E.When Mercedes-Benz renews the C-Class, there is an alarm mood. With the competition, which must not lose touch with a currently somewhat bland Audi A4 and an eternal rival BMW 3 Series. And in-house, because the new model has to be even better than the previous one. The first glance falls on the design, where Gorden Wagener’s troops are chasing after a self-inflicted dilemma. The clean, clear lines have brought the once sleepy cars from Stuttgart far forward, even among the youth. But how do you develop it further? It is now difficult to distinguish an S-Class from an E-Class, and now also from a C-Class.
Editor in business, responsible for “Technology and Engine”.
The front rises resolutely steeply, power domes pull through the hood. The side guide is skillfully under tension, at the rear the two-part lights intervene to support the width. The C-Class, which has grown from 4.68 to 4.75 meters in length, looks successful, at best we could imagine a more consistent conclusion. Depending on the willingness to spend, large or very large screens move into the interior, the steering wheel is based on a sports car, and ambient light illuminates the dashboard right into the air vents. And also in the roof. Mercedes combines a noble facility with a user experience that is heavily geared towards digital, how well it works in everyday life, we will describe after an extensive test drive. First the car was shown statically.
Months ago we sat in a prototype and were impressed by the atmosphere. 455 liters fit into the trunk of the sedan, the station wagon loads 490 to 1510 liters. The low use of chrome is striking. Across the industry, sustainability is being written more and more, including here, attention is paid to the extraction and recycling of materials. The new C-Class, with its wheelbase that has grown by 2.5 centimeters, is officially approved for five people; in fact, four of them feel comfortable on well-contoured seats, and the fifth place is tight.
From a technical point of view, Mercedes-Benz uses everything that meets the highest demands, of course always a touch below the S-Class that delivers the steep draft. The C-Class also has rear-axle steering that promotes handling, which also steers by 2.5 degrees here, not 10 degrees as in the S-Class. Adjustable dampers are also on board. There is an additional airbag between the driver and front passenger to minimize the risk of injuries in the event of a side impact. LED headlights are standard, and even the light can be digital for an extra charge. The armada of assistants to list would be endless, there are plenty and for our taste too many for some.
Driving yourself should be in the foreground in such a crisp car. Four-cylinder engines are available for this, and exclusively four-cylinder. If you want six cylinders, you have to hope for the fast subsidiary AMG. Something is offered for every need with a slight staggering in time, diesel, gasoline, diesel hybrid and gasoline hybrid. The automatic with 9 levels is always there.
Basically, all drives are electrified in one way or another for the purpose of greater economy. The M 254 engine, thrown out of the E-Class minutes before the market launch, is now used in the C-Class as the C 180, C 200 and C 300. The petrol engines have a displacement of 1.5 or 2 liters and offer 170 to 258 hp. They reach 231 to 250 km / h. The diesels basically have a displacement of 2 liters and their power spectrum ranges from 163 to 265 hp. The maximum speeds are 226 to 250 km / h. Soon after the launch, the fourth generation of plug-in hybrids will follow. They use the same basic engines, while electrification is making progress. The data sheet shows a system output of 313 hp and a torque of 550 Nm, as well as a battery with a gross capacity of 25.4 kWh, which should ensure an electrical standard range of around 100 kilometers in accordance with the WLTP cycle. That won’t quite work in reality, but it will still be enough to turn the C-Class into an electric car in many everyday cases.
The sedan and station wagon will appear in stores at the same time in June 2021. Mercedes-Benz does not want to comment on prices or how much they will rise until the end of March.