The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has secured a spot in the top 10 new cars of 2017. By the start of November, 41,281 units had been registered – only 1,900 cars fewer than the Vauxhall Astra.
Mercedes’ marketing activity suggests its strong performance will continue to the year’s end. Currently, customers get a £6,115 deposit contribution on an entry level C200d SE if they sign up to a 48-month PCP, which will cost them just £299 per month. In contrast, Audi is putting a £3,150 deposit contribution into its PCP for the A4 diesel, which will cost the buyer £313 monthly.
The level of customer incentive Mercedes-Benz is sustaining means the C-Class can be attainable for existing customers trading in a smaller A-Class or CLA-Class, if they wish to move up the range. Winning new buyers and moving them up through products is a crucial part of Mercedes’ strategy. Dr Dieter Zetsche, Daimler chairman and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, once told AM the premium brand had been held back by its first-generation A-Class’s inability to attract 30-something executives who it could try to hold on to.
Having lived with an A-Class in 2014, and now spent almost two months using our long-term test car, the attraction of the C-Class is understandable. It’s a noticeable step up in terms of interior quality and driving refinement, as befits a model that has company car user-choosers and middle-class families in its sights.