The most advanced compact luxury sedan money can buy

Mercedes brought out the C-Class in 1993 as a replacement for the 190E, and since then, it has sprouted three generations and has become the most important model in the company’s lineup. To keep the momentum going, Mercedes-Benz launched the fourth-generation C-Class (internally called the W205), replacing the seven-year-old W204 model. The car’s design lines are inspired by the F800 Concept Car displayed at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show but also borrows styling cues from the bigger S-Class sedan.

This changes the looks of the C-Class quite significantly compared to the previous model, which now seems to be downright featureless. The new compact also has a more organic feel thanks to its sculpted, muscular body that also integrates a few angular, aggressive cues. The interior is also brand-new, and again, heavily inspired by the S-Class. This is a good thing though, as the full-size sedan has one of the most exciting cabins in its niche. And having seen the 3 Series’ interior, it’s safe to say that the C-Class wins the battle hands down. Finally, the compact sedan also comes with a range of new engines in both the standard and the AMG versions. Find out more about that in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    Seven-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    235 (Est.)
  • Torque @ RPM:
    273 (Est.)
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    38400
  • car segment:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    9.7/10

Exterior

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class High Resolution Exterior
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The C-Class also grew in size to help distance it from Benz’s entry-level sedan, the CLA

As pretty much everyone expected, the new-generation Mercedes C-Class is more like an evolution, not a revolution of the previous model. But this isn’t a bad, because Mercedes-Benz changes quite a lot. While the headlamps, taillights, and some features are borrowed from the larger S-Class, the rest are a significant departure from the old design. This is most visible onto the sides, where the new sedan showcases more organic and sculpted lines, while the shoulders are broader and give it a more aggressive stance. The lowered nose and more muscular rear fender also help with the sportier look.

The C-Class also grew in size to help distance it from Benz’s entry-level sedan, the CLA. This growth results in an extra 3.7 inches in length and 1.6 inches in width, and the wheelbase grew three inches. As a result of this growth, luggage capacity increased to 17 cubic feet. The new C-Class feels almost like a shrunken E-Class, and it will come in two different front looks, which we’ve seen in earlier Mercedes sedans.

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class High Resolution Exterior
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The new C-Class feels almost like a shrunken E-Class, and it will come in two different front looks

The Sport gets a centrally positioned, three-point star logo, and the Exclusive models a classic sedan grille with the Mercedes star on the hood. Neat additions to the new C-Class are the radiator grille fins that close to help drop the car’s Cd value to 0.24. Other updates include a more streamlined look that has a sportier fascia with large intakes, more sculpted flanks and a new headlight design with standard H7 halogen lights or optional LED lights.

Overall, the C-Class is by far the more appealing compact when compared to the BMW 3 Series and pretty much on par with the latest, sportier Audi A4.

Interior

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Interior
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The new C-Class gets a totally new center console, which varies in design, depending on the gearbox type

The exterior may be just an evolution of the previous generation, but the interior is heavily revised. The cabin features a seven-inch touchpad, a state-of-the-art heads-up system, new seats and high-end materials, like aluminum and wood. The new C-Class gets a totally new center console, which varies in design, depending on the gearbox type. On models with an automatic gearbox, the center console gets just one trim piece, while manual transmission-equipped models get two trim pieces.

Of course, you might have noticed that the center stack and dashboard are very similar to the S-Class. While this is a big advantage for the compact, I have to praise Mercedes-Benz for revising both units and giving them a somewhat unique look inside the C-Class. Atop that gorgeous center stack with aviation-inspired A/C vents and premium trim sits either a seven-inch or 8.4-inch (optional) screen with the company’s latest COMAND Online system.

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Interior
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2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Interior
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The sedan is also equipped with Intelligent Drive, a suite of features that improve safety and convenience

The sedan is also equipped with Intelligent Drive, a suite of features that improve safety and convenience. The package includes Attention Assist, which can warn the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness, Adaptive Brake Assist, which offers protection from collisions from speeds as low as four mph, and the automonous braking feature that comes with Collision Prevention Assist Plus.

Then there’s Distronic Plus with Steering Assist and integrated Stop&Go Pilot, which is a semi-automatic traffic jam assistant which at speeds under 37 mph is able to follow the vehicle ahead even where lane markings are unclear or completely lacking. Other features include BAS Plus Brake Assist, Active Parking Assist, Traffic Sign Assist with Wrong-Way Alert, and Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus.

Drivetrain

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
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In the U.S., the base model uses a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 241 horsepower

Just like the previous generation, the new C-Class is available with a wide range of drivetrain options.

In the U.S., the base model is called the C300, and it uses a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Available with either RWD or AWD, this model can sprint to 60 mph in as quick as 5.8 seconds. Next up is C350e plug-in hybrid, which combines a 2.0-liter four-pot with an electric motor for a total output of 275 horses and 443 pound-feet of torque. More oomph comes from the AMG C43, powered by a 3.0-liter inline-six rated at 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of twist.

Moving over to the traditional AMG version, Mercedes offers the C63 and C63 S model with a brand-new, twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8. This unit generates 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet in the former and 503 horses and 516 pound-feet in the latter.

Mercedes offers the C63 and C63 S model with a brand-new, twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8

More gasoline options are available in Europe, starting with the C180 and its 1.6-liter four-cylinder that cranks out 154 horsepower and 184 pound-feet. A larger 2.0-liter engine comes with the C200, which benefits from 181 horses and 221 pound-feet. Slotting between the C200 and C300, the C250 uses the same engine, but revised to generate 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet. The C400 is the least powerful C-Class powered by the inline-six engine, coming with 328 horsepower and 354 pound-feet. Then there’s the C450 AMG, rated at a more appealing 362 horses and 384 pound-feet.

Unlike North America, Europe also gets a range of diesel engines. Four models are available, all powered by the company’s 2.1-liter four-cylinder. The C220, be it manual or automatic, gets 168 horses and 295 pound-feet. The C250 gets a bit more oomph at 201 horses and 369 pound-feet, while the C300 Hybrid tops the range with an output of 228 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of twist.

Suspension and Brakes

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class High Resolution Exterior
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The new C-Class is built on the modular MRA rear-wheel-drive architecture that makes the car 220 pounds lighter

The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class is built on the modular MRA rear-wheel-drive architecture that makes the car 220 pounds lighter than the previous C-Class. Also, thanks to this reduced weight, fuel consumption drops by 20 percent. Additionally, the center of gravity is also lower. resulting in sportier driving dynamics.

The new C-Class will be offered with a standard steel suspension that features a four-link front setup and a five-link rear setup. The advanced front suspension system is separate from the strut, allowing for quicker steering response. This base setup has three DIRECT CONTROL options that offers a comfortable ride, a comfort/sport setting and a full-sport setting that drops the ride height by 15 mm (0.59 inches), resulting in great performance.

For the first time ever, the C-Class is also available with an optional AIRMATIC air suspension. this suspension system that includes four driving modes, via its AGILITY SELECT system: "Comfort", "ECO", "Sport" and "Sport+." As standard features the new C-Class will also offer: electromechanical Direct Steer system (available later after the market launch) and an electric parking brake.

Prices

U.S. pricing for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class starts from $40,250, for which you get the C300 model. Opt for the all-wheel-drive model and you pay an extra $2,000, for a final sticker of $42,250 before options. The C350e Plug-in Hybrid retails from $47,900. In Germany, the sedan comes in at €31,868, while British pricing starts from £29,035.

Competition

BMW 3 Series

2016 BMW 3 Series High Resolution Exterior
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The benchmark for the compact premium class for decades now, the 3 Series continues to be a popular choice in both Europe and the United States. On this side of the pond, the German sedan is available with a choice of four gasoline and diesel engines, starting with the 320i with 180 horsepower coming from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Next up is the 330i with 248 horses, while the range-topping 340i delivers 320 horsepower. On the diesel front, the 328d cranks out 181 horses and 280 pound-feet of torque. A 330e iPerformance hybrid with 248 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of twist is also available. U.S. pricing for the 3 Series range begins from $34,900 and goes up to $50,950.

Read our full story of the 2017 BMW 3 Series.

Cadillac ATS

2015 Cadillac ATS Sedan
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The company’s smallest sedan yet, the ATS was introduced in 2012 to rival the 3 Series and C-Class in the United States. Inspired by the larger CTS design-wise and packed with luxury features on the inside, the ATS has already received a mid-cycle facelift and some engine upgrades for the 2016 model year. The base model uses a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 202 horsepower and 190 pound-feet, while the turbo option brings a 2.0-liter unit with 272 horses and 295 pound-feet under the hood. A larger 3.6-liter V-6 cranks out 335 horses and 285 pound-feet in the range-topping version, not including the performance-oriented ATS-V. Pricing for the ATS starts from $34,595.

Read our full review of the Cadillac ATS.

Conclusion

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class High Resolution Exterior
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The C-Class is an extremely important car for Mercedes-Benz and it’s pretty obvious that the German firm gave this redesign the utmost attention. Brand-new inside and out, inspired by the massive and elegant S-Class, and fitted with revised and new engines, the C-Class is readier than ever to go against the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 in Europe and against the Cadillac ATS in the United States.

  • Leave it
    • Lack of engine choices in the U.S., no diesel
    • Tough competition from BMW and Audi

Update History

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Updated 06/01/2012: The next generation Mercedes C-Class has been caught testing one more time, now also revealing its interior.

Updated 7/22/2013: New spy videos of the 2015 C-Class have popped up online. You can see them after the jump.

Updated 8/28/2013: Our spy photographers managed to catch the 2015 C-Class testing again and this time they caught one out with no camouflage on its sides, giving us a good look at its sexy body lines. You can see the the newest spy shots after the jump.

Updated 10/22/2013: Although the new C-Class won’t make its official debut until the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, Mercedes decided to give us a glimpse of what the new sedan will bring on the market via its Facebook page. The company describes the C-Class interior as "crisp, clean and contemporary and bringing together high-grade materials with high-tech features." It will features a seven-inch, free-standing central display that will allow the driver to operate the head unit functions with a few simple finger gestures.

Updated 10/23/2013: Following the interior images posted on its Facebook account just yesterday, Mercedes unveiled today a new set of images for the upcoming C-Class showing us a few more details on the sedan’s interior. The car will get a completely reinterpreted center console, a head-up display that provides information on speed, speed limits, navigation instructions and messages. The new C-Class also features an intelligent and innovative lightweight construction that helps it dropping around 220 pounds from the total weight.

Updated 12/03/2013: The first details on the new Mercedes C-Class will be revealed on December 16th, while the world debut will be made in January at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. The station wagon will arrive at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. (Mercedes Benz Passion)

Updated 12/12/2013: The first image of the upcoming Mercedes C-Class dropped on the internet today, before the car’s official online debut set for December 16th. (Mercedes Benz Passion)

Spy Shots

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Exterior Spyshots
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Back in June, we caught the 2015 C-Class was doing a little strip tease for us among some other Mercedes models on what looks to be a dealer’s lot, or maybe a storage lot. From this uncovered side shot, you can easily see that the C-Class will borrow some of the body lines and the profile of the flagship S-Class. Sure, it is not a direct clone, but you can see the cues.

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Exterior Spyshots
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After catching it without any camo at all, we managed to dig up the C-Class a few other times, but each and every time, it was under more camo than we saw initially./

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Exterior Spyshots
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Here was likely the clearest spy shot of the C-Class, when we caught it with the taillights partially exposed and the bodylines in clear sight.

Press Release

The all-new C-Class heralds a new chapter in the Mercedes-Benz success story and sets new standards in the premium mid‑range class. Thanks to an intelligent lightweight design concept boasting weight savings of up to 100 kilograms, excellent aerodynamics and new, economical engines, the C-Class establishes new benchmarks in its class. A host of new assistance systems offer safety of the highest standard, while a new suspension, optionally air-sprung, provides for exemplary ride and driving comfort as well as nimble and agile handling. In terms of appearance the new C-Class adopts a progressive approach with its clear yet emotional design and its high-class interior. Many other innovations and interior touches underscore the saloon’s energising comfort and refined sportiness. In all, the perceived quality of the new C‑Class feels like an “upgrade to a higher class of travel”. The new C-Class Saloon is available for ordering now. The model range will initially comprise the C 180 from 33,558.- euros, the C 200 from 36,414.- euros and the C 220 BlueTEC from 38,675.- euros, (prices in Germany incl. 19% VAT in each case).

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class High Resolution Exterior
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The C-Class is the biggest-selling model series from Mercedes-Benz. Sales of the preceding model, which was launched in 2007, total over 2.4 million. The new C-Class offers sensual and clear design and a host of technical innovations as well as a comprehensive scope of standard equipment and exemplary emission and fuel consumption values. This all adds up to substantial added value and long-term savings on motor vehicle tax and at the filling station.

"Mercedes at its best - that’s the new C-Class, which sets new standards for the mid-range segment on many fronts," says Prof. Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. "It is characterised by an emotional yet clear design which is continued in the high-quality and modern interior. Its efficient and high-performance engineering provides the basis for a high standard of driving enjoyment."

Ola Källenius, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars, adds: "The new C-Class embodies Mercedes-Benz’s claim "The best or nothing" in uncompromising style. This is immediately apparent when encountering our new saloon for the first time, as it creates the impression that one is sitting in a higher class of automobile. I am sure that our customers will be delighted by the high-class appeal and agility of the new C-Class."

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class High Resolution Exterior
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The C-Class has grown to take account of people’s increasing average height. With an 80-millimetre increase in the wheelbase (2840 millimetres) compared with the previous model, the vehicle is 95 millimetres longer (4686 millimetres) and 40 millimetres wider (1810 millimetres). The resultant additional space benefits first and foremost the rear passengers, who now travel in even greater comfort. The new C-Class also outstrips its predecessor in terms of boot capacity, at 480 litres (in accordance with ISO 3832).

Sensual purity and purist forms

On a visual level, the new C-Class represents a bold departure from its predecessor. Its striking, dynamic design exudes sensual purity and arouses emotions. Modern aesthetic was a source of inspiration for the new saloon’s sensuous lines and surfaces, whose harmony and dynamism create an immediate effect. The designers have created minimalist, purist forms for the C-Class which emphasise its intelligent technology and engineering. The clearly defined surfaces deliberately display a degree of tension, lending them a modern and emotional character. Precise lines and sculptural surfaces create progressive light and shade effects.

As Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design Daimler AG, notes: "The new C-Class showcases automotive passion by way of a contemporary design idiom. Progressive and emotional highlights underscore the ground-breaking design style of the new C-Class and demonstrate sensual purity. The new C-Class interprets modern luxury on a new level.

In the side view a long bonnet, a passenger compartment set well back and short overhangs define the C-Class’s classic, well-balanced Mercedes-Benz saloon proportions. Large wheels emphasize the rear and communicate a stylishly sporty character.

There is a choice of two different faces: sporty with centrally positioned star or – for the EXCLUSIVE line only – the classic saloon radiator grille featuring the Mercedes star on the bonnet. The fins of the radiator grille can be closed completely to optimise the vehicle’s Cd value, highlighting the status of this cultivated saloon in duly self-assured style.

The new C-Class comes with H7 halogen headlamps as standard. In addition to the standard-fit headlamps, two energy-saving LED variants are available: a static system and a dynamic version with "LED Intelligent Light System". The characteristic night design lends the new C-Class its very own distinctive look in the dark, too. The rear lamp and brake light in the tail lights feature LED technology in all headlamp versions.

High-class interior with fine details

The Mercedes-Benz designers have styled the interior on a level which is rarely encountered even in higher vehicle categories. This applies to the carefully chosen high-class materials and their pleasant touch and feel as well as the precision of the finely crafted details. The interior also embodies a new design idiom which combines sensuousness and purity perfectly with dynamic sportiness and contributes to the quality feel of the interior.

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class High Resolution Exterior
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The driver and front passenger enjoy plenty of space and luxury in a discreet, modern guise on board the new C-Class. This gives rise to a feel-good atmosphere which is new to this class of vehicle – settling into one’s seat in the C-Class is akin to the uplifting feeling of being upgraded from economy to business class on an aeroplane.

The interior design demonstrates a bold new approach by Mercedes-Benz. Here the designers combine in accomplished style the architecture of Mercedes-Benz sports cars with a totally new centre console featuring flowing lines. In automatic vehicles a large one-piece centre console panel performs an elegant sweep from the centre air vents to the armrest. These seamless clear-cut lines create a sense of open space and convey a thrillingly purist and modern feel.

On vehicles with manual transmission the centre console is slightly steeper and features two separate trim elements in order to create ample space for ergonomic operation of the shift lever.

A centrally positioned free-standing central display is the main eye-catching feature across the centre console – with a screen diagonal of 17.78 centimetres (7 inches), or 21.33 centimetres (8.4 inches) if COMAND Online is specified.

Five round air vents lend the dashboard a sporty touch. With their metallic cool-touch effect they create a fascinating, tangible contrast to the warm look of the other materials – such as the wood in the centre console or the leather on the dashboard. The "upgrade" feel duly continues with the controls. All switches feature a high-quality, three-dimensional design befitting a luxury vehicle and benefit from a clear layout.

The innovative touchpad in the handrest over the Controller on the centre tunnel marks a further evolutionary step developed in-house at Mercedes-Benz. As on a smartphone, this provides for very simple and intuitive operation of all the head-unit functions using finger gestures. The touchpad also permits letters, numbers and special characters to be entered in handwriting – in any language. The user receives clear haptic feedback when operating the touchpad’s control surface, which is highly conducive to genuine intuitive use.

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class High Resolution Exterior
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A head-up display is also new to the C-Class. Like in a jet fighter, it displays important information directly in the driver’s field of vision on the front windscreen, thus providing for clear legibility and ensuring that the driver is distracted less from the road ahead. The system provides information on vehicle speed, speed limits and navigation instructions and displays messages from DISTRONIC PLUS.

Three different design and equipment lines for the exterior and interior respectively offer further scope for individualisation in addition to the standard equipment and appointments. The AVANTGARDE line showcases the C-Class as a sporty saloon, the EXCLUSIVE line places the emphasis on sophistication and modern luxury and the AMG line lends the C-Class a decidedly sporty character.

Robust yet lightweight bodyshell

The body-in-white of the new C-Class provides an innovative basis for reduced weight, outstanding rigidity, including introduction rigidity for excellent handling, combined with optimum noise and vibration characteristics and a high level of crash safety. Thanks to intelligent and innovative lightweight construction, the aluminium hybrid body is around 70 kg lighter than a conventional steel body. The vehicle’s overall weight is even reduced by around 100 kilograms. As such, the new C-Class leads the "lightweight rankings" in its segment. This spawns numerous benefits: the lightweight construction of the new C-Class cuts fuel consumption by up to 20 percent without any loss of performance, while at the same time enabling a lower centre of gravity, which in turn gives rise to the vehicle’s noticeably sporty and agile handling.

Mercedes-Benz achieves this feat of lightweight construction by various measures, including a completely new structural design and the use of an unusually high proportion of aluminium for a mass-produced range. The share of aluminium has risen compared with the successful predecessor from under 10 percent to almost 50 percent.

In keeping with Mercedes-Benz traditions, the body is designed for exemplary crash safety. As a result, the saloon complies not only with all current national laws but also with all rating requirements, as well as meeting the more stringent internal Mercedes-Benz safety standards based on what actually happens during accidents.
A high-strength safety passenger compartment forms the core of this concept. It is surrounded by specifically configured and field-tested deformation zones which ensure maximum safety for the occupants by virtue of optimised force paths and a combination of aluminium castings and ultra-high-strength materials. An outer skin consisting almost completely of aluminium provides a protective shell for the body.

Leading the field in aerodynamics and quiet running

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Low drag is crucial to achieving outstanding efficiency. From a speed of just under 70 km/h, aerodynamic drag exceeds the sum total of all other driving resistance factors. As such, drag constitutes a major parameter in efforts to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. With a Cd value of 0.24 for the C 220 BlueTEC ECO, the new C-Class Saloon sets a new benchmark in the mid-range segment. The wind noise level, which was already very low in the preceding generation of the C-Class, has been lowered still further.

The engineers have also devoted painstaking attention to optimising other potential sources of disturbance which may have an adverse effect on the driver’s and passengers’ wellbeing and concentration, even though they may not consciously notice the effects. NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) is the technical term for such nuisance factors. The specialists have optimised the noise characteristics of the interior blower, the power windows, the seat adjustment functions and many other actuation and operating noises, for example. As a result, the new C-Class occupies a benchmark position in its segment.

Outstanding CO2 values with new small diesel engine

Powerful and efficient petrol and diesel engines, all equipped with the ECO start/stop function and complying with the Euro 6 emissions standard, provide for lively performance and great driving enjoyment. They also cut fuel consumption by up to 20 percent compared with the preceding model

Soon after the market launch, Mercedes-Benz is already set to expand the range of engines substantially. A new small diesel engine with a displacement of 1.6 litres is to be added. Reduced weight, compact design and low specific fuel consumption are among its special merits. Depending on its configuration, the single-stage supercharged four-cylinder engine generates 85 or 100 kW (115 or 136 hp) of power from a cubic capacity of 1598 cc and delivers 280 or 320 Nm of torque. Its common rail direct injection system operates at a maximum injection pressure of 1600 bar. This engine places the new C-Class in a leading position within its segment in terms of CO2 emissions.

In addition to this new small diesel engine, an advanced version of the proven 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine is also to become available in several output variants. The diesel engines will then cover an output range from 85 kW (115 hp) to 150 kW (204 hp). The C 220 BlueTEC will also be optionally available with an output of 125 kW (170 hp) as the BlueEFFICIENCY Edition. All the diesel engines of the new C-Class are equipped with the established SCR technology (selective catalytic reduction) for particularly environment-friendly driving and ensure that the C-Class models with diesel engines attain efficiency class A at least, and in most cases even efficiency class A+.

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class High Resolution Exterior
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BlueDIRECT petrol engines with third-generation direct injection

Five four-cylinder petrol engines rated at 115 to 175 kW (156 to 238 hp) will also be available. These will include the special C 180 ECO Edition model, which qualifies for efficiency class A as the BlueEFFICIENCY Edition. A six-cylinder petrol engine rated at 245 kW (333 hp) will follow in due course.
The BlueDIRECT four-cylinder petrol engines of the C-Class combine spontaneous response and exemplary power delivery with high efficiency and best-in-class emission performance. To this end, Mercedes-Benz has transferred the BlueDIRECT technology from the V6 and V8 engines to the four-cylinder engine. The direct injection system with spray-guided combustion, which was introduced into series production by Mercedes-Benz as the first automotive manufacturer, employs a multiple injection process which is precision-controlled by means of an electronic system. The third-generation direct injection technology is complemented by "fast multiple ignition".

Hybrid with four-cylinder diesel and petrol engine

As in the S and E-Class, Mercedes-Benz will additionally be offering a diesel engine combined with a hybrid module. The C 300 BlueTEC HYBRID with four-cylinder diesel engine and a compact electric motor generates an output of 150 + 20 kW (204 + 27 hp) and runs on only 3.9 litres of diesel per 100 km/h in NEDC combined mode (provisional figure). A further particularly economical hybrid model which is to follow at a later juncture will feature state-of-the-art plug-in technology.

Optimised drive train

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Depending on the installed output ratings, Mercedes-Benz is offering two new 6-speed manual transmissions for the four-cylinder engines in the new C-Class which stand apart first and foremost by virtue of their enhanced ease of shifting coupled with increased shifting precision and a harmonious gear-change sequence. Smooth automatic gear shifting is provided by the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission, which has undergone further development at Mercedes-Benz in the interests of enhanced environment-friendliness and driving pleasure.

The 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive system serves to improve traction and driving stability in the C-Class, too, while additionally underscoring the vehicle’s refined sportiness.

Suspension – sporty yet comfortable

The suspension on the new C-Class is a totally new development. It provides for nimble and agile handling that makes driving a great pleasure on winding roads while also offering the highest standard of ride comfort in the segment.

A newly designed 4-link front axle plays a major part in the agile handling characteristics. Thanks to the 4-link principle, the front independent suspension is fully decoupled from the spring strut. The resultant favourable axle kinematics allow more grip and higher lateral stability. As a result, the suspension responds more sensitively to steering movements and allows a sporty, agile driving style. An optimised multi-link independent rear suspension with 5-link concept ensures unsurpassed wheel location qualities and supreme straight-line stability.

The new C-Class Saloon is fitted as standard with a steel suspension. Three DIRECT CONTROL suspensions with selective damping system are available in conjunction with this suspension:

a comfort suspension
a comfortable Avantgarde suspension with a sportier character
a sports suspension lowered by 15 millimetres

First air suspension in this category

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Alternatively, the new C-Class is the first vehicle in its segment that can be fitted with an air suspension (AIRMATIC) on the front and rear axles. Thanks to electronically controlled, continuous variable damping at the front and rear, it offers outstanding road roar and tyre vibration characteristics even with the vehicle loaded. The driver can use the AGILITY SELECT switch to choose between the various characteristics: "Comfort", "ECO", "Sport" and "Sport+". The additional "Individual" option enables drivers to configure their vehicle according to their own wishes. AIRMATIC also features all-round self-levelling for optimum ride comfort even when the vehicle is loaded.

The new C-Class also comes with an electric parking brake as standard. This brake is released automatically when the driver ends parking mode with the aim of moving off.

Steering with a sporty character

All models of the C-Class family will feature the electromechanical Direct Steer system as standard in future. This combines road-speed-dependent power assistance from the speed-sensitive power steering system with a steering ratio which varies according to the given steering angle. The power steering assistance provided by the rack and pinion steering gear is controlled on-demand, thereby contributing towards efficiency.

Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive: The intelligent car

It is the declared aim of Mercedes-Benz to make the highest standard of safety available to everyone. To this end, the new C-Class incorporates almost all of the new assistance systems with a host of enhanced functions which celebrated their world premiere in the S-Class and E-Class only a few months ago. The assistance systems enhance both comfort and safety. Mercedes-Benz calls this Intelligent Drive.

The new C-Class offers numerous innovative safety and assistance systems. It is fitted as standard with ATTENTION ASSIST, which can warn the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness. On motorways, the COMAND system navigation function flags up nearby break options as stopovers, providing the system has been specified in the vehicle. The ATTENTION ASSIST function offers an adjustable level of sensitivity and can inform the driver in a separate view in the instrument cluster about their level of drowsiness and how long they have been driving since their last break.

In addition to Adaptive Brake Assist, which offers protection from collisions from speeds as low as 7 km/h, standard-fit COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS also features an additional function: when a danger of collision persists and the driver fails to respond, the system is able to carry out autonomous braking at speeds of up to 200 km/h, thereby reducing the severity of collisions with slower or stopping vehicles. The system also brakes in response to stationary vehicles at a speed of up to 50 km/h, and is able to prevent rear-end collisions at speeds of up to 40 km/h.

New assistance systems and existing assistance systems with a host of enhanced functions from the new S-Class and E-Class are also optionally available, combining data from various sensor technologies as part of the Intelligent Drive concept to enhance comfort and safety substantially:

DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and integrated Stop&Go Pilot is a semi-automatic traffic jam assistant which at speeds under 60 km/h is able to follow the vehicle ahead even where lane markings are unclear or completely lacking, thus providing a safe and convenient means of following the flow of traffic.
The BAS PLUS Brake Assist System can now also detect crossing traffic and boost the braking force if the driver fails to apply the brakes sufficiently; the PRE-SAFE® Brake can detect stationary vehicles as well as pedestrians, brake automatically if the driver fails to react, thus preventing accidents up to 50 km/h and mitigating the severity of collisions at speeds of up to 72 km/h. In flowing traffic the PRE-SAFE® Brake provides assistance according to the same mode of operation throughout the speed range from 7 to 200 km/h.
Enhanced Active Lane Keeping Assist can now also prevent the vehicle from unintentionally drifting out of lane when broken lane markings apply and a risk of a collision arises, e.g. as a result of vehicles overtaking at high speed, parallel traffic or even oncoming traffic, by applying the brakes on one side.

The numerous assistance systems also include

Active Parking Assist, which enables automated parking with active steering and brake intervention in both parallel and end-on parking spaces,
a 360° camera, which is able to show the vehicle and its surroundings from various perspectives, including a virtual bird’s eye view,
Traffic Sign Assist with Wrong-Way Alert, which warns of speed limits and alerts the driver to no-overtaking zones and no-entry signs,
Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus, which allows the high-beam headlamps to be kept on permanently without dazzling traffic by masking out other vehicles in the cone of light from the high-beam headlamps.

Airbags for safety

In addition to 3-point seat belts with pyrotechnical belt tensioning and belt force limitation for the driver, the front passenger and those in the outer rear seats, numerous airbags serve to protect the vehicle’s occupants in an accident. These include:

pelvisbags for driver and front passenger
a newly developed windowbag
sidebags for the outer rear seats
a kneebag for the driver

The front passenger seat can additionally be fitted with automatic child seat recognition, which dispenses with the previous transponder in favour of a weight mat. This enables any child seat to be used. The airbag is automatically deactivated when a child seat is fitted and reactivated once it has been removed.

Air conditioning: signals from space

Mercedes-Benz has undertaken systematic further development and substantial improvement of the air conditioning system in the new C-Class. This applies in particular to the control quality, performance, efficiency and air quality. The new C-Class is also the only vehicle in the segment to offer tunnel detection via satellite navigation. It uses the map information from the navigation system and the GPS location data to close the air recirculation flap automatically when the vehicle enters a tunnel, subsequently re-opening it when the vehicle emerges from the tunnel.

Another highlight contributing to a feel-good atmosphere is the AIR-BALANCE package with active fragrancing, air ionisation and more efficient filtration than is available on the standard model.

Vibrant infotainment

A completely new multimedia generation offers intuitive operation in the new C-Class, featuring elaborate animations and visual effects which present all the functions in a clear and highly attractive manner. The new C-Class is also equipped with the unique Frontbass system. This avant-garde acoustic system uses the space within the cross-member and side member in the body structure as a resonance chamber for the bass speakers to conjure up a listening experience almost on a par with a concert hall. A Burmester® surround sound system is optionally available.

The navigation system presents its contents in interactive mode. Its features include an animated compass, a "Drive Show" with information for passengers similar to the on-screen presentations on board aeroplanes and Google Maps displayed on the head unit. The navigation system is also able to provide more accurate real-time information about the situation on the roads when it receives its traffic data via internet by means of the "Live Traffic Information" service.

Internet and diverse data sources already available in the basic version

A Bluetooth®-capable mobile phone with data option is all it takes to make theAudio 20 system internet-capable. This enables the internet to be surfed without restrictions when the vehicle is stationary. While on the move, Mercedes-Benz Apps such as Weather, GoogleTM Local Search with StreetView and Panoramio, Destination/Route Download and Facebook can be used.

Audio and video playback is possible from various sources, e.g. via Bluetooth®, from the Apple iPod® and iPhone®, from SD card, USB stick or CD/DVD (with Audio 20 CD or higher and with COMAND Online).

COMAND Online with hotspot functionality

COMAND Online not only offers a larger display with a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels and a special bonded glass cover such as is familiar from consumer devices like the iPhone® or iPad. It also enables digital TV / radio reception, for example, and offers a host of other features including fast hard-disc navigation, automatic tailback avoidance via up-to-date and accurate "Live Traffic Information" traffic data, integrated WLAN hotspot functionality and the LINGUATRONIC voice control system.

Telephony via Bluetooth® as standard

The basic Audio 20 system as well as Audio 20 CD and COMAND Online all offer basic telephony as standard, which links up a mobile phone to the vehicle via a standardised Bluetooth® interface.

Available for ordering now

The new C-Class Saloon can be ordered now from all authorised Mercedes-Benz dealers. The initial range of models available at the market launch comprises the C 220 BlueTEC, starting at 38,675.- euros, the C 180 from 33,558.- euros and the C 200 from 36,414.- euros, (prices in Germany incl. 19% VAT in each case).

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