Only a company with self-confidence of Mercedes-Benz could cross so many special borders with its range of cars; Its competitors hive off the rarities and the expensive models into different divisions, but Mercedes-Benz (as arguably the world's longest-established motor manufacturer) is content to let those who spend a few thousand on a modest city car share the same badge as those who spend hundreds of thousands on a super car. Yet the company still has its detractors, those who consider this policy not to be a democratizing process, but who instead view the mighty German maker as a company of supreme arrogance. The major gripe is that the same company that sells the McLaren-built SLR also sells the majority of Europe's taxis. Who is right? Your call….. C-CLASS The mainstay model in the range, Mercedes' C-Class has recently been face lifted, with changes to the interior and nose of the car, suspension and transmission settings, and fresh engine options. Offered in saloon, hatchback ‘coupe' and estate variants, this everyman Mercedes now features sharper handling without a penalty to ride comfort, more responsive six-speed transmission, and engines that go from a modest 2.0 litre diesel right up to a tuned V8-the first time that an AMG V8 has been available in this model. The Kompressor (super charged) four cylinder engine, formerly only offered in Sports Coupe model, is now offered throughout the range. Although entry-level prices are low, it is surprisingly easy to rattle up the order price, thanks to Mercedes' habit of relying heavily on the extra list for many items that other car makers provide as standard issue. E-CLASS Produced not just in Germany but in other Mercedes-Benz plants such as Malaysia, the E-Class continues to be high on the list of executives throughout the world. providing plenty of accommodation and a handling package that favors both drivers feedback and passenger comfort, the E-Class is offered in both four-door sedan estate and estate car versions, and with a choice of engines that goes up as far as a 306PS V8. Estate variants can be specified with all-wheel drive. Although the looks of the E-Class will never set the world alight, their subtlety represents a certain arrival in status of their owners. Small-engine versions are turgid, but the Vee-engined variants offer useful performance and better handling than the comfort level suggest. The AMG variant is simply wonderful to drive, both fast and precise. S-CLASS Favored transport for oil sheiks, industrialists and football managers, the S-Class bristles with technology, meaning its one of the few limousine-proportioned sedans capable of simultaneous satisfaction for both passengers and drivers. Little touches such as the ride height automatically lowering at speed (to improve aerodynamics) and the world's most advanced auto transmissions (seven speeds, intuitive reprogramming) put this car in a league all of its own. The biggest seller is the 350 six cylinder, but for true performance the V12 twin turbo, with 500PS and more torque than most of the trucks, is the one to go for-the true Autobahnstormer.
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