The Mercedes-Benz C-Class puts in a mixed performance as a tow car.
On the plus side, the engine has enough pull to comfortably tow any suitably matched tourer. The 30-60mph time of 12.6 seconds is perfectly respectable, although you hear the engine working away more than you should.
The hill start was another strength. The electronic parking brake held the car and caravan still on the 1-in-6 slope, and with so much pulling power and an automatic gearbox, the C-Class breezed to the top of the slope. The Merc found reversing a short distance uphill just as easy.
However, stability was disappointing. When slowing from speed, the Al-Ko ATC sensors detected some movement from the caravan, and some of the drivers found car and caravan moving around slightly at motorway speeds.
The lane-change test was also below par. On the second of three runs, the caravan became so wayward the driver almost lost control, so the third and fastest manoeuvre wasn’t attempted.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has other strengths. The cabin is beautifully designed and built, and really does put most rivals to shame. There’s a decent amount of space for passengers, and the boot is reasonably practical. It almost had space for our typical holiday luggage load. We’re always pleased to see a reversing camera fitted, and the trailer stability system earned the Mercedes-Benz more marks.
Although the purchase price is high, Sport models come with lots of standard equipment and strong resale values help offset the high initial purchase price.