A luxury product has “four pillars”, says Milton Pedraza, head of the Luxury Institute, a consultancy that tracks trends for the wealthiest 10% of American households. First, the item must demonstrate superior quality. Second, it must be truly unique and difficult to acquire. Third, it must enhance one’s status. And fourth, it must brighten one’s self-image, making the buyer feel special.

  1. Systems in the C-250 (Jan 2011 model)

Why is it a luxury car?

  1. Small turning radius (smaller than a Corolla) allows U turns on narrow roads. This feature helps when the car is parked in a tight spot.
  2. Smoothest power steering (My 11 year old Corolla feels hard)
  3. “Power on demand”- go from 0 to 100 km/hour speed in 8 seconds. Go from 100-160 in 6 seconds.
  4. Ergonomic seats – one does not get tired, unlike an Innova.
  5. The car slows(more than other cars) when the accelerator pedal is released
  6. Automatic gears along with the guarantee of zero knocking of the engine at any speed is a luxury. In other words, you are never in the wrong gear. You have power on demand.
  7. The ease of shifting from automatic gears to manual gears.With a mere tap, the car goes into the lower gear. This is useful when braking at high speeds.
  8. At a speed of 120km/hr, the passengers feel that the speed may be 80km/hr. This is a fine test for the Mercedes.
  9. Once the windows are shut, the noise level in the car is very low. You enjoy the quiet.

10.The dashboard & instrument panel are without clutter. The complex is made simple.

11. The air conditioner temperature can be set separately for the driver & the co-passenger.

The aforesaid features make the Mercedes a pleasure to drive in light traffic.



  1. Shut
  2. Automatic, slow
  3. Automatic, fast
  4. Manual, slow
  5. Manual, fast



  1. Shut (In this position the car will beep if you remove the key)
  2. Auto (activates when ambient light is low & shuts when ambient light is high)
  3. ON


2 settings

  1. Open/Shut
  2. The back part tilts to give a 4 inch opening.

Note:  If roof is open & car is locked, it will shut automatically if it rains.

The advantage of the sliding roof is that a 5th window opens. The rear seat passengers can enjoy the view of the sky; they have a private sky; but the weather should be favourable.

Parking lights after car is locked

  1. One can keep the right or left side parking light “on” (both front & back), if one has parked in a narrow lane. Will automatically switch off in daylight.


  1. The boot can be opened manually if the car is unlocked.
  2. It can also be opened by remote. Here the boot lid opens out fully via hydraulics
  3. If the car is locked, the boot can be opened by remote & once shut, the car remains locked.

Cleaning the headlights:

A jet of water cleans the headlights. Similar to wipers, but the headlights need to be kept “ON” for this operation.

Stopping on a slope

If the car is parked on a steep slope, & one wants to move, the car will remain stationary for the time it takes to move the foot from the brake to the accelerator. In other words, the car will not slide. A mechanism ensures that you do not roll backward as you pull away on an incline. This is called as “hill assist”.


The best versions already have refinements such as “hill hold” (which prevents run-back as a driver prepares to drive uphill from standstill) and “hill descent control” (which slows, straightens and avoids wheel-locking as a car descends a steep hill).

Front & Back warning lights & beepers:

These guide you to park accurately. Other cars may have a reverse camera only but no provision for warning for the front side.

Fuel Lid

If the car is unlocked, the lid opens with a slight push. No lever is needed.

Radio & CD features

  1. One can shift between radio & CD by pressing one button.
  2. The contents of the 6 CDs (MP3 only) can be browsed without stopping the music. In other words, you can find any song easily (provided you have arranged the songs alphabetically)

Memory buttons

3 button facilities are available for the front seats. The memory buttons remember the seat position, the steering wheel position & the side-view mirror positions.

Take-me-home lights

On using the remote to open or shut the car, the headlights & roof lights come “on” for about 10 seconds. You get ample light to find your way in the dark.

Ease for the passenger getting out of the car

The passenger wanting to open his door can simply open the door without relying on the driver to press a central button. In such a case, all the doors become unlocked.

Sports mode

In the sports mode (press the button), the car’s torque increases by 20-30%. Good for quick overtaking.


The rear wind screen can be covered by a curtain, automatically. The sun’s rays get reduced. The driver’s visibility remains unchanged. Similarly, the rear windows can also be covered by a curtain. There is a dedicated slot for the door curtains & one need not retro-fit this hardware. But these are drawn manually.

Reversing & side view mirrors

On reversing, the left-side side view mirror automatically adjusts so the rear tyre can be seen. You can accurately judge the distance between the tyre & the kerb.


The Car is capable of informing you of any problems/defects . Till date I have been informed of:

1. Low wiper fluid

2. Low coolant

3. Low tyre pressure

4. Brake light not working

5. Approaching the targeted service kms (every 15000 km)

6. Traffic signal not working.

Fuel Consumption

In the city of Nasik, I get an average of 13 km/litre; on a national highway, for distances of about 150 kms, I get 14 whereas for longer distances I get 15.

Any other feature, besides the ones mentioned above, comes in the category of “bells & whistles” which any cheaper car may also have.

Maintenance costs

The calculations below are actual expenses incurred by me. The period considered is 114 months & 1,51,000 kms. (About 44 km per day) (June 2020)

Besides insurance, fuel costs, battery change & tyre changes every 50,000 kms., the maintenance cost is Rs. 16000 per month. This includes:

  1. Regular servicing & Repairs

After 114 months & 1,51,000 kms the car is as good as new. This is good. But the maintenance costs are prohibitive (Rs. 12 per km)

New models considered:

From cheapest to most expensive:

A- Hatchback


CLA – Sedan

GLA- Crossover, 183mm road clearance

C -Sedan, rear wheel drive, 165mm road clearance; 1810×4686; 11.22 mtrs. turning dia; 220 & 250

250 has memory seats & Intelligent lighting; rear wheel drive (better stability) comparable to A4 Audi

GLC- SUV of C class, ground clearance of 190mm

E- 220 & 350

GLE- 250 or 350, SUV of E class, 5 seater

GLS – seven seater, 350

S- 350 & 450

Note; Most vehicles are available in AMG version, price doubles, only petrol version.

C class features:

  1. 9 speed transmission
  2. C-250- 0-100 in 6.6 seconds (C220- 0-100 in 7.4 seconds)
  3. 5 driving modes- Eco, Comfort, Sports, Sports+ & Individual
  4. Music- Bluetooth, one CD & 2 pen-drives
  5. Average is about 15 km
  6. Memory buttons
  7. Spare tyre is a skeleton version
  8.  Intelligent Lighting
  9. Two types of guarantees for servicing & major problems.