- Comfortable and luxurious cabin
- Smooth engines
- Great auto gearbox
- More practical
- Very comfortable
- Standard manual gearbox
- Air suspension costs extra
- Inert steering
- Servicing costs may be high
This is the next generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon, the firm’s popular premium executive saloon. It now shares much of its technology with the flagship Mercedes product – the S-Class.
The new C-Class will be arriving in dealerships in summer, and it’s a real cracker. It’s a rival to the popular BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4 – but is more comfortable and nicer inside than either. And it’s just as cheap to run, though it does have its faults; the poor manual gearbox and utterly vague steering detract from a pure sporty driving experience.
The C-class' attributes include a huge wealth of equipment for both safety and luxury, a more transparent ownership proposition and a suite of optional extras that make this car feel every inch the baby S-Class.
Two extras we’d urge any C-Class buyer to try before committing are the excellent air suspension (which dramatically improves comfort levels) and the head-up display (as seen on the BMW 3 Series) which shows sat-nav and speed limit information on the windscreen.
Mercedes expects this car to perform incredibly well as both a private car and a fleet vehicle, with the latter accounting for 65 percent of sales.
Choice of engines
It's available initially with a choice of three engines and three trim levels: SE, Sport and AMG Line. From launch the new C-Class will be available with either a four-cylinder petrol or a choice of two power outputs from a four-cylinder diesel. All three will be available with a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearboxes.
A further trio of engine variants - the C 200 BlueTEC, C 250 BlueTEC and C 300 BlueTEC HYBRID are expected to follow during the course of the year. A plug-in hybrid will follow after that.
Some 100kg lighter than its predecessor, Mercedes-Benz claims the new C-Class will have the lightest body-shell of the segment when it goes on sale, helped largely by the increased use of aluminium.
Weight loss played a key part in the design process and CO2 emissions have been significantly reduced over the outgoing model as a result with the range now starting from as low as 103g/km for the C220 BlueTEC SE.
There’s an increased wheelbase too, which means rear passengers benefit from more space. It’s also a wider car than ever and longer overall too, and thus the boot has grown by 5 litres to 480 litres.
Updated cabin, full of tech
Sharing much of its interior quality and features with the recently launched S-Class, the new C-Class is luxurious inside and takes the premium saloon to new heights when it comes to refinement levels.
As well as featuring some of the advanced technologies available in the new S-Class, the C-Class also debuts a new touchpad system. This clever bit of kit enables the driver to scroll through the different menus and select favourites all with the tips of your fingers.
Built into the hand rest on the central control panel, the touchpad enables drivers to control all the functions in the same way we use smartphones and tablets. It also allows letters and numbers to be entered using the handwriting recognition tool – similar to the set-up we’ve seen on the Audi A3.
The display unit will be available for the first time as a seven-inch screen as standard with an 8.4-inch screen available as you move up the range.
There's a new optional GPS-based air conditioning system too. This can sense changes in environment such as entering a tunnel and change the characteristics of the air-conditioning accordingly.
As standard you can expect a reversing camera, rain-sensing wipers, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, heated windscreen wiper washers, a tyre pressure monitoring system and Collision Prevention Assist Plus.
To find out more about this all-new model, read on for the full Parkers Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon review.
What owners say about this car
Very sporty but you get low MPG. DRIVEN CAREFULLY I CAN ACHIEVE 66 mpg on a run and around town... Read owner review
If you have your hands full with shopping, the boot can be opened by waving your foot under the rear... Read owner review
4 doors with 40:20:40 split rear seating. Great ride. Read owner review