A car's last hurrah is often the very best of the generation, showcasing the improvements and tweaks learned over its tenure in showrooms around the world. Such is the case for this new Edition C for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
The W204 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has been in existence since 2007, having received styling updates in 2011 to bring a younger and more dynamic character. The W204 is the third generation of the C-Class following the 190E; the German automaker’s compact executive sedan from a few decades ago. The C200 Avantagarde Edition-C marks the ultimate edition for the W204 in the Philippine market as we await the introduction of the W205 recently debuted in Detroit earlier this year.
On the outside it looks exactly like the C250 AMG Sport we drove as it also gets the AMG body styling package with more aggressive front and rear bumpers as well as side skirts. The front-grill receives a gloss-black finish with chrome tipping while the headlamps are smoked to further reflect the sporting nature of the car. The 2011 update has made LED daytime running lights and driving lights standard as well as on the tail lamps giving more efficient lighting. The main illumination is via a pair of projector Bi-Xenon lamps with Intelligent Lighting System. Special 'Edition C' badges are set in place of the normal 'Blue Efficiency' badges for a subtle distinction as a special model. This is finished off with the 5-spoke 17-inch wheels in high-sheen black.
Inside a reworked interior brought about by the update gives a more consistent feel with W212 E-Class and W221 S-Class models which are configured to be more ergonomic and driver-friendly. the special edition receives a distinct but subtle treatment in the form of blue and alpaca grey contrast stitching on the steering wheel, seats and side trims. Material consists of Artico (man-made) leather and Dinamica Microfiber.
The electronically adjustable sport-contoured seats give a good amount of support and grip for spirited driving sprints through winding roads, while remaining comfortable on long drives. The multi-function three-spoke nappa leather sport steering wheel makes controlling various vehicle functions easy. The steering wheel also comes with 'Attention Assist’ drowsiness detection built-in that alerts the driver when it detects steering inputs that seem like so. For more adjustments, the centrally located COMAND controller gives easy access to various functions. Only gripe I have is that iPod connectivity had to be with the proprietary cable and not directly via a USB port.
Under the hood is the 1.8-liter CGI direct-inject turbocharged engine producing 184 PS and 270 Nm of torque found in the pre-facelift model. This is mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission which can be manipulated manually using the gear select lever in an uncommon way (tap left to shift down, tap right to shift up). An 'Eco' mode carefully optimizes the cars functions to achieve maximum fuel efficiency coupled with the auto start/stop function which works in conjunction with the regenerative brakes.
Engine response is quite good despite being on the 'Eco' mode but switching it to 'Sport' does unleash a bit of a more dynamic side. Straight-line acceleration does have the 'push you to your seats' feel thanks to the turbo 'kick'. Fuel consumption achieved was about 8.9 kms/liter in the city with light to moderate traffic, while 13.8 kilometers in the highway with some spirited driving as feeling the turbo kick in is just so addicting.
Handling-wise the Agility-Control active suspension gives the right amount of comfort and control. It's not an AMG sport suspension but it does give you the right amount of confidence to take on corners hard when you feel like it. Braking is provided by an 'Adaptive Brake' system which integrates ABS, ASR, brake drying, hill start assist and Brake Assist fully integrated into the car's electronic stability program.
The W204 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a good amount of drive with just the right amount of comfort rolled into one package. It’s relatively on the same page as the B8 Audi A4 which is on its facelift cycle as well, but not as current as you would classify the F30 BMW 3-Series or the hot-selling Lexus IS 350. The C 200 Edition C is the W204’s last hurrah before they change over to the more dynamic W205, which gets a lot of retro styling cues derived from the F800 concept. While it is normally not recommended to buy an outgoing model, it is worthy good deals expected of it and, of course, it drives even better than before.