The new W204 C Class (a 200K) alongside the old W202.
The old W202 belongs to me; it has left-hand drive because I bought it while I was working in Germany. It's done over 130,000 miles since I collected it from the factory in Stuttgart in January 1998. It's been thrashed and neglected but the only non-routine replacement has been a water pump that failed at over 100,000 miles.
The W204 is this week's Verdict test car. For me at least, the intervening W203 model was a deep disappointment - it felt a lot flimsier than the super-solid W202 and it didn't look very Merc-like either. The W204, though, is fantastic. It's zippy and agile but in terms of its styling it looks like a proper Mercedes again, without feeling in any way old-fashioned. It still doesn't feel as solid as the old W202, although it's chunkier than the W203. On the other hand, the latest C has a lot more standard equipment, and remarkably, the prices, model for model, haven't gone up much over the last ten years.