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With EQ Boost technology, Mercedes-Benz is able to downsize the C200's engine without sacrificing performance, all while offering improved fuel economy.

07 Mar 2019

The fourth generation C-Class may have been the best-selling Benz in the last four years (yes, it outsold even its stilted stablemates) but the German manufacturer isn't resting on its laurels and has given the model a mid-life update to remain relevant, especially with the incoming threat of an all new BMW 3 Series.

And while the cabin offers the biggest visual changes, the most notable improvement to the C-Class lies under the hood of the variant you see here, the C200, which is now powered by a 1.5-litre engine.

The new 1.5-litre turbo and EQ Boost mild hybrid make a combined 181bhp and 280Nm of torque

What! It's gone from 2.0 to 1.5?

Yes, but don't panic just yet. Aided by a cutting-edge EQ Boost mild hybrid system that uses a 48V system with a belt-driven starter-generator, performance isn't much affected.

Admittedly, the outgoing C200's 2.0-litre has more torque, rated at 300Nm (now -20Nm) and a quicker 0-100km/h timing of 7.3 seconds (now +0.4 seconds) but the new, hybridised 1.5-litre makes the same amount of power as before, rated at 181bhp, and has a higher top speed of 239km/h (now +4km/h).

EQ Boost works with the petrol engine so seamlessly you'd hardly ever notice it's there

For day-to-day driving, you won't really notice the reduction in engine capacity. 

In fact, it doesn't feel like it's powered by a little 1.5-litre at all because the aforementioned EQ Boost system, which contributes 14bhp of the total output, supports the bottom-end of the rev range before the turbocharger does its magic. This means that the C200 is still considerably spritely off the line.

Paddle shifters are a welcoming feature when you are in the mood to drive the C-Class a little fast, and a little furiously

More importantly, EQ Boost works so seamlessly you won't even remember it's there, all while enjoying 12km/L of fuel efficiency, which is impressively close to the stated 16km/L.

The only niggles we have with the car are the slight sluggishness of the nine-speed transmission when left to its devices (it's fine when driven manually using the paddle shifters) and that its small-capacity engine can get a little vocal when driven hard, accompanied by a slight whirring noise when deccelerating.

Apple CarPlay connectivity is the perfect companion for your favourite beats on a long, comfortable drive

Should it be driven hard, though?

Thankfully, those aren't things that will bother most C-Class buyers who will typically be more concerned about comfort and easy driving, which is what the C-Class does superbly.

It rides well over pockmarked tarmac, in a fashion that's entirely befitting of the Benz badge, yet doesn't waft around like a seasick walrus when you're in the mood for some backroad twisties.

The cabin of the updated C-Class feels expensive, looks clean and is solid to the touch

The car feels tightly put-together, and coupled with a well-weighted steering that's positive across the ratio, affords a level of dynamism that should give its BMW rival a run for its money.

As for the rest of the car, there really isn't anything to nit-pick at, even if the infotainment system a little slow to respond at times. With its carefully selected materials and top notch fit and finish, the cabin is certainly modernised (customers get dual digital screens; our test car's cluster was only semi-digital).

The super-clear surround-view cameras make parking the C-Class a breezy affair

Alas, the car comes at a cost. At $201,888 (as of 4 March 2019), the C-Class is a tad high compared to, say, a 2.0-litre A4, which costs nearly $30,000 less.

Then again, given Merc's track (read: sales) record, we don't reckon this will dampen the appeal of the C-Class.
Also read our comparison article on:
Audi A4 vs Mercedes-Benz C-Class vs Volvo S60

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Car Information

This model is no longer being sold by local distributors


: -

Engine Type


4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Twin-scroll Turbocharged

Engine Cap





135kW (181 bhp)



280 Nm



9G-Tronic (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption


15.8 km/L

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