It’s time for the ‘W205’ C-Class to move over - there’s a new Baby Benz in town. Mercedes’ all-new version is here, with styling changes that bring the car closer to the range-topping S-Class. That’s nothing compared to what’s been done to the cabin, though.
Just like the S, there’s now a huge portrait display jutting out of the centre console like a plinth. The touchscreen measures 9.5 inches across as standard, or if preferred, there’s an optional 11.9-inch version. The bigger E-Class will presumably have to wait until its next refresh to get a similar setup. Awks.
Just over from the infotainment screen is a standard-fit LCD screen that forms the instrument cluster. It measures 10.25 inches, and it’s possible to upgrade to a fancier 12.3-inch version. All of this tech works off the latest MBUX operating system, which gives the C-Class over-the-air updates for the first time.
In terms of dynamics, Mercedes has given the C new four-link suspension at the front and a fresh multi-link setup up back. Adaptive dampers are optional along with a firmer ‘sport’ setup, while the plug-in hybrid derivatives get rear air suspension as standard.
As a sign of the times, the engine line-up is exclusively inline-four from launch, and will likely remain that way for the rest of the W206’s life. Yep, even when it comes to the AMG C53 and C63 models, with the latter expected to adopt a hybridised version of the A45’s ‘M139’ 2.0-litre.
As for the derivatives that have been confirmed, we have a 1.5-litre kicking off the range, providing 168bhp in the C180 and 201bhp in the C200. The C300 uses a 261bhp mild hybrid 2.0-litre unit, giving a 0-62mph time of 5.7 seconds. On the diesel front, you can have either a 161bhp C200d or a 197bhp C220d.
Although the specs haven’t been fully confirmed yet, Mercedes says diesel and petrol plug-in hybrids will join the range soon after launch, each with a 129bhp motor and an impressive electric-only range of 62 miles.
You’ll be unsurprised to learn it’s bigger than the old car, growing 65mm in length, 10mm in width and 25mm in wheelbase. The growth spurt and clever packaging mean the saloon’s boot is 45 roomier at 360 litres, while if you chuck the seats down in the estate, there’s another 40 litres of space to play with. With a maximum of 1375 litres available, that next Ikea trip will be a breeze.
Sales in Europe commence at the end of March, with the AMGs likely to arrive early next year.