Mercedes-Benz New C-Class Review

The new C-Class


As the first classic model series from Mercedes-Benz, the new C-Class is electrified throughout its model range, thanks to plug-in hybrids and mild hybrids with 48-volt technology and an integrated starter-generator. The new C-Class’ highly efficient battery system achieves an electric range of over 100 kilometres (WLTP) as a plug-in hybrid. This was previously unattained in this class and this systematic electrification has a correspondingly strong effect on lessening our carbon footprint, given that the C-Class is one of Mercedes-Benz’ highest volume model series. The C-Class has historically occupied a very special place among the Mercedes-Benz passenger car model lineup all over the world– it continues to be one of the most popular, and sought-after Mercedes-Benz among car owners both globally and here in Singapore. 

The new C-Class already looks to be in motion at a standstill with its dynamic proportions, thanks to the combination of short front overhang, long wheelbase and rear overhang. The sporty bonnet with power domes accentuates this urge of forward motion. The windscreen and passenger cell have been moved to the rear for these classic proportions known in the industry as “cab-backward design”. The preceding model was already a great step forward in terms of a high-value appeal in the interior, and the new C-Class goes even further with respect to modern luxury. The interior adopts highlights from the new S-Class, while adding a sporty touch of its own.


When viewed from the side, elaborately sculptured surfaces create unique light effects. Conversely, the designers have reduced lines to a minimum, which accentuates the so-called catwalk line or shoulder line even more. Other features producing the sporty, superior appearance include the wide track and the flush 18- to 19-inch wheels in modern designs.

Mercedes-Benz C 180 AMG Line 4

The brand’s hallmark radiator grille characterises the front. All models feature a central star, with the design and character of the radiator grille differing in the details. In the AVANTGARDE line, there are additional decorative elements in the louvres, while the radiator grille and front apron feature chrome surrounds. The distinguishing feature of the AMG Line is the diamond grille with the star design in chrome.

Mercedes-Benz C 180 AMG Line 5

The rear-end design is typical of a Mercedes-Benz saloon. The high-quality design of the tail lamps fascinates with an unmistakable day and night appearance. The lamps for the first time have a two-piece design in the C-Class, with the light functions divided between the side wall and boot lid lamps. Their precisely configured interiors also showcase the standard of particularly high quality in detail. Line-specific trim in the rear bumper attractively rounds off the rear view. Three new paint finishes – spectral blue, high-tech silver and opalite white – have also been added to the colour range.


The dashboard is divided into an upper and a lower section: into a wing-like section with new, flattened round vents reminiscent of aircraft engine nacelles, and into an opulent expanse of trim. The latter flows from the centre console to the dashboard without interruption. Driver-focus adds to the sportiness: the dashboard and central display are slightly tilted towards the driver by six degrees.

The driver area features a high-resolution 12.3-inch (31.2 cm) LCD screen. It is free-standing, and appears to float in front of the wing profile and in the expanse of trim. This sets the driver display apart from traditional cockpits with classic round dials.

The paradigm change to digitisation is also obvious in the central display: the vehicle functions can be controlled using the high-quality touchscreen. Its portrait orientation is particularly advantageous for navigation. The touchscreen likewise appears to float above the expanse of trim. Like the dashboard, the screen is slightly tilted towards the driver. The central display has a screen diagonal of 11.9-inches (30.2 cm) as standard.

A high-quality chrome insert divides the centre console into a rear, padded section for the armrest and a front section in lustrous jet black. The seemingly free-floating central display rises smoothly and seamlessly from this three-dimensional surface.


The modern, highly reduced design of door panels frames both ends of the dashboard. The door centre panel with integrated armrest evolves from a vertical surface into a horizontal orientation. Reflecting the design of the centre console, the front section takes the form of a metallic high-tech element. It can be used as a grab or closing handle, and houses the power window controls. Another highlight is the floating control cluster, into which the door opener and seat adjustment controls are integrated.

The special design of the comfort or sport seats of the new C-Class uses layers and enveloping surfaces to create a visual impression of lightness. The head restraints are a completely new design and are attached to the backrest with a sealed piece of trim under which the adjustment mechanism is located.

A dashboard covered with man-made leather and featuring nappa-look beltlines is available for the C-Class (optional equipment, standard with AMG Line). The range of available trim showcases innovative surfaces. These include new interpretations of open-pored veneers in brown tones and a black, open-pored wood veneer featuring fine inlays of genuine aluminium that follow the dashboard’s contours.

The driver display and media display offer a holistic, aesthetic experience. The look of the screens can be individualised with three display styles (Understated, Sporty, Classic) and three modes (Navigation, Assistance, Service). In “Sporty”, for example, the colour red is predominant and the central rev counter has a dynamic design. The new C-Class is equipped with ambient lighting featuring optical fibres as standard.

Like the new S-Class, the new C-Class is equipped with the second generation of the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system. The vehicle interior becomes even more digital and intelligent, as both the hardware and software have made great strides: Brilliant images on the LCD screens make it easy to control vehicle and comfort functions.

The driver display and media display offer a holistic, aesthetic experience. The information is presented in a clearly structured way. Mercedes-Benz developed a new display aesthetic for the S-Class, which now is systematically used as the basis for other models.

The look of the screens can be Individualized with three display styles (Understated, Sporty, Classic) and three modes (Navigation, Assistance, Service).

·       In “Classic” style, the driver is welcomed with a familiar display environment. The proven display with two tubes and changing content between them provides all the information relevant to the driver.

·       “Sporty” is dominated by the colour red, with dynamic design of the central rev counter.

·       In “Understated” style, the content is reduced to what is essential. In addition, both screens can be shown in seven colour schemes with the ambient lighting. This makes for an impressive colour experience in the interior.

·       In the new “Assistance Mode”, the traffic situation is shown in real time and supplemented with important displayed information.

The full-screen navigation was adopted from the S-Class, and gives the driver the best possible guidance on a journey.

The voice assistant “Hey Mercedes” becomes more interactive and capable of learning by activating online services in the Mercedes me App. Moreover, certain actions can be performed even without the activation keyword “Hey Mercedes”. These include taking a telephone call, for example. “Hey Mercedes” also explains vehicle functions on hearing the “Help” command, and provides assistance when asked how to connect a smartphone by Bluetooth or where the first-aid kit can be found, for example. “Hey Mercedes” can even recognise the occupants by their voices.

With the “Online Music” service, Mercedes-Benz has now fully integrated the major music streaming services – Spotify and Tidal- into the MBUX infotainment system. MBUX enables seamless access to the personal user profile at the linked music provider. This not only gives customers convenient access to their favourite songs and personal playlists, but also the opportunity to discover millions of songs and curated playlists. Operation is intuitive, using the MBUX voice assistant “Hey Mercedes” or touch controls on the steering wheel, or directly on the central display.


MBUX Augmented Reality for Navigation is available (optional equipment, standard with C 200). A camera registers the surroundings in front of the vehicle. The moving images are shown on the central display. In addition, virtual objects, information and markers are superimposed on the video image. These include, e.g. street signs and directional arrows which can make navigation much easier, especially in urban areas.

A colour head-up display can be ordered as optional equipment. The driver sees a 29.5-inch virtual image floating above the bonnet at a distance of about 4.5 m.

A fingerprint scanner is located in an ergonomic position below the central display. This allows users to log into MBUX quickly, conveniently and securely. The reason being that personal settings and data such as favourites, most recent destinations or behaviour-based predictions are protected.

As soon as a new update from Mercedes-Benz becomes available, a message appears in MBUX. The update is downloaded and installed in the background. The user then has to agree explicitly to its activation again. In this way the vehicle is always up-to-date. Features which have not even been invented yet can also be installed by means of OTA updates in vehicles already sold. To transfer the data, Mercedes-Benz relies on mobile communications technology and the communication module installed in the vehicle due to the high security standard.

Thanks to systematic electrification and intelligent downsizing, the new C-Class sets new standards in efficiency. The engine range has only four-cylinder units from the current modular FAME (Family of Modular Engines) Mercedes-Benz engine family. Accordingly, the engine range plays a major role in the flexibility of the international production network, with needs-based electrification.

In addition to turbocharging, the petrol engine now have an integrated starter-generator (ISG) for intelligent assistance at low engine speeds as a mild hybrid of the second generation. This ensures outstanding power delivery. The ISG uses a 48-volt on-board electrical system that ensures functions such as gliding, boosting or energy recovery, and makes significant fuel savings possible. The engine also starts very rapidly and comfortably as a result, so that the start/stop function is almost as imperceptible to the driver as the transition from gliding with the engine switched off to strong acceleration under engine power. When idling, the intelligent interaction between the ISG and the combustion engine ensures outstandingly smooth running.

The four-cylinder M 254 petrol engine with a second-generation starter-generator with an additional output of up to 15 kW and 200 Nm more torque is also celebrating its première in the C-Class. Thanks to energy recovery and the ability to “glide” with the engine switched off, the petrol engine is highly efficient. In the

M 254, Mercedes-Benz has for the first time combined all the innovations of the modular engine family of four and six-cylinder petrol and diesel units in a single engine. They include NANOSLIDE® cylinder coating, CONICSHAPE® cylinder honing (trumpet honing) and the exhaust after-treatment system positioned directly at the engine.

A completely new feature is the segment charger with flow connection, an advancement of the twin-scroll technology for even more instantaneous response of the forced induction system. The completely newly developed segment turbocharger is a result of cooperation between Mercedes-Benz turbocharger developers and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 team. The technology transfer to series production sets new standards with respect to power combined with maximum efficiency.

The 9G-TRONIC transmission was developed further for adapting the ISG, and is installed in all C-Class models. The electric motor, power electronics and transmission cooler have now moved into or to the transmission.

Previously required lines are eliminated, which offers advantages with regard to installation space and weight. In addition, the efficiency of the transmission has been increased. Amongst other things, the optimised interplay with the electric auxiliary oil pump reduces the delivery rate of the mechanical pump by 30 per cent compared with the predecessor – good for efficiency. Furthermore, it uses a new generation of the fully integrated transmission control with multi-core processor and new design and connectivity technology. In addition to the increased computing power, the number of electric interfaces has been drastically reduced, and the weight of the transmission controls have been cut by 30 per cent compared with the predecessor.


C 180

AMG Line

C 200


C 200

AMG Line

No. and arrangement of






Total Displacement (cc)





Rated output (kW/hp @


125 /170 at



125 /170 at



150/204 at



150/204 at



Rated torque (Nm @


250 at


250 at


300 at


300 at




Rear wheel drive/

9G-TRONIC automatic

Rear wheel drive/

9G-TRONIC automatic

Rear wheel drive/

9G-TRONIC automatic

Rear wheel drive/

9G-TRONIC automatic

Acceleration 0 -100






Top Speed, approx.






Fuel consumption

(I/100km) (combined)

Pending LTA approval



Pending LTA approval

CO2 emissions (g/km) combined

Pending LTA approval



Pending LTA approval

VES Band

Pending LTA approval



Pending LTA approval

The key components of the new, dynamically configured suspension are a new four-link axle at the front and a multi-link axle at the rear mounted to a subframe. The new suspension provides the basis for a high level of suspension, ride and noise comfort, agile handling and driving fun. The new C-Class is optionally also available with continuously adjustable damping and a sport suspension. Air suspension at the rear is standard for the plug-in hybrid.

The new C-Class is especially agile and stable with the optional rear-axle steering (standard with C200 AMG Line) and the accompanying, more direct steering ratio at the front axle. The steering angle at the rear axle is 2.5 degrees. This reduces the turning circle by 43 centimetres to 10.64 metres.

The driver also needs fewer turns of the steering wheel for full lock. With rear-axle steering, and depending on the drive concept, this requires 2.1 instead of 2.35 turns (rear-wheel drive with comfort steering).

At speeds below 60 km/h, the rear wheels steer in the opposite direction to the front wheels – and by up to 2.5° opposite to the front-axle angle during parking. Depending on the situation, this virtually shortens the wheelbase, and the vehicle is more manoeuvrable, light-footed and agile as a result. At speeds above 60 km/h, the rear wheels steer up to 2.5° in the same direction as the front wheels. This virtual increase in wheelbase has noticeable advantages in the form of improved handling stability and safety at high speeds, during fast lane-changes or sudden evasive manoeuvres.

Moreover, considerably less steering input is required during dynamic manoeuvres, e.g. when driving on country roads – and the vehicle responds to steering movements in a more sporty manner. This is supported by the integrated dynamic control function of the ESP®.

The latest generation of the Driving Assistance Package has additional and advanced functions. These reduce driver workload in day-to-day situations, for more comfortable and safe driving. When danger threatens, the assistance systems are able to respond to impending collisions as the situation demands. The operating principle of the systems is visualised on the driver display by a new display concept.

Advancement of the assistance systems: two examples

·       On all types of roads – motorways, country roads or in town – Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC can automatically maintain a preset distance from vehicles ahead. One new feature is the response to stationary vehicles on the road at speeds up to 100 km/h (previously: 60 km/h).

·       Active Steering Assist helps the driver to stay in lane at speeds up to 210 km/h. New features include additional lane recognition with the 360° camera and significantly improved availability and performance in bends on country roads and improved lane centering on motorways.


Thanks to improved surround sensors, the parking systems give the driver even better support when manoeuvring at low speed. Operation is faster and more intuitive thanks to integration into MBUX. The optional rear-axle steering (standard with C 200 AMG Line) is integrated into the parking assistants, with the calculation of the trajectories adapted accordingly. Emergency braking functions also serve to protect other road users.

Few models are sold in as many markets as the C-Class, which is currently available in over 100 countries. Around 1000 load stage variants are therefore examined during the course of development, as all engine and body variants, right and left-hand drive, hybrids or 4MATIC models meet the same requirements.

Together with the familiar PRE-SAFE® protection concepts for frontal and rear collisions, PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side (available in conjunction with the Driving Assistance Package Plus) forms a kind of virtual crumple zone that extends all around the vehicle. As only a limited crumple zone is available in a side impact, PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side (availability depending on selected equipment) can move the affected driver or front passenger away from the danger even before the crash as soon as the system detects that a side collision is immediately imminent. For this purpose, air chambers in the side bolsters of the front seat backrest are inflated in fractions of a second.

All in all, the safety concept of the C-Class is based on an intelligently designed body shell with a particularly rigid passenger cell and crash structures that deform in a specific way acting together with seat belts and airbag systems. In an accident, systems such as belt tensioners and airbags can be activated to protect the occupants as the situation demands. With the help of numerous numerical simulations, the vehicle structure was configured to ensure particularly good occupant protection in the event of a crash. In all aspects of the vehicle configuration that are relevant in an accident, the legal requirements were further bolstered by internal testing requirements and test criteria derived from the findings from real-life accident scenarios.

The optional massage function of the front seats has been expanded to cover the entire back area: eight chambers in the backrest ensure an improved deep-tissue effect. A vibrating massage is also possible on the driver’s side, with four motors installed in the seat cushion.

The new C-Class is equipped with LED High Performance headlamps as standard. The revolutionary DIGITAL LIGHT system familiar from the new S-Class is available as an option. The AIR-BALANCE Package, also available as an option, provides an individual fragrance sensation in the interior – in line with personal preference and mood. Thanks to refreshing ionisation and filtering of the outside and interior air, it also helps to ensure improved air quality and a greater sense of well-being.

The ENERGIZING COACH suggests an appropriate fitness or wellness programme based on vehicle and trip data. It also factors the information about sleep quality and stress level into its intelligent algorithm if the driver has a suitable wearable. In plug-in hybrid models, it offers the “Power Nap” programme, which is useful e.g. when making a stop at a service station or to charge the battery. The programme has three phases – falling asleep, sleeping, waking – and can increase performance and provide new energy.

At the touch of a button or by voice command, the holistic “Fit & Healthy” approach of ENERGIZING Comfort provides a tangible experience of the different comfort systems in the S-Class, and features programmes that group them into worlds of experience. At the same time, the system creates a matching atmosphere in the interior – for example, invigorating in case of fatigue or relaxing in case of an elevated stress level.

These features are available as options on the C-Class.

DIGITAL LIGHT has a light module with three extremely powerful LEDs in each headlamp, whose light is refracted and directed by million micro-mirrors. The resolution is therefore more than 2.6 million pixels per vehicle.

With these dynamics and precision, this intelligent system creates virtually endless possibilities for high- resolution light distribution which optimally adjusts to the surrounding conditions. However, the deciding factor is not only the technology in the headlamp, but rather the digital intelligence behind it. On-board cameras and sensor systems detect other road users, powerful computers evaluate the data plus digital navigation maps in milliseconds and give the headlamps the commands for optimally adapting the light distribution in all situations. The result: optimal vision for the driver without dazzling other road users, as well as innovative functions with added safety.

“DIGITAL LIGHT” is not chasing world distance records, but rather wants to achieve excellent visibility and maximum, dazzle-free brilliance at all times through an innovative overall concept. Innovative functions for supporting the driver and enabling communication with other road users significantly improve safety when driving at night.

With a length of 4751 mm and a width of 1820 mm, the new C-Class is considerably larger than the predecessors. The wheelbase has increased by 25 mm to 2865 mm. Both the front and rear passengers benefit from the increased exterior dimensions.

The good drag coefficient (cd figure) of the preceding model (Saloon: 0.24) has been preserved despite the larger exterior dimensions.

Here are the most important dimensions:

C-Class …

… Saloon












Width incl. exterior mirrors












Track, front2




Track, rear2




Max. headroom, front, driver




Headroom, rear3




Legroom, front




Legroom, rear




Elbow room, front




Elbow room, rear




Shoulder room, front




Shoulder room, rear




Luggage capacity acc. to 4VDA (L)




1 Including roof rails

2 With 225/50 R 17 tyres

3 Without/with sliding/tilting sunroof

4 The luggage capacity is reduced in the plug-in hybrid model.

In the last decade, the C-Class was the highest-volume Mercedes-Benz model. Since the introduction of the still current generation in 2014, over 2.5 million units have been sold. China has been the largest sales market for the C-Class Saloon since 2016. In addition, the USA, Germany and Great Britain have been the largest sales markets for the C-Class Saloon and Estate models in the last ten years.

In 2020, the C-Class Saloon and Estate were delivered to customers in more than 100 markets around the world. Two out of every three C-Class cars sold in Germany are the Estate variant.

In many markets, the C-Class Saloon attracts a high proportion of female customers. The percentage of women is particularly high in the USA and South Korea: nearly one in every two C-Class Saloons is purchased by women.

Mercedes-Benz also broke new ground at the time, not only in terms of engineering but also because of the wider range of body shapes. The Estate model introduced by the company in 1996 was its first sporty, mid- size estate car. When Mercedes-Benz launched the next C-Class model series in 2000, it included the Sports Coupé, a completely new body variant. The market launch of the fourth C-Class generation in 2007 also saw the introduction of a new design feature. For the first time, the front-end design of a Mercedes-Benz Saloon varied according to the design and equipment line. While the ELEGANCE design and equipment line featured the three-pointed star in its traditional position on the bonnet, it was mounted in the centre of the radiator grille in the more sporty AVANTGARDE design and equipment line.


The new C200 agility, grip, and enjoyability of driving show that it is a very desirable sporting sedan. The C200 AMG Line demonstrates all the high notes of style and luxury required of a Mercedes. It is a fully featured, digitalized, sporty luxury automobile with a beautiful body.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C200 AMG Line 1.5 (A)
ENGINE 1496cc, 16-valves, inline-4, turbocharged
MAX POWER 201hp (204PS, 150kW) at 5800-6100rpm
MAX TORQUE 300Nm at 1800-4000rpm
GEARBOX 9-speed automatic with manual select

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