The latest iteration of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class ushers in a number of exterior cosmetic tweaks, as well as the introduction of a selection of Mercedes-Benz’s direct-injection engines and new on-board connectivity systems.
Given that there was little to fault with the previous car’s styling, it’s understandable that the newcomer’s exterior hasn’t changed as dramatically as the interior. The revision of the new car’s frontal aspect centres on a V-shaped central air intake, which is again echoed by the front bumper moulding to give the car a sportier, more aggressive look. The bonnet, which also features V-shaped contours near the headlamps, is now hewn from aluminium in a bid to lower kerb weight. The headlamps have also been re-styled to resemble those of the company’s radical-looking new CLS model and, in the case of the optional bi-xenon units, feature a C-shaped LED element alongside the high beams. The taillamp clusters also feature C-shaped LED elements in the turn indictors, while a mild re-shape to the rear valance helps to accentuate the car’s width.
While the previous C-Class managed to garner many plaudits for its packaging and balanced dynamics, the interior often come in for criticism. A combination of so-so plastics and relatively low-rent switchgear in a scattered layout were a real let-down in the previous model. But Mercedes has atoned for these past shortcomings and given the new car the facia that it always deserved. The new model’s facia adopts for a tiered design similar to that of the current E-Class. The trim quality has been upgraded with the use of new surface grains, galvanised accents and soft-touch materials lining the tops of the facia and door trim panels. Other touches, such as the optional high-resolution colour information display in the instrument binnacle, also helps to create a far more upmarket ambience in the cabin.
The updated C-Class also ushers in a new range of infotainment systems that will gradually filter into other model series. The new features include larger displays to improve operating convenience, as well as upgraded telematics that enable such functions as telephone directory transfer and the display of SMS messages from compatible smart phones, wireless music reproduction via Bluetooth-enabled devices and a USB interface now accommodated in the centre armrest.
Mercedes claims significant improvements in fuel consumption for all C-Class models, thanks to the adoption of the company’s BlueEfficiency technology across the board and a revised version of the 7G-Tronic automatic transmission that has been optimised for greater fuel economy. The four-cylinder diesels gain stop/start technology, while all of the petrol engines now feature direct fuel injection – in the case of the four-cylinder units, this will be augmented by turbochargers to achieve a balance of improved performance and fuel economy. A case in point is the new 3,5-litre V6 unit, which develops 25 kW and 20 N.m more than the outgoing engine, but is claimed to return 6,8 L/100 km – a 31 per cent improvement in fuel consumption.
Uprated safety features include adaptive high beam assist, active lane-keeping assist, active blind spot assist, attention assist, distronic plus, Pre-Safe braking, and speed limit and blind-spot assist systems.
C180 CGI BlueEfficiency MT R359 000
C200 CGI BlueEfficiency MT R379 000
C200 CDI AT R380 000
C250 CDI AT R470 000
C250 CGI AT R459 000
C350 BlueEfficiency AT R520 000
C350 CDI AT R520 000
C180 CGI BlueEfficiency MT R368 000
C200 CGI BlueEfficiency MT R388 000
C200 CDI AT R389 300
C250 CDI AT R479 600
C250 CGI AT R478 600
C350 BlueEfficiency AT R530 000
Click on the documents tab above the images to download a press release and brochure for the updated C-Class.