class of your choice on Lavasa's sinuous but smooth roads. I again opted for the 220 CDI because I wanted to check out its torque, on the up and down terrain. I found the acceleration ok, the steering felt light and not well connected with the road, the torque good. But my overall impression was that the car was not as solidly planted as I'd expect a Rs 44 lac car ( OTR, including Star Maintenance Package, from Auto Hangar) should be. To be honest I did not floor the throttle, but the connect with the road was tenuous. When I drive, I always follow the lane and try to be within the two parallel lines- here too, I found myself driving anywhere from 40-70 kmph within those lines easily, without any fuss, even with incoming cars and the occasional lorry and motorcycles (swaying wildly at the turns).

8. I and my better half started at about 10.30 am today from ITC Fortune hotel and completed the approximately 60 kms upto the last HP pump beforestart of the Expressway in about 80 minutes, spending some time finding this pump which has a small restaurant for snacks/tea. We left the pump at about 12.20 pm.

9. My top speeds on the Pune Expressway was 130 kmph and I was able to maintain a speed of 100 kmph for fairly long stretches. Driving at about 80-90 kmph inside the tunnels seemed a breeze. We reached Vashi and took the right to the Jijabai Bhosle Marg below the flyover at Vashi. A convoy of refuse colelctor trucks driving on the rightmost lane, with a few multi-axled trucks in the middle lane slowed us down on this road and there was some chaotic traffic on the Eastern Express Highway, after which we turned left onto the JVLR to reach the Pizza Hut at Powai at 2.30 pm, after spending about ten minutes trying to find a space to park. We did 220 odd kms each way.

10. My overall impression of the 220 CDI was that it was a good car, but somewhat lightweight in driving dynamics. I asked the dealer's salesperson (accompanying me on the TD) about any six cylinder diesels for the C Class, and he informed me that Merc is possibly testing a 2.5 litre V6 diesel in Germany, to be launched in 2012. This might be a riposte to the BMW 3 Series due around the same time, but wondered whether they could rival the BMW's smooth in line sixes.

11. I was pondering about the extra value that I could find, spending an extra 26 lacs ( w.r.t my Jetta 1.8 TDI Comfortline) and found the answer ( or not the answer) on my drive back to Bombay. The Jetta surprisingly, on comparison, gave me the same steering directional ability, but seemed more well planted, and also more heavyweight by comparison. I wasn't driving any faster than I did on the 220 CDI, for a fair comparison. I might be biased toward the Jetta, since I have been driving it for some time and feel very comfortable in it, but very honestly, I could not find a major driving quality, apart from the high torque, to justify the steep difference between the Merc and a poor Man's Merc ( the VW Jetta). The rear seat space is still an issue in the C Class and will remain so- since the target buyer profile of the C as well as that of the 3 Series is a young professional in his late twenties/early thirties, with a wife or girl friend beside him and with shopping bags at the back. For snob value, the Merc is right up there. For driving enthusiasts, the 3 Series would be a better choice. For the senior executive who prefers to be driven in, an Accord will have more rear space (even the Jetta's rear seat space is distinctly better), plus he probably doesn't need snobbery.

Reverse snobbery would do just as well.

Regards
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Old 14th December 2009, 20:20   #2
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Nice report. Any pics of the event and the cars?
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Old 14th December 2009, 21:09   #3
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Emm, nice story teller; they way you mixed review of two cars.

Merc wanted to lure people who loved driving this time and hence this M-B expericence I guess. They are worried about the 3 series eating up their territory.


11 . was good.
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Old 14th December 2009, 21:26   #4
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The length of the course was 700 and not 100meters as mentioned.
I was also present at the Merc Experience and primarily went for it for the drive to Lavasa which was spectacular. The roads were top notch(especially the ghats) and you can really test your car to the limits in terms of handling.
Let me share with you guys something that happened there..
Personally i found the later 'TD'(the one after the Slalom Course) more exciting. The sales guy was like 'Let me show you what this car can do around these corners"(preventing me from driving the car) and I was like "Hey let me show you what i can do". A few seconds later he was in for a rude shock. After the first drift going downhill, my dad who was sitting at the back said that the car shouldnt have drifted with ESP on and all and the sales guy sitting next to me was like "Sir took a very wrong angle on the turn. The ESP kicked in and prevented the car from turning all the way around!". He seemed a little uncomfortable and red faced after the next few. I went on to do a couple more drifts nevertheless. Mind you, the car was in complete control and my father who is very certain about driving safe approved of my driving as well. Worse still for the sales guy, after i got out of the car another sales guy(from whom we bought our new E class) comes upto me and is like "Great control sir.. You really brought out the agility of the car that we advertise about"
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Old 15th December 2009, 12:44   #5
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Nice review & event. Obviously a direct marketing exercise for Mercedes, and not a new concept (in other parts of the world). I attended a similar event in Boston for a single reason:

The AMG
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These kind of events work well, but lack the mass effect of say, newspaper advertising. Size of the audience is way too small but still, a good way to get the message across in face-to-face interaction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
Used the Speed mode in the DSG for the first time; could discern the muted growl of higher revs for gear changes and discernibly quicker pick up. The Jetta seemed as if on rails.
So true, the Jetta is an awesome expressway cruiser. Super long tank range too.

Seems to me that you enjoyed driving your Jetta to Lavasa, as much as the actual event!

Quote:
The Merc staff made a small presentation on the traditional Merc attributes of safety, comfort, agility and so on and shared very brief information on their agility control feature,
Bet this was the only boring part of the drive . Manufacturer execs can use some pretty lame terms to make a regular feature sound like God's gift to mankind.

Quote:
The other feature which was mentioned were auto settings for the suspension for different driving inputs - comfort, speed and highway- for a tradeoff between ride and firmness.
Actually the magic trick for the C & the E Class. Adjustable dampers. Allows the car to offer good ride quality (by softening up whilst cruising) and excellent grip levels (stiffen up under hard corner) both. A key area where the C & the E beat the equivalent BMWs is in ride quality. Yet, near equal grip levels (though not quite the driving experience).

Quote:
There were basically two variants of the C Class which were used- the C220 CDI ( a 2.1 litre 4 in,line diesel, developing a torque of 410 NM @ 2000 revs and 178 bhp @5600 revs) and the C230 ( a 2.5 litre V6 petrol, developing 204 bhp @6100 and a torque of 245 Nm @2900 revs onwards upto about 5000 revs).
I'm very surprised they didn't include the C200 K. Firstly because, it is the cheaper Merc and the entry point to the 3 pointed star family. Second, because the C230 is an irrelevant car. Its the most expensive within the C class range, yet is neither as fuel efficient or fun to drive as the C220. For those looking at a petrol engine, the C200 makes so much more sense. The C230 is supposed to be an enthusiasts C Class, it is anything but!!

Quote:
the steering felt light and not well connected with the road, the torque good. But my overall impression was that the car was not as solidly planted as I'd expect a Rs 44 lac car ( OTR, including Star Maintenance Package, from Auto Hangar) should be.
All to do with the light steering.

Quote:
he informed me that Merc is possibly testing a 2.5 litre V6 diesel in Germany, to be launched in 2012.
The soon-to-come 250 series engine is a forced induction 4 cylinder. Thanks to tree huggers and other environment related factors, Merc going to push these 4 cylinder layouts hard onto the market. Nearly as powerful as the sixes, but more fuel efficient. And cheaper to make.

Quote:
11. I was pondering about the extra value that I could find, spending an extra 26 lacs ( w.r.t my Jetta 1.8 TDI Comfortline) and found the answer ( or not the answer) on my drive back to Bombay. The Jetta surprisingly, on comparison, gave me the same steering directional ability, but seemed more well planted, and also more heavyweight by comparison.
Good point. Nope, if you bring it down to differential value (what more you are getting for the additional $$$), the Benz & BMWs will fall flat. An Accord V6 can make the C & the 3 look like pointless cars. These cars are all about the brand & experience.

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Originally Posted by evil_e46 View Post
"Hey let me show you what i can do". A few seconds later he was in for a rude shock. After the first drift going downhill, my dad who was sitting at the back said that the car shouldnt have drifted with ESP on and all and the sales guy sitting next to me was like "Sir took a very wrong angle on the turn. The ESP kicked in and prevented the car from turning all the way around!". He seemed a little uncomfortable and red faced after the next few. I went on to do a couple more drifts nevertheless. Mind you, the car was in complete control and my father who is very certain about driving safe approved of my driving as well.
Classic, Evil E46!
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Old 15th December 2009, 17:51   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Nice review & event. Obviously a direct marketing exercise for Mercedes, and not a new concept (in other parts of the world). I attended a similar event in Boston for a single reason:

Quote:
These kind of events work well, but lack the mass effect of say, newspaper advertising. Size of the audience is way too small but still, a good way to get the message across in face-to-face interaction.
>>> Correct. More focus, better feedback from your potential target audience, if handled well/sensitively



Quote:
So true, the Jetta is an awesome expressway cruiser. Super long tank range too.

Seems to me that you enjoyed driving your Jetta to Lavasa, as much as the actual event!
>>> You couldn't be more correct! In fact I looked forward to the drive to Lavasa and back with equal excitement, as it would give an opportunity to the car to enjoy higher revs and speeds as compared to those in Bombay!


Quote:
Bet this was the only boring part of the drive . Manufacturer execs can use some pretty lame terms to make a regular feature sound like God's gift to mankind.
>>> Correct again! I thought Mercedes could have handled this better and focussed more on the technical aspects of agility control than relying on generalities- I was somewhat disappointed.

Quote:
Actually the magic trick for the C & the E Class. Adjustable dampers. Allows the car to offer good ride quality (by softening up whilst cruising) and excellent grip levels (stiffen up under hard corner) both. A key area where the C & the E beat the equivalent BMWs is in ride quality. Yet, near equal grip levels (though not quite the driving experience).
>>> Hmmm, I think the equivalent Beemers would still score in the handling and grip levels, while being acceptable on ride.


Quote:
I'm very surprised they didn't include the C200 K. Firstly because, it is the cheaper Merc and the entry point to the 3 pointed star family. Second, because the C230 is an irrelevant car. Its the most expensive within the C class range, yet is neither as fuel efficient or fun to drive as the C220. For those looking at a petrol engine, the C200 makes so much more sense. The C230 is supposed to be an enthusiasts C Class, it is anything but!!
>>> They dismissed the C200K as an entry level Merc for the fleet segment ( their exact words). I compared notes with people who had driven the C230 and they were sort of ok with it; all the drivers of the 220CDI were wowed by its torque and that was the single reason for choosing to drive that over the other. Same with me too- I was determined to drive the 220 CDI in the slalom and for the longer TD.


Quote:
All to do with the light steering.
>>> Yes, the light steering was nice but it didn't feel well planted (grip perhaps?) during the TD.


Quote:
The soon-to-come 250 series engine is a forced induction 4 cylinder. Thanks to tree huggers and other environment related factors, Merc going to push these 4 cylinder layouts hard onto the market. Nearly as powerful as the sixes, but more fuel efficient. And cheaper to make.
>>> I see. I specifically asked about a six cylinder for the diesel; maybe he is wrong. But a V6 (or an inline six like a BMW) would just be lovely.

Quote:
Good point. Nope, if you bring it down to differential value (what more you are getting for the additional $$$), the Benz & BMWs will fall flat. An Accord V6 can make the C & the 3 look like pointless cars. These cars are all about the brand & experience.
>>> Correct. I think if I have to choose, as a step up, whereas a 20 lac car can provide 99% of all requirements, that 1% should be about driving dynamics and not ride quality alone. So in my book, a Beemer will triumph.

Regards

Last edited by Dippy : 16th December 2009 at 15:31. Reason: Correcting quotes
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Old 16th December 2009, 00:26   #7
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Smile Benz = Snab value

I always believed Benz was always about their snob value . I've just driven a Benz E - Class once (E 260 i guess) . For a 6 cylinder it was powerful,spacious and other stuff's .But for the price it was a definite no no for me. Similarly i was never admired or turned on by the Benz C - class. For me I think cars like Audi, Skoda or VW makes more sense.Where they offer you more features for a much lesser price.
Ok maybe Audi does not fit that bill but their cars are just awesome to look at.Benz clearly is for 50 year olds.
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Old 16th December 2009, 10:50   #8
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Originally Posted by McLaren Rulez View Post
Nice report. Any pics of the event and the cars?
Sorry McLaren,

I was too taken up by what was happening to really think of taking snaps. My wife has taken some snaps of Lavasa ( I have some snaps from my earlier trip too) but these are not from the 'Mercedes Experience'.

As an afterthought, I think where the Germans and not Benz alone, slip up is the mismatch between the way they think and the way we Indians do.

Whereas the Germans are all about the usage of technology to solve real life driving scenarios, mechanical precision, build quality and so on, Indians are wowed more by bells and whistles ( except t-bhpians!) and are generally not seduced by the fundamentals of nd so a car-its driving dynamics and so on.

So when the Germans try to showcase a car or a brand, as in this case, they fall somewhere between the two conflicting ideas.

This show somehow couldn't drive home the concept of Mercedes's agility control concept as well as it should; perhaps a Nokia or an IBM could have done it better! But then they are not in this rarefied ( to Indians) market niche.

Given that their audience were prospective first time buyers and some experienced Merc hands, it was an avoidable miss.

Regards

Last edited by issigonis : 16th December 2009 at 10:55. Reason: Corrections made.
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Old 16th December 2009, 15:53   #9
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Nice report of the entire event issigonis. I guess this was different from the usual road shows which take place since the focus here was on one model only that is the C. A drive with the new E would have been more interesting because its a new launch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by issigonis View Post

3. The Jetta seemed as if on rails. Reached Lavasa at about 11.45 am. Slowed down after the Expressway ended. Used the normal D mode to climb up to Lavasa. I remember using the first gear (with the ac switched off) on certain steep sections of the Lavasa road, after the Temghat dam, when I went there last February in an Indiac DLS. But this time had no problem as the Jetta with its far greater torque sprinted up effortlessly like a mountain goat.
You seem to have had more fun with the Jetta than the C.

Quote:
All fairly standard and not exactly jawdropping. Dr. Wilfried Aulbur, MD, Mercedes Benz India was introduced and posited the Mercedes attributes and their relevance to the discerning Indian buyer.
Did the invited guests get to interact with Dr. Aulbur on a one to one? Hes a nice guy and one can really strike up some good conversations with him.

Quote:
5. We went to the Dasve bridge for a small slalom section
Slalom courses are fun. Even Porsche has them during their road shows.


Quote:
7. After this there was the longer TD of a C Class of your choice on Lavasa's sinuous but smooth roads. I again opted for the 220 CDI because I wanted to check out its torque, on the up and down terrain.
You should have taken the C230 for the slalom course. That way you could have had a feel of both cars.


Quote:
Merc is possibly testing a 2.5 litre V6 diesel in Germany, to be launched in 2012.
I dont think that would come here anytime soon.

Quote:
For snob value, the Merc is right up there. For driving enthusiasts, the 3 Series would be a better choice. For the senior executive who prefers to be driven in, an Accord will have more rear space (even the Jetta's rear seat space is distinctly better), plus he probably doesn't need snobbery.
Couldnt have said it better myself

Last edited by Dippy : 16th December 2009 at 15:56.
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Old 17th December 2009, 12:40   #10
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Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
You couldn't be more correct! In fact I looked forward to the drive to Lavasa and back with equal excitement, as it would give an opportunity to the car to enjoy higher revs and speeds as compared to those in Bombay!
German cars are built for the highway, and not urban crawls. I take my C out on the open road at the drop of a hat. You better start logging on those highway miles and creating some travelogues on Team-BHP

Quote:
>>> Hmmm, I think the equivalent Beemers would still score in the handling and grip levels, while being acceptable on ride.
The 3 series has a pathetic ride over rough roads, way too stiff. That's been one of the largest deterrents to its success in India.

Quote:
I compared notes with people who had driven the C230 and they were sort of ok with it;
How true. First time I drove the C230, I was wondering what Merc thought is "sporty" in the car. It's like a sleeping pill

Quote:
Correct. I think if I have to choose, as a step up, whereas a 20 lac car can provide 99% of all requirements, that 1% should be about driving dynamics and not ride quality alone. So in my book, a Beemer will triumph.
Truly. BMWs are incredibly satisfying to drive. Good thing is, they've managed to retain their DNA over the years + different generations of the same model.
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Old 17th December 2009, 21:14   #11
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Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
Nice report of the entire event issigonis. I guess this was different from the usual road shows which take place since the focus here was on one model only that is the C.
>>> Thank you Dippy. Yes this was different; am not sure if this was the first. I asked the dealer's people if similar events would be held for the E and the S Class- they were not sure. This event was - I think- to get people hooked onto the Merc brand.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
A drive with the new E would have been more interesting because its a new launch.
>>> I hope they have a similar event for the E- and invite me again!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippy View Post

You seem to have had more fun with the Jetta than the C.
>>> You bet! The reason was I could drive longer, at faster speeds.

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Originally Posted by Dippy View Post

Did the invited guests get to interact with Dr. Aulbur on a one to one? Hes a nice guy and one can really strike up some good conversations with him.
>>> That's an opportunity missed. He spoke for a few minutes during the presentation, generally about the traditional Merc strengths. I think both Mercedes Benz India and ACI could have made the entire programme tighter, more focussed and therefore more involving with their potential (future) customer base. The communication was generally one sided.

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Originally Posted by Dippy View Post

Slalom courses are fun. Even Porsche has them during their road shows.
>>> I think all cars which have 'performance' as part of their DNA should have such courses, as word of mouth publicity also helps. For instance, if Volvo were to seriously think of improving their appeal in India, a course which can showcase their safety features will go down well.

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Originally Posted by Dippy View Post

I dont think that would come here anytime soon.
>>> A pity. A six in the C Class might have given the 3 Series a run for its money- a blend of power, smoothness, ride and handling!

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Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
Couldnt have said it better myself
>>> Thank you Dippy for editing my sloppy 'quote job' earlier. Hope this turns out better.

Regards
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Old 19th December 2009, 00:18   #12
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Originally Posted by issigonis View Post

I was invited to test drive the Merc C Class as part of the Mercedes-Benz Experience ' 09 at Lavasa on 13th December.
I was there too. I had come along with my friend. Sir, if you remember we were talking about the rear seat of the 3 series in the bus on our way to Davse bridge and later on the deck before the event started.

Quote:
Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
3. Drove on the Pune Expressway at speeds averaging about 90 kmph, with a top speed of approximately 120-125 kmph. Used the normal D mode to climb up to Lavasa. This time had no problem as the Jetta with its far greater torque sprinted up effortlessly like a mountain goat.
I must say this was a very pleasant drive. I would consider going back to Lavasa only for the driving experience. First the fast expressway and then the winding ghats! A driver's delight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
5. We went to the Dasve bridge for a small slalom section which required drivers to negotiate through a pathway made from plastic blocks and cones; The total length of the course was approximately 100 metres.
This was a nice idea to show the handling skills of the new C. But i just felt it was too short a distance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
7. After this there was the longer TD of a C Class of your choice on Lavasa's sinuous but smooth roads. I again opted for the 220 CDI because I wanted to check out its torque, on the up and down terrain. I found the acceleration ok, the steering felt light and not well connected with the road, the torque good. But my overall impression was that the car was not as solidly planted as I'd expect a Rs 44 lac car ( OTR, including Star Maintenance Package, from Auto Hangar) should be. To be honest I did not floor the throttle, but the connect with the road was tenuous. When I drive, I always follow the lane and try to be within the two parallel lines- here too, I found myself driving anywhere from 40-70 kmph within those lines easily, without any fuss, even with incoming cars and the occasional lorry and motorcycles (swaying wildly at the turns).
This was the most memorable part of the whole 2 day event for me. I made two trips up till Ekant and back. I got to test the v6 petrol first. It was quick and rev-happy but felt a little underpowered when i slowed down on a climb and tried to pick her up. The next was the 220CDI. And that car was a BEAST!!! And yes, i floored it! With a massive 400+ Nm of torque, it climbed the steep slopes like a breeze. The handling was fantastic and the car seemed to read my reflexes. Honestly i was mighty impressed, until i learn t about the price tag being 42L+ . Suddenly the BMW 320d (have tested it only on straight roads) seemed like a much better deal to put your money on.

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Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
9. My top speeds on the Pune Expressway was 130 kmph and I was able to maintain a speed of 100 kmph for fairly long stretches. Driving at about 80-90 kmph inside the tunnels seemed a breeze. A convoy of refuse colelctor trucks driving on the rightmost lane, with a few multi-axled trucks in the middle lane slowed us down on this road and there was some chaotic traffic.
Driving back in the Civic was as much a pleasant experience if not more. We touched 193kmph on the way back. And i was shocked at the capability of the brilliant 1.8 under its hood.

Yes, even i found the traffic a little too irritating on the expressway this time. Buses, tourist cars @ 80kmph blocking the right lane and not bothering to acknowledge the dippers or horns. I experienced this all along the expressway.


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Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
11. I was pondering about the extra value that I could find, spending an extra 26 lacs ( w.r.t my Jetta 1.8 TDI Comfortline) and found the answer ( or not the answer) on my drive back to Bombay. The Jetta surprisingly, on comparison, gave me the same steering directional ability, but seemed more well planted, and also more heavyweight by comparison. I wasn't driving any faster than I did on the 220 CDI, for a fair comparison. I might be biased toward the Jetta, since I have been driving it for some time and feel very comfortable in it, but very honestly, I could not find a major driving quality, apart from the high torque, to justify the steep difference between the Merc and a poor Man's Merc ( the VW Jetta). The rear seat space is still an issue in the C Class and will remain so- since the target buyer profile of the C as well as that of the 3 Series is a young professional in his late twenties/early thirties, with a wife or girl friend beside him and with shopping bags at the back. For snob value, the Merc is right up there. For driving enthusiasts, the 3 Series would be a better choice. For the senior executive who prefers to be driven in, an Accord will have more rear space (even the Jetta's rear seat space is distinctly better), plus he probably doesn't need snobbery.
Spot on! Though i had a wonderful experience driving both the v6 and diesel on the Lavasa slopes, the price tag put me off completely. There are plenty of options that deliver similar if not better experience at half the price. And yes, if given an option, i'll still pick the 3.
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Old 20th December 2009, 23:23   #13
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Guys, it is 42+ for Company Mumbai Registration. It is way less for Individual Thane Registration.
Also we did get to have a one on one with Wilfred Aulbur at the cocktails and dinner session. In fact he personally invited some others and myself to visit the mercedes benz factory in pune.
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Old 21st December 2009, 16:44   #14
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what variant comes for 44 lac onroad !! was this the avant gaurde C230 or avantgaurde C220 CDI? can u give a break up ex-showroom price and taxes? . do you get the COMMAND APS and harman kardon 7 logic system as standard?

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Old 21st December 2009, 19:53   #15
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Originally Posted by evil_e46 View Post
Guys, it is 42+ for Company Mumbai Registration. It is way less for Individual Thane Registration.
Also we did get to have a one on one with Wilfred Aulbur at the cocktails and dinner session. In fact he personally invited some others and myself to visit the mercedes benz factory in pune.
>>> I am referring to the price list given there.
You are lucky evil_e46; I guess Aulbur couldn't have managed to talk or invite all of us!

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Originally Posted by Caramelo View Post
what variant comes for 44 lac onroad !! was this the avant gaurde C230 or avantgaurde C220 CDI? can u give a break up ex-showroom price and taxes? . do you get the COMMAND APS and harman kardon 7 logic system as standard?
>>> Will share the prices Caramelo

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