Merc's fourth-gen C-Class is better equipped than ever to do battle with the BMW 3 Series.
With the A-Class, B-Class, CLA and upcoming GLA, the term 'baby Benz' can no longer be applied to the C-Class. Especially the all-new generation that has just been unveiled with more space, more tech and more luxury. Mercedes' best-selling model has filled out by 3 inches in length and 1.6 inches in width but the liberal use of aluminum means its 100 kg lighter than the outgoing model and thus 20 percent more fuel efficient. Following Mercedes' 'sensual purity' design theme, the new C-Class shares plenty of style traits with the new S-Class.
It's classic long hood and set-back cabin is now combined with reduced overhangs, a raised beltline, and sculpted lines making for a more modern-looking C-Class albeit with a classic profile. It also borrows plenty of the S-Class' 'intelligent driving' tech, such as Attention Assist, Brake Assist System Plus, Active Park Assist and a 360-degree camera. With the right options, the C-Class will brake autonomously from 125 mph and follow the car in front at a safe distance while cruising at under 37 mph. In North America, the new C-Class will be offered as a C300 with a 2.0-liter turbo-four rated at 235 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, and a C400 with a 3.0-liter V6 turbo good for 329 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque.
Both come mated to a seven-speed automatic and 4Matic all-wheel drive. A new-look, yet typically luxurious interior, boasts a wraparound dash derived from the A- and S-Class, with a trio of central circular air vents, and a free-standing screen atop the dash controlled by either a stock rotary controller or an optional touchpad. An 8.4-inch central display comes with Mercedes's COMAND nav system, which communicates with the air-con unit informing it to engage its recirculation mode whenever you enter a tunnel, saving you breathing in filthy tunnel air. Pricing for the new C-Class has yet to be announced. That bit of info will likely break when the car makes its public debut next month at the Detroit Motor Show.