First, it was the Audi A4. Then, it was the BMW 3 Series. After that, it was the Lexus IS. Now, it's Mercedes-Benz's turn to roll out their redesigned compact executive saloon. Seven years since the current-generation launched, the German automaker debuts the all-new C-Class.
Historically, the C-Class gets much of its styling cues from the S-Class from the era. It's no different with this all-new model. Internally known as the W206, it follows the C-Class tradition of looking like a baby S-Class, which has pretty much been that way since 1993. Like the new S-Class, the redesigned compact executive sedan has slimmer headlights, a wider grille, and prominent lower air intakes compared to the outgoing model.
As for the rest of its body, the redesign is best described as evolutionary. After all, this is Mercedes-Benz's best-selling model, and any radical changes might put off traditionalists. The shape is similar to the 2014 to 2021 model (W205). It has a long hood and a trunk that flows smoothly from the rear windshield. Even the windows appear similar to the current generation. However, there is a break from tradition at the back. Instead of triangular taillights, it now has horizontal wraparound pieces.
While exterior changes are a little conservative, the same can't be said about the interior. Open the doors of the all-new C-Class, and you are greeted by two screens. Right in front of the driver is a floating instrument cluster. Like most of its competitors, it's a digital and customizable unit. Right down the middle is a massive infotainment screen, ditching the old widescreen arrangement from the past two generations.
The new infotainment system packs the latest MBUX software that houses most of the vehicle's settings and functions. It also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Like other Mercedes-Benz models, the redesigned C-Class has something called the “Hey Mercedes” function. It's essentially a voice command system but can also be your onboard concierge. With it, drivers can ask the system to check the weather, look for places to eat, find the nearest gas station, adjust the car's settings accordingly, and even lookup local news.
Despite the massive screens and tech, there is a bit of a retro theme going on in the center stack. Three round pods sitting on the top center part of the dash serve as its air-conditioning vents. It resembles the one seen in the W123 from the mid-'70s to mid-'80s.
And now, for the engines. There is no six-cylinder option available. It's all turbocharged, four-cylinder engines under the hood. It starts with a 1.5-liter that powers both the C 180 and C 200. The C 180 model now puts out 170 PS and 250 Nm of torque, while the C 200 has 204 PS and 300 Nm of torque. Meanwhile, the C 300 uses a 2.0-liter engine that's good for 258 PS and 400 Nm of torque. As for the turbodiesels, the “slowest” version, the C 220 d, 200 PS, and 440 Nm on tap. Meanwhile, the C 300 d has an impressive output of 265 PS and 550 Nm of torque.
So, when will it arrive here? We might be looking at a year or so before we start seeing these in local showrooms. It might be a long wait, but the arrival of the next-generation C-Class in the country is inevitable.