Mercedes-Benz C200 CGI BlueEfficiency Sedan Review

Overall Rating

  • Country of Origin
    GERMANY
  • Price
    $65,150 (plus on-road costs)
  • Engine
    4 Cylinders
  • Output
    135 kW / 270 Nm
  • Transmission
    Sports Automatic
  • ANCAP Rating
    5
  • Airbags
  • L/100 km
    7.2
  • C02
    167 g/km
  • Luggage Capacity
    535 L
  • Towing (braked)
    1250 kg
  • Towing (unbraked)
    750 kg
Tony O'Kane | Oct 5, 2010 | 5 Comments

MERCEDES C200 CGI REVIEW

What’s new?

2010 mercedes benz c200 cgi roadtest review 021

The C200 CGI replaced the C200 Kompressor earlier this year, and is marketed under Mercedes-Benz’s eco-friendly BlueEfficiency badge.

Engine size is unchanged at 1.8 litres, but torque rises from the Kompressor’s 250Nm to the CGI’s 270Nm.

Power output remains at 135kW, but, thanks to the move from supercharging with port injection to a turbocharger with direct injection, fuel consumption and carbon emissions drop.

What’s the appeal?

Benz prestige at an affordable price point: that's the nub of its appeal. The C200 CGI is also the most efficient petrol engine in the range, using just 1.0 l/100km more than the thriftiest diesel – the C220 CDI.

What features does it have?

Standard on the C200 CGI are auto-on windscreen wipers, dusk-sensing headlamps, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, trip computer, Bluetooth connectivity, auxillary audio inputs for external music players, heated wing mirrors and parking sensors.

Our test car was also equipped with the optional Vision Package, which includes a 12-speaker Harman Kardon premium stereo system, bi-xenon headlamps and a glass sunroof.

What’s under the bonnet?

The 2010 C200 features a new 1.8 litre petrol inline four with a turbocharger and direct injection.
The 2010 C200 features a new 1.8 litre petrol inline four with a turbocharger and direct injection.

Benz’s M271 1.8 litre petrol four-cylinder has been comprehensively reworked. It now boasts new heads with direct injection plus a turbocharger instead of a supercharger.

Power output peaks at 135kW, and its 270Nm of torque is spread between a very useable 1800rpm and 4600rpm.

A five-speed tiptronic automatic is the only gearbox offered, taking drive to the rear wheels.

The front suspension uses MacPherson struts while the rear has an independent multi-link system.

The C200 CGI’s brake package features disks at each corner, with ABS, EBD and brake assist enhancing stopping performance.

How does it drive?

The new engine is surprisingly zesty for its modest size (and the weight it is moving). Its power and torque is "just right", certainly ample for the needs of the average driver, including on-ramp sprints and the occasional speedy overtake.

Unfortunately, its pep is not matched by the five-speed auto, which makes ponderous shifts and whose widely-spaced ratios don’t quite mesh with the engine’s power curve.

It’s also slow to react under so-called ‘garage’ conditions – such as when shifting from drive to reverse and back again.

On the plus side, the ride is supple, with keen turn-in via the variable-ratio rack.

With a nice blend of comfort and sportiness, the C-Class’ chassis has plenty of dynamic appeal without resorting to a typically-German over-sprung suspension tune.

What did our passengers think?

Cabin quality in the 2010 C200 is great, but space is a bit limited.
Cabin quality in the 2010 C200 is great, but space is a bit limited.

There’s enough space inside for four adults (five, at a pinch), but the C200’s cabin isn’t especially big.

Rear headroom is a little tight, and rear legroom is in short supply when taller folk are seated up front. There's also a lack of lateral support in the front seat squab and backrest.

That said, all seats are comfortable (even the centre rear position) and each seat on the rear bench has its own individual headrest.

The perforated Artico artificial leather upholstery feels both premium and hard-wearing, while the partially-electric front seats have plenty of adjustability.

Interior quality and feel

2010 mercedes benz c200 cgi interior roadtest review 006

Like every Mercedes-Benz, the C200 CGI is a quality package.

The interior design and material choices may be ageing somewhat, but everything is screwed together tightly and we heard no rattles nor witnessed any loose-fitting trim.

From the glovebox to the doors, anything that opens and shuts does so with a positive feel. The Benz reputation for vault-like build quality is still very much in evidence here.

Some aspects of the interior do mar the experience however. The rubbery plastic that covers the front cupholders gets dirty easily, and the tiny LCD display screen can be hard to read.

Luggage space

Seats up, the boot spaces measures in at 475 litres. The 60/40 split fold rear seats allow larger items to be loaded, with the backrest folding flush with the boot floor.

How safe is it?

The W204 C-Class has earned a 5-Star crash safety rating under Euro NCAP testing, and features ABS, traction control, stability control and Mercedes-Benz’s Pre-Safe system as standard.

The front seats are equipped with anti-whiplash headrests, while a total of nine airbags (front, side, curtain and driver’s knee) protect occupants in a crash.

Fuel consumption and green rating

2010 mercedes benz c200 cgi interior roadtest review 001

Mercedes-Benz says the C200 CGI drinks just 7.3 l/100km on the combined cycle, however our testing returned an average of 9.3 l/100km.

It’s still a decent figure considering the C200’s 1.5-tonne kerb weight, but an extra ratio (or two) in the gearbox would help lower fuel consumption.

The Federal Government’s Green Vehicle Guide rates the C200 CGI 7 stars out of 10 for CO2 emissions, and 8.5 stars out of 10 for particulate emissions.

How does it compare?

2011 lexus is 250 05

The C-Class’s natural rivals are the BMW 320i, Lexus IS 250 and Audi A4 1.8T. Of these, the Audi is the cheapest at $49,200, the Lexus the most powerful, and the BMW the most involving to drive.

On the flipside, the Lexus has a cramped interior that’s rapidly dating.

At a starting price of $56,490, it’s only marginally cheaper than the Mercedes, but it does offer better value than the $55,300 BMW 320i.

Compared with the Mercedes the BMW doesn’t feel quite as upmarket, while the A4 1.8 is the only one of the bunch that doesn’t enjoy a RWD drivetrain.

Warranty

All new Mercedes Benz cars come with a three-year unlimited kilometre warranty, which covers both parts and labour costs of any repairs under warranty.

Colour combinations

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is available in three non-metallic and nine metallic colours. Colour choices are generally conservative, with the usual black, white and silver accompanied by various subdued shades of blue, burgundy and beige.

How much does it cost?

The 2010 Mercedes-Benz C200 CGI retails for $57,900, before on-road costs.

Our verdict

Although its engine lacks the outright grunt of the C350’s V6 and the extra torque of the C250 CGI’s high-output 1.8 litre, the C200 CGI is more than adequate for day-to-day driving.

2010 mercedes benz c200 cgi roadtest review 007

The C200 is let down by its antiquated gearbox, however that’s the only black mark on an otherwise spotless driving experience. The C200 CGI is as easy to pilot around a shopping centre carpark as it is along a twisting country road.

As a base model, it’s particularly impressive. The interior boasts enough luxury and comfort to make buyers think twice about forking over the cash for the more expensive models in the range, and the standard equipment list is comprehensive enough for the average buyer.

As a relatively cheap entry point into Mercedes-Benz ownership, the C200 CGI makes a very strong case for itself.

If you’ve got no need for big power or fancy in-car gizmos, the C200 comes highly recommended.

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Filed under: Featured, review, Green, Mercedes-Benz, reviews, c-class, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, rwd, sedan, BlueEFFICIENCY, c 200, mercedes-benz blueefficiency, family, medium, 4cyl, 4door, c 200 blueefficiency, C 200 CGI, mercedes-benz c 200, mercedes-benz c 200 cgi blueefficiency

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  • says,
    4 years ago
    1 like
    Only 5-speed auto in a Mercedes? For a base model, that's acceptable, but not for a base model being marketed under Merc's "BlueEfficiency" badge... Would need to be 6-speed at least.
  • Adrian
    Adrian says,
    4 years ago
    That lid over the display screen, is that electrically retracted or manually? If the former I'd say it's an awesome feature, if the latter it sucks.
    • Marc says,
      4 years ago
      2 likes
      It's manually operated. And a bit flimsy if you ask me.
    • Faz says,
      4 years ago
      1 like
      I never looked at how the standard screen works, but mine has the GPS option which gets you a bigger screen. The lid on that is electrically operated, though it does have buttons for manual open/close.
  • unknown says,
    11 months ago
    Mercedes Benz have worse classes than before thus
    1. C-class (W204 except C63 AMG coupe,S204) all classes
    2. CL-class (C215,C216) all classes
    3. CLS-class (W219,W218) all classes includes CLS shooting brake all classes
    4. E-class (W212 includes coupe,S212,V212) all classes
    5. G63 AMG : 3 km/liter in city,1 km/liter on highway
    6. GL-class (X164) all classes
    7. GLK-class (X204) all classes
    8. M-class (W163,W164) all classes
    9. ML-class (W166) all classes
    10. S-class (W221,S221,W222) all classes
    11. SL-class (R231) all classes
    12. SLK-class (R170,R171,R172) all classes
    1st to 12th classes except 5th class are low traction ,easy slide ,tail flick, have economy 1-5 km/liter and below 1 km/liter. Cause of low traction ,easy slide ,tail flick, have economy 1-5 km/liter and below 1 km/liter is rear track than front track in Mercedes Benz classes included AMG,Brabus,Lorinser. The interior in all classes,over 170 cm people are Inconvenient.
    The Mercedes Benz CGI turbo intercooler,CGI biturbo intercooler, petrol engine turbo intercooler and petrol engine biturbo intercooler classes included AMG, Brabus, Lorinser are unstable horsepower ,unstable torque ,have economy 1-5 km/liter and below 1 km/liter. In both ones make happen both thing, will have economy 1-3 km/liter and below 1 km/liter.

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