Due to me launched in the US any time soon the Mercedes-Benz C Class is a car that is always waited on with great interest. It covers a massive bandwidth of drivers from the school run to the 6 litre V8 AMG black monsters. Additionally, the C Class is a car that business users wait on the launch of before making a decision on another brand. Always a leader, the C Class has in the past introduced air bags, ABS, ESP, safety cell, fuel injection, lane guidance, lights that turn and this model is sure to be just as innovative.
Best company car C-Class ever
Starting with the launch model C220 BlueTec, with 170 bhp but just 103 g/km CO2, the Bluetec has now evolved into a real competitor in the company car bracket. With legendary build quality and the trust of funders and drivers alike, the BlueTec will be popular. Benenfit in Kind tax on this and the new C180 petrol will be 14%.
Air-conditioning advances that others must follow
Amazingly, the air-con has a built-in GPS unit. It knows where every tunnel is and as you enter the tunnel the recirculation will be switched on, at the same time, if you set it that way, you have a little sweet smelling air pumped in as well
The first car with Distronic Plus
This is the Mercedes-Benz brand name for something which will become more common over the coming years. Using cameras and park distance sensors, the next generation of cars will drive themselves by increasing amounts each generation. Already in Germany, test rigs are driving around factories without accidents for thousands of miles. Incorporated into the system is a braking unit that cuts in if it thinks you are not going to stop
Is one hybrid not enough?
At launch, the C300 BlueTec Hybrid will be available. It has a 2.15 litre diesel and electric power. Clearly an option to the C220, but if the E class is anything to go by, there will be a yawning gap in price. Early next year there will be a plug-in hybrid with a bigger battery pack. The emissions of this version will be lower as some short journeys can be achieved by battery only and if you wanted to be cynical, you could view this as Mercedes reducing the average emissions of the C-Class via a car that they don’t expect to sell in large numbers
The outgoing C Class is not a small car but the new model is 9 cm longer
With the bulk of the increase being in wheel base, the increase is most obvious in the cabin where rear legroom and boot space have increased
Bigger is not always heavier
The new C-Class will be lighter by 102kg than the outgoing model. There is a constant push to make cars lighter as they electrified as weight uses more fuel than aerodynamics, especially at low speeds as a hybrid model is pulling away and the use of aluminium in the manufacture of the new C Class has helped reduce weight
Air suspension in a mid-sized car
A first in the C Class and probably this sector is the fitting of air suspension as an option. Mercedes-Benz’s own Airmatic product in our experience is fantastic. It has options of mode, Sport/Comfort etc and makes the ride quieter, especially in a harder sprung car.
It may be the safest car yet
The list of safety extras on a C Class is simply too long to show here. What is more interesting is some of the new technology that Mercedes have added and will be on all cars soon. They have added airbags for the pelvis, knees and to cover the windows as well as curtain bags. Auto braking will apply the brakes if the car believes that a collision is imminent. The driver is monitored for sleeping and wandering out of lane. The camera on the front has infra-red ability which helps it looking out for pedestrians
Tech tech tech
The control pad of the infotainment unit is a touch pad very much like an Apple computer. The car will look out for WiFi hot spots and even headlights that shape a beam to give you near main beam without blinding anyone. The C Class will also have the latest self-parking system on-board
By the time the car is fully rolled out, there will be more choice than before. Estate and coupe versions are sure to follow with each on having all model derivatives available.