The Merc is currently equipped with ‘All Weather’ tyres, or if you’re foreign, tires. If you are one of those philistines that regard tyres as simply black circles then I urge you to read The Intercooler, available as an app. That small patch of rubber on each corner of your pride and joy is what keeps you on the road, delivers communication from the asphalt, squeezes the water out to prevent aqua planing and yet is soft enough to grip the surface under hard braking or cornering.
Around September 2019 after a couple of months of ownership I decided that the distinctly underwhelming and overworn tyres needed replacing. Graham at Oatlands Tyres of Harrogate suggested Vredestein Quatrac all weathers. I toyed with the idea of getting a set of wheels for the tyres so that I could run both summer and winter tyres, an idea that was dashed on the rocks of fiscal reality. Graham assured me that these tyres were more than adequate and indeed after over 30,000 miles on the rears they have fulfilled that promise. Moreover they have proved their worth in adverse weather.
They can be fairly noisy on motorways, the section on the M1 link road with a concrete surface renders Radio 4 inaudible, but generally I am very happy with them. The fronts have been replaced because of punctures and potholes, sadly with plenty of wear left, but the rears could last another 10k. However Vredestein Quatrac tyres prove their worth!
It’s been a while since I last posted, sorry. The BMW has moved on to another owner and I have returned to the Mercedes fold. The vehicle in question this time is a C43 Estate, and it is almost everything a car should be.
This could possibly be my favourite Mercedes (so far).
It has a 3.0 litre petrol engine, turbocharged to give 362 BHP which gives it quite amazing performance. The way the engine picks up is staggering and I would argue that it is realistically quicker than the C63 that I used to own. The 0-60 times are slower but on an overtaking manoeuvre with kick down, the twin turbos spool up very briskly and shove the old girl in a blur of speed and sound. The noise is different from the old V8, that was a delicious rumble that stirred the dangly bits, this V6 sounds like a swarm of angry hornets buzzing around the rear. It is actually very good but I don’t have the optional Active Exhaust ‘loud’ button that would certainly improve things.
Because two Turbos are better than one!
On the practical side, it consumes Shell’s finest petrol at the rate of 33 miles to the gallon, it has a full panoramic roof, an excellent sound sytem and is very comfortable ploughing up and down the A19 at a steady 65MPH*. As I travel around 800 miles every week it is perfect.
There are a couple of niggles: I am not enamoured of the gear selection on a stalk similar to an indicator. I worry that I may mistake the lever for the windscreen wipers and put the car into reverse at 65MPH, I am sure that it will be impossible but I’ve not yet dared to try it. The previous owner seemed to lose his bottle with the options list, there is no Apple Carplay, Adaptive Cruise control or Proximity Sensors in the door mirrors.
Possibly the finest cars – In the World.
All in all it is a splendid car and covers my every need… However it has done over 33,000 miles and I need to change it very soon before its value plummets even further.
*All cars seem to have a mechanical resonance where all the moving parts settle in a sympathetic alignment and with this vehicle it is at around 65MPH. It is also very relaxed at 85-90 too but I have just acquired 3 fresh points from the Scottish Constabulary.