Choosing Between a UK and a Japan Mercedes

Mercedes-Benz C180 Kompressor  Photo: Public Domain

I recently survived a near-fatal accident on Thika Road after ramming an unmanned, broken-down lorry with no lifesaver sign. My car was subsequently written off.

I want to buy a C180 Mercedes but do not know the difference between the Japanese and the UK one. Someone recently gave me a quote and mentioned that it has a supercharger. I want a 1800cc car that is not turbocharged.

Kindly let me know what a supercharger in this car means and which make — Japanese or UK — is best for Kenyan roads.


First off, my deepest sympathies concerning your near-fatal accident. It is good that you are still with us.

The major differences between Japanese and UK Mercedes’ would be spec levels, which, in a word, is the amount of kit and equipment available to the customer.

The Kompressor Benz is supercharged, not turbocharged, so buying one will not go against your desires. Just out of curiosity: Why don’t you want a car with a turbo?

A supercharger is a forced-induction device used to pump more air into the engine than normal, just like a turbocharger.

The difference is that a turbocharger uses the momentum of exhaust gasses to run while a supercharger is driven by a belt which is, in turn, driven by the engine itself, thus in essence it saps some of the power that it is creating.

The ideal Benz for Kenyan roads is the one sold by DT Dobie, but between UK and Japan…. get an ex-UK. The British model may have clocks running on miles instead of kilometres (the conversion factor is 1.06093 kilometres to the mile), but the Japanese car will have things labelled in Japanese, which will be difficult to fathom.


by JM Baraza