A budget S-Class? It sure is.
The C-Class has always been a best seller for Mercedes-Benz with over 2.5 million units sold of the current (4th gen) model since its introduction in 2014. In the last decade, it was the highest-volume Mercedes-Benz model and unsurprisingly, China remains to be the largest consumer. I think it’s safe to say that the 5th generation model with its elegant styling and high-tech interior, will amplify those numbers in no time.
At launch, there’ll be Sedan/Saloon and Estate body styles. Naturally, the new model has grown in dimensions. The Saloon now measures 4,751 mm long (+65), 2,033 mm wide including mirrors (+13) and 1,438 mm tall (-9). The Estate too has similar dimensions except for a 17 mm additional height compared to the Saloon. The wheelbase has grown by 25 mm to 2,865 mm in both Saloon and Estate models. MB claims the luggage space in the Estate is 30 litres more than before, with the capacity ranging between 490 to 1,510 litres.
The styling is a mix of Sensual Purity design language with some sporty touches, especially with that front bumper and star-patterned AMG Line diamond grille. A few lines from the new S-Class add the necessary elegance. The wheel sizes range from 17- to 19-inches in various designs. Three new paint finishes – Spectral Blue, High-Tech Silver and Opalite White – have been added to the color palette.
The Digital Light which debuted with the new S-Class is optional and so is the rear-axle steering. However, LED High Performance headlights come standard. The shape of the taillights is also pretty similar to those on the new S-Class.
The suspension system comprises a new four-link axle at the front and a multi-link axle at the rear mounted to a subframe. Options include continuously adjustable damping and a sport suspension. The plug-in hybrids get standard air suspension at the rear.
The cabin is heavily influenced by the new S-Class, especially the dashboard and centre console with that portrait-style 11.9-inch (optional) touchscreen, almost as if the smaller sibling in the house snatched the elder one’s tablet computer along with the table. A 9.5-inch screen comes standard. For the driver display, buyers can choose from a 10.25-inch or a 12.3-inch version. A color Head-Up Display is also optional. The MBUX supports queries and commands in three languages (German, Chinese, and American and British English). Material options include various man-made leather, aluminum inlays, and open-pored wood veneers.
Driving Assistance Package includes Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Steering Assist, and Traffic Sign Assist. The Pre-Safe Impulse Side is available with the Driving Assistance Package Plus.
Moving on to the juicy bits, at launch, there’ll be C 180 (1.5L), C 200 (1.5L), C 200 4Matic (1.5L), C 300 (2.0L), C 300 4Matic (2.0L), C 220d (2.0L) and C 300d (2.0L) models. All these models are equipped with EQ Boost mild-hybrid system that offers an additional 15 kW (20.4 metric hp) and 200 Nm (147.5 lb-ft) of boost.
The 1.5L (1,496 cc) turbocharged petrol engine in the C 200 pumps out 150 kW (204 metric hp) and 300 Nm (221 lb-ft) of torque, while the 2.0L (1,999 cc) turbocharged petrol engine in C 300 models offers 190 kW (258 metric hp) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque. The 2.0L (1,992 cc) turbocharged diesel engine in the C 300d develops 195 kW (265 metric hp) and 550 Nm (406 lb-ft) of torque. All engines are paired with a 9-speed torque converter automatic.
PHEV (diesel-electric with 2.0L M 254 engine) models will follow soon after the launch of the regular models, with claimed all-electric range of around 100 km (62 mi) as per WLTP, thanks to a 25.4 kWh battery pack containing 96 high-energy-density pouch cells.