The fifth-generation C-Class, launched this week, is called the ‘Baby S-Class’ by carmakers. “The letters C and S sit on opposite sides of the alphabet … in our portfolio, they’re moving closer together,” said Ola Callenius, CEO, Mercedes-Benz, about the new C-Class. But does the car deserve so much praise? Remember, Mercedes-Benz called the S-Class ‘the best car in the world’! We recently conducted a C-Class on a hilly road around Mussoorie in Uttarakhand.
What is C-Class?
First launched in 1982, the world has seen five generations of C-Class. It was launched in India in 2001 and has sold over 37,000 units. At one time, it was an entry-level Mercedes-Benz car in India, but now it is a well-suited luxury car in almost every aspect হোক be it comfort, connectivity, technology or attention to detail.
What defines its design?
It has grown in size (almost the size of the previous generation E-Class), and the design is similar to that of the S-Class, with a two-section tail-light at the rear. Its wheelbase is longer than the previous generation C-Class.
How’s the cabin?
The dashboard looks like a work of art and it seems to be inspired by the S-Class. Technology features adopted from the S-Class include a large central screen (the latest generation NTG7, equipped with the company’s infotainment system), extensive personalization and biometric authentication, wireless smartphone integration and over-the-air updates to vehicle software. The front seats are very spacious, and the three-spoke steering wheel is oh-so-sexy.
There is so much ‘convenience’ inside the cabin that it feels like a tailor around the occupant. For example, the central screen is driver-oriented, sunblinded on the left and right rear doors, electric sunblind for the rear window, the rear-seat backrest can be fully folded for boot access, and ambient light that changes color. At the back, the large central tunnel means there is room for just two passengers.
Despite having a longer wheelbase than the previous generation model, your foot space is limited. The C-Class, obviously, is a driver’s car instead of a driver’s car Boot space is limited – most of it is taken up by extra tires
Which engine powers it?
The entry-level model (C 200) gets a 1496cc petrol engine (204 hp, 300 Nm). The 1993cc diesel is available in two output options (200 hp / 440 Nm and 265 hp / 550 Nm). The latter propelled the car forward like a rocket, with a speed of 0-100 km / h in just 5.7 seconds.
How does it work?
In the petrol model, the cabin is very quiet, but inside the diesel cabin you can hear the loud noise of the engine (which is normal for any diesel car). Once the engine warms up and you hit the road, the rattle almost dies. On smooth roads, the C-Class drive almost sticks to the road and does not lose its line even when cornered at high speeds. But on bad roads or pebbles, the ride gets tough. It scraps long speed breakers several times while driving in a village near Mussoorie.
How good is a purchase?
Prices range from Rs 55 lakh to Rs 61 lakh ex-showroom, it is expensive. Its traditional competitors (BMW 3 Series at Rs 46.9 lakh and Audi A4 at Rs 40.5 lakh) are available for more value for money. But Mercedes-Benz India is currently enjoying its place in the sun, it has around 5,000 bookings, demand is strong and it may demand some premium. But it is also a fact that the new C-Class, a mini limousine, looks much better than its competitors and its competitors are probably the 3 Series Gran Limousine of the same price.
|Alternative||C 200||C 200d||C 300d|
|Power||150 kW (204 hp)||147 kW (200 hp)||195 kW (265 hp)|
|Torque||300 Nm||440 Nm||550 Nm|
|0-100 km / h||7.3 seconds||7.3 seconds||5.7 seconds|
|Price||55 lakhs||56 lakhs||61 lakh|
Competitors: BMW 3 Series (Rs. 46.9 lakhs) and 3 Series Gran Limousine (Rs. 54.5 lakhs), Audi A4 (Rs. 40.5 lakhs) and Volvo S60 (Rs. 45.9 lakhs)