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Mercedes C 450 AMG Sport 2015 review

Thrilling Mercedes C 450 AMG Sport Estate gives a taste of full-fat AMG model

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

The Mercedes C 450 AMG Sport doesn’t arrive in UK showrooms until 2016, but it will be worth the wait. Thanks to its AMG tweaks, it’s faster and more entertaining than an Audi S4, yet it loses none of the refinement of the standard C-Class, and the 4MATIC transmission adds extra all-weather peace of mind. As an effortless and engaging upmarket executive express, this Mercedes takes some beating.

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If your budget doesn’t stretch to a Mercedes-AMG C 63, then Mercedes could have the answer in the form of the new C 450 Sport 4MATIC saloon and Estate models. Designed to bridge the gap between the standard C-Class models and the V8-powered flagship, the newcomer aims to distil some AMG magic into a more cost-effective package.

Not that the C 450 is a humdrum machine. Look past the subtly sporty looks and you’ll find a 362bhp 3.0-litre V6 twinned to Mercedes’ grippy 4MATIC all-wheel-drive transmission. More importantly, the suspension, brakes and steering are carried over from the C 63.

On the move, the C 450 lacks the thrills of the C63, but it’s vastly better than the standard C-Class. The steering is direct and accurate, the dampers do a good job of controlling body roll and there’s lots of grip – the 4MATIC system delivers terrific traction out of slower bends. Yet thanks to a torque split that sends 67 per cent of the engine’s effort to the rear wheels, the C 450’s attitude can be subtly adjusted using the throttle.

The new engine is a highlight, too. It can’t match the C 63 for firepower, but with 520Nm of torque and a 0-62mph time of 5.0 seconds (4.9 seconds for the saloon), the newcomer is no slouch, plus the twin-turbo unit delivers a sporty growl when extended.

Turn the AMG Dynamic Select control to Comfort and the C 450 settles down to a quiet cruise. The ride is a little stiff over broken surfaces, but otherwise it’s relaxed and refined. This impression is heightened by an interior that majors on upmarket premium appeal – although a bright red finish for the steering wheel stitching and seatbelts adds a racy flourish.

And the C 450’s credentials as a cut-price AMG are boosted by fuel returns of 36.6mpg and emissions of 180g/km for the Estate, and 37.1mpg and 178g/km for the saloon.

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