C-Class has been the mainstay of the Benz range for years. And, despite the popularity
and growing number of SUVs, it continues to shine as the star performer in a range that
now comprises more than 20 models.

Diversity has kept the car relevant to the market, with a sedan, coupe, wagon and
convertible available, along with various powertrains, including the sledgehammer
500kW AMG C 63 S 4MATIC+.

It all comes together in a heady, amazing mix of style and technology which will take
your breath away. So could the price — up to $15,000 more than the previous model.

Prices start from $78,900 for the C 200 Sedan.

Our test vehicle, the more expensive, more powerful C 300 sedan, is priced from
$90,400 plus on-roads.

But that’s not the end of the story with a mind-boggling list of options and — just quietly –
– not many Benzes leave the dealership without at least some of the boxes ticked.

The process can see the price of the car rise quickly and dramatically — none are
strictly necessary, however.

The test car was fitted with the $3800 Vision Pack plus Cavansite Blue Metallica paint
at $1600, taking the price to $98,900.

The pack adds a sunroof, seat memory and heating, head-up display, traffic sign
recognition and augmented reality for navigation.

Once upon a time, C-Class came with a choice of classic or dynamic styles, with a
different radiator grille to match.

Now the AMG Line exterior package is standard and comes with a body kit and bold
new diamond grille with star design in chrome (little Benz three-pointed stars).

LED headlights include headlight assist and adaptive high beam, while the optional
digital light package uses 1.3 million micro-mirrors per headlight for extremely high-
definition output.

The rear-end features new tail lights with a two-piece design, with light functions
divided between the outside and boot-lid lights.
Three optional new paint finishes – Spectral Blue, High-Tech Silver and Opalite White –
have been added to the colour palette.

The instrument panel has become a free-standing, 12.3-inch high-resolution that sits
behind the wheel, with a variety of colours and configurations from which to choose.
Australian models reportedly benefit from a higher level of standard equipment,
including a number of features that were previously unavailable or optional.

Features include AMG Line exterior and interior packages, 11.9-inch central media
display, 360-degree camera, keyless entry and start with automatic powered boot
closing, front centre airbag, fingerprint scanner and active safety systems including
adaptive cruise control.

C 300 adds a more powerful drivetrain, with full leather trim, larger 19-inch AMG multi-
spoke two-colour alloys and rear privacy glass.

Inside there’s sporty AMG Line trim and floor mats, plus 64-colour ambient lighting, an
illuminated front door sill with ‘Mercedes-Benz’ lettering, keyless entry and start and
dual-zone climate control.

C-Class is covered by a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty.
Service is due every 12 months or 25,000km and the first five years will set you back

The second-generation Mercedes-Benz User eXperience (MBUX) infotainment system
is a stunner, fronted by an 11.9-inch, portrait-style touchscreen.

It includes Bluetooth, voice recognition, built-in navigation, AM/FM and DAB+ digital
radio, plus wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

When following the navigation, a forward-facing camera creates an augmented view on
the centre screen, which is basically video of the road ahead with an arrow
superimposed to follow.

The display includes an ergonomically placed fingerprint scanner for secure and easy
access to different profiles. You can also access the infotainment system via a console-
mounted touchpad, or track pads embedded in the multi-function sports-styled steering

There are two USB-C ports in the centre console and another at the bottom of the
dashboard next to the wireless charging pad – but none in the back.

There’s no mention of the audio system, either in the sales brochure, specifications or
technical data. Guess it’s generic or perhaps another victim of the global components’
shortage. At this price, you’d expect and demand a name brand.

Entry C 200 is powered by a 150kW 1 .5-litre turbo hybrid.

C 300 gets a larger more powerful turbocharged petrol engine together with an electric
motor/48-volt starter-generator, sandwiched between the engine and transmission that
provides up to 15kW and 200Nm at low speeds.

The hybrid system is designed to provide assistance at low engine speeds and to
provide significant fuel savings, but it cannot be driven in electric-only mode.

It’s paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and delivers 190kW of power at
5800 rpm and 400Nm of torque between 2000 and 3200 rpm, with overboot providing
an extra 20kW briefly.

A comprehensive standard safety suite includes 10 airbags, including a centre-front
airbag for the first time.

Autonomous emergency braking (Car-to-Car, Vulnerable Road User, Junction Assist
and Backover) as well as a lane support system with lane keep assist (LKA), lane
departure warning (LDW) and emergency lane keeping (ELK), and an advanced speed
assistance system (SAS) are standard.

There’s also adaptive cruise control, drowsiness monitoring, a 360-degree camera and
active parking assistance with park sensors.

At 4793mm in length, the C-Class is 107mm longer than before, with a 25mm longer
wheelbase, which in theory means more room inside.

Drive is to the rear wheels, with paddle shifts, auto engine stop-start and four drives
modes available.

The dash from 0 to 100km/h takes a brisk 6.0 seconds.

It takes the good stuff too, premium 98 unleaded, with fuel consumption a claimed

The interior of the C-Class is a masterclass in style and technology. There are
elements of the old, the in-between and the new emerging age.

The eye-catching Tesla-style vertically mounted touchscreen flows seamlessly into the
centre console.

Did I say eye-catching? If it wasn’t for the second smaller screen that replaces a
conventional instrument panel, it would dominate the cabin.

At night the whole thing lights up like a Christmas tree. In fact, it could be a little too
over-the-top, especially for techno-challenged post millennials. It could do with an off

Touch sensitive controls (they’re found everywhere) are tricky to operate and functions
can be difficult to find — the trip computer is a case in point.

The column-mounted gear lever is something of a throwback, but it’s easy to operate
and paves the way for the clutter-free console.

At the same time, we were left wondering what would happen if one accidentally
selected reverse while driving, thinking it was the indicator stalk? We weren’t game to
find out (but there must be some kind of lockout).

The back seat is deep and inviting, but is surprisingly lacking for legroom, even though
this model has a slightly longer wheelbase. Those in the back get air vents and a fold
down centre armrest, but little else to speak of — charge ports would be nice?

The boot is a good size at 455 litres and has a power operated boot lid.

Arriving home for the first time the car slammed on the brakes, believing we were about
to run into the back of the car already in the driveway.

We must have been going a little too quickly for the system — it scared the bejesus out
of us.

A button at the end of the gear lever puts the car into Park, but it’s not clear whether
this engages the electric parking brake — the indicator comes on only when you turn off
the car.

Back on the road, the drive experience is cruisy and comfortable, apart from some tyre
noise and tyre slap from time to time depending on the road surface.

Choosing the appropriate drive mode is accomplished via a toggle to the left and below
the touchscreen air controls.

Sport and Sport+ amp up the drive experience, but the transmission dozes off and
tends to lag when you ask it the question, as it drops down a gear or two. This was
especially obvious when it came to overtaking.

Punch the accelerator and the car fails to respond immediately and it becomes
necessary to pull back in again. Bugger!

A switch to manual mode and using the shift paddles to change gears rectifies this

Although the suspension has been lowered, it’s still a bit soft and bouncy to be called
really sporty and bottoms out easily.

The steering is nicely weighted but the brakes are over sensitive. Just a dab is
required. Applying what we consider a normal amount of pressure elicits an abrupt

Overall, it is a car better suited to touring than race tracks and that is exactly what it is
designed to be.

In terms of fuel consumption, we were getting a long term 12.0L/100km after more than
900km and 8.2L in the short term — nowhere near the 7.3L promised.

Oh, and a tyre repair kit is provided in lieu of a spare tyre.

It’s good, but all that glitters isn’t necessarily gold.

There’s no physical volume knob, no-name audio and navigating the infotainment
system can be a challenge – especially underway.

The engine is a bit disappointing too, both in terms of performance and fuel

For this kind of money, the C 300 needs to tick all the boxes – and frankly it doesn’t.

Looks: 8
Performance: 7
Safety: 8
Thirst: 5
Practicality: 7.5
Comfort: 7.5
Tech: 8
Value: 7.5
Overall: 7.3


C 200 1.5-litre turbo-petrol four-door sedan: $78,000
C 300 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-door sedan: $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 C 300 MHEV 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-door sedan)

Capacity: 2.0 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 190 kW @ 5800 rpm
Maximum Torque: 400 Nm @ 2000-32000 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium 98 unleaded petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.3 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 164 g/km

DRIVELINE: Nine-speed automatic

Length: 4751 mm
Wheelbase: 2865 mm
Width: 1820 mm
Height: 1437 mm
Turning Circle: 10.7 metres
Kerb Mass:1744 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 66 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Chris Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *