“I like my women thick with a lot of a$$ / The type of body Desire Luzinda has,” if I had continued with my rap career, that would be a line from one of my mixtape songs. And, what does this have to do with the Mercedes in the title? Everything.
Beauty, an attraction that never fades, satisfaction, comfort and outright timelessness.
Without getting into a fight about this; “Mercedes makes the best cars in the world.” If you wish to contest that statement, good luck arguing by yourself as I’ll not partake in this puniness. I am here to justify my statement and hopefully, you’ll be on OLX Uganda looking for a good deal after this.
The 2002 Mercedes Benz C Class Kompressor is my favourite Mercedes Benz of all time. A powerful championship title for it for I am comparing with the various Mercedes cars I’ve driven. It was supposed to be my first car, but sadly it isn’t. Nonetheless, It is not the end of my story with it. I plan to buy one for my lady in a campaign dubbed #BenzForBae.
The refinement in styling, technology, safety, reasonable pricing, design, comfort and beauty remain ‘a one’ of its kind descriptions for anything Mercedes Benz. One that has been true to every generation they have built for all their models.
It’s like when the ladies and gentlemen at Mercedes conceive an idea for a car, they go to bed early that day, get a sufficient amount of sleep, get up early to a heavy healthy breakfast, go back to the office, deliberate over the idea again, take a vacation and when they return, with fresh minds, relaxed brains and very healthy bodies, the design and engineering teams purchase the finest drawing paper, well-sharpened art pencils and they get down to business.
It is 2018 and the 2002 W203 Mercedes Benz is still the most stylish mid-size sedan gracefully stopping at the numerous ‘Jennifer Musisi’ traffic lights. It is accurately stated when I say that it ages well, plausibly better than fine wine. It just gets so much better with time.
Produced between 2000 – 2006, the W203 Mercedes is by far the most popular Benz in Uganda. This is mainly because it is the cheapest polished Benz sedan one can get, the easiest to maintain given the popularity – which makes spare parts easy to get, and it is the friendliest on fuel economy.
Its beauty is striking from across the road, room, parking lot or wherever you might find one. The magnificent edges are perfectly curved, the headlamps remain the most definitive feature about the car, the side mirrors are tasteful and the indicators on them accent its beauty, and the size is frankly adequate.
The question of design and beauty is one that’s easily answered; it is a timelessly grand design. All of this extends to the state of the art interior. Which is still one of the best-equipped interiors of a lot of the cars driven on our roads. This speaks a lot into Mercedes’ unquestionable market leadership.
The material used in the interior feels premium and it’s all high-quality stuff. Heated seats, dual climate control, electrically adjusted seats, leather interior, multifunctional buttons on the steering wheel, electronic handbrake, cruise control, and a whole lot more.
Mercedes is very keen on safety too; passenger airbags, computerized ‘everything’ from the tyre pressure monitoring, the side mirrors that tilt down to improve your view when you select reverse, the automatic headlights, out of the factory alarm system with that prestigious Mercedes Keyfob, and a whole catalogue of exciting features.
The performance is where my interest and the main focus is always centred. And boy oh boy! The 2002 Mercedes Benz C Class Kompressor is every bit a Mercedes Benz. It is heavy, it is grounded, it is swift, it is comfortable, it is responsive and it is properly fast.
It doesn’t need foreplay or any sort of coddling you’d normally do to your Toyota sedan. When it’s time to go, it is already gone. It is incredibly impressive just how intuitive the acceleration and braking response is. In the driver’s seat, it is immediately obvious that you are driving a properly engineered car. The performance and luxury in the cabin is an experience that remains exclusive to the C Class when compared to the rivals from that timeline.
Not that it should come as a surprise, but here is the cheapest Sedan Mercedes makes from 2002 but it performs like it was engineered after 2010. Some recent favourites from other makers do not perform as good as this Mercedes.
I didn’t want to push it too hard, I feared to lose control and bash an over UGX 40,000,000 Mercedes, but without intention, I found I was already doing over 110 km/hr. I was filled with shock, excitement and fascination at the same time. Even at 120 km/hr, it didn’t feel like it was wobbly or the slightest mistake would send me in a series of somersaults.
The last time I drove my Altezza on the Entebbe Express at about 140 km/hr, the poor thing was shaking like it was brewing a hurricane. The Mercedes was utterly grounded, the “in control” feeling and response felt like I was doing about 70 km/hr.
This made me curious, I put the hammer down, and boy oh boy! We were flying. The C Class “hugged” the road and the grip at a comfortable 160 km/hr was mind-blowing. No shaking at all, I was still 100% in charge of its every action and reaction. The realization that you are safely doing all this in a Mercedes is the most reassuring feeling you’ll ever get behind the wheel.
By the end of my few hours with this stately Mercedes, it was nothing but satisfaction from the fulfilment of having a test of what my daily drive was supposed to feel like. It checks every box for what would qualify it as a great car. It checks every box for performance and luxury. It is an absolute delight.
However, with so much greatness, we cannot ignore the fact that it is actually quite low, not too spacious especially in the back, very expensive to buy, service and maintain despite being the most affordable modern Benz on our market, too electrical and computerized that when one thing goes wrong, it could immobilize the entire car once the computer detects it’s not safe to drive, and also, you’ll always drive with your heart in your mouth as a scratch or bump from a bodaboda or taxi could mean half your paycheck at Spear Motors or Paul Kaganzi’s.
Therefore, to find a symbol that represents everything you desire in something is to actualize a dream. And even greater than Desire Luzinda, the physical symbol of everything I adore about a woman, the 2002 Mercedes Benz C Class Kompressor isn’t just a symbol, it is everything I adore in a car.
Author: Ian Paul Byamugisha
Ian Paul Byamugisha is a writer/author/novelist and car journalist. As a writer for Newslibre, he writes car reviews, cars news, tech news and anything that one might find interesting to read. Currently working on a spy novel collection titled “Arthur Vintage.”