by Malusi Msomi
The C-Class is the most important car in Mercedes-Benz’s model range. Since its introduction, the German-based manufacturer has sold more than 10.5 million C-Class’s. Now in its fifth generation, Mercedes-Benz looks to continue the sedans success. Code-named the W206, its now gotten a little bigger and more advanced, lending some tech inspired by its bigger sibling, the S-Class. The range comes standard with LED High-Performance headlamps, 18-inch wheels, a 10.25-inch drivers display and an 11.9 inch touch screen.
The previous-generation C-Class was a good-looking car, and the new one is no different. It has a dynamic design which is thanks to a short front overhang, long wheelbase, and rear overhang.It comes in two trim levels, the Avantgarde and AMG Line. The Avantgarde has a more minimal look sporting 18-inch wheels as standard and a choice of 19-inch wheels. The AMG line on the other hand, looks more dynamic sporting 19-inch wheels (with the option of 20-inch wheels), an AMG body kit, and radiator grille with Mercedes-Benz pattern.
The cabin is inspired by the new S-Class, especially the dash layout. It comes standard with a 10.25-inch digital dash and a 11.9-inch touch screen (which is upgradable to a 12.3-inch version). Unlike the S-Class, the infotainment screen is angled slightly towards the driver for a better view. The infotainment supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It runs on thesecond generation of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) with the popular “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant.
The C200 is powered by 1.5-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 150kW and 300Nm, whilst the C220d produces 147kw and 440Nm of torque. Both are rear-driven and power is sent through a 9G-Tronic transmission. Like most new Mercedes-Benz models come with mild-hybrid technology which uses an integrated starter-generator and 48V tech. With brief bursts of acceleration, you get an added 15kW and 200Nm.The Mercedes-Benz C220d AMG Line seems to be our cup of tea. With 19-inch wheels, low profile tyresand sitting 15mm lower than the standard model, it’s a recipe for sporty and fun driving. The 2.0-litre diesel engine feels responsive and has more urgency than the petrol derivative thanks to it having more torque. The C200 Avantgarde presented a slightly more comfortable ride which is geared towards more highway cruising and not apex hunting.
Borrowed from the C-Class, this option makes daily driving easier and more enjoyable. With rear-axle steering the rear wheels can turn up to 2.5 degrees aiding in a better turning circle. At low speeds (below 60 km/h) the rear-wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels to essentially shorten the wheel-base to create a smaller turning circle. At higher speeds (above 60 km/h) the rear-wheels turn in the same direction to the front wheels to improve handling, and to help with fast lane changes, or sudden evasive maneuvers.
The new C-Class is being built at the Mercedes-Benz plant in East London and the German based luxury car maker has poured in R13 billion for numerous upgrades in preparation for the production of the new model.
The world might be migrating towards SUVs, but cars like the C-Class are important to the Mercedes-Benz model portfolio. It might be a new benchmark in the segment thanks to new tech and trick standard features. The one to look out for is the C220d in AMG guise as it provides stunning looks, sporty and yet also comfortable ride.
Mercedes-Benz C200 R849,000
Mercedes-Benz C220d R908,500.
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