The Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan has always been an important volumes driver for the brand. The car finally launches in India with three variants and introduces EQ Boost mild hybrid as standard. Siddharth has driven the petrol and more powerful of two diesels.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class goes back several generations to 1982 when the W201 or ‘Baby Benz’ took birth. Its success saw the creation of the C-Class model line in 1993, and five generations later we have the W206. Legacy is a wonderful thing to have in the automotive context, and the C-Class has a very strong lineage. The outgoing model has been very successful for the company – even winning the 2015 World Car of the Year title. After being missing for a few months, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class model line is back in the Indian market. I am in the Queen of the Hills – Mussoorie to test the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class to see if it maintains that strength – or better yet, tops it. This is one of the most important models for Mercedes-Benz in the country, with over 37,000 units sold since 2001. It takes on heavyweights like the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, Volvo S60 and the Jaguar XE.
Mercedes-Benz has been knocking it out of the park over the past few years on styling and exterior design. The new C-Class is no different. The Sensual Purity design language gives us a very good looking car, with the edgy and aggressive face seen off late in the new C-Class, and with the flanks and rear of the S-Class. Any likeness to the latter model is purely intentional, as this is indeed meant to be a ‘baby S-Class’. The car comes to us in two trims – AMG Line and Avant Garde. The AMG trim gives you two-tone AMG alloys, sharper bumper and diffuser, and that sexy star-studded front grille. AMG badging is to be found all over as you’d expect. The Avant Garde trim also looks good though, and the car maintains an elegance that chauffeured owners, in particular, would love.
The new hood, with its power dome, adds sportiness to the C’s look. The focus of the design is to enhance the sporty appeal, and look wider and more ample. The split tail lights, dual exhaust and neat shut lines make the car look swanky. On the C300d, you get a dual exhaust, while on the C200 and 220d – there is a faux twin exhaust pattern built into the lower part of the bumper, just like in the previous car. I will get to interior design and layout a bit later.
Engine Options: One Petrol, Two Diesels
The three variants in India are the C200 petrol, and two types of diesel – the C220d and the most powerful diesel in the segment, C300d – which incidentally match the specs of cars a segment higher. Today I am testing two of them. The C300d uses the same engine block as the C220d but with way more power at hand. 0-100 kmph takes a mere 5.7 seconds and the car’s top speed is 250 kmph. And it is one of the cars with me. The one I don’t have is that 220d which also has pretty strong numbers. It also now has the claim of being the most fuel-efficient car in the Mercedes-Benz India lineup with a 23 kmpl mileage figure – impressive for a car of this segment. And finally the C200 – the sole petrol offering. Don’t be fooled by the displacement alone, since the car’s power and torque are substantial. All three engine options get the 9G-Tronic gearbox as standard. All three also get the ISG or integrated starter generator, a 48-volt mild hybrid system. The electric motor offers up to 15 bhp of extra power and a substantial 200 Nm of peak torque. The idea is simple, the system kicks in to ease the load on the engine in start-stop situations and provide the extra juice needed in dynamic or even cruising situations. This gives the car optimum efficiency.
|Specifications||C 200 (Petrol)||C 220d (Diesel)||C 300d (Diesel)|
|Displacement||1,496 cc||1,993 cc||1,993 cc|
|Power||201 bhp at 5,800 – 6,100 rpm||197 bhp at 3,600 rpm||261 bhp at 4,200 rpm|
|Torque||300 Nm at 1,800 – 4,000 rpm||440 Nm at 1,800 – 2,800 rpm||550 Nm at 1,800 – 2,200 rpm|
|Claimed Mileage||16.9 kmpl||23 kmpl||20.37 kmpl|
|0-100 kmph||7.3 seconds||7.3 seconds||5.7 seconds|
|Top Speed||246 kmph||245 kmph||250 kmph|