As is often the way, the virtually all-new Mercedes C-Class is larger than the model it
replaces. Indeed, it’s not far short of the size of the older E-Class models. Some of the
extra size is ‘lost’ as it’s there to add larger crumple zones to further protect occupants in a

The latest Merc C-Class can easily be mistaken for one of its larger brothers thanks to its
styling. Australian imports have the AMG Line kit fitted as standard.

There’s nothing subtle about the C200 with a large three-pointed star in the centre of the
grille. And if you look closely at the grille, you will see hundreds more tiny stars keeping
company with the large one.

Look at the upper-centre of the grille and you will see a forward-facing camera which is
part of the safety package as well as a helper to make it easier to park the car.

The inside of the C200 is upmarket and modern.

The MBUX infotainment screen is large and well-shaped. Indeed, it’s similar in size and
shape to an iPad Pro so will appeal to those who use an iPad on a day-to-day basis.

The ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice assistant can now control more than in the superseded model.
Voice requests worked virtually every time in our test car – possibly because my voice was
one used in the very early days of this system when journalists and others, were asked to
read a number of words into a computer by way of a microphone.

Interestingly, Aussie journos who have road tested the voice assistant in Mercs say that
the system struggled at times to understand them. Perhaps try the voice recognition for
yourself if you’re considering buying a C-Class, indeed any Mercedes.

Some find it no hassle, others get cranky with it and have even been known to swear at it.
Try swearing at the system and you are likely to find that it says, “word not understood”!

Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and integrated DAB+ radio worked well for us, though there
was the irritatingly common loss of signal when listening to the radio in areas where trees
or high slopes beside the car.

Mercedes C200 is powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine as well as a 48-
volt mild-hybrid starter-generator that sits between the electric motor and the nine-speed
automatic transmission.

The C200 has ten airbags, including one in the front-centre. Driver assistance aids include
a 360-degree camera system that can be used to help you park the car as it shows a view
of the car and its surrounds. There’s also a lane-departure warning system that alerts a
driver who isn’t paying attention, probably because they’re talking on the phone, sending
text messages or turning around to look at rear seat passengers while the car is moving.

You can store your user preferences and log into the car using a fingerprint so that each
driver can have their seat position and cabin set up configured as soon as they activate
their profile.

The C-Class can carry four adults without those in the front seats having to give up
legroom to make space for people travelling behind them. If you do have to carry five folks
the one in the centre position will have to be on the slim side. Which is pretty well the norm
in anything less than full sized sedans or station wagons

The nine-speed automatic is smooth and virtually unfelt in its changed both up and down.
That’s in normal driving.

The brake pedal feels changes as you switch from regeneration mode to friction (normal)
braking. During our testing we gradually became used to the feel. May we suggest that
you request the sales people at the dealer you’re visiting give you significantly longer time
to test drive the car. Because there are several things you have to adapt to, all the more
so if you’ve never driven a Benz before.

While the C-Class isn’t designed as a sports machine you can set it up in a sporty mode to
let you do some spirited driving.

Handling is precise and the car responds nicely to inputs through the steering wheel and
the accelerator pedal. It holds the road well at speeds well above those suggested by the
somewhat outdated roadside signs that tell you what’s ahead.

Unmistakably a Mercedes in the way it looks and feels, the C200 is reasonably priced for
what it is and provides status for those who like to be seen driving a prestige car.

Looks: 9/10
Performance: 8/10
Safety: 9/10
Thirst: 8/10
Practicality: 8/10
Comfort: 7/10
Tech: 8/10
Value: 7/10


C200 1.5: $78,900
C300 2.0: $90,400
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Mercedes-Benz dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Mercedes-Benz C200 MHEV 1.5-litre turbo-petrol four-door sedan)

Capacity: 1.496 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 150 kW @ 5800 rpm
Maximum Torque: 300 Nm @ 1800 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 6.9 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 157 g/km

DRIVELINE: Nine-speed automatic

Length: 4751 mm
Wheelbase: 2865 mm
Width: 1820 mm
Height: 1437 mm
Turning Circle: 10.6 metres
Kerb Mass:1550 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 66 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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