Mercedes-Benz C-Class review


What is?

It’s the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, a very important car for the three-pointed star, especially since it has sold 2.5 million since the fourth-generation car was introduced in 2014.

So what’s up? Not the platform: The new C sits on a heavily revised version of the old car’s underpinnings, but it’s physically bigger in every way. Significantly, the new C borrows a lot of technology from the current-generation S-Class, including its basic design and interior concept. Engines range from four-cylinder mild hybrids to plug-in petrol with a diesel on the way.

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Rivals? The BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4 are the big two, but you also have to think about the Tesla Model 3, the Volvo S60, the Alfa Romeo Giulia and the Jaguar XE.

Wait, so it has the same interior as the S-Class?

Yes, the new C’s basic dashboard architecture is shared with Merc’s luxurious flagship. Pulled straight from the S-Class and standard on all UK cars, the 11.9-inch vertical touchscreen is fairly intuitive and packed with too many features to list. Merc’s ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice assistant gets smarter with each generation (not exactly Alexa, but close), and it’s the safest way to use the system while driving. Over-the-air updates mean the system should also get better over time.

One would expect a Mercedes to be comfortable, and the new C doesn’t disappoint. The seats and the driving position are perfect and it is very quiet. Too bad some of the interior materials let the vibe down, and despite being generally larger than its predecessor, the new C isn’t terribly roomy compared to its rivals. More information about all this in the ‘Interior’ section.

How it is handeled?

The big change with this latest generation is the emphasis on comfort. The ride is noticeably smoother and more luxurious than the BMW 3 Series. Sure, you can have an AMG Line C-Class that comes with sport suspension and sits 15mm lower than standard, but if you want a reward for the driver, the BMW is still the car to have.

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The Mercedes is the one that consumes the distance and makes the hours pass. It’s happy on motorways and well damped on B roads. It’s always a shame UK cars aren’t available with the adaptive dampers our European counterparts get, or rear wheel steering, but that’s not anymore a deciding factor. It’s a smooth, safe and capable car to drive: a little fuzzy when pressed, but good for what really matters in this class. All the details in the ‘Driving’ tab.

What engines can you get?

From launch you can choose between four C200 and C300 petrol and C220d and C300d diesel. The C300 petrol and both diesels have 2.0-litre engines, while the C200 makes do with just 1.5. They’re all mild hybrids, with a 48-volt battery and an integrated starter/generator that recovers energy lost during braking, using it to help the engine start and accelerate.

Buyers now also have the option to opt for a gasoline-powered plug-in hybrid with an electric range of more than 60 miles. It’s the C300e, and it’s probably the pick of the lineup. Electricity is better integrated here than in any equivalent plug-in hybrid, with good functionality and really useful range. A diesel add-on will join the range this year. Other new C’s on the horizon include the AMG C63, which we already know will be a four-wheel drive plug-in hybrid with a north of 600bhp.

We also ran the 201-hp C200 and C220d, as well as the 261-hp C300d. The former is fine but feels a bit stingy to push, while the latter is possibly one of the best 2.0-litre diesels you can buy right now. Refined and punchy: a great match for the new C and its standard nine-speed automatic transmission, though not quite as attractive as the BMW 330d straight-six.

How much is it?

Prices start from £38,785 OTR for the entry-level petrol C200, making it virtually identical to its rivals. As standard, you get a host of tech, including a high-resolution 11.9-inch center multimedia display with Merc’s latest generation MBUX multimedia system, heated front seats with wireless smartphone charging, reversing camera and a wide range of driver assistance systems. .

From there, trim levels follow the typical Mercedes formula, with the sportier-looking AMG lineup with more kit costing you an extra £1,380. Premium models start from just under £43,000, while Premium Plus, from £46,700, adds 19-inch five-twin-spoke alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, head-up display and a Thermotronic four-zone automatic climate control. .

Do you want the complete package? The top of the range C 300 d AMG Line Premium Plus will cost you €52,125…

What’s the verdict?

Extremely comfortable, impressively equipped and safe to drive, the new C-Class ticks many boxes.

The new C-Class is an elegant and high-performance car, closer to the comfort, refinement and quality of the Audi A4 than to the dynamism of the BMW 3 Series. sophisticated and comfortable with S-Class technologies. The engines are not the most satisfying to use, but efficient, and the new plug-in hybrids are setting new standards for the class. If you can stretch out there, these are for you.

That said, the brakes are a bit quirky, it’s not particularly roomy compared to its rivals, and parts of the dash and interior look a bit cheap. If you can look past all of that, it’s a solid choice.

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