Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The miniature S-Class

"Upgrade to a higher class of vehicle"

"An interior which is infrequently seen in higher vehicle categories"

"The driver and front passenger enjoy a great deal of space and luxury"

"C-Class uses many of the S-Class' innovative technologies"

Back in March 2014, we tested the all new C-Class in Marseille, France. Now we lay our hands on it again but in the Middle East region and more specifically, Jeddah, KSA.

The all new C-Class proclaims a new chapter in the Mercedes-Benz success story and sets new standards in the premium medium-size category. Due to its weight savings of up to 100 kilograms, excellent aerodynamics and new economical engines, the C-Class establishes new efficiency benchmarks in its segment. A host of new assistance systems offers safety of the highest standard, while a new optional air-sprung suspension provides for exemplary ride and driving comfort as well as nimble and agile handling. In terms of appearance, the new C-Class adopts a progressive approach with its clear yet emotional design and its high class interior. Many other innovations and equipment features underscore the saloon's energizing comfort and refined sportiness.

Exterior
On a visual level, the new C-Class represents a bold departure from its predecessor. Its striking, dynamic design exudes sensuous clarity and arouses emotions. Modern aesthetics were the source of inspiration for the new saloon's sensuous lines and surfaces, whose harmony and dynamism directly touch everyone. The designers have created minimalist, purist forms for the C-Class which emphasizes its intelligent technology and engineering. The clearly defined surfaces also deliberately display a degree of tension, lending them a modern and at the same time emotional character. Precise lines and sculptural surfaces create progressive light and shadow effects.

There is a choice of two different fronts: sporty with a central star or - reserved solely for the EXCLUSIVE line - the classic saloon radiator grille with the Mercedes star on the bonnet. This grille can close the louvres completely to optimize the Cd value, and with its overall appearance superbly emphasizes the status of the refined saloon.

The new C-Class comes with H7 halogen headlamps as standard. In addition to the standard-fit headlamps, two energy-saving LED variants are available: a static system and a dynamic version with the LED Intelligent Light System. The characteristic night design lends the new C-Class its very own distinctive look in the dark, too. The rear lamp and brake light in the tail lamps feature LED technology with all headlamp versions.

Interior
The Mercedes-Benz designers have styled the interior on a level which is rarely encountered even in higher vehicle categories. This applies to the carefully chosen high class materials and their pleasant touch and feel as well as to the precision of the finely crafted details. But also equally to a new design idiom which perfectly combines sensuousness and clarity with dynamic sportiness, and thus contributes to the high class appeal of the interior.

The driver and front passenger enjoy a great deal of space and luxury in an unobtrusive, modern style on board the new C-Class. This gives rise to a feel-good atmosphere which is new to this category of vehicle; settling into your seat in the C-Class is akin to the uplifting feeling of being upgraded from economy to business class on an airliner.

The interior design demonstrates a bold new approach by Mercedes-Benz. Here the designers combine in accomplished style the architecture of the Mercedes-Benz sports cars with a totally new center console featuring sporty flowing lines. In vehicles with automatic transmission, a large one-piece center console panel performs an elegant sweep from the center air vents to the armrest. These seamless, clear-cut lines create a sense of open space and convey a thrillingly purist and modern feel.

A centrally positioned free-standing central display is the main eye-catching feature across the center console with a screen diagonal of 17.78 centimeters (7 inches), or 21.33 centimeters (8.4 inches) if COMAND Online is specified.

Five round air vents lend the instrument panel a sporty touch. With their metallic cool-touch effect they create a tangible contrast to the warm look of the other materials - such as the wood in the center console or the ARTICO man-made leather on the instrument panel. The "upgrade" feel duly continues with the controls. All switches have a high quality, three-dimensional design befitting a luxury vehicle and benefit from a clear layout.

The innovative touchpad developed by Mercedes-Benz in the hand rest above the controller on the center tunnel marks a further evolutionary step. As on a smartphone, this provides for very simple and intuitive operation of all the head-unit functions using finger gestures.

The touchpad also permits letters, numbers and special characters to be entered in handwriting in any language supported by Audio 20 or COMAND Online. The user receives clear tactile feedback when operating the touchpad's control surface, which is highly conducive to genuine intuitive use.

A head-up display is also new to the C-Class. Like in a fighter jet, it displays important information directly in the driver's field of vision on the front windscreen, thus providing for clear legibility and less distraction from the road ahead. The system provides information on speed, posted speed limits, navigation instructions and messages from the DISTRONIC system.

Three different design and equipment lines for the exterior and interior each offer further scope for individualization in addition to the standard equipment and appointments. The AVANTGARDE line showcases the C-Class as a sporty Saloon; the EXCLUSIVE line places the emphasis on an elevated status and modern luxury while the AMG Line lends the C-Class a decidedly sporty appearance.

Drivetrain
Four cylinder petrol engines with power outputs ranging from 156 to 245 hp are available. These include the C 180 BlueEFFICIENCY Edition special model, which qualifies for efficiency class A. A six cylinder petrol engine rated at 333 hp is among the choices.

The BlueDIRECT four-cylinder petrol engines of the C-Class combine spontaneous response and exemplary power delivery with high efficiency and best-in-class emissions. To this end, Mercedes-Benz has transferred the BlueDIRECT technology from the V6 and V8 engines to the four cylinder engine. The direct injection system with spray-guided combustion, first introduced into passenger-car series production by Mercedes-Benz, employs an electronically controlled precision multiple injection process. The third generation direct injection technology is complemented by "fast multiple ignition".

Depending on the installed output ratings, Mercedes-Benz offers a new 6 speed manual transmission for the four cylinder engines in the new C-Class, which stands apart first and foremost by virtue of its enhanced ease of shifting coupled with increased shifting precision and a harmonious gear change sequence. Smooth automatic gear shifting is provided by the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission, which has undergone further development at Mercedes-Benz in the interests of enhanced environment-friendliness and driving pleasure.

The 4MATIC permanent all-wheel-drive system, which will be available starting in September 2014, serves to improve traction and driving stability in the C-Class while additionally underscoring the vehicle's refined sportiness.

Verdict
We can't say more than the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a "baby Benz"! It offers a solid feel with loads of luxury features. It feels much more contented in its skin as a reduced S-Class rather than a BMW 3 Series copycat..

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