Thursday 18 December 2014

Mercedes Benz's new baby is in C-Class all of its own

But new kid on the block doesn't skimp on S-Class style, writes Martin Brennan

Martin Brennan

Published 08/06/2014 | 02:30

MAKING ITS MERC: The new C-Class starts at €37,750
MAKING ITS MERC: The new C-Class starts at €37,750

Mercedes Benz has introduced a "baby S-Class" into the line-up of its prestige cars.

And the new C-Class has all the super-duper technology of its big brother.

This is good news for customers who will now not have to price themselves up to the E-Class, which up to now accounts for 40 per cent of all Mercedes-Benz sales. C-Class usually accounted for 20 per cent of sales but now that it has grown in interior space and has super-frugal engines, it is expected to account for a third. This will no doubt hit E-Class – but hail the new kingpin of the range.

So what do you get in a car with a starting price of €37,750, and which wants to please a younger generation where technology is becoming as important as driving pleasure? Top infotainment displays are on hand, interactive touchpad and apps to give on-line access to route planning, weather and traffic information. And it has a very welcome "heads-up" display that can project data directly on to the windscreen.

Also available are S-Class features such as automatic opening and closing of the boot with a gentle underside toe tap, ambient lighting in three colours, surround sound music and a special air purifying system.

A pleasant surprise is the extra legroom in the rear thanks to an 80mm longer wheelbase and the wider body also helps to make rear seat travel more comfortable. The boot capacity is a hefty 480 litres.

There are four petrol and five diesel engines on offer and MB says fuel consumption is on average down by 20 per cent. This is helped by a 100kg reduction in body weight.

The first engine to arrive is the C220CDI 170bhp with 103g/km of C02 and a claimed fuel consumption figure of a mere 4-litres /100km (€190 road tax).

This is bound to be the big seller but for the more price-conscious, the C180 1.6 litre 156bhp model at €37,750 with 116g/lm of C02 and a claimed 5-litres/100km will make good sense (€200 road tax).

Low interior noise levels and good suspension settings are features that will please.

Sunday Independent

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