Mercedes-Benz C 250 BlueTEC, Avantgarde, Diamantweiss metallic, Leder Seidenbeige, Zierelemente Aluminium, (W205), 2013Mercedes-Benz

The upcoming BMW 3 Series and Audi A4-rivalling Mercedes-Benz C-Class will be heading to a showroom near you soon priced at £26,855 for the most basic models.

Just two engines will be available at launch and they are a 2.0-litre petrol, dubbed the C200, or a C220 BlueTec 2.2-litre diesel unit. A further three variants, including a hybrid, will be introduced later in the year.

Three model lines will be available to customers, SE, Sport and AMG Line, with even basic SE trim levels boasting such niceties as an advanced and intuitive touchpad to control the entertainment functions via the centrally-mounted seven-inch colour display.

Seats are also decked out in Mercedes' Artico faux-leather material, while passengers are treated to two-zone air conditioning as standard.

The driver's life is made simpler by a reversing camera, rain sensing wipers, Attention Assist, Speedtronic cruise control, heated windscreen wiper washers, a tyre pressure monitoring system and Collision Prevention Assist Plus, which are all fitted as standard to the C-Class.

To improve the driving experience (and potentially sway BMW 3 Series buyers), the new C-Class is fitted with an Agility Select system – a switch that allows the driver to flick between Comfort, Eco, Sport and Sport+ modes.

Each selectable set-up alters the chassis stiffness, steering feedback and throttle response, enabling the driver to achieve maximum economy or a spirited drive with the flick of a rocker switch.

A number of bundles will also be available from launch and these range from an Executive Pack (£995) which features Garmin® Map Pilot navigation, heated front seats and split folding rear seats to the Driving Assistance Package (available on Sport and AMG Line models), which adds Distronic Plus, Blind Spot Assist, Pre-safe and Lane-Keeping Assist for £1,495.

Prices start at £26,855 for the C200 in SE trim to £34,355 for the C220 BlueTEC in sporty AMG Line trim.