SINGAPORE — The new Mercedes C-class is being launched here tonight, and more than 1,000 people are exepcted to be among the first in town to see it. The BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 rival has arrived fully armed to teeth with more space, lightweight aluminium construction and crowd-pleasing tech.
Overall the new C-Class is lighter, larger and cleverer than its predecessor, inheriting plenty of tech from its big brother, the S-Class.
Once the smallest Mercedes-Benz sedan you could buy, the C-Class has moved upmarket, leaving Mercedes' range of front-drive cars to fill the lower end of the brand's pricing ladder. The new car is 95mm longer and 40mm wider than its predecessor.
Despite growing in size, it is 110 kg lighter thanks to liberal use of aluminium for the chassis (70 kgs saved) and body panels (40 kgs saved). Mercedes claims that this weight reduction improves fuel economy by up to 20 percent.
At launch, Mercedes is offering three versions of the new C-Class, here are the power and torque figures respectively: C 180 with 156 hp/250 Nm; the C 200 with 184 hp/300 Nm; and the C 250 with 211 hp/350 Nm.
The C 180 does the 0-100 km/h sprint in 8.5 seconds, the C 200 does it in 7.3 seconds and the C 250 does it in a quick 6.6 seconds. Fuel efficiency figures are: 5.5, 5.8 and 5.9 l/100km respectively.
The new C gets new suspension too. Claimed to provide nimble and agile handling, a newly designed 4-link front axle and a 5-link rear suspension are said to offer more sensitivity to steering movements and offer excellent straight-line stability.
The new C is also the first-in-segment car that can be fitted with an optional air suspension with continuously variable damping.
A feature called Agility Select lets the driver choose between Eco, Sport, Sport Plus and “Individual" driving modes, the latter setting allowing personalisation of the car’s handling. It also features self-levelling, even with the vehicle fully loaded.
There are three interior and exterior options offered: Avantgarde, Exclusive and AMG Line. All options come with Artico/leather interior trim. All versions of the new C-Class have LEDs for the headlamps, daytime running lights and rear lamps. Reverse cameras, automatic boot operation and keyless-go are new on the standard feature list as well.
Inside, it gets a new entertainment system with a 7-inch display with a touchpad entry that uses smartphone-like gestures. Internet connectivity is also now a standard on the C-Class, only requiring a data-enabled smartphone with Bluetooth.
The Comand Online system goes one-up from before: Other than a 8.4-inch screen, it fully utilises a wide range of Mercedes-Benz Apps, plus integrated Wi-Fi hotspot and wider media playback options.
Plus, the car now has the ability to detect when you enter a tunnel and engage the air conditioning recirculation mode to save your lungs. Speaking of ingenious new features, check out this video of what we discovered in the boot.
Ah yes, price: The C 180 starts from S$189,888, the C200 from S$214,888 and the C 250 from S$230,888 with COE.
Global production is taking time to ramp up so huge stocks of the new C-Class won't be flooding Singapore just yet. Still, given the pricing and the S-Class-inspired looks of the car, who would bet against it becoming a bestseller in Singapore? If it does so, it will only be taking the crown from another small Mercedes sedan. CarBuyer has learnt that 600 units of the CLA-Class have been sold here so far...