A new presence on the road, the 2014 Mercedes C-Class exudes enough elegance and has sufficient flair to pose as a more expensive car than it really is. Taking design cues from the bigger brother, the luxury limousine S-Class, the C shares a similar fascia and rear end, without being too intrusive – just enough to make it clear that its heart pumps Mercedes DNA.
The car comes in three body configurations – saloon, estate and coupe. A common ground for all of them is their lightweight construction – aluminium reigns supreme, as its extensive use in the structure of the chassis allowed not only an increase in dimensions (the Mercedes C-Class is close to the size of the 2002 E-Class) but also a decrease in consumption, so it’s cheaper to run than its previous model.
The fascia features S-Class inspired headlamps with LED technology. The Sport and AMG versions also get a set of high performance lights which illuminate the road with colours that simulate daylight. The large grille, with black mesh behind the massive MB star logo, with two winglets, dominates the front. The bumper features similar lines to the one found on the CLA, with expansive air intakes and a protruding lower lip. The profile is arched, featuring, including in saloon guise, a coupe-like figure. The muscular side lines continue the legacy introduces by the large CL and the sportier CLA and give it a more impressive stance on the road. The rear LED lamps bite into the profiled shoulders, giving the Mercedes C-Class a more athletic appearance, while the rear bumper includes two exhausts, beautifully sheathed by chrome trim.
There are three model lines available – the base SE, the Sport and the AMG Line. The SE comes with 16 inch alloy wheels, a multifunction steering wheel, a 7 inch display and a reverse camera. The Sport includes 17 inch alloy wheels, chromed accessories, a lowered suspension (by 15mm), sat-nav, brushed aluminium trim in the cabin and front heated seats. The top of the line AMG version comes with an aggressive body kit, 18 inch titanium grey wheels, a flat bottom sport steering wheel, stiffer springs and brushed stainless steel pedals.
The engine choice is not that wide, but Mercedes promises that more will come. There are 4 diesel engines – the 1.6 litre C 200 BlueTEC with 136 bhp, the 2.1 litre C 220 BlueTEC with 170 bhp, the 2.1 litre C 250 BlueTEC with 204 bhp and the C 300 BlueTEC Hybrid, which also adds an electric motor to the mix, the power output being 204 + 27 bhp. There is only one petrol engine to boot, the C 200, which provides a total of 184 bhp.
The standard offer is quite rich, as there is a start/stop system to help with fuel economy, automatic windscreen wipers and the Attention Assist mode that warns the driver when he or she has been too much behind the wheel by analyzing signs of fatigue and the time spent driving continuously and consequently issues an audio and visual warning, to prevent the onset of sleep.
Mercedes C-Class – 5 Point Review
Competing with the BMW 3 Series, the Lexus IS and the Audi A4, the Mercedes C-Class has a tough job ahead of itself. However, taking into consideration the attention to detail with which the car has been built, it’s difficult to think that it will not be up to the challenge. The exterior resembles larger, more expensive models in the range and consequently, appears to cost more than it really does.
The cabin has benefited from the same exemplary craftsmanship as the outside, as premium materials and an expansive space welcome you as soon as you step inside. The triple air vents exude sportiness, while the large, 7 inch display sits atop of the dashboard, as is controlled by a touchpad. There are ambient light sensors, an air refresh system that can also spray fine scents, internet capability and live traffic information.
The suspension system, even in the base configuration, impresses when it comes to ride comfort. Even when fitted with the large, 18 inch wheels of the AMG version, the Mercedes C-Class has no problem whatsoever in cushioning the bumps in the road and provides a smooth ride. The steering response is very quick and precise, but the underpowered petrol engine does not impress when it comes to dynamic performance. On the downside, although the diesel engines are excellent when it comes to mileage, the noise they produce somehow still seeps through into the cabin, which is a little disappointing. Moreover, die to its dimensions, it’s a bit difficult to park, hence the decision to include parking sensors as standard equipment on all models.
Introduced in June, the Mercedes C-Class model is new to the market, which does not allow us to measure the reliability factor precisely. However, the previous model’s reputation was almost flawless, as very little issues have been signaled by clients. That’s not surprising, when taking into consideration that Mercedes offers a 3 years unlimited warranty, which means that you’ll be covered for the period no matter how much miles you gather on the clock.
The petrol C 200 (in saloon guise) comes with a price tag of £26,855 for the 6 speed manual and £28,355 for the 7 speed automatic (which we warmly recommend) and has a combined cycle mileage of 53.3. The diesels are more expensive, with the C 220 being £29,365 and the diesel-electric hybrid £34,630, which, by the way, comes only with the 7G-Tronic automatic transmission. The coupe prices range from £29,965 – £68,495, while the estate starts from £28,470; £70,340 represents the highest level of price possible, with all options included. The Best fuel economy is offered by the hybrid version, with a combined cycle of 78.5 mpg, while the petrol only manages 53.3mpg.
Longer and wider than before, the Mercedes C-Class offers plenty of interior space. The leg room is plentiful and there’s ample space for your shoulders. The back seat is very comfortable and is able to seat three; if you’re worried about long drives, fear not, for there is sufficient room to relax. The boot space measures 480 litres in total, but the rear seats can be folded (60:40) to provide extra storage. If you’re tall, do mind the low roofline, as the coupe inspired shape makes entering through the back door a bit troublesome – but a little attention should easily solve this minor issue!
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