Just the right stuff to keep it at the front

If Mercedes-Benz ever decided to make a greatest hits album, the C-Class would undoubtedly be one of the top tracks. Originally offered in the early ’90s as a replacement for the Mercedes-Benz 190 series, the C-Class is framed as the German brand’s entry-level luxury four-door compact. A second generation arrived in 2000, followed by a third-gen in 2007 and a fourth-gen in 2014. Now, as the fourth-gen C-Class enters its fifth year of production, it takes a spot in Merc’s lineup as the brand’s best-selling model, moving a total of 415,000 units in markets worldwide last year. That’s a huge volume for a single model. As such, Mercedes is looking to keep it feeling as fresh as possible, and will give it a slew of new updates to keep buyers coming back for more. The latest includes tweaked exterior styling, an updated interior, new infotainment gear, new safety and assistance tech, and even an extra splash of power as well. All good stuff, if you ask us.

The latest 2019 model year for the C-Class will appear in the metal for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show, where Merc will also pull the sheets on the new A-Class, the new G-Class, and the new AMG GT Coupe. While a full generational changeover is expected in a few years’ time, this new model definitely keeps that old C-Class magic we’ve come to expect, while also adding all the extra goodies needed to keep it in the running with the competition. Read on for the details, and make sure to check back here for the full rundown when the C-Class drops in Geneva.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Exterior

  • Multiple body styles on offer: sedan, wagon, coupe
  • Refreshed exterior for 2019
  • Larger side intakes in the front bumper
  • New taillights and headlights
  • Includes Multibeam LED headlight feature
  • Diamond radiator grille as standard on the AMG line
  • Silver and chrome trim
  • New 17-inch wheel design
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The latest for the 2019 model year includes some tweaked styling for the exterior, and although the updates aren't extensive, they do help to liven up the model a bit and keep it feeling as fresh as possible without a total redesign.

As it has in years past, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class will once again come in a variety of different body styles, including the traditional four-door sedan (or “Saloon”) and wagon (or “Estate”), both of which are scheduled to appear in Switzerland at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. Also expect a variety of two-door coupes coming down the line as well.

The latest for the 2019 model year includes some tweaked styling for the exterior, and although the updates aren’t extensive, they do help to liven up the model a bit and keep it feeling as fresh as possible without a total redesign.

Let’s start in front, where the headlights get slightly renewed graphics. The overall shape is retained though, with a single block design that stretches back into the fenders, increasing the front end’s “pointiness.” The new headlights are also offered with a Multibeam LED set-up for enhanced nighttime visibility, plus Ultra Range high beams to see even further down the road. The new headlights utilize 84 individually controlled LEDs, which can automatically adjust as needed to suit the situation at hand, be it a lower light line for traffic situations and a higher line when you’re the only car traveling.

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Exterior Interior
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The new headlights are offered with a Multibeam LED set-up for enhanced nighttime visibility.

The bumper design is also new, gaining restyled side intakes that plump up the fascia a bit and give it a slightly sportier appearance. These intakes also include twin dividing blades that lend the bumper a slightly wider-looking stance. Meanwhile, the AMG Line gets a diamond radiator grille as standard.

Standard spec lower in the line tosses in silver trim, while the optional gear throws in chrome-plated trim. The latest model year also adds two new exterior colors, dubbed Mojave silver metallic and emerald green metallic (we’re particularly excited to see the green on the C-Class!). Rounding it out are five-spoke 17-inch wheels as standard, which also come with a new design for 2019.

2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class - Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 111.8
Length (Inches) 184.5
Width (w/ mirrors) (Inches) 79.5
Width (w/o mirrors) (Inches) 71.3
Height (Inches) 56.8
Track (front / rear) (Inches) 61.5 / 60.9

2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Interior

  • Small revisions to the interior design
  • Still keeps loads of horizontal cues
  • Optional open-pore anthracite oak wood trim
  • Saddle brown upholstery for the AMG Line
  • Energizing comfort control links multiple systems as one
  • New key fob colors
  • Comand Online navigation is retained
  • Optional 12.3-inch screen behind the steering wheel
  • Optional 10.25-inch screen for the dash
  • Optional 225-watt nine-speaker sound system
  • Full suite of autonomous and semi-autonomous drive systems
2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Interior
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Much like the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class' exterior design, the sedan's interior sees a few updates to keep it fresh, but nothing too extensive.

Much like the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class’ exterior design, the sedan’s interior sees a few updates to keep it fresh, but nothing too extensive. You still get large swaths of premium trim and high-end materials, while a quintet of rounded air vents find their home across the dash. The primary infotainment screen is mounted high in the center. The layout is focused on enhancing the horizontal aspect of the interior, which is intended to give it an airy, more open feel overall.

This time around, the C-Class is offered with an optional open-pore anthracite oak wood trim, as well as new color schemes such as magma grey on black. The AMG Line also gets saddle brown for the upholstery. Options include a panoramic sunroof.

Also new on the options list is something called the Multicontour Seat package, which features individually adjustable side bolsters and lumbar supports, plus air chambers under the fabric that provide a massaging effect. Nice stuff. Further options include something Mercedes is calling Energizing comfort control, which links the climate control, the air ventilation air fragrance system, the music selection, the lighting, and the heating, massage, and ventilation features for the seats, all in the name of creating a custom tailored program to better suit the driver’s various moods. “This has positive effects on well being and driver performance,” Mercedes says.

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
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Further options include something Mercedes is calling Energizing comfort control, which links a variety of different systems to create a custom tailored program that better suits the driver's various moods.

Driver’s get to grips with a new multi-function leather-wrapped steering wheel, which mounts touch-sensitive controls at thumb length, and includes inputs for the various onboard systems like the cruise control. There’s also a touchpad in the center console and voice control to help you keep your eyes on the road, rather than on the center console. A keyless entry and engine start-stop button is included as well, while the new key fob offers new looks like high-gloss chrome, white with chrome, and high-gloss white with a matte chrome surround.

Some of the biggest changes to the C-Class are what’s going on with the infotainment system, which Merc says now sports a new electronic architecture and a variety of features taken from higher up in the range, including the top-dollar S-Class and the E-Class. Unfortunately, the new C-Class uses the older Comand Online navigation system rather than the newer MBUX infotainment system. Nevertheless it still comes with a plethora of useful features, such as traffic updates, car-to-x warning, weather forecasts, fuel prices, and more.

S-Class fans will also be happy to learn that the C-Class now comes with an available fully digital display behind the steering wheel. This is essentially the digital display concept taken from the large-and-in-charge S-Class, and it comes with three display modes, such as “Classic,” “Sport,” and “Progressive.”

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Interior
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Some of the biggest changes to the C-Class are what's going on with the infotainment system, which Merc says now sports a new electronic architecture and a variety of features taken from higher up in the range.

The standard gauge display is an analog unit, and it comes with a small 5.5-inch color screen in between two rounded dials. By contrast, the fully digital display is 12.3-inches in the diagonal measurement, stretching clear across across the gauge pod. Further to the left, there’s a standard 7.0-inch display in the dash, which can be replaced by a 10.25-inch screen if desired.

Further on-board equipment includes a heads-up display, standard USB ports, an SD card reader, and Bluetooth connectivity. There’s also Qi wireless phone charging, and the option to link your phone with the C-Class’ antenna for a boosted cell signal. Audio lovers will wanna opt into the nine-speaker sound system, which pumps out a total of 225 watts.

The C-Class’ driving assists are also looking fresh. Thanks to a series of cameras and radar systems, Merc says the C-Class can drive semi-autonomously “in certain situations.” Features include Active Distance Assist (which is basically active cruise control), Active Lane Change Assist, Active Emergency Stop Assist, and Active Steering Assist. The C-Class’s map and navigation system are also integrated with the assists. For example, the cruise control will modify the car’s speed when approaching a curve or junctions – smart!

2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class - Interior Dimensions

Head room (front / rear) (Inches) 37.1 / 37.1
Leg room (front / rear) (Inches) 41.7 / 35.2
Cargo Volume (seats up) (cu ft) 12.6

2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class - Drivetrain

  • Base model includes a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Output increased to 255 horsepower
  • Torque identical to outgoing model at 273 pound-feet
  • Should be more efficient
  • Expected 0-to-60 mph around 5.8 seconds
  • Will include diesel and hybrid options as well
2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
- image 769401
The base model will come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine, with output rated at 255 horsepower. That's an increase of 14 ponies over the outgoing model's 241 ponies.

While we fully expect the new C-Class to once again offer gas options, diesel options (no diesel in the U.S., though), and a plug-in hybrid option, most of the official drivetrain specs are still under wraps. We’ll update this section once we get the full info at the Geneva Motor Show, but until then, this is what we know.

To begin, the base model will come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine, with output rated at 255 horsepower. That’s an increase of 14 ponies over the outgoing model’s 241 ponies. Torque comes to 273 pound-feet, which is the same as it was before. Making the connection to the powerplant is a nine-speed automatic transmission, which sends power to the rear as standard, or all four wheels as an option in the 4Matic model. The 0-to-60 mph sprint is completed in a little under 6 seconds. We also hear the powerplant is more efficient this time around, but we’ll have to wait for EPA estimates to tell you just how efficient. For now, the current C-Class makes 24 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Top speed will be rated at a matching 130 mph for the 2019 C300 model.

Meanwhile, look for a few extra electric-only miles on the hybrid model (the current EV-mode range for the C350e is 10 miles).

The C-Class will also continue with the Modular Rear Architecture (MRA) platform that was first introduced with the fourth-generation model. Compared to the old platform, MRA uses more aluminum and high-strength steel to cut out weight, reducing it down by 220 pounds compared to the third-gen model’s architecture.

2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Specifications

Engine Type 2.0L Turbo I4
Engine Material Aluminum-Alloy
Valvetrain / Arrangement DOHC, 4-valves per cylinder
Displacement (cc) 1,991
Bore (in / mm) 3.27 / 83.0
Stroke (in / mm) 3.62 / 92.0
Compression Ratio 9.8 : 1
Horsepower @ rpm 255 @ 5,500
Torque @ rpm 273 @ 1,300 – 4,000
Transmission Type 9G-TRONIC PLUS
0-60 mph (sec) 5.8
Top Speed (mph) 130 (electronically limited)

2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Pricing

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Exterior Interior
- image 769382

Official pricing info for the 2019 Mercedes-Benz is not yet available, but we don’t expect a significant price difference this time around compared to last year’s model. For reference, the 2018 C300 starts at $40,250, the AWD C300 4Matic starts at $42,250, and the hybrid C350e Plug-in starts at $47,900.

2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Competition

BMW 3 Series

2020 Mercedes-AMG Project One High Resolution Drivetrain
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No doubt about it, the Mercedes C-Class’ greatest rivals come from its native Germany. Chief among them is the 3 Series, Bimmer’s iconic luxury sedan lineup. Like the C-Class, buyers can get into a variety of trim levels and body styles, including a hybrid. Aesthetically speaking, we like how the 3 Series looks, with its short front overhang, sporty stance, and refined details. The interior isn’t too bad either, with loads of horizontal cues and technology offered across the board. The base model is equipped with a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder making 180 horsepower, while further up the line, you can also get a 250-horse ’four and a 320-horse six-cylinder engine. Pricing starts at a very reasonable $34,900.

Read our full review on the 2016 BMW 3 Series.

Acura TLX

2018 Acura TLX Exterior High Resolution
- image 717283

While the vast majority of C-Class buyers naturally gravitate towards the German marques, Acura has a mighty tempting offer with the TLX. The most recent 2018 model year just got a pretty decent refresh, which includes a newly reshaped front end that does away with old model’s beak-like protrusion in lieu of something far more stylish. The interior is also quite a nice place to be, with soft-touch materials where they should be and wood trim across the dash. Making the power is a choice between a 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a 3.5-liter V-6, with 206 horsepower made by the former and 290 horsepower made by the latter. You can also get yours in the sporty A-Spec trim, if desired. Finally, the TLX is also significantly cheaper than the Merc, starting at just $33,000, which leaves plenty of financial wiggle room to hit the options list hard.

Read our full review on the 2018 Acura TLX.

Conclusion

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Exterior Interior
- image 769390
When it comes to high-profile compact luxury sedans, the C-Class is pretty much the benchmark.

When it comes to high-profile compact luxury sedans, the C-Class is pretty much the benchmark. This is the model that consistently brings the heat in terms of technology, opulence, and overall curb appeal, and while models like the Acura TLX might be the smarter buy in the long run, they just can’t quite touch the Merc in terms of desirability.

This seems to hold true for the 2019 model year. While we have yet to get the full spec sheet, we like what we see thus far. The changes and updates are rather minor overall, but perfectly in line with what we’d expect – slightly tweaked aesthetics, extra tech, and a little more juice under the hood. All good stuff, if you ask us.

And that’s exactly how Merc stays at the top in this segment. Once it finds a formula that works, it doesn’t deviate much, and for some buyers, that’s exactly what they want. In either case, the new C-Class delivers.

  • Leave it
    • * Less expensive options on the table
    • * Might make sense to wait for the all-new fifth-gen instead

References

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
- image 698581

Read our full review on the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Exterior Interior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

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Read more Mercedes-Benz news.

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Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

Updates

Update 7/6/2017: The facelifted Mercedes C-Class has found its way onto public roads again, this time wearing a near-production pair of fascias and a new grille. Check out the spy shots section below to learn all about it.

Update 02/27/2017: Another prototype of the 2018 Mercedes C-Class has been spotted doing more real world testing. It hasn’t been equipped with production-ready fascias yet, but it does have the official production exterior lights, so it’s getting closer to being ready for production. Check out our special section below to learn more about what we see in this round of shots.

Spy Shots Round Three 7/6/2017

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Spyshots Exterior
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2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Spyshots Exterior
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2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Spyshots Interior
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The Facelifted C-Class is getting closer to production, and our paparazzi just caught it out giving the public streets the business with some new developments. First off, we can finally make out the shape of the vents in the corners of the front fascia. They are void of mesh at this time and still have camo around them, so they may change a bit, but we can at least get a general idea of size. In the center of the fascia, Mercedes is trying to play a little game with us. The previous mules had a wide mouth air dam, but the dam on this prototype is much smaller, being no wider that the front plate. While this will surely change when the camo comes off, that air dam should be smaller than what we’ve seen thus far. If you look closely, you can see a small indent on either side, exposing that there are about 3.5 inches of air dam covered up on each side. It should get aerodynamically sound styling around the edges to account or smooth air flow.

The headlights on this mule are the same as those on the other two prototypes we’ve seen, but this will undoubtedly get a new layout by the time Mercedes fires up the production line. Expect to see a new LED strip layout to go with redesigned LED headlights. Finally, the big news here is the new grille. The last mule had an old grille with the horizontal slats that were divided right in the middle. This grille, on the other hand, seems to have a slightly thicker surround and features a bunch of small holes – similar to what you see on GMC SUVs since the early 2000s.

The other big thing that we can spot from this round of spy shots is that there is some camo attached to the rear, which means it’s rocking the production rear fascia. As usual, not much will change, but if you look closely, you can see a small lip on each corner that should add more character, and the exhaust outlets are now slanted with the innermost points sitting higher than before. You can also expect to see new taillight units. The ones on this mule are actually predominantly clear, so this could be the style that Merc is going with for the facelift, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Spy Shots Round 2

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Exterior Spyshots
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So, last time we were here, the C-Class was sporting an old grille, old headlight units, and a janky prototype bumper that left more to the imagination that it did hint at future design. However, with this new round, the C-Class is sporting a new grille that is predominantly chrome with three horizontal slats that are intersected by one right in the middle. It’s void of a Mercedes emblem, but that has been replaced with a unit mounted to the hood. The new grill also makes way for a new headlight shape that doesn’t have that concave inner edge and looks more at home with the front end. As far as the layout of the lens, there’s now two vertical LED units in the outer corners and one projector base toward the center. The LED running lights have been moved from the bottom of the lens to the top edge, where they follow the contour of the top and inner edge before terminating at the lower, inner corner. It’s certainly a fresh look. Unfortunately, the front fascia still hides the final changes that we’re waiting on, but there’s more to talk about around back.

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Exterior Spyshots
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The rear fascia, decklid, and even the rear trim still remain the same compared to the last prototype we laid eyes on, but the taillights are new, and that’s a big deal. They still keep the same angled-square shape with two sharp corners, but the layout of the lens itself is all new. There is some black tinting to prevent us from seeing the full layout, but as you can see the matrix is more defined than ever, with bright, sharp angles everywhere, darker portions of the matrix can be found in the center and just above the reverse lights. Those reverse lights are now split into three different display areas that will likely be brighter than ever. Truth be told, the lights are a little more futuristic and more on point with what you would expect from a luxury model in this day and age.

Press release

Alongside the A-Class, the G-Class and the new four-door Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé, highlights at this year’s Geneva Motor Show include the world premiere of the new C-Class in Saloon and Estate guise with new petrol and diesel engines, and as plug-in hybrid models. The press conference will start on the first press day, 6 March, at 12.30 p.m. in Hall 6.

Now in its fifth year of production, the C-Class is the most successful model series from Mercedes-Benz and boasts a wealth of enhancements. The design of the exterior and interior benefits from a stylish makeover. The electronic architecture is completely new. Options include a fully digital instrument display and multimedia systems featuring customised information and music offerings. The assistance systems likewise benefit from the new electronic architecture and are now on a par with those of the S‑Class.

The C-Class in its current generation was Mercedes-Benz’s top-selling model in its fourth year on sale. The brand sold a combined total of over 415,000 Saloon and Estate models worldwide in 2017.

The new-look C-Class combines emotionality with intelligence. The vehicle’s new appearance is defined in particular by its front end and the design of the headlamps and tail lights. On the new version, the AMG Line features the diamond radiator grille as standard. The front bumpers have been redesigned for all lines. They feature either a silver trim strip (standard), a chrome-plated trim strip (in combination with AVANTGARDE exterior) or a three-part chrome trim strip (EXCLUSIVE exterior).

The design of the front and rear lamps is defined by clear-lined contours. High-quality, sculpted details underline the sophisticated look and feel. MULTIBEAM LED headlamps with ULTRA RANGE high beam are available for this model series for the first time.

The sporty interior displays a premium look and feel as well as flowing forms. The centre console is characterised by an elegant flowing trim. This is available in open-pore brown walnut or open-pore anthracite oak. The 3D real wood veneer in the centre console combines a hand-crafted character with a modern feel. New interior colours include magma grey/black, plus saddle brown for the AMG Line interior.

The C-Class adopts the control and display concept from the current S‑Class and comes with the option of a fully digital instrument display with three individually selectable display styles. The C‑Class has touch-sensitive controls in the steering wheel. The operation of DISTRONIC and cruise control with controls directly on the steering wheel is another new feature. The infotainment system can additionally be operated via the touchpad with controller (new: haptic feedback) in the centre console or by means of LINGUATRONIC voice control.

The new C-Class features the latest driving assistance systems, offering the driver cooperative support and providing for a higher standard of active safety than its predecessor. The C‑Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. The C‑Class also uses map and navigation data for assistance functions. For example, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC as part of the Driving Assistance package is able to support the driver in numerous situations on the basis of map information and predictively adjust the speed e.g. when approaching bends, junctions or roundabouts. Other new developments include intuitively understandable Active Lane Change Assist and Active Emergency Stop Assist as new functions of Active Steering Assist.

The optionally available MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are new to the C‑Class. Each headlamp incorporates 84 individually controllable LEDs. These allow extremely quick and precise, electronically controlled adjustment of the headlamps to suit the current traffic situation.

ENERGIZING comfort control (optional) links various comfort systems in the vehicle. It systematically uses the functions of the climate control system (including fragrancing) and the seats (heater, ventilation, massage) as well as lighting and musical moods, and enables a specific wellness set-up tailored to the mood and need of the customer. This has positive effects on wellbeing and driver performance.

World premiere: new four-door Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé

There are not one but two world premieres from the sports car and performance brand Mercedes-AMG at the show on the banks of Lake Geneva: alongside the new four-door Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé, further new arrivals include the new C‑Class entry-level models of the AMG 43 series.

EQ: the electric brand is gathering pace

Mercedes-Benz Cars is continuing its electric offensive: in Geneva, the product and technology brand EQ is providing a look ahead to the future portfolio of this umbrella brand and, as part of this strategic and model-policy realignment, is showcasing the first series-production model with battery-electric drive. Various latest-generation plug-in hybrid models are also celebrating their world premieres. They combine the latest hybrid technology from Mercedes-Benz with the latest-generation diesel engine (OM 654).

With the smart edition nightsky (combined electrical consumption 13.0–12.9 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions 0 g/km), smart is showing the next step towards electrical intelligence. Simple and uncomplicated use of locally emission-free electric mobility is facilitated by a new smart app (likely to be available from the third quarter of 2018). Users can check the current status of their vehicle at any time via smartphone or watch. Charge level and range are shown as examples. A new 22 kW onboard charger will be available from March 2018.

Other important new products from Mercedes-Benz Cars

The new G-Class is being unveiled to the European public for the first time in Geneva, while the new A‑Class is making its debut in Switzerland.

Geneva is also the location for the world premiere of the Mercedes-Benz X‑Class featuring a powerful six-cylinder engine and permanent all-wheel drive. The Mercedes-Benz X‑Class combines the typical attributes of a pickup – robust, functional, durable and off-road capable – with the classic strengths of a genuine Mercedes – design, comfort, driving dynamics and safety. With its SUV design as a hallmark feature of the brand, the X‑Class fits smoothly into the Mercedes-Benz portfolio.

Luxury brand Mercedes-Maybach has chosen Geneva as the location for the world premiere of the new Mercedes-Maybach S‑Class. A new radiator grille, optional two-tone paintwork and new exclusive colour combinations in the interior ensure an even more majestic look.

Numerous new special models are also on display at the show. These include:

Exclusive Edition: S-Class Coupé and Cabriolet
Night Edition: This exclusively elegant series of compact models impresses with a combination of AMG bodystyling on the exterior and Urban Line with white elements in the interior. The press conference will start on the first press day, 6 March, at 12.30 p.m. in Hall 6. With Mercedes me media, anybody who wants to can be there live - wherever they are in the world - at media.mercedes-benz.com. Press materials, photos and videos relating to the new products are available via a constantly updated media hub.

"Meet Mercedes" sees the continuation of an event format from last year: Here journalists can meet in relaxed surroundings on 5 March, the day before the 88th Geneva Motor Show, to get an early look at the new products from Mercedes-Benz Cars and talk informally with the Daimler experts. "Meet Mercedes" takes place in the Espace Hippomène from 2 to 10 p.m.

The press conference will start on the first press day, 6 March, at 12.30 p.m. in Hall 6. With Mercedes me media, anybody who wants to can be there live - wherever they are in the world - at media.mercedes-benz.com. Press materials, photos and videos relating to the new products are available via a constantly updated media hub.

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