No segment of the new car market is quite as competitive as the premium compact sedan category. It's here that the Audi A4, BMW's 3-Series, and the Mercedes-Benz C-class have crossed swords for decades, decimating much of what used to the medium sedan sector (think Passat, Mazda6, Honda Accord) in the process. The all-new C-class has class supremacy in its sights, and with good reason, as DEON SCHOEMAN finds out.
For Mercedes-Benz, the launch of an all-new C-class is a special occasion. Not only is the C-class the Three-Pointed Star's most popular seller, but from a South African point of view, the fact that it's produced in East London for both local and export markets adds further importance.
The latest C-class, dubbed W205, looks to be the most accomplished compact sedan Mercedes has ever produced - except that it isn't really that compact any more. And besides, it draws much of its styling inspiration form the much larger S-class.
That's not necessarily a bad thing. The new S-class is considered by many, including its makers, to be the most advanced car ever built, so sharing that DNA with a considerably more affordable sibling can only be to the benefit of...