From Towcar Awards 2008

List price: £30,675 (when tested) Kerbweight: 1630kg85% Match: 1386kgMax towing weight: 1800kgTowball limit: 75kg

WITH A 30-60MPH time of 12.7 seconds, the Mercedes was one of the quickest cars in this year’s tests. No wonder, with 168bhp and 295lb/ft of torque to call on. What’s more, an automatic transmission and a strong parking brake made hill-starts a breeze.

Yet the C-Class isn’t perfect. The engine was strong, but it was noisy at high revs. The ride was the firm side of comfortable.

Back into line

In the lane-change test, the back of the car was pushed around by the van. The ATC unit recorded a peak force reading of close to 1G as the van snapped back into line.

The boot didn’t swallow as much luggage as we expected, but it does have a 12V socket. There’s also a well-written manual.

We say

Towing: 4/5

Solo: 4/5

Practicality: 4/5

Buying & owning: 4/5

Verdict: 4/5. Apart from a poor lane change, the C-Class performed well.

Braking 30-0mph 11.00m