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Mercedes will unveil the facelift version of the C-Class in January 2011 at the Detroit Auto Show, but since today’s automakers seem to be working part-time as Gossip Girls, the first details of the future vehicle have already been revealed.

According to Mercedes, the new C-Class will get more than 2,000 new parts compared to the previous model, including an advanced seven-speed automatic transmission 7G-Tronic Plus that will be available starting June 2011 (for all models except C300 CDI 4Matic). The facelifted C-Class will also be receiving a new front and rear design, more power from a new V6 engine, and improved fuel consumption.

Customers will have the option of choosing from 11 different models, with power ranging from 120 to 306 HP. These models can either get new halogen headlights as standard or bi-xenon headlights with the Intelligent Light System.

Sales will begin in March 2011.

Updated 12/23/2010: Mercedes has revealed the official details on the facelift C-Class, even though we knew about most of them already. So if you already got yourself caught up with the specs, visit the picture gallery to see all of the new high-res images!

Hit the jump to read more about the facelifted Mercedes C-Class.

  • 2012 Mercedes C-Class
  • Year:
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  • Engine:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
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  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
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Exterior and Interior

2012 Mercedes C-Class High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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For the exterior, Mercedes is offering a redesigned front bumper that offers a more dynamic appearance, a new grille, LED daytime running lights at the bottom of the bumper, and the new aluminum hood. For the rear, the C-Class gets a new bumper and revised LED tail lights.

Also, as with all the latest Mercedes models, the new C-Class will be offered with Attention Assist, an active Blind Spot Assist, an active lane-keeping assistant, and adaptive cruise control Distronic Plus. There is also a new optional telematics system on board. The navigation system has a three-dimensional representation of the city with plastic models and allows the driver to request a choice of five routes - including a particularly economical routing.

Engine Line-up

2012 Mercedes C-Class High Resolution Exterior
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As previously stated, customers will have to choose from 11 different models, both petrol and diesel, but the most impressive change was made for the Mercedes C350 Blue Efficiency who received a new V6 gasoline engine that delivers a total of 306 hp and 370 Nm - 14 HP and five Newton meters more than the previous model. Despite the power increase, the consumption has been lowered by 31% compared to the previous model.

Customers will have to choose from a standard manual six-speed transmission or a seven-speed automatic transmission 7G-Tronic Plus. All models will be offered with rear-wheel drive and a start-stop function.

The Competition

All of these changes are more than welcomed considering the strong competition for the C-Class. TheBMW 3 Series, Volkswagen Passat, and the Opel Insignia are just a few vehicles that are just chomping at the bit to nip the C-Class, especially since all of them have received a recent redesign.

The BMW 3-Series may seem like the only real competitor on this list, but don’t underestimate the others. The Passat is a huge hit on the European market and the Insignia has also become a very successful model.

When Can I Buy One?

The facelift Mercedes C-Class will make its world debut in January 2011 at the Detroit Auto Show with sales to begin in March. Prices will be announced at a later date.

  • Leave it
    • Still an old person’s car
    • Previous models have proven to be more expensive compared to the competition
    • Even with numbers, the C-Class still has high fuel consumption

Press release

2012 Mercedes C-Class High Resolution Interior
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The new C-Class to be launched in spring 2011 is a comprehensive modernisation. The front and rear sections of this bestselling model have a more striking design. Together with the optional, high-resolution colour display in the instrument cluster, the new dashboard with its elegant, grained surface and prominent decorative trim emphasises the premium character of the interior. Fuel consumption has been lowered by up to 31 percent. Efficiency-enhancing measures include new engines, the improved 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission and the ECO start/stop function. Ten new driving assistance systems ranging from ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection to DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control are now available for this model series. The new-generation telematics include internet access and a 3D navigation display with plastic city views.

"In terms of drive and protection systems the new-generation C-Class offers the same comfort and safety as our luxury models. And with numerous high-grade features in the interior that remind one of the new CLS, the C-Class sets completely new standards in its segment with respect to perceived value and quality," says Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Sales & Marketing Director at Mercedes-Benz Cars. This interior modernisation is supplemented with a new telematics generation that not only includes completely redesigned displays, but also makes onboard internet access available.

A total of more than 2000 new components distinguish the latest generation of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class from its predecessor. Both the Saloon and Estate versions can be ordered from 10 January 2011. The European market launch will take place from March 2011. In addition to the standard appointments – which now include a leather steering wheel – the two design and equipment lines ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE are the basis for the individualisation programme of the C-Class. The two lines are now even more readily distinguishable from each other.

The C-Class is the highest-selling model series, and therefore of particular importance for Mercedes-Benz. The current series has found well over one million buyers worldwide since its launch in March 2007. Since the introduction of the first C-Class in 1982 (then known as the model 190), Mercedes-Benz has sold more than 8.5 million vehicles in total in this segment. In 2010 too, the C-Class has repeatedly won top places in the registration statistics.

Dynamic, resolute, self-assured: the exterior

2012 Mercedes C-Class High Resolution Exterior
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The front bumper has a more expressive and dynamic contours, the front section being brought closer to the brand’s new design idiom. This starts with a more prominent radiator grille surround. The central air intake opens out upwards in a V-shape, forming a visual base unit for the radiator grille. Pronounced side sections extend from the sporty V-shape at the centre of the bumper. Continuing beneath the headlamps, these sections blend into the feature lines along the vehicle flanks, linking the front section with the sides. The side air inlets in the bumper are positioned low down, giving the car a more road-hugging appearance.

The Saloon and Estate now have a new aluminium bonnet, which contributes to weight reduction and therefore fuel efficiency. Its contour in the area of the headlamps and radiator grille emphasises the V-shape of the front section more heavily than before. In conjunction with the newly designed headlamps, this gives the front section a more resolute impression.

The shape of the clear-lens headlamps has been modified to create a more dynamic and resolute impression, and to act together with the bonnet, radiator grille and bumper to emphasise the V-shape of the front section. This impression is reinforced by both the exterior form of the headlamps and the interior of the housings. The headlamps show their modernity by precision and an interplay between matt and high-sheen areas. The halogen headlamps are arranged in the classic way, with low beam on the outside, high beam on the inside and the indicators neatly arranged in the outer corner formed with the front wing.

If the optional bi-xenon headlamps with the Intelligent Light System (ILS) are specified, the impression of depth is reinforced by a row of lighting modules. A position light with a distinctive C-shape emphasises the night design. Behind it is a cornering light extending to the main headlamp module on the outside. All three levels are connected by a transverse strip extending through the complete headlamp interior with dark contrasts, shiny areas and matt areas. A visual base in the lower section of the headlamp is formed by a horizontal broadband LED indicator unit. The horizontal LED daytime running lamps in the bumper also make the C-Class unmistakable from a distance.

In the case of the rear bumper, the light-catching contours and dividing lines have been modified to emphasise the width of the Saloon and Estate even more strongly. This change is particularly obvious in the more steeply rising course of the side light-catching contours towards the tail lights. A continuous light-catching contour at the upper end of the rear bumper extends into the flanks to connect the rear end with the sides to emphasise the sporty character of the rear aspect. In the facelifted model, the tail lights are even more neatly integrated into the rear section by a continuous covering lens. The characteristic surface meander is now on the inside of the light, and reminiscent of preceding model series. The particular impression of depth is achieved by a centrally located LED indicator, which appears to float in front of the red upper and lower light bands with their more deeply set LEDs. The tail lights have a particularly high recognition factor in the dark.
The aerodynamics of the C-Class are the mark of the bodyshell’s efficiency. With a Cd figure of 0.26 it not only sets the benchmark in its class, but also glides through the wind better than most compact cars with its drag area of Cd x A = 0.57 sq. m.

Sporty, high-quality interior

2012 Mercedes C-Class High Resolution Exterior
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The main focus of the design work in the interior was on restyling the dashboard with its integrated screen and new surface grain. The touch surfaces of the controls are now also more finely detailed and galvanised. A stepped extension to the instrument cluster now also accommodates the central display. The instrument cluster and a discreet light-catching contour continue into the front passenger side. The central, trapezoidal air vents and the round vents on the outside are highlighted in detail by galvanised trim.

The large section of trim is an important part of the newly designed dashboard. This extends from the centre air vents across the front passenger side to the outer air vent, while the lower edge of the upper dashboard section continues into the beltlines of the door panels with a new surface grain.

The control panel of the new-generation communication and information unit has keys with high-gloss surface inserts. The combination of keys, high-gloss areas and a new knurled wheel design accentuates the higher perceived value of the interior. In conjunction with the new telematics generation, the facelifted C-Class is also available with an optional, high-resolution colour display in the instrument cluster.

The premium character of the interior is underlined by the new-generation steering wheel, which was introduced with the new CLS and is now available in the sporty AVANTGARDE line for the C-Class. The steering wheel with its chromed central spoke stylishly accentuates the sporty atmosphere in the C‑Class.

The ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE lines are more readily distinguishable from each other. This has been partly achieved by new trim in matt ash wood or walnut (ELEGANCE), or dark aluminium or black ash wood (AVANTGARDE). Stand features in the ELEGANCE line include luxury head restraints whose side bolsters can be adjusted as required.

More power, lower consumption: the engines

2012 Mercedes C-Class High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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A reduction of up to 31 percent has been achieved in fuel consumption. All the rear-wheel drive C-Class models are equipped with the ECO start/stop function as standard. All the engine variants are now classed as BlueEFFICIENCY units, showing that they are particularly efficient and environmentally compatible in their use of fuel. In future all automatic versions with the exception of the C 300 CDI 4MATIC will feature the further-developed 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed automatic transmission (introduction in the C 250 CDI 4MATIC in June 2011). In addition, the overall ratio of all new powertrain variants has been optimised for fuel economy.

All the petrol engines in the model series have direct injection. One of the highlights is the introduction of the new V6 petrol engine with its innovative and highly efficient BlueDIRECT process in the C 350 BlueEFFICIENCY. The quantum leap in efficiency is particularly well illustrated by the six-cylinder unit: Power has increased considerably, the C 350 BlueEFFICIENCY delivering 225 kW (306 hp) and 370 Nm (previously 215 kW/292 hp and 365 Nm). Fuel consumption has been significantly reduced, however: the C 350 BlueEFFICIENCY has a mean consumption of 6.8 litres per 100 km – 1.5 litres or 31 percent less than the preceding C 350 model.

The four-cylinder petrol engines, which made a great evolutionary leap forward in 2009 and all feature direct injection and turbocharging, excel with high performance and exemplary economy.

The most economical model in the Mercedes C-Class has also become even more frugal: the C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY with the manual six-speed transmission and the standard ECO start/stop function has a mean diesel consumption of 4.4 litres per 100 km – 0.4 litres less than before. This corresponds to 117 grams of CO2 per kilometre. In conjunction with the improved 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission and the ECO start/stop function included as standard, the C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY and C 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY both deliver top-class figures with a combined diesel consumption of just 4.8 litres per 100 km. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 125 grams per kilometre.

Warning and intervening: the new driving assistance systems

2012 Mercedes C-Class High Resolution Exterior
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With a total of ten new driving assistance systems ranging from ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection to DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control, the C-Class reaches a new level in safety. The assistance systems are based on the latest radar, camera and sensor technology, and cover frequent accident causes such as driving too closely, fatigue and darkness. The new assistance systems, some of which only warn and some which actively intervene in hazardous situations, at a glance:

  • Adaptive Highbeam Assist
  • Active Lane Keeping Assist
  • Active Blind Spot Assist
  • Speed Limit Assist
  • Parking guidance including PARKTRONIC
  • PRE-SAFE® Brake
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Blind Spot Assist


More operating comfort, better connectivity: new-generation telematics

2012 Mercedes C-Class High Resolution Exterior
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The new C-Class also sees the debut of a new telematics generation which will also be gradually introduced in other model series. Major new features include greater operating convenience, larger displays, telephone directory transfer, display of SMS messages, wireless music reproduction via Bluetooth and a USB interface now accommodated in the centre armrest.

The multimedia system COMAND Online now provides internet access for the first time. When the car is stationary, customers are able to browse freely or surf to a Mercedes-Benz Online service whose pages load particularly rapidly and are also easy to use while on the move. The integrated services include weather information and a special destination search via Google, as well as the option of downloading a route that has been previously configured on a PC using Google Maps and sent to the car. The navigation system of COMAND Online also has added functions. New features include a 3D display with plastic city views. Also new: routes covered can be recorded and repeated later, specific personal destinations can be imported via an SD card and four alternative routes can be displayed on the navigation map, one of them a particularly economical variation.

As a first in the C-Class, the Becker® MAP PILOT makes a low-cost navigation function, which can also be retrofitted, available for the entry-level Audio 20 CD radio. Its advantages over aftermarket solutions include integrated operation via the central controls and the Audio 20 display, a concealed location in the glove compartment and updating via an internet portal.

Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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Show Comments


  (458) posted on 01.30.2012

C-Class offers a fresh and exciting exterior design. Lots of new technologies are inside its interior and that is impressive. But I think this would consume a lots of fuel.

  (347) posted on 12.13.2011

I just only love the exclusivity of this vehicle, but I have to agree that its platform is lately getting bored. Well, I always see that design on the other Mercedes vehicle. Anyway, I’m still glad that it has an impressive engine.

  (466) posted on 11.21.2011

Sad to say, I didn’t see this one having a fresh design, but I love the fact that they add lots of new technology on it. However, I’m still not satisfied with its engine that only had a power output of 306 HP.

  (594) posted on 11.17.2011

Its interior is what I really love the most in this vehicle! It looks so elegant and entertaining because on its latest technology. Anyway, I’m also impressed on it for being such a versatile car.

  (382) posted on 11.14.2011

I’m so impressed on this vehicle, for it can offer lots of entertaining technology! Although, it only looks so simple on its exterior design, it is still very striking and appealing for me.

  (374) posted on 11.9.2011

For some reason, I must say that I’m not so impressed with its exterior detailing, maybe because it is very unlike for Mercedes to have a design like this. Anyway, I’m glad that it still had a comfortable interior.

  (459) posted on 11.3.2011

I just simply love the luxurious and spacious interior of this Mercedes C-Class, well in spite of having only a simple detailing on its exterior, I can say that it is still very appealing.

  (197) posted on 09.28.2011

Well, I love the fact that it had lots of new technologies but as for the exterior design, when I first saw this, I didn’t see this as a classy and sophisticated for it don’t really have the looks.

  (372) posted on 08.18.2011

Oh yeah, I’m really impressed with this car! This version is one of the best car that was lined in Mercedes brand!

  (530) posted on 08.18.2011

I’m really impressed with the elegance among Mercedes car for it looks like an executive ride. And I think the figure performance of this future car is quite good!

  (406) posted on 03.9.2011

At last Mercedes has done something with their current Dodge! I think interior of the C- Class is suffering but it look better now. Mercedes should lay-off those LED.

  (474) posted on 02.3.2011

The shape is nice, but the details manage to look both cluttered and boring at the same time. Also, as others have noted, a Mercedes with a 3.5L V6 that only pumps out 268hp is a little sad in 2011 and will be even more unimpressive by the time 2012 gets here.

  (503) posted on 01.27.2011

If I am going to give up back doors, it will be for a vehicle that either does not have a back seat, or is just so sexy that it warrants the reduced practicality of not having back doors.

  (762) posted on 01.27.2011

The carmaker will now be offering a turbocharged four-cylinder engine on the new C250 model, which is expected to achieve 24 mpg on the highway.

  (596) posted on 01.26.2011

The most obvious difference is the up-kicked line at the base of the C- ar, a notable step away from the sharp corners of Mercedes’ other new coupes.

  (211) posted on 01.25.2011

It’s as if MB is being too complacent and arrogant lately. Too many inferior models as of late, especially in terms of design, that falls short of expectations.

  (762) posted on 01.23.2011

These models can either get new halogen headlights as standard or bi-xenon headlights with the Intelligent Light System.

  (858) posted on 12.28.2010

I’d take this over the over-priced E-Class coupe. Looks better and is essentially the same car, especially if they do plan to make interior quality better than the sedan.

  (714) posted on 12.28.2010

I really don’t like the quad fog light thing Mercedes always seems to be doing now.

  (647) posted on 12.27.2010

I know what you mean, I had a 04’ C-class (before the interior refresh) and it was cozier place than the ’10. I like them both equally though, just differently.

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