Mercedes-Benz C 300

d AMG Line Premium

Plus

Mercedes-Benz C-Class, 2023, front, action
Mercedes-Benz C-Class, 2023, front
Mercedes-Benz C-Class, 2023, side
Mercedes-Benz C-Class, 2023, interior
Mercedes-Benz C-Class, 2023, rear
Mercedes-Benz C-Class, 2023, rear, action
Mercedes-Benz C-Class, 2023, side, action
Mercedes-Benz C-Class, 2023, boot

THE C-Class has been with us since 1993 and, despite the seemingly unstoppable rise of the SUV - something which Mercedes has also bought into - it remains the brand's best-selling model.

That's no surprise, as it remains, in its fifth-generation, very good indeed.

The latest C-Class is powered only by electrified, mild hybrid, four-cylinder powerplants though there are plug-in options too, and diesels, such as the top-of-the-range C 300 d which now produces 261bhp. All use a standard nine-speed auto gearbox.

The C 300 d is also the first diesel with an integrated starter-generator (ISG), which means it has 48-volt mild hybrid assistance (as do all models in the range). An energy recovery function and the ability to ‘glide' with the engine switched off make the engine even more efficient.

The C 300 d officially averages 55.4mpg and I averaged a not too shabby 48mpg over nearly 300 miles. On the motorway, it easily crept up to over 50.

The latest C-Class is also based on a heavily reworked version of the previous model's Modular Rear Architecture (MRA) platform, so it's a little longer and wider than before, although it has a lower roofline which helps to create a more purposeful, sportier stance. It's a great looking car.

This is helped by the fact that Mercedes has done away with its familiar Sport specification. The entry point to ownership is now the popular AMG Line trim, which can be upgraded with Premium and Premium Plus packs.

With the AMG Line trim, priced from £44,240 on-the-road, you get 18-inch AMG five-spoke design alloy wheels, privacy glass, AMG bodystyling, a multifunction sports steering wheel finished in nappa leather, LED high-performance headlights and the latest Mercedes multimedia system.

The Premium equipment line features 19-inch AMG multi-spoke alloy wheels, Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus, ambient lighting, illuminated door sills, and a 360-degree surround view camera.

From £50,795 on-the-road, the Premium Plus trim adds 19-inch AMG five-double-spoke alloy wheels, panoramic sliding sunroof, head-up display and four-zone automatic climate control.

Now, the previous generation C-Class was heavily influenced by the larger S-Class model, and it's the same story here.

A huge 11.9-inch touchscreen now dominates the centre stack, while a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel takes the place of the previous more conventional binnacle. This can be customised into Discreet, Sport and Classic modes.

Helpfully, the dashboard and central display are slightly tilted towards the driver. However, there are no physical switches. So, it a good thing that Mercedes' latest MBUX multimedia system is the cleverest ever, especially when it comes to voice control. It's simply the best way to operate the system while on the move.

There's also heated front seats and wireless charging and a huge array of driver assist systems including a blind spot monitoring system.

Now, all this tech worked very well. But, in some cases, too well.

Twice while travelling on a 70mph dual carriageway, the adaptive cruise control suddenly cut to 40mph while I was close to passing under a bridge where the speed limit on the road above was 40mph.

Not only disconcerting for me, but on one occasion I was in the outside lane. God knows what the driver behind thought.

You would expect a Mercedes to be comfortable and refined and it certainly doesn't disappoint. There's plush material galore on the inside matched to a first-class fit and finish.

The seats and driving position are spot on though, and a warning for anyone with dodgy knees or hips, it does sit quite low to the ground.

That said, there's plenty of room up front for both the driver and passenger, while those travelling in the back benefit from more head and knee room due to the slightly increased wheelbase.

Four adult occupants can be accommodated with ease, though a fifth passenger sat in the middle of the rear is probably best left for shorter journeys.

Out back, the boot capacity is an ample 455 litres.

There are five individual driving modes to choose from: Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport+ and Individual. Eco is handy for driving around town while on longer trips, why anybody would take it out of Comfort is beyond me. Whether in town or on the motorway, the C-Class is hushed and a delight to handle.

FAST FACTS

Mercedes-Benz C 300 d AMG Line Premium Plus

Price:£50,795

Mechanical:265bhp, 1,993cc, four-cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine driving front wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission

Max Speed:155 mph

0-62mph: 5.7 seconds

Combined MPG: 55.4mpg

Insurance Group:41

C02 emissions:139g/km

Bik rating:31%

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