The suits and overalls at Mercedes have been busy. Not only did they give us the new 4.0-litre twin-turbo G 63 luxury-performance-off-road-retro sports car chaser earlier today, but they’ve also revealed this, the new C-Class.
We have pictures of both the saloon and the estate, and it’s pretty obvious that this is a refresh, not a revolution. The front and rear bumpers have been lightly redesigned, and the front is slightly different for different trim lines. At the back there are lots of slightly tedious changes like new exhaust trims.
The bigger changes have come inside, where the most comfort-oriented of the compact executive cars becomes really rather nice – at least if you’re willing to plunder the depths of the options list. Open-pore wood trim, either ‘brown walnut’ or ‘anthracite oak’, is a nice feature,for example.
A luxurious new option is the Multicontour Seat Package. The side bolsters and lumbar support can be pneumatically adjusted to your heart’s content, and there’s a massage effect for your lower back. It’s like you’re in a mini S-Class.
The dual-tube displays come from the S-Class, too, with the option to upgrade to fully digital instruments with three different display styles called Classic, Sport and Progressive.
Also new and optional (are you seeing the trend, here?) are MultiBeam LED headlights like those that are also extras on the G 63. They now have loads more individual LEDs – 84 – and can far more precisely dim certain areas of the main beam while leaving more of the road lit by more LEDs.
These things are devastatingly bright. In its Ultra Range maximum power mode, which activates when the system thinks no other cars are around, the beams travel a full 650 metres before the brightness drops below one lux, or lumen per square metre. At full power these astonishing new headlights could practically let you see into the future.
More new trinkets include Energizing Comfort Control, which balances the climate control (including fragrancing, obviously), the seat heating, cooling and massaging, the lighting and the musical moods to create – and we quote – “a specific wellness setup tailored to the mood and need of the customer.” Guess what? It’s optional.
That interior ambient lighting (also optional) has a choice of 64 colours and a wealth of settings to fiddle with, to light the cabin just the way you like it. We like the addition of a Qi-standard wireless charging pad… which is optional. It’s the perfect way to keep your phone battery topped up without mounts.
We like the C-Class. It’s a refined and comfortable cruiser that really does make you feel good. It’s just a shame that everything new and desirable is a cost-option. Pricing will be announced at the end of March, but cars won’t arrive in the UK until August.