Received the car on 14th July 2011. Did a 600 km round trip journey to Trengganu yesterday. So I thought of sharing my experience here.
Set out from my home in Valencia, Sg. Buloh at 830 am and arrive Kemaman at 12 pm with a 45 mins break at Genting Sempah. This is basically a personal review of the car in the first 1000 km drive with some comparison with my other rides, mainly Chevrolet Optra 1.6 and Toyota Camry 2.0G. Not the same league but just a basic comparison.
Overall, its definitely a well engineered car. However, I notice that shifting from P-R-N-D is not the smoothest. I can feel the car jerks each time I shift between N and D and R. Gear change on the 7 speed is excellent though. Very smooth. Don’t even feel the gear change. Driving at low speed however can be a bit jerky when the gear changes.
Eco vs Sport
On the way to Kemaman, I used the sport mode throughout the journey. Handling the winding road in the Genting Sempah area was definitely fun in this mode. Very little swerving at 100 km/hr and above. Before this, I must say my Optra was definitely had a good handling when it comes to winding road compared to Camry or even Civic. Now, I can vouch that the C200 also provide a confident handling. The acceleration up the hill was also smoother as I can feel that the pick up is some how ‘more’ than the economy mode on normal drive. The engine roar sounds different, more harsh. Some of these might just be in my mind, but I can definitely feel that the car is fast whenever I hit 140 km/hr.
Once on the Karak highway, the straight highway tempted me to test the max speed. So I hit 180 km/hr for about 15 seconds. Straight as it may be, but this highway is not of the best when it comes to flatness. The ride was very bumpy as the road is ‘wavy’. And in sports mode, it starts to feel uncomfortable or maybe unsafe at high speed. So I drop down to 130 to 140 km/hr where I feel safer. The ride is also now less bumpy.
On the way back to KL, I use the economy mode. Hhhhhmmmm such a pleasant experience. Engine was quiter, acceleration on hills is less powered but still sufficient to maintain the speed at 120 km/hr going up the hill. On those ‘wavy’ road, it feels more comfortable and safer even at high speed. Again, I tried to go 180 km/hr but could only go up to 175 km/hr.
I fill up the tank full about RM115 for RON 95. On the way to Kemaman, only used quarter tank and did about 285 km. On the way back, used till about 1/3 left on the fuel gauge. Altogether, drove for about 625 km yesterday. And today, on the way to work, it showed that I can go for another 240 km. That makes it about 860 km for a full tank . Wow.
On the screen, it shows that my FC was about 7.5 L/100 km. Based on the above observation, I figured out the following:
1. 14 km/L or
2. 7.5 km/RM
3. 0.13 RM/km
Comparing to Optra and Camry:
1. Camry Full tank = RM 1.90 x 70 litre = RM 133 and can only get 570 km.
a.FC - 0.23 RM/km or 4.3 km/RM.
2. Optra = RM 1.90 x 55 litre = RM105 can 550 KM.
a. FC – 0.19 RM/km or 5.2 km/RM
Superb. I particularly like the 10 km/hr increment/decrement function. Makes it easier to manage distance of car in front if I decide not to brake. The recall of last autocruise speed was also very handy. Most of the time, I was on autocruise at 130 km.hr.
I am still puzzled on this one. To me, the aircond is not particularly cold compared to Camry and Optra eventhuogh I putr 16 deg C. I am not sure why the internal circulation button is not constantly ON. My other cars, this button, once selected is constantly ON. But in this Merc, sometimes it goes off and the air cond start to circulate air from outside. Checked the manual, but still cant understand why.
Very entertaining. Particularly like the auto control of volume. It increases the volume to compensate for any noise when I increase the speed. And reduce the volume when I slow down. The iPod connectivity however using the supplied cable, not that efficient. Very slow in changing tracks and reading the iPod. This is comparison to the ICE I have in Optra (Kenwood) and Camry (FlyAudio).
The NVH of this car is also excellent. Wind noise is like Zero to me but my hearing is not the best of course after all those years of playing the drums and working offshore. But definitely does not disturb my listening session in the car.
Phone connectivity however was excellent. Very crisp and clear conversation I had.
Controlling the whole unit was also easy using the both the buttons on steering and also the controller near the arm rest.
Other features not tested
1. Attention assist. Cant seem to test it. Even though I tried swerving the car abruptly, nothing happens. So not sure when will it actually work.
2. Parktronic – also have not been able to activate it for actual side parking. Although the P signal comes on, but when I engage reverse gear, no steering graphic showing how to park on the screen.
3. The side mirrors auto setting does work. Once set, everytime I reverse to park, it will automatically adjust the mirror to show the rear tyres to ensure I don’t hit any curbs.
4. Managed to activate the HOLD button as using the brakes at one time.
5. Have not really tried the manual shift gears.
All and all, its still a great car. I still cant believe I manage to buy my dream car at this age. I was actually targetting my first Merc in 6 years time. But itchy hands already hehehe. The technology behind Merc have developed beyond my expectation. The last Merc I drove was my late father’s which was a 230E 14 years back.
A few pictures: