I am torn between Mark X and Mercedes

Friday February 23 2018


By Paul Kaganzi

Hi Paul, I drive a Mark II model 99. However, I want to upgrade. I am torn between a Mark X and Mercedes Benz c200 CDi Sports Coupe (2001). From the two, what would you advise me to go for in terms of fuel consumption, stability, comfort, maintenance and other features? Dan Emorut

Hello Dan, both the 2004 first generation Toyota Mark X and second generation Mercedes C Class W203 were turning points in their respective stables. Mark X is a midsize luxury car while the C class is an entry level luxury sedan.
Comparing the MarkX 2.5 litre petrol and C class C200 2.1 litre diesel engines is not exactly ‘apples for apples’. Mark X’s popular 4GRFSE engine delivers an exciting engine output of 212 horsepower and a torque of 260NM.

No wonder Mark X accelerates from 0-100 kilometres per hour in 8.4 seconds, while the C200 takes 12.1 seconds.
The diesel Mercedes C200 CDi (common rail diesel) 0M611 produces a modest 115 horsepower but a bigger torque of 250 NM (put simply engine output is how fast you hit a wall while Torque is how much of the wall you take away with you).
Torque is useful when towing or driving on difficult terrain. The 2.1 litre CDi engine on the Mercedes is quiet, smooth and more fuel efficient (highway: 21.7 kilometres per litre).

The more punchy and muscular 2.5 litre Mark X is less fuel efficient (12.6 KM/litre). Both the Mark X and C200 handle well and feel firm on the road due to their good weight or wheelbase combination Mark X (1510kg/2850mm) and C200 (1505 kilogrammes / 2,715 milimetres).
Both cars feel secure to drive fast through the corners because of electronic traction control, speed sensitive steering (Mark X) and Mercedes Electronic stability programme, front independent and rear multi-link suspension.

The bigger Mark X LxWxH: (4735x1775x1435mm) feels more spacious and provides more ample legroom for rear passengers and load space in the boot than the C200 (4526x1728x1426mm).
The Mark X interior exudes a more luxurious and expansive front console with chrome and walnut wood finishes. The C200 feels a little underserved as if the designers held back a bit on luxury. C200 interior has more plastic finishes.

Safety of both vehicles is ample with supplementary restraint air bags and ABS brakes. Maintenance is easy for both cars if you find good garages and use good detergency oils or fuels. Diesel engines tend to become expensive to maintain when they age. Insist on using clean detergency diesel to maintain the fuel injectors.
Genuine maintenance and repair parts are readily available. Mercedes C200 is a prestige brand with slow depreciation.