Mercedes C-Class Review

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Mercedes has injected both power and tech into its fourth generation of C-Class. Although not much has changed on the outside, there can be no doubting a vast improvement by the manufacturing giant overall.

The new C-Class line-up includes the standard SE Line and the higher-end Sport and AMG Lines. All models come with a four-cylinder engine, but the AMG Line features a four litre V8 turbo option, if you’re really looking for sporty performance.

“The Mercedes C-Class used to rival the BMW 3 Series for most sportiest saloon, but now appears to have taken a left down Luxury Lane.”

Cameron Hale, Moneyshake Car Reviewer

Interior

Stepping into the new C-Class is like a breath of fresh air. Just like with the smaller A-Class, Mercedes has included these luxurious turbine-looking air vents in the front and back.

There’s plenty of interior space in the C-Class compared its BMW 3 Series rival. The space isn’t wasted, either. Mercedes have polished up the finishes and layout of the car’s interior. Everything feels expensive and smart.

Another notable improvement from the 2018 models is the space in the back. The sloped roof design previously caused problems for taller passengers, meaning there wasn’t a lot of headroom when sitting back. However, Mercedes has increased the size and width of this latest model, much like the compact A-Class.

Three adults in the back will be comfortable for long-distance journeys, but the awkward bit is where to put your feet. A large hump between the passenger foot wells is to blame for this.

Infotainment and tech

A 10.25″ central display screen is the hub of Mercedes’ new MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) Infotainment System. Accompanying this is the new haptic trackpad which replaces the old scroll-wheel command controlling the infotainment system. The trackpad looks a lot less archaic than the scroll-wheel and works just as efficiently, if not smoother. As standard, the C-Class also comes with a new digital instrument cluster which displays driver information in a much more futuristic, sharper way.

Although car tech has vastly improved on the new C-Class range, to benefit from all of it you will have to pay for optional extras. The Driving Assistance Package comes with a Distronic Plus system, Pre-Safe Plus, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist. These features are all neat additions to the car, but all come down to how safety-mad you are with your cars.

The Distronic Plus system automatically keeps your car at a safe distance from the rear of the car ahead, applying the brakes before accelerating up to your pre-set speed once safe.

Pre-Safe Plus works in a similar way but for the back of the car, with rear sensors monitoring the space behind your car, and automatically flashing the hazard lights if danger of a collision is detected.

Last but not least. Active Blind Spot Assist will monitor both your car’s blind spots and use a warning symbol on the side mirrors to warn you if it isn’t safe to change lanes. If you still attempt to change lanes, the car will apply brakes on one side of the car and even manoeuvres you back as a last resort. All notably handy features if you drive a lot of long-distance journeys but aren’t essential.

Practicality

Mercedes’ Stowage Package is standard on all C-Class models, and its features will have you watching this space (quite literally).

The components making up the package are:

  • Luggage net on right-hand side of the boot and boot floor.
  • Collapsible crate beneath the boot floor.
  • Double cup holder in the centre console, big enough for 500ml bottle (manual gearbox), increased to 750ml for automatic.
  • Luggage net in front passenger footwell.
  • Net pockets on the back of front seats.

Boot space in the C-Class is a lot better than models before it – five litres to be exact. The 480-litre space only benefits from 60:40 split-folding rear seats on Sport and AMG models. But you can always upgrade your entry-level SE for £900 to get the Executive Pack and have it.

The one bugbear with the C-Class is the high boot lip. It makes lifting heavy items into the rear a bit of a pain. It would be more of an issue if the opening wasn’t as wide as it is.

On the road

Mercedes has designed its saloon with aerodynamics in mind – the latest model weighing 100kg lighter than before. The result is nippier handling around corners and a feeling of more confidence in the car’s abilities at speed.

The standard SE won’t cause you any issues in terms of ride comfort. The optional air suspension smooths over the dodgy UK roads well, especially when you adjust it to offer more comfort and elegance when you need it most.

Compared to the 3 Series, the C-Class isn’t as lively on the move. It can be considered more of a motorway drifter, but it won’t offer any complaints should you your journey take you the agricultural way home.

Engine choice will play a big part in the overall feel when you’re behind the wheel. The C180 is the entry-level petrol engine. It’s 1.6-litre, turbocharged and does 0-62mph in a fair 8.2 seconds. If you’re after a big-hitter though, opt for the C300 2.0-litre turbo with 255bhp. At 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds, it very nearly melts the face!

If you’re after a diesel engine for your C-Class, then the C220d offers a peaceful drive and is one of the greenest engines of the range (61.4mpg, according to Mercedes). The top-performing diesel is the C300d which, like its petrol counterpart, does 0-62mph in just 5.9 seconds.

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