Mercedes C220 CDI AMG Sport Edition review

Mercedes C220 CDI AMG Sport Edition aims to keep C-Class fresh before all-new model arrives

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

The Mercedes C220 CDI certainly feels like it’s at the end of its life. Most of its dynamic failings, especially the harsh ride and noisy engine, are likely to be addressed by its classy successor in a few months’ time. This Sport Edition represents good value for any fleet buyers who can’t wait for the new model to arrive, but they will have to accept that it’s now rather dated.

The all-new Mercedes C-Class is just months away from showrooms, but that hasn’t stopped Mercedes rolling out a final version of the current car: the Mercedes C220 CDI AMG Sport Edition.

New Mercedes C-Class (2014): full details on upcoming model

This new AMG Sport Edition replaces the AMG Sport and AMG Sport Plus models, combining the best of each at a lower price. AMG Sport Plus used to cost £3,000 over basic Executive SE spec, but this new Sport Edition is only an extra £1,500, at £31,795.

That’s good for fleet buyers who are after something well equipped with a low price, although CO2 emissions are just as important and the ageing 2.1-litre engine in our C220 CDI model doesn’t quite fit the bill. It puts out 131g/km – worse than the BMW 3 Series and Lexus IS 300h.

Mercedes C-Class in-depth review

It’s a rattly, noisy engine, too, and gruffer than many of its rivals on the move. Still, it does at least perform well. There’s enough torque to provide decent overtaking performance. It’s just let down slightly by the seven-speed auto, which is slow to react to your inputs.

The exterior has been pumped up with a new boot spoiler, dark tinted headlights and a gloss black grille, plus 17-inch alloys, an AMG bodykit and a 15mm drop in ride height.

On smoother roads, the C-Class settles into a relaxed cruise, but the slightly lowered suspension has resulted in a slightly firmer ride. Hit a pothole hard and the vibration thumps up through the wheel and driver’s seat.

Considering how close this car is to the end of its life, it still looks really sharp, and the interior has been given a few tweaks to further boost its appeal. The figure-hugging sports seats are finished in faux-leather and Alcantara, with neat blue and grey stitching, and there’s some classy brushed aluminium along the centre console.

The C-Class is well equipped and – in this trim at least – enduringly stylish. But it’s simply not as good as its newer rivals. We’d recommend waiting a few months for the new model to arrive.

• Mercedes C-Class Estate 2014 spied during winter testing

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