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25 Apr 2022

What We Dislike
Squishy brake pedal
Engine note needs improvement

The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a reminder of why the marque is held in such high esteem, with its high ride quality and premium cabin fittings.


It's finally back. After numerous updates that saw the addition of mild-hybrid technology, a junior-AMG 43 model, and a properly junior 160-badged variant, on top of the typical engine options in sedan, coupe, and convertible bodystyles, Singapore's favourite compact executive has finally returned as an all new generation car.

This, is the new W206 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Aggressive looks, compact body

Opt for an AMG-line car and you'll get your front grille decorated with little three-pointed triangles
Now based on the updated MRA 2 platform, this new C-Class Sedan has grown 10mm wider, nine millimetres shorter and, more significantly, 65mm longer than its predecessor, while its wheelbase has been stretched by 25mm.

And wrapping this new chassis is quite the handsome exterior, with this Mercedes-Benz C-Class retaining the classic proportions of its predecessors, thanks to that long bonnet and petite boot.

Visual highlights here include those tasty bulges on the bonnet, while the front of the car also sports a shark nose-like profile (as seen in the Mercedes-Benz CLA and CLS) for some added aggressiveness to its stance. And should you opt for an AMG-line car as tested, the front grille is also made up of numerous three-pointed triangles - a discreet and appealing touch.

Classy, yet showy interior

201bhp models of the Mercedes C-Class will come with the split-spoke steering wheel
Step inside and the changes are even more significant. The C-Class continues to sport a wide centre console, which intrudes into the available space for the driver's footrest. However, now all this space has been put to good use, playing host to the car's massive 11.9-inch central display that houses Mercedes' MBUX infotainment system as seen in the S-Class.

It's an impressive infotainment system indeed, with a myriad of options that allow you to set your car up as you wish. Having said that, I did find it all requiring just a bit more time to master than rival systems, thanks to the use of different layouts for every sub-menu.

Also present in this C-Class are the touch-sensitive seat controls and window switches from the S-Class. And you also get the Mercedes' latest leather-wrapped steering wheel with touch controls on its split-spokes on the 201bhp models.

MBUX system is impressive and pleasing to look at, but not so intuitive to use
These touches all combine with seats that offer a good degree of adjustability, making the cabin of the Mercedes C-Class a pleasant place to be in.

And if all this is not enough to wow your passengers, the multi-colour ambient lighting certainly will, offering high brightness levels and a wide-array of hues that seem to have been lifted right out of a nightclub.

Strong and comfortable drive

Start the engine of the Mercedes C-Class and there's still plenty else that will impress. There are currently two engine options offered for the C-Class here in Singapore, both utilising a 1.5-litre engine, with the more powerful of the two tested here.

201bhp 1.5-litre engine offers up just decent acceleration, but desperately needs better vocals
It's an engine that is more suited to relaxed driving than quick bursts between the lights. While the spec sheet states that this engine offers up a total of 201bhp, in practice you'll find that outright pace is barely enough to frighten or thrill.

And the soundtrack it delivers when pushed isn't great either. It's not grating per se, but neither is it stirring in any sense, and not quite up to the standards you'd expect of luxury compact sedan.

Still, drive in a relaxed manner and you'll find there's decent amounts of pulling power to be had (300Nm to be precise), which all swell up steadily by the mid-range, so you never have to reach into the high rpms, even when driving quickly. It's all delivered in smooth fashion as well, matched by an equally creamy-smooth nine-speed gearbox. Start/stop cycles from this unit are practically unperceivable, and you can expect fuel economy to settle close to a decent 10km/L.

High badge appeal and the increased exterior dimensions of this Mercedes C-Class are sure to appeal to many buyers here
At speed you'll also find a well-judged ride in this Mercedes C-Class. It is just a touch on the firm side, but still able to round off edges and bumps on the road well, and offers up a high sense of plantedness when on the go. Cabin insulation levels, meanwhile, are fantastic and there's also quite the accurate steering to be had here, with low-speed manoeuvrability aided by rear axle steering.

All these conspire to make the car quite the rewarding thing to pilot, although the experience is dented by the test car's lack of resistance from the brake pedal.

Rightfully popular

If you like this Mercedes-Benz C-Class, it could be yours starting from $310,888, which pits it dollar-for-dollar square against the BMW 320i M Sport (prices as of 12 April 2022). The BMW, however, is equipped with a 2.0-litre engine that makes 181bhp paired to an eight-speed gearbox. So, you get more power while paying a smaller road tax bill in this Mercedes C-Class, plus one more gear to use should you choose to drive up the North-South Highway.

If that, combined with the stunning MBUX system and high ride quality already appeal to you, then go out and reserve yours now. There will be many here that will want to get their hands on one.


In the market for a compact executive sedan? There's also these options to consider:

The BMW 3 Series offers up a smooth drive with a high equipment level

The Volvo S60 meanwhile, has loads of passenger space and ample safety systems

There's also the updated Audi A4, now with the latest infotainment system and a capable mild hybrid drivetrain

Or you might want to check out the Lexus IS 2.0, with its sharp and aggressive new exterior
Car Information
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Price

: $338,888

Engine Type

:

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

Engine Cap

:

1496cc

Horsepower

:

150kW (201 bhp) / 6100 rpm

Torque

:

300 Nm / 4000 rpm

Transmission

:

9G-Tronic (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

7.3sec

Top Speed

:

246km/h

Fuel consumption

:

14.7km/L

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