Mercedes C-Class 2022: A class of its own
SPORTIER and more advanced than it has ever been, Mercedes-Benz’s ever-popular C-Class is back with clever tricks up its sleeves.
And by clever, we mean smart technology.
The new C-Class features the brand’s latest proprietary second-generation Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX 2.0) multimedia system, so far the only one to have it other than the latest S-Class model.
It is also one of the reasons the new C-Class is marketed as the “mini S-Class”. Consider it a taste of sorts of a top model without having to break the bank.
During a recent drive to Desaru Coast, Johor, organised by Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM), we found that the association is, however, more a bonus than base.
Not to discredit the luxury flagship model in any way but if the “C” is to stand for anything, it is definitely “capable”.
Keeping up with the times, the new C-Class comes in two variants — the C200 Avantgarde Line 1.5L and the C300 AMG Line 2.0L.
The C200 is equipped with a more classic-ish exterior. The main highlights include its own radiator grille design with a central Mercedes star as well as aluminium and chrome trim strips, lowered comfort suspension and 18-inch five-spoke wheels.
The more “aggressive” C300 gets an AMG Line exterior styling inclusive of a Mercedes chrome grille design, 19-inch AMG multi-spoke wheels, a panoramic sunroof and LED high performance headlamps with adaptive high beam assist.
Commonalities shared between the two are the Artico man-made leather (adding nappa-look beltlines on the dashboard) and draped cabin interior.
The key feature that ties the C-Class to the S-Class is a large LCD 11.9-inch central display supported by the MBUX 2.0 system (Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatible) in addition to the high-resolution 12.3-inch free-standing driver display.
Ambient lighting featuring optical fibres come as standard and the two variants share all the same safety features save for the 360-degree camera part of the parking package available only to the C300.
The C-Class features a two-piece rear tail lamp design with the light functions divided between the side wall and boot lid lamps.
Aesthetics aside, the biggest difference between the C200 and C300 is the engine.
The mild hybrid, four-cylinder modular engine with an integrated starter-generator mated to a 9G-Tronic transmission delivers an additional output of up to 15 kW and 200Nm more torque from its predecessor.
A newly enhanced twin-scroll technology gives the C300 an up to 20kW overboost for short periods.
The Avantgarde Line delivers an output of 204hp at 6,100rpm, maximum torque of 300Nm at 4,000rpm and a recorded fuel consumption of 6.6 litres per 100km.
It can go from zero to 100kph in 7.3 sec with a top speed of 246kph.
The AMG Line’s output is 258hp at 5.800rpm and a rated torque of 400Nm at 3,200rpm.
It can complete the century sprint in 6 seconds and has a top speed of 250kph. This results in a higher fuel consumption of 7.0 litres per 100km.
It was no surprise that the all-rounded aggressive C300 would be the feistier of the two variants.
That said, they were both equally comfortable during our drive to and from Johor.
Mercedes-Benz has found a way to make its large sedans feel just right when it comes to the drive and the new C-Class benefits from it.
Their size, design and performance exude sportiness, which is the biggest strength of the C200 and C300.
Minus the initial short windup when accelerating, the cars drive smoothly and let the drivers be in complete control.
The large new LCD 11.9-inch central display is the main show stealer even if the performance is negligible. It takes a bit getting used to it but the MBUX 2.0 and the highly visible large LCD display make for a great combination as they enhance the user’s touch and sight experience while navigating the menu.
By far, the augmented navigation map is among the favourite features that I wish could be in all Mercedes-Benz cars from here on out.
It was like playing a video game with directions being displayed in real time. The MBUX 2.0 proves itself an asset as menu interactivity is fluid with little lag.
One thing that doesn’t get shouted about is the interior space, which the S-Class has aplenty.
By no means small, the C-Class sedans are most in their element when we look at them as sporty executive sedans and less of a classic throwback that focuses on wide spaces.
From that approach, the C-Class becomes a joy of a ride that you wish would never end.
Its biggest achievement is perhaps setting the blueprint standard yet again for all of the German carmaker’s models moving forward.
There will be expectations in design and the large central display with the MBUX 2.0 must be made staple for future use. Anything short of it certainly will not sit well with those who have already come to know of its use.
The C200 Avantgarde Line 1.5L which is priced from RM288,334, while the C300 AMG Line 2.0L starts from RM330,681 — recommended retail prices are on the road without insurance.
The cars are fully imported at the moment while the locally-produced versions will be available from the second half of the year. Nst
Mercedes C-Class 2022: A class of its own
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