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Finally got a chance to stretch the Mercedes-Benz C 220 CDI legs this month, on a quick drive to Bangalore from our home base in Pune for the insane supercar drag race you must have already read about in the earlier pages. Throughout the three days we spent at the Taneja Aerospace and Aviation runway in Hosur, on the outskirts of Bangalore, our Merc played the role of support car, Gaurav’s head stuck out of the sunroof for the pictures, boot laden with all our equipment, cables plugged in to all the USBs to charge our phones and equipment, and the air-con running all day long to cool our sunburnt faces.
Of course when you’re on a runway the first thing you do is stick the VBOX on the windscreen and time it. A time of 8.7 seconds to 100kmph and 21.2 seconds to 160kmph (averaging out both the up and down runs), are proof that the Mercedes-Benz C 220 CDI is a quick car, not that any proof was required since we’d just done the 950km drive from Pune to Hosur in double quick time. As is the norm on road trips, we left Pune before dawn and that meant we skipped the notorious traffic jams at the toll booths in Maharashtra. By breakfast we had made it to Kolhapur, which is 250km away but with sandwiches packed by our better halves, we pressed on towards Karnataka and the glorious highway that makes crossing the Maharashtra – Karnataka border such a joy. Seriously, the improvement in the road is dramatic; it becomes smoother, faster and traffic thins out completely – and it’s an environment that the Mercedes-Benz C 220 CDI revels in.
You might have read in our previous reports that the suspension is on the stiffer side and allied to run flat tyres you do feel the stiffness on regular commutes. However, out on the highway where the speedo runs in to triple digits everything calms down. The Mercedes-Benz C 220 CDI is one of those cars that gets better with speed – the ride improves, the suspension is more settled and you rarely feel the speed. It’s only on some nasty expansion joints that Gaurav, strapped in and fast asleep at the rear, was jolted out of dreamland, otherwise the Merc devours the miles without driver or passenger feeling even the slightest bit of fatigue.
All the interior accruements also come in handy on a non-stop drive such as this where you stop only for pee breaks. The Burmester stereo is fantastic (yes, I know that only the launch edition cars had this), the seats are very comfortable and the ergonomics are perfect. And behind the wheel the C-Class is a joy to drive – great steering, great handling and solid punch from the 2.2-litre diesel to make sustained high-speed driving a breeze. By late afternoon we were in Hosur and then the next two days were spent running up and down the TAAL runway at Hosur, chasing down the supercars.
I know fuel efficiency is not something we discuss at evo India but it’s worth mentioning that during the flat out run we got over 11kmpl, which is great considering my colleague Byram has an even heavier right foot than I. And without me demanding frequent breaks for tea or coconut water on the way back (I headed to Chennai for the California superbike school), he made even better time. Now to get the car back from him.
Date acquired: December 2015
Duration of test: 3 months
Total mileage: 24,972km
Mileage this month: 2,722km
Overall kmpl: 9.9kmpl.