Those of you who follow my opinions will probably know that I drive 120 motorway miles every day in my 'homely' for want of a better word Renault Clio RT. Well since turning the ripe old age of 25 I have been lucky enough to be included on the company insurance policy, which means I have been in the even more fortunate position of sitting behind the wheel of a beautiful Mercedes C200 (just a little classier and more comfortable than my Clio!). (Previously) As a non-fan of Mercedes, this model in particular and automatic gearboxes, I have been astounded by how much I love this car! Initially it is a little difficult to get used to. The automatic gearbox being the main of my worries as my left hand is constantly twitching and heading for the gear stick! (Incidentally the car can be used as a manual with 4 gears available to you but they are position in a straight vertical line and this combined with the lack of a clutch makes it an even more unnatural way to drive.) There are also a few strange 'quirks' of the car, such as the hand brake being a handle to your right to take it off, and a small pedal above where the clutch should be to apply. Also the sheer size of the car is a little overwhelming when you are used to a Clio. Also, the brakes appear over sensitive and the accelerator not as responsive as a manual. However, there are so many features that make this car a dream to drive. My primary praise must go to the cruise control feature. For those of you who have never used this feature, it allows you to flick a lever when you reach a certain speed, then remove your feet and lay back whilst the car maintains the speed for you. it is such a relaxing way to travel on the motorway. If Mercedes had implemented an auto pilot then the car would be perfect – I could just sleep all the way to work!...;) I am not a great fan of the design of the vehicle, both exterior and interior, but I must applaud the thought that
has gone into the usability. From essential such as the 10CD interchanger in the boot ...;) right down to the switch that flips the rear headrests down for ease of reversing the car is a thoroughly well planned and constructed piece of machinery. Overall it is perfect for those who do a lot of travelling and wish to do so in comfort and style. Surprisingly it is fairly economical with fuel as well. Plus, of course, you look fantastic driving it, at least until I can get my hands on the Lamborghini Diablo! I am going to be one unhappy girl when I give this baby back on Monday. If you get the chance do try one out, particularly if you are doing a long journey. I can see the Mercedes garages being swamped with test-drives this weekend! ********** Update ********** Being back at home for Christmas has allowed me to reclaim the Merc...;) and also notice a fantastic new feature (at least I think so). When the car is skidding on ice, it is quite difficult to tell (particularly when you are used to a small car with no sports suspension!) so the Mercedes has a warning light which flashes when the car is skidding, therefore letting you know you should take your foot off the accelerator! Fantastic in my opinion!