The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is often the benchmark compact luxurious sedan, the identical manner its bigger S-Class stablemate is a expertise benchmark, the Porsche 911 a sports activities automobile benchmark, or the VW Golf a mainstream passenger automobile benchmark.
So when a brand new one launches, it’s type of a giant deal.
Earlier in 2022 the most recent fifth-generation mannequin – dubbed W206 – lastly arrived in Australia having already arrived in Europe the yr prior. It was a much-needed overhaul to reinstate the C-Class as a frontrunner within the phase.
The sedan vary has been pared again considerably, presently providing simply C200 and C300 variants, with the warmer AMG C43 due early in 2023, and the as-yet un-revealed AMG C63 plug-in efficiency halo to comply with after that.
Right here on take a look at we’ve essentially the most inexpensive new C-Class, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C200. It’s about $12,000 dearer than its predecessor, which isn’t an insignificant sum of money no matter the added gear.
Can the bottom C-Class justify its premium over its predecessor in addition to its rivals?
The C200 is essentially the most inexpensive variant within the new-generation C-Class line-up, priced from $78,900 plus on-road prices.
It’s fairly a bit up on the earlier era, round $12,000 in reality, although the native arm says the brand new mannequin comes with about $10,000 of additional gear along with the engineering developments below the pores and skin.
Our take a look at automobile was loaded with choices too, which introduced the as-tested worth to $88,870 plus on-roads (incl. LCT). Eesh.
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan pricing:
- Mercedes-Benz C200: $78,900
- Mercedes-Benz C300: $89,590
Costs exclude on-road prices
Key rivals embody:
Costs exclude on-road prices
It’s arduous to not get in and involuntarily say “wow”.
The brand new C-Class impresses right away with its massive screens and sweeping sprint design, which definitely feels much more trendy than its predecessor. Perceived construct high quality looks like a step up too, although there’s numerous finger print-prone gloss black surfaces and a few tougher, scratchier supplies used decrease down within the cabin.
Forward of the driving force is Mercedes-Benz’s newest steering wheel design with double-decker touch-capacitive spokes and a chunky, perforated Nappa leather-based rim. It actually does really feel particular.
With that stated the brand new controls could take a little bit of getting used to. As I discovered in my assessment of the up to date AMG E53 in addition to the AMG C43 abroad, the humorous form and small management space means chances are you’ll not at all times discover these controls to be persistently correct, and at instances it’s simply plain annoying.
For instance adjusting the cruise management requires a diagonal swipe on a curved floor, so I used to be recurrently going up or down by too many digits or simply plain urgent the incorrect factor. After a while you’d most likely heat to it, although.
Behind the steering wheel is a brand new free-standing 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, with a well-recognized Mercedes take a look at really feel that we’ve seen in different fashions. Being MBUX 2.0 there’s new layouts and options that debuted within the S-Class.
As we’ve come to count on from the Three-Pointed Star, graphics are crisp, refresh charges are slick and there’s loads of configurability with out feeling like a mini-me of an Audi digital cockpit – it has its personal character.
Consolation up entrance is fairly good due to the well-bolstered, supportive entrance sports activities seats that come as normal with electrical adjustment (together with lumbar), although the reminiscence presets you see right here type a part of the elective Imaginative and prescient Package deal.
I additionally discovered the footwell to be unusually tight, with my left foot too massive to take a seat on the foot relaxation with out wedging in opposition to the plastic lining.
Mercedes has been working arduous to minimise the switches and buttons it places in its cabins, and one space that is instantly obvious is the door-mounted seat controls. The buttons don’t transfer within the path you press them anymore, somewhat a contact sensor which is usually a little trippy the primary few instances you utilize them.
It’s the same story for the row of buttons under the touchscreen, however we’ll get to that in a bit.
Storage up entrance is a giant enchancment over the previous automobile, lastly due to wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto you’ll be able to match a bigger smartphone into the wi-fi charging tray with out having to litter it with wires. There’s two adjustable cupholders beneath a damped lid in addition to a slot for keys and wallets.
Additional again there’s a deep centre console cubby that hides an extra USB-C port if you happen to choose to cost your cellphone the old-school manner.
The pièce de résistance is the gorgeous 11.9-inch portrait oriented touchscreen infotainment system, which juts out of the centre console and dashboard fascia as if Mercedes has bonded an iPad Professional to the C-Class’s inside.
Operating the brand new MBUX 2.0 interface, the brand new system helps over-the-air (OTA) software program updates and even includes a fingerprint scanner to unlock – very similar to we’re used to in smartphones.
Being an evolution of the primary MBUX, the general feel and look is acquainted however with a bigger show and built-in local weather controls. All of it works fairly properly, and you might spend hours flicking by all of the menus and settings – I made one complete TikTok video for the completely different ambient lighting themes alone.
Our take a look at automobile’s high-spec model of this infotainment system brings augmented actuality (AR) navigation as properly, which makes use of the automobile’s entrance digicam to challenge navigation prompts and road names onto a reside video feed.
It’s a extremely cool, if novel operate that has made a step up over the earlier MBUX system due to the bigger show and extra refined AR animations. Be mindful additionally, that is the primary C-Class with any type of MBUX.
Regardless of the medium tag, the premium mid-size passenger class has by no means been a standout for rear practicality.
That stated, the C-Class presents extra room than its predecessor, partly due to an extra 25mm of wheelbase. At 6’1 I match behind my driving place simply positive, however if you’d like extra luxurious lodging you’re higher off taking a look at an E-Class.
Rear air vents, a fold-down armrest with cupholders, rear map pockets and bottle holders within the door are normal fare, although it’s disappointing a 3rd zone of local weather management isn’t accessible on non-AMG C-Class fashions domestically.
Youngsters might be positive again there, significantly in the event that they’re in automobile seats. There’s ISOFIX anchor factors for each outboard seating positions, and top-tether factors throughout all three rear pews.
The C-Class Sedan presents 455 litres of boot capability, which is identical because the earlier mannequin.
Sadly the C-Class Property has been culled from the Australian line-up for this new era, that means if you happen to just like the C-Class feel and look however need more room for the household’s baggage, you’ll have to attend for the brand new GLC which isn’t resulting from hit native showrooms till the primary half of 2023.
Just like the earlier mannequin the brand new C-Class’s chunky rear bumper makes for a reasonably excessive load lip, however the boot is fairly vast and sq..
Because the C-Class will get run-flat tyres throughout the vary, there’s no spare wheel below the boot flooring. Autos fitted with the 19-inch AMG alloy wheels (as examined) get the model’s TIREFIT restore equipment which incorporates an air compressor as properly.
Energy within the C200 comes from a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, teamed with a 48V mild-hybrid system which the corporate dubs EQ Increase – consisting of an built-in starter-generator and lithium battery.
Outputs are rated at 150kW (5800-6100rpm) and 300Nm (1800-4000rpm), whereas drive is distributed to the rear wheels by way of a nine-speed computerized transmission.
The C200 claims to sprint from 0-100 in 7.3 seconds, whereas gasoline consumption is formally rated at 6.9L/100km.
Mercedes-Benz requires 98 RON for the C200’s 66-litre gasoline tank, and emissions are rated at 157g/km of CO2.
Whereas a 1.5-litre petrol engine doesn’t sound prefer it’d lower it for a mid-sized, premium automobile, the C200’s drivetrain truly impresses by punching above its weight in most areas.
With 300Nm on faucet from 1800rpm, the C200 is well-suited to on a regular basis driving and has greater than sufficient punch in reserve to stand up to freeway speeds or overtake. Simply keep in mind the 1.5-litre turbo will get a bit gruff below load.
The majority of our time with the C200 was spent driving to and from the workplace in addition to typical weekend actions driving in a mixture of city and freeway roads.
Efficiency off the road is first rate, with the 48V mild-hybrid system serving to to easy out the idle cease/begin system when coming to a halt or setting off from the lights. As you decelerate, it’ll swap the engine off at as much as 20km/h, and we discovered it fairly darn seamless and remoted from the cabin.
Nevertheless, at instances we discovered the nine-speed computerized transmission to be a bit clunky, primarily once you get again on the accelerator after slowing right down to about 20-30km/h. It’s as if the automated transmission can’t work out whether or not it must be in gear 2 or gear 3, and at instances can clunk or jerk into stated ratio.
The C-Class is in any other case fairly a refined and relaxed sedan to drive. Regardless of the AMG Line styling there doesn’t appear to be any formidable concentrate on dynamics as we’ve seen on this phase earlier than, so it does the luxurious sedan factor fairly properly.
I loved the virtually wafty trip high quality in its Consolation setting, and the sunshine, fluid steering which makes the C200 a very simple factor to reside with. First rate insulation from street and wind noise – regardless of the run-flat tyres and bigger wheels – solely added to this.
Conversely, this isn’t essentially the most partaking luxurious sedan to drive, and even in its firmer, sportier settings can’t match the likes of the Alfa Romeo Giulia or BMW 3 Sequence from a dynamic standpoint. Whether or not this can be a deal-breaker or promoting level is admittedly right down to your private choice.
The C200’s extra fundamental driver help suite works properly, although we have been left wanting for the complete catalog of options given the bottom mannequin’s extra premium worth positioning and the truth that this is a Mercedes-Benz in any case.
Customary adaptive cruise management and a fundamental lane-keep help are useful inclusions on the freeway, as is blind-spot monitoring. It’s all fairly straightforward to interact and use in day by day life, although as famous earlier adjusting the cruise management velocity and following distance with these new touch-capacitive spokes is usually a little fiddly.
If you’d like options like junction AEB, a correct freeway driving assistant, lane change help and a visitors jam assistant, you’re going to must spend one other $10,000 over base pricing for the C200, as Mercedes-Benz doesn’t even supply the improved suite as a price choice for the C200.
That’s a fairly disappointing oversight, given most manufacturers today both embody a fulsome help portfolio as normal or supply prolonged features as an choice. Mercedes-Benz’s pitch as a expertise pioneer likewise doesn’t match properly with not having these options accessible on all grades.
- 18-inch Tantalite Gray five-spoke alloy wheels
- AMG Line grille insert
- AMG physique styling
- Electrical, heated, folding facet mirrors
- LED headlights
- Automated high-beam
- 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
- 11.9-inch MBUX portrait-oriented touchscreen
- Wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Satellite tv for pc navigation
- Fingerprint scanner for driver profiles
- Mercedes me Join app performance
- Semi-autonomous parking help
- Nappa leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Artico leatherette upholstery
- Powered boot closing
- Electrical entrance sports activities seats with four-way lumbar help
- AMG Line inside trim
- AMG flooring mats
- 64-colour ambient lighting
- Illuminated entrance door sill with ‘Mercedes-Benz’ lettering
- Keyless entry and begin
- Twin-zone local weather management
- Dynamic Choose system with 4 selectable driving modes
Sport Package deal ($1307, as examined) provides:
- 19-inch AMG multi-spoke alloys
- Run-flat tyres
- Rear privateness glass
Imaginative and prescient Package deal ($3154, as examined) provides:
- Premium Package deal
- Keyless entry
- 360-degree cameras
- MBUX Navigation Premium
- MBUX AR navigation
- Powered entrance seats with reminiscence
- Heated entrance seats
- Panoramic sliding sunroof
- Head-up show
- Visitors Signal Help
Choices (as examined)
- Anthracite wooden trim – $538
- Burmester 3D premium audio – $1615
The C-Class wears a five-star ANCAP security score, based mostly on Euro NCAP exams in 2022.
It scored 91 per cent for grownup occupant safety, 90 per cent for youngster occupant safety, 80 per cent for pedestrian safety, and 84 per cent for security help.
Customary security gear consists of:
- 10 airbags incl. front-centre airbag
- AEB with Pedestrian, Bicycle owner detection
- Entrance and rear parking sensors
- Lively Parking Help
- Adaptive cruise management
- Blind-spot monitoring with Exit Warning
- Driver consideration monitoring
- Lane-keep help (steering help)
- Lively bonnet
- AEB junction help
- Adaptive cruise management with cease/go
- Blind-spot help
- Lane change help
- Lane following help
- Evasive steering help
- Facet-impact anticipation, safety system
- Visitors signal help
It’s disappointing the Driving Help Package deal Plus is unique to the C300 in Australia and never accessible as an choice on the C200, that means you can’t have the bottom engine variant with the model’s full suite of help options.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class vary is roofed by a five-year, limitless kilometre guarantee.
Mercedes-Benz presents a three-, four- and five-year servicing plan for the C-Class and repair intervals are 12 months or 25,000km, whichever comes first.
- Three companies: $2650
- 4 companies: $3600
- 5 companies: $5200
As for real-world gasoline consumption, our take a look at automobile was displaying an indicated determine of 8.2L/100km after 420km of blended driving. It’s first rate if not standout, given the model’s thrifty 6.9L/100km declare.
The brand new-generation C-Class is as a lot a child S-Class because it’s ever been, with a renewed concentrate on consolation, refinement, expertise and inside presentation.
It’s a long-needed improve to maintain it recent in opposition to its BMW 3 Sequence arch rival, in addition to rivals just like the Audi A4 and Volvo S60.
Whereas it’s a cushty and refined luxurious sedan, the entry-level C200 is mighty costly in contrast not simply its predecessor but additionally the competitors, and isn’t accessible with a full catalogue of luxurious and expertise options both.
Our take a look at automobile’s near-$90,000 sticker worth is a tall ask, and that type of money will virtually purchase you efficiency variations of rival fashions, and even an entry-level E-Class.
There’s nonetheless a lot to love although, and the C200’s 1.5-litre engine is greater than sufficient motor for a automobile like this regardless of early doubts. Followers of the Benz model will little doubt be swayed purely by the very fact it’s a Mercedes too.
My cash can be both on the no-cost-option C200 Version C bundle; which does with out the AMG appointments for a extra understated look and never ticking every other choice packing containers, or stepping as much as the C300 for the complete tech suite.
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