The most popular Mercedes-Benz model of the past decade, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, is setting new standards for opulence and sumptuousness in its segment, featuring greater interior space, a choice of powerfully efficient and electrically assisted engines, and a suite of class-leading technologies.
Customers in Australia benefit from a higher level of standard equipment in the new C-Class, including a number of features which were previously unavailable or optional in the outgoing model. Such standard features include new generation hybrid assistance from a 48-volt electrical system, AMG Line exterior and interior packages, 11.9-inch central media display, 360° camera, Keyless-GO entry and start with automatic powered boot closing, front centre airbag, fingerprint scanner and active safety systems including the sophisticated radar cruise control system, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC.
The familiar, yet seductively evolved Mercedes-Benz C-Class is poised to once again set the standard for comfort, opulence and technology in the luxury sedan segment, with a new-generation model heavily inspired by the recently-released and highly acclaimed S-Class.
A swag of highlights includes more cabin space than ever before, the latest version of the acclaimed MBUX infotainment system based for the first time on a portrait orientation screen, and a subtle yet powerful evolution of the ‘sensual purity’ design ethic.
“The letters C and S sit at opposite ends of the alphabet. However, in our portfolio they’re now moving closer together,” says Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG. “The C-Class is already our best-selling sedan. Still, I’m certain our new C-Class will excite even more customers with a wide range of high-tech features derived from our flagship S-Class. Our most successful model range will once again raise the bar as the most sophisticated offering in its segment.”
The latest generation of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class family will initially be represented by the C 200 Sedan and the C 300 Sedan, with further variants expected including high-performance AMG versions.
A sales success story
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has been the highest-volume Mercedes-Benz model of the past decade, with more than 2.5 million examples sold globally since the introduction of the current generation in 2014 (including almost 60,000 in Australia) and 10.5 million since the introduction of the C-Class’s forerunner, the Mercedes-Benz 190, in 1982. The first car under the C-Class designation was introduced in May 1993. In 2020, C-Class variants were delivered to customers in more than 100 markets around the world.
Technology to the fore
With its eyes fixed on a future that will include electrification in every passenger car category, Mercedes-Benz packages a 48-volt on-board electrical system into both the C 200 and C 300 models, effectively turning each powerplant into a mild hybrid that also adds significant benefits to overall driveability.
The experience of driving a Mercedes-Benz C-Class is closer to that enjoyed by occupants of the opulent S-Class than ever before, thanks to the adoption of the second generation of the acclaimed MBUX infotainment system. The vehicle interior has become even more digital and intelligent, as brilliant images on the LCD screens – including a new portrait-orientation 11.9-inch central screen with a more pronounced tilt towards the driver – make it easy to control vehicle and comfort functions.
Between the driver display and the central media screen, information is presented in a clearly structured way. A new display aesthetic developed for the S-Class is systematically used as the basis for other models, among the first of which is the C-Class. The appearance of the screens can be individualised with three display styles (Discreet, Sporty, Classic) and three modes (Navigation, Assistance, Service).
Using the voice assistant by saying “Hey Mercedes” becomes more interactive and capable of learning by activating online services in the Mercedes me App. Moreover, certain actions can be performed even without saying “Hey Mercedes”, such as taking a telephone call. “Hey Mercedes” is also able to recognise occupants by their voices.
With Online Music, Mercedes-Benz fully integrates major music streaming services into MBUX, enabling seamless access to the personal user profile at the linked music provider. This not only gives customers convenient access to their favourite songs and playlists, but also the opportunity to discover millions of songs and curated playlists.
Below the central display, an ergonomically-positioned fingerprint scanner allows users to log into their own MBUX profile quickly, conveniently and securely, protecting personal settings and data such as favourites, most recent destinations and behaviour-based predictions.
Inside story: more space to stretch out
With a length of 4793 mm in standard AMG Line guise and a width of 1820 mm, the new C-Class is considerably larger than its predecessor. The wheelbase has increased by 25 mm to 2865 mm, with both front and rear passengers benefiting from the increased exterior dimensions.
Elbow room has been increased by 22 mm in the front and 15 mm in the rear, while headroom in the rear has increased by 13 mm. Thanks to up to 35 mm more knee-room in the second row, journeys are even more pleasant for rear-seat passengers.
Mild hybrid drivetrains for enhanced efficiency
Systematic electrification and intelligent downsizing mean the C-Class sets new standards in efficiency. Four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engines from the current modular engine family now have an integrated starter-generator (ISG) for intelligent assistance at low engine speeds, as a mild hybrid of the second generation. This ensures outstanding power delivery. The ISG uses a 48-volt on-board electrical system that ensures functions such as gliding, boosting or energy recovery, and makes significant fuel savings possible.
The combination of the four-cylinder M 254 petrol engine with this second-generation ISG – which can add additional output of up to 15 kW more power and 200 Nm more torque – celebrates its première in the C-Class.
The engine starts very rapidly and comfortably as a result, with the start/stop function almost imperceptible to the driver, as is the transition from gliding with the engine switched off to strong acceleration under engine power. When idling, the intelligent interaction between the ISG and the combustion engine ensures smooth running.
In the M 254, Mercedes-Benz combines its modular engine family innovations in a single unit. They include NANOSLIDE® cylinder coating and CONICSHAPE® cylinder honing (trumpet honing). A completely new feature is the segment turbocharger with flow connection, an advancement of twin-scroll technology, for even more instantaneous response of the forced induction system. The completely newly developed segment turbocharger is a result of cooperation between Mercedes-Benz turbocharger developers and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1® team. It also means that for short periods, the output of the C 300 can additionally be increased by up to 20 kW with overboost.
The 9G-TRONIC transmission has been developed for use with ISG, with benefits for installation space, weight and efficiency. Furthermore, computing power is increased via a new generation of the fully integrated transmission control with multi-core processor and new design and connectivity technology.
Equipped with the 1.5-litre version of the M 254 petrol engine and 9G-TRONIC auto, the engine of the C 200 Sedan before mild hybrid assistance makes 150 kW of power and 300 Nm of torque, with a fuel economy rating of 6.9 L/100 km (ADR combined). The C 300 Sedan, with a 2.0-litre M 254 engine, makes 190 kW and 400 Nm, and achieves an economy figure of 7.3 L/100 km. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h for each of the two variants takes 7.3 s and 6.0 s respectively.
Taking care of comfort and agility
The key components of the new, dynamically configured suspension are a new four-link axle at the front and a multi-link axle at the rear mounted to a subframe. The new suspension provides the basis for a high degree of ride and aural comfort, agile handling and driving fun.
Optional rear-axle steering is available for the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which is a first in this segment. This can add steering angle at the rear axle of 2.5 degrees, reducing the turning circle by 43 centimetres to 10.64 metres. It also creates especially agile and stable handling, and a more direct steering ratio at the front axle. The driver also needs fewer turns of the steering wheel for full lock.
At speeds below 60 km/h, the rear wheels steer in the opposite direction to the front wheels – and by up to 2.5 degrees during parking. Depending on the situation, this virtually shortens the wheelbase, and the vehicle is more manoeuvrable as a result. At speeds above 60 km/h, the rear wheels steer in the same direction as the front wheels. This virtual increase in wheelbase has noticeable advantages in the form of improved handling stability and safety at high speeds, during fast lane-changes or sudden evasive manoeuvres.
Dynamic design, luxuriously appointed interior
With its dynamic proportions, the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class already looks to be in motion at a standstill, thanks to the combination of short front overhang, long wheelbase and rear overhang. The sporty bonnet with power domes accentuates this impression of forward motion. The windscreen and passenger cell have been moved to the rear to create this classic “cab-backward” design.
When viewed from the side, elaborately sculptured surfaces create unique light effects. Conversely, the designers have reduced lines to a minimum, which accentuates the so-called catwalk line or shoulder line even more. Other features producing the sporty, superior appearance include the wide track and the flush wheels in modern designs.
The brand’s hallmark radiator grille characterises the front. Fitment of the AMG Line exterior package as standard gives the C-Class a bold new diamond grille with “star design” in chrome. The rear-end design features new taillights with a two-piece design, with the light functions divided between the outside and boot-lid lamps. Three optional new paint finishes – Spectral Blue, High-Tech Silver and Opalite White – have been added to the colour range.
The current model is already a leader in terms of high-value interior appeal and the new C-Class goes even further with respect to modern luxury. The interior adopts highlights from the new S-Class, adding a sporty touch. The dashboard is divided into an upper and a lower section: the former a wing-like section with new, flattened round vents reminiscent of aircraft engine nacelles, and the latter an opulent expanse of trim flowing from the centre console to the dashboard without interruption. The dashboard and central display are slightly tilted towards the driver, by six degrees.
The driver’s display features a free-standing, 12.3-inch high-resolution LCD screen that appears to float in front of the wing profile and the expanse of trim. This sets the driver display apart from traditional cockpits with classic round dials.
The paradigm change to digitisation is also obvious in the central display: the vehicle functions can be controlled using the high-quality touchscreen. Its portrait orientation is particularly advantageous for navigation. The touchscreen likewise appears to float above the expanse of trim.
New sport seats use layers and enveloping surfaces to create a visual impression of lightness, while the head restraints are a completely new design. Adjustment is electronic, including four-way lumbar support.
The Mercedes-Benz C 200 Sedan
The Mercedes-Benz C 200 Sedan is comprehensively equipped with technology, luxury, comfort and safety. The second generation of the MBUX infotainment system is rendered on a central 11.9-inch, portrait-oriented LCD screen. It provides a portal to many of the vehicle’s essential features and can be guided by advanced new voice recognition, via the touchscreen, using the console-mounted touchpad, or via track pads embedded in the multifunction sports-styled steering wheel (in Nappa leather).
The display unit includes an ergonomically placed fingerprint scanner for secure and easy access to different profiles, while wireless smartphone integration via Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ is included, as is a full connectivity suite of functions via the Mercedes me Connect app. This includes live traffic updates, parked vehicle locator and predictive navigation, and the vehicle is fitted with MBUX Navigation Premium, with the option of Augmented Reality which utilises a forward-facing camera to create an augmented navigational view on the centre screen showing real-time directional assistance.
The sophisticated interior features sporty AMG Line trim and AMG floor mats, 64-colour ambient lighting, an illuminated front door sill with ‘Mercedes-Benz’ lettering, keyless entry and start and dual-zone climate control.
The AMG Line exterior features AMG body styling, while the exterior mirrors are electrically adjustable with electric folding and heating. The LED headlights include Headlamp Assist and Adaptive High Beam Assist, while the optional DIGITAL LIGHT package utilises 1.3 million micro-mirrors per headlight for extremely high definition output.
The DYNAMIC SELECT system enables the driver to select from four driving modes, while the standard 18-inch AMG 5-spoke alloy wheels are painted in Tantalite Grey with machined surfaces for a high-sheen finish.
A comprehensive standard safety suite includes, for the first time, a centre-front airbag between the driver and front-seat passenger, taking the total airbags to 10. A 360 degree camera assists with parking, as does Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC ultrasonic sensors. Other standard assistances include the Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC cruise control system, ATTENTION ASSIST driver drowsiness monitoring, Speed Limit Assist and lane tracking including Active Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist.
The Mercedes-Benz C 300 Sedan
In addition to the generous specification of the C 200 Sedan, the Mercedes-Benz C 300 Sedan brings a more powerful mild-hybrid drivetrain, and receives full leather upholstery, 19-inch AMG multi-spoke bi-colour alloy wheels, and dark-tinted privacy glass behind the B-pillar.
Inclusion of the Driving Assistance Package Plus adds a suite of active assistance and convenience features including Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Function, Active Emergency Stop Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Steering Assist, and Active Stop-and-Go Assist. Also included is Evasive Steering Assist, Extended Automatic Restart on motorways, and the PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side accident anticipation and protection system.
The Mercedes-Benz C 200 Sedan is priced at $78,900, while the Mercedes-Benz C 300 Sedan is priced at $90,400.
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