THE biggest selling cars in the Mercedes-Benz range - the C-Class saloon and estate - have been replaced by new versions that are a little larger, can be bought with plug-in electric motor assistance and are packed with electronic features.
Since the introduction of the current generation in 2014, more than 2.5 million Saloon and Estate models have been sold. China has been the largest sales market for the C-Class Saloon since 2016. In addition, the USA, Germany and Great Britain have been the largest sales markets for the C-Class Saloon and Estate models in the last ten years.
With a length of 4751 mm and a width of 1820 mm, the Saloon and Estate models are a little larger than their predecessors. The wheelbase has increased by 25 mm to 2865 mm. The luggage compartment of the Estate model is 30 litres larger than before, with a capacity of 490 to 1,510 litres.
Both the front and rear passengers benefit from the moderately increased exterior dimensions of the new model generation. Elbow-room has been increased by 22 mm in the front and 15 mm in the rear over the previous model. Headroom in the rear has increased by 13 mm (and there is up to 35 mm more kneeroom in the rear.
The interior now has highlights such as the display and operating concept adopted from the new, and much more expensive, S-Class, with a 'sporty interpretation'. The dashboard and central display are slightly tilted towards the driver.
Augmented Video is available as optional equipment. A camera registers the surroundings in front of the vehicle and the moving images are shown on the central display. In addition, virtual objects, information and markers are superimposed on the video image. These include traffic signs, directional arrows, lane-change recommendations and house numbers. This can make navigation much easier, especially in urban areas, says Mercedes.
The engine range is limited to four-cylinder units from the current Mercedes-Benz engine family. In addition to turbocharging, both the diesel and the petrol engines now have an integrated starter-generator for assistance at low engine speeds as a mild hybrid of the second generation.
Plug-in hybrids will follow soon after the launch, using the same base engines, to give a pure electric range of about 62 miles.
The petrol line-up opens with the 1.5-litre C180, which produces 168bhp and manages the 0-62mph sprint in 8.6sec and tops out at 144mph. The C200 shares the C180's 1.5-litre capacity but makes 201bhp, for a 0-62mph time up to 1.5sec quicker than the entry-level model and a top speed of up to 153mph. The 2.0-litre C300 produces 255bhp and reaches 62mph in 6.0sec.
The new C-Class goes on sale at the end of March and with likely prices from £35,000 for the Saloon and £38,000 for the Estate.