C-Class hits the right note

C-Class hits the right note

2014-C-Class-interior-redThe Mercedes-Benz C-Class makes makes up around third of the company’s volume in New Zealand, and those buyers are a loyal lot to the brand.
AutoTalk travelled to Melbourne recently to sample the latest C-Class generation, which has begun its roll out.

Mercedes-Benz New Zealand general manager Ben Giffen suggests the company are expecting a volume of around 40-50 units a month for the model. He says that good supply is available.

The C200 with its 2-litre turbo-charged petrol engine is likely to be the sales leader, overshadowing the 1.6-litre diesel option. There are also C250 petrol and diesel options available.

2014-C-Class-rear-34The C-Class is larger than ever before – and is in fact larger than the 1995 E-Class. Based on the new MRA platform, it is longer over the previous sedan by 95mm, with an 80mm longer wheelbase and is 4mm wider, and 5mm lower.

Inside that helps rear legroom by 26mm, with 14mm more shoulder room and Shoulder room up by 14 mm, headroom by 31mm and rear legroom by 26mm.

Despite being bigger than its predecessor, the new model is lighter – by 40kg, thanks to significant use of alumiumum. That helps fuel consumption with the 2.2-litre diesel in the C250 holding a 4.5L/100km and the yet unrated 1.6-litre even less. The petrol consumes 6L/100km in both C200 and C250 form.

For now the model range includes five sedans and four wagons/estates. Available in both forms are the C200 and C250 petrols share a 2-litre turbocharged unit in 135kW and 155kW versions. The C200 diesel runs a 1.6-litre unit producing 100kW and the C250 diesels a 2.2 –litre producing a healthy 150kW and V8-like 500Nm. Solely available as a sedan is the C300 BlueTEC hybrid. All are paired with a 7-Speed automatic transmission.
The range commences at $71,900, topping out at $94,900.

Mercedes has really lifted the technology list in the C-Class, including an optional heads up display, LED headlights and a touch-pad control for the infotainment system.

All vehicles feature an ‘Agility Select’ system, which allows the driver to choose between a range of comfort of sports orientated setups for the car, which can adjust steering weight, transmission patterns, and with the optional Airmatic ride firmness.

The safety list is extensive, all C-Class get autonomous braking, and on models C250 and above, you get a full driver assistance package – including adaptive cruise, steering assist, pedestrian recognition and active blind spot assist.

An AMG package, which includes styling enhancements, lowered suspension and upgraded seats sports interior trim is available from $3490, with a multitude of other options an packages on offer.

In the metal, the C-Class looks longer, lower and sleeker than the outgoing model. It looks more coupe-like, it appears to take more of a hint of its design from the curvaceous Mercedes CLA and CLS models.

The interior is dominated by a single shaped wood-textured but painted panel that runs from the top of the dash down into the centre console housing the infotainment and HVAC controls. It exudes luxury, and just looks great.

On a drive through the countryside outside of Melbourne AutoTalk was impressed with the C-Class. It rides better, but is probably not quite as involving as its key competitors – as its probably the want of its traditional buyers.

The standout was the Airmatic fitted to a C250. Even in a firmer Sport mode it smoothed out imperfections in the road. When pushing hard it was hugely effective at preventing the car being knocked off line in corners even faced with significant bumps.

Prices:
2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan range

  • C200 $71,900
  • C200 CDI $73,400
  • C250 $86,900
  • C250 BlueTEC $88,400
  • C300 BlueTec Hybrid $94,900
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