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Mercedes-Benz C-Class facelift announced

  • Merc upgrades C-Class to keep 3 Series competitor fresh
  • New petrol engine means lower company car tax bills
  • Trim level re-jig offers more kit for slightly more money

Mercedes-Benz has announced a raft of updates for its popular C-Class, including measures which significantly lower company car tax bills.

Since the introduction of BMW's excellent new 3 Series, the German competition has had to up its game to try to retain any sort of share of an extremely competitive marketplace. Mercedes-Benz has fired back with updates for its C-Class, the focus on providing more value for both private and fleet customers.

The big news as far as company car drivers are concerned is a new engine for the C180 BlueEFFICIENCY. The 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine is available on saloon, estate and coupe body styles, and boasts 152bhp and 250Nm of torque. It’s very efficient, returning 47.9mpg and 138g/km, 47.9mpg and 139g/km, and 44.1mpg and 149g/km respectively.

As well as the new engine, there’s a new entry level specification known as Executive SE. This includes a new sports grille, 16-inch alloy wheels, fabric upholstery and LED daytime running lights. Prices start at £35 more than the old SE trim level.

Sport trim is no more, paving the way for AMG Sport and AMG Sport Plus. The former is £960 cheaper than the previous Sport trim and available on saloon and estate body styles. You get features such as 17-inch alloy wheels and halogen headlights. Thanks to a drop in CO2 emissions, company car drivers will see a drop of £968 in 36 months on the 40% tax band. That works out to a saving of £80 per month over three years.

AMG Sport Plus costs another £1,000 on top of AMG Sport, and gets 18-inch wheels, bi-Xenon headlights, automatic headlights, sports seats, red seat belts, upholstery and floor mats in black with red stitching, and silver gearshift paddles.

A further £530 will secure you a Handling Package, which includes a raft of measures to improve steering, engine, exhaust and transmission response.

Mercedes-Benz has also seen fit to reposition the cruise control and indicator stalks – something many critics will be happy to read. The COMAND system installed in the car now also has the ability to report the car’s position via GPS to a call centre in the event of an emergency.

The updated C-Class can be ordered now, with prices starting at £25,915 for the saloon, £27,115 for the estate and £30,090 for the coupe.