I coasted to a halt at a roundabout the other day and the audible parking sensor alert went off.
This was strange, because there wasn’t another vehicle or obstruction anywhere near the car.
Over the next couple of days it happened three or four times and the only conditions common to each incident was bright winter sun, very low in the sky.
Has anybody else heard of such a phenomenon?
Mercedes-Benz hasn’t and advised me to check the sensors for dirt.
I gave them a clean and the problem disappeared.
But by then, so had the sun.
Yesterday the low sun came out again and I got one false parking sensor alarm on my way to work, but, you’ve guessed it, the car is dirty again.
As soon as I can synchronise clean car with sunny day, I’ll let you know what happens with my overactive parking bleeper.
The indicator stalk is on the left of the steering column at about seven o’clock.
The cruise control stalk is on the same side at about 10 o’clock.
Turning right at a junction there is a chance, just a chance, that you might push the cruise control up by accident and cause the car to increase speed when you should be slowing down.
I have to admit that you’d have to be my kind of idiot to do this twice.
But then this idiot had the good fortune to borrow a BMW 635d for a few hours.
BMW puts the indicator stalk above the cruise control stalk.
I know that the number of people jumping from BMW to Mercedes-Benz and back are few and far between, but it made me think about the need for design consistency.
The mobile phone makers seem to be getting the idea.
Car manufacturers agreed to put the foot pedals in the same order years ago.
Maybe it’s time to take it a bit further.
Two observations about the satellite navigation in the C-Class.
First is that the estimated journey time is much more accurate than the system in my Audi A3 from last year.
The Audi was always pessimistic and then the journey time dropped like a stone as you made progress.
The Mercedes-Benz system is much more accurate and the chances of bettering the predicted ETA are slim.
This might have been a contributory factor in me picking up three points and a £60 fine just before Christmas.
The Mercedes-Benz system probably takes traffic conditions and congestion into account.
Which brings me nicely to my other sat-nav observation: why can it tell me there is a queue of traffic at the Black Cat roundabout, which has been there for less than an hour, but it doesn’t yet recognise the new route of the A421, which has been there for two years?
Don’t tell me. Two different systems. Sigh.
This is a great car.
It looks good, drives well, is brilliantly equipped and well bolted together.
Fuel consumption varies from 30.6mpg commuting to 37.3mpg when longer trips are included.
Price: £28,002 (£36,762 as tested)
Company car tax bill (2008) 22% tax-payer: £204 per month
Insurance group: 14
Combined mpg: 47.9
Test mpg: 34.5
CAP Monitor RV: £11,275/41%
Contract hire rate : £550
Expenditure to date: Nil Figures based on three years/60,000 miles