11 months ago

The Star: March 16, 2017

50 Latest Christchurch

50 Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Thursday March 16 2017 Driven The Star Mercedes-Benz cabriolet for fun in the sun • By Ross Kiddie OVER THE years I’ve been guilty of heavily criticising Canterbury’s changeable climate. I make no apology for that, the ‘four seasons in one day’ temperatures that we get here can be frustrating. Take last weekend when I was driving Mercedes-Benz’s C200 cabriolet, the weather was so foul I barely had any opportunity to drive with the roof lowered, only briefly experiencing open-air motoring. However, in spite of our fickle weather, sales of convertibles here don’t seem to be waning. Those who I know that own a convertible enjoy them even though there are just a few glorious days in a year when driving with the top open really suits. The C200 convertible is part of a wide-ranging C-Class line-up. It arrives here in three variations, well I should say three different engine options. There’s a hearty 4-litre, 375kW V8, a 3-litre, 270kW V6 and the turbocharged 2-litre, four-cylinder which is the subject of this evaluation. All are petrol-fuelled. The 1991cc turbo engine is the same as that which I’ve experienced many times in the Mercedes-Benz line-up, and it is characterised by its healthy power outputs (135kW and 300Nm) and smooth operating manner. It is harnessed to a nine-speed automatic transmission, the combination is reactive, power flows freely and response to driver input is constantly encouraging. That is something that I’ve come to enjoy with this engine, it is wholeheartedly honest and works with freedom through the transmission. Even though it is far from being the most powerful configuration (280kW in AMG form), it is a mainstream engine which punches way above its weight. Its performance figures are testament to that, the car will accelerate to 100km/h from a standstill in 8.2sec and it will make an overtaking manoeuvre in 5.1sec (80km/h to 120km/h). These figures provide the driver with a satisfying feel. At the same time the C200 doesn’t gobble fuel unnecessarily, Mercedes-Benz claims a 6.8-litre per 100km (42mpg) combined cycle average. That sits well with the 8.8l/100km (33mpg) figure constantly sitting on the test car’s fuel usage readout. The C200 also has a variety of drive options that the driver can choose to suit his/her style, all are self-explanatory – eco, comfort, sport, sport plus, or you can load in your own preferred protocols. Personally, I preferred the standard sport setting, it still allows the engine freedom without being overly flighty such as it is when in sport plus setting. I took the test car through the flowing scenic route of State Highway 72 branching off near Hororata and enjoyed the C200 MERCEDES-BENZ C200 CABRIOLET: The roof raises and lowers with a simple flick of a switch. cabriolet’s quiet motion of speed, sound is well isolated, and you can’t always say that about convertibles, it travels with grace and dignity. It also feels rigid in the body, the lack of a solid roof doesn’t affect the strength of the structure. The C200 feels taut and firmly planted, a lot of the latter has to do with the quality of the rubber; huge, sport specification Continental tyres (225/45 and 245/40 x 18in) have unyielding grip along with positive feedback. Steering feel is light rather than firm, but that matters little, it is directional and it responds positively to cornering pressure. While its driving dynamics sit well with the convertible’s look, it’s best remembered that in this form (and the coupe) it is only a four-seater, there are only two seat belts in the rear, if you want • Price – Mercedes-Benz C200 cabriolet, $94,790 • Dimensions – Length, 4686mm; width, 1810mm; height, 1409mm • Configuration – Fourcylinder, rear-wheel-drive, 1991cc, 135kW, 300Nm, nine-speed automatic. • Performance – 0-100km/h, 8.2sec • Fuel usage –6.8l/100km a C-Class and seat five you’ll have to choose between the sedan or the wagon. The C200 convertible lands here at $89,900, the test car was carrying a few extra bits and pieces which raised the price to $94,790. And that is something a C200 buyer will need to appreciate, there are a multitude of specification enhancements and buying choices that can personalise or enhance the car. Even in standard form it is well-equipped and, of course, the roof raises and lowers with the flick of a button. While the C200 cabriolet will be far from Mercedes-Benz’s biggest seller, it is there to keep sales rolling along, the German brand is experiencing boom times down under. Fletch, Vaughan + Megan Weekdays 6am - 10am fvmzm Auckland 91.0, Bay of Plenty 89.4, Christchurch 91.3 + Sumner 90.9, Dunedin 95.8, Gisborne 107.4 + 107.7, Hawke's Bay 95.9, Kapiti 91.1, Manawatu 90.6, Marborough 90.5, Nelson 96.8, Queenstown 88.8, Rotorua 98.3, South Canterbury 96.3, Southland 95.6, Taranaki 98.8, Taupo 90.4, Waikato 89.8, Wairarapa 94.3, Wanaka 100.2, Wanganui 96.8, Wellington 90.9, Whangarei 94.8

The Star Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Thursday March 16 2017 51 Value Cars 32 Moorhouse Ave | 03 366 7768 The biggest range of vehicles in one location Holden Astra back on NZ roads Here’s a selection of our great deals! OVER 1000 VEHICLES FOR SALE Best Motorbuys TM • By Ross Kiddie IN WHAT will be one of the most significant new car launches for 2017, Holden New Zealand has released a new mid-size hatchback – the Astra. All-new from the ground up, the European-sourced Astra returns here in three specification levels all with the choice of manual or automatic transmission. It will replace Holden’s Cruze. “We anticipate significant interest in the new model for a variety of reasons, but one of the key considerations is its world-beating, first-class pedigree,” said managing director of Holden New Zealand, Kristian Aquilina. “It is also rich in technology and specification, including features more commonly associated with much more expensive vehicles. The new model is available from only $30,990, meaning the only thing not premium about the new Astra is the price.” The new Astra comes standard with the latest generation MyLink infotainment system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto across the range. The R and RS models include a STYLE: The Astra was designed in Germany. HOLDEN ASTRA: Replaces the Cruze in the midsize hatchback segment. 7in colour touch screen with Bluetooth and voice recognition functionality, while the RS-V adds embedded satellite navigation system and voice recognition together with a larger 8in colour touch screen. Designed and engineered in Germany, the Astra offers a choice of an allaluminium 110kW 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine or a sporty 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, the latter found in the RS and range-topping RS-V, which produces 147kW and 300Nm of torque. From an engineering perspective, the Astra has received substantial input from Holden Australia, with local engineers tuning it for down under conditions “We have provided feedback and contributed to changes associated with ride and handling, as well as suspension and steering inputs,” said lead development engineer Kristian Johannessen. “We’ve been involved in the programme to develop special calibrations which find favour with New Zealand and Australian motorists,’’ he said. A full evaluation on the new Astra will appear in these columns in May. In the interim initial driving impressions of the new model are favourable. The newcomer is quiet and comfortable. Both engines are eager and economical. Holden claims combined cycle fuel usage figures of 5.8-litres per 100km (48mpg) and 6.3l/100km (45mpg) for the 1.4 and 1.6 respectively. In terms of handling, the Astra is controlled with little body movement, it stays flat in a corner and has directional turn-in. 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