Size does matter; in fact, it matters very much, especially in the prestige car market. That’s why the folk at Mercedes-Benz have grown the new C-Class Saloon to cater for the increase in people’s average height – not to mention the increase in the image rating.

Wheelbase, track and width are bigger, though many interior dimensions are about the same as in the previous model. Rear seat occupants are the main beneficiaries.

In keeping with the upsizing Mercedes has endowed the new C-Class with luxuries normally found in more expensive vehicles from the German marque.

Despite the increase in size the all-new C-Class has weight savings of up to 40 kg. It has cutting-edge aerodynamics and new economical engines. Mercedes-Benz C-Class establishes new efficiency benchmarks in its segment.


A host of new assistance systems offers safety of the highest automotive calibre.

The new C-Class comes in a range of sedans and estates (wagons) with the choice of petrol or diesel power, the latter incorporating Mercedes-Benz BlueTec technology.

A C 250 BlueTEC diesel came my way packed with technology yet to be seen in this market segment. This included the full Driver Assistance Package Plus, with Steer Assist, most recently seen in the latest S-Class.

Other high-end standard features, including Keyless-Go with hands-free access, leather upholstery and exotic19-inch alloy wheels are all part of outstanding value for a car costing just over $70,000.


Designers have gone for minimalist, pure forms to reinforce up-to-the-minute C-Class intelligent technology and engineering. The entry-level ‘albatross’ has been cast off.

This is even more applicable to the cabin interior, which is a showpiece of finely crafted quality materials offering a pleasingly tactile experience for occupants, according to the maker, ‘akin to the uplifting feeling of being upgraded from economy to business class on an airliner’. So there…

It’s down to business for the driver too with a 7-inch display screen, 8.4-inch with optional Comand Online, standing alone on the centre console above three-dimensional high-quality controls. It still looks a bit add-on to us, but perhaps that’s part of the appeal to some.

To the rear of the centre console is a Mercedes touch pad in a hand rest above the control knob which operates screen functions by touch as in a smartphone.

A head-up display is new to the C-Class and displays important information directly in the driver’s field of vision on the windscreen, including information on speed, navigation instructions and messages from the Distronic safe distance system for following the vehicle ahead.

New-generation multimedia presents information in a clear and concise manner, while a Frontbass acoustic system uses a body cross-member and side member as a resonance chamber for the woofers, resulting in excellent clarity. Burmester surround sound is an option.

Navigation is interactive, with information presented in a similar manner to on an airliner and Google Maps displayed on the head liner. Bluetooth is standard and Mercedes-Benz Apps such as Weather, Google Local Search with StreetView and Panoramio, destination/route download and Facebook can be used while on the move in conjunction with Comand Online.

The C 250 BlueTEC is powered by one of the three new engines of the Mercedes C-Class. The four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine puts out 150 kW at 3800 rpm and a robust 500 Nm between 1600 and 1800 revs, while incorporating selective catalytic reduction for environment-friendly driving, ensuring the C-Class diesels make efficiency class A and in most cases efficiency class A+.

Mated with a seven-speed 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission and engine start-stop technology, fuel consumption is down by more than 10 per cent compared to its predecessor. The engine has a Euro 6 emission rating.

Intelligent Drive is how Mercedes-Benz tags active safety systems plucked from the latest S-Class and E-Class cars. These include Attention Assist which warns the driver of any lapse in concentration; Adaptive Brake Assist and Collision Prevention Assist Plus, which provide protection from potential crashes. Extra cost options offer further help should you want them.

Occupants are also protected by a suite of airbags which includes pelvis bags for driver and front passenger; a newly developed window bag; side bags for the outer rear seats, plus a knee bag for the driver.

Manoeuvring in tight spots is simplified by a rear-view camera with guidelines and parking sensors all round.

Keyless entry to the C 250 BlueTEC is a given, closely followed by push-button engine start-up. Engine noise is well damped in the cabin but noisy diesel clatter is excessive outside the vehicle. This certainly won’t help you to impressive the neighbours, especially first thing in the morning when it creates what you would almost call a racket – very un-Mercedes.

The transmission is engaged via a stubby gearshift lever mounted on the steering column behind the wheel. It’s not to the liking of everyone as it is possible to knock it into neutral with a finger while turning the steering wheel – something I found to my surprise.

In stop-start mode there is a fraction of a second before the engine fires, resulting in a jerky takeoff. On the move, the drivetrain is a smooth operator and shrugs off any attempt to unsettle it. Overtaking is easy thanks to the huge 500 Nm of torque on tap.

Thanks to Airmatic, the first air suspension in the segment, the driver is able to choose how he or she wants the vehicle to behave by switching throttle response, speed-sensitive power assist, automatic transmission shift points and suspension damping, via a control on the centre console.

Programs on offer include Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport + and Individual. Eco had the car in sluggish mood, acting as though it didn’t want to play; Sport and Sport+ were fun on the run, while Individual is, well, individual, letting you dial up your own needs and desires.

‘Comfort’ is the default mode and I found it produced flexible behaviour in all conditions and fuel consumption figures of 4.7 litres per 100 kilometres on the motorway and 8.7 litres per 100 kilometres in and around town.

Not content with the fact that the C-Class is the best selling luxury car in Australia, Mercedes-Benz has set its sights on some of its more expensive rivals with packages to match.


C 200 four-door sedan: $60,900 C 200 BlueTEC four-door sedan: $62,400 C 250 four-door sedan: $68,900 C 250 BlueTEC four-door sedan: $70,400 C 300 BlueTEC Hybrid four-door sedan: $74,900
C 200 Estate five-door wagon: $63,400 C 200 Estate BlueTEC five-door wagon: $64,900 C 250 Estate five-door wagon: $71,400 C 250 Estate BlueTEC five-door wagon: $72,900
Note: These prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local Mercedes-Benz dealer for drive-away prices.

19-inch 10 spoke alloy wheels
Leather upholstery
LED high performance headlamps
KEYLESS-GO with hands free access
Driver Assistance Package PLUS
Distronic Plus
Steering assist and Stop&Go Pilot
Pre-Safe Brake with pedestrian recognition
Pre-Safe Plus
BAS Plus with cross-traffic assist, active blind spot assist and active lane keeping assist
Ambient interior lighting with three colours and five dimming levels
Artico upholstery
Audio 20 with 7-inch Colour display, touchpad control, single-disc CD player with MP3/WMA/ACC compatibility, AM/FM tuner
Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
Black piano lacquer / brushed aluminium trim
Gamin Map Pilot navigation
DAB+ digital radio

SPECIFICATIONS (C 250 BlueTEC 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-door sedan)

Capacity: 2.143 litres
Configuration: In-line 4-cylinder, 4 valves per cylinder
Bore / stroke: 83.0 mm / 99.0 mm
Maximum power: 150 kW @ 3800 rpm
Maximum torque: 500 Nm @ 1600-1800 rpm

Drivetrain: 7G-Tronic Plus seven-speed automatic transmission

Length: 4686 mm
Width: 1810 mm
Height: 1442 mm
Wheelbase: 2840 mm
Track front / rear: 1584 mm / 1573 mm
Kerb weight: 1595 kg
Gross vehicle mass: 2160 kg
Seating capacity: 5
Cargo capacity 480 litres
Fuel Tank capacity / reserve: 66 / 7 litres
Turning circle: 11.22 m

Suspension: Multi-link, coil springs, gas-pressure shock absorbers (front); Multi-link independent suspension, coil springs, gas-pressure shock absorbers, stabiliser
Brakes: Vented disc brakes at front, disc brakes at rear, electric parking brake at rear, ABS, Brake Assist, ESP
Steering: Electromechanical rack-and-pinion steering, speed-sensitive
Wheels / tyres: 7.5 J x 19 (front); 8.5 J x 19 (rear) / 225/40 R 19 (front); 245/35
R 19 (rear)

Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h: 6.6 sec
Top speed: 210 km/h

Fuel type: Diesel
Combined Cycle (ADR 81/01): 4.5 litres per 100 km. CO2 emissions 116 g / km

Greenhouse Rating: 8.5 / 10
Air Pollution Rating: 7.5 / 10

About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

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