What is it?
You’ll have heard the term 48-volt hybrid a lot lately, as manufacturers put the technology into mass-market models for reduced running costs and a bit of extra power.
Merc's version, badged EQ Boost on this C200, is essentially a 17bhp electric-motor-cum-belt-driven-alternator which can give progress a little nudge when required, or keep fuel economy and emissions down at all other times.
This little electric unit is paired to a new 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine, and Mercedes claims that it has the same delivery of power and torque as the previous car’s 2.0-litre petrol, without the higher fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The official figures are 181bhp, 17bhp from the electric boost, with maximum torque of 207lb ft. 0-62mph passes in a hair under eight seconds, and the maximum speed is 146mph. It goes 44.1 miles before asking for another gallon of fuel and breathes out 136g/km of CO2 in return.
We’ve not yet driven the C200 in estate form in the UK until now, but the C-Class is the UK’s best-selling car of its type, so the pressure is on for lower-end petrol models like this, as the public continues to turn away from diesel-powered cars. For the time being, though, C220d saloon is still expected to be the top dog among customers.