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The manner in which the two engines work together is impressive, though. Leave the C300de in its standard Hybrid driving mode and the electric motor provides smooth, linear acceleration off the line. Take off with a bit more urgency and the diesel engine will step in in a largely seamless fashion, with both motors providing that sizeable slug of low-down torque to get the car up to speed in very swift fashion indeed.
The auto ‘box works well, too: you largely won’t notice it working away to swap cogs under the more laid-back driving style that our busy urban route demanded, although whether the same would be true if you were to drive with a degree more enthusiasm, I’m unable to say.
As for the way the C300de rides, it’s a bit of mixed bag. It’s certainly a comfortable car; there’s tight, pliant body control here that allows it to deal with undulating surfaces with plenty in the way of confidence. But lumps, bumps and other imperfections in the road’s surface make it lose a touch of its composure, at times giving the impression that it’s stumbling over, rather than ironing out, these less-than-stellar patches of Tarmac.
Body roll through tighter corners is well managed, too, and the steering, while not exactly bristling with feel, is pleasingly direct and nicely weighted.
The interior, meanwhile, maintains the same sense of opulence that is common to all C-Classes’. Ambient lighting and wood panelling look the part, although the latter does feel a bit disappointing to the touch, while the leather seats of our test car were both comfortable and supportive.
The C300de goes without the new dual-screen dashboard layout of the new A-Class, though, and its system, while easy enough to operate, isn’t the slickest system on the market – particularly next to those offered by Audi and BMW. In a general sense, though, you’re in no danger of feeling short-changed.