What you need to know:
Most Mercedes Benz brands are known for high fuel consumption rates. However, for these motorists, this is not the case, Roland D. Nasasira writes.
I have had my Mercedes Benz C200 for three years. I was persuaded by a friend to buy a Mercedes Benz after test driving his from Mbarara in western Uganda to Kampala. I could not help but admire its performance on the highway.
The test drive changed my perception that a Benz is a fuel guzzler. I realised that it could give me the same fuel consumption as a Premio, with the added advantage of being faster and more stable.
In terms of consumption, the C200 that runs on a 2000cc engine gives you approximately nine kilometres per litre of fuel when driving in urban traffic and approximately 15 kilometres per litre on the highway. When I fill its tank of 64 litres, I will drive to Mbarara in western Uganda and only top up in Lyantonde District while making a return journey.
It is more fuel efficient compared to most Japan brands of the same classification. It is also stable and will not skid even when the road is slippery.
One of the features I like about the Mercedes Benz C200 is its braking efficiency. Even when I am driving at 140km/hour and I see an obstacle, I will brake safely.
For instance, while driving from Gulu to Kampala recently, at Migeera Town Council, the truck at the rear hooted nonstop as though it was experiencing a mechanical problem. There was another truck ahead of me and it was a tight spot to overtake safely but because I had to avoid being crashed between two trucks, I overtook the truck ahead of me in less than 10 seconds.
Its fuel consumption is also friendly. Before the rise in fuel prices, from my home in Kiwatule, Kampala, to my workplace in Kololo (a distance of about 7.7kms), I would refuel with only Shs50,000 and this would take me to work and back home for two days. Yes, some Benz brands are fuel guzzlers but the C200 is not.
For service, I go to the garage to replace engine oil, brake pads, air cleaner, oil and fuel filters and a few other basics and this costs approximately Shs400,000 for minor service. For major service, I spend close to Shs1m.
The Mercedes Benz C200 has admirable features such as economical fuel consumption, stability at high speeds and high speed pick-up when you accelerate. I also love the fact that it is affordable to service and maintain.
I service the car once or twice in a year and spend Shs1.5m or Shs2m on each garage visit but I will have saved more money than a motorist who goes to the garage more often and spends an average of Shs200,000 per service routine. This is because I service mine after covering between 5,000km to 10,000km, depending on how often I drive it. Because certain sections of Kampala roads are horrible, you have to drive cautiously because the C200 has low ground clearance.
A Benz C200, like other C-Class models, is one whose service can only be done by a mechanic who understands its technology. The mechanic has to be able to read what is being communicated on the dashboard and interpret what it means to rectify or correct the problem.
Number of doors 4
Seating capacity 5
Safety ANCAP rating 5
Number of valves 16