The next generation of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class has been officially unveiled with electrification across the entire line up and a plush new interior with enough finesse to catch the eye of an S-Class owner.
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the next-generation C-Class which it has packed full of new features that will make it a more luxurious, efficient and safer car to drive every day.
Dubbed the ‘W206’ generation, C-Class the midsize sedan and estate replaces the current generation which has been around since 2014, with the new models expected to arrive in Australia at the end of 2021.
Arguably the biggest change for the new C-Class is the abandonment of both six and eight-cylinder powerplants, in favour of both petrol and diesel-powered turbocharged four-cylinder engines.
The next-generation Mercedes-AMG models are expected to be announced soon and are rumoured to also make use of a high-powered four-cylinder engine, such as the one used in the Mercedes-AMG A45 small car.
Mercedes will offer all engines with some form of electrification, with all C-Class engines attached to either a 48-volt mild-hybrid or plug-in hybrid system.
The 48-volt system delivers an additional 15kW of power and 200Nm of torque immediately and has the ability to let the car ‘glide’ on the highway.
While Australian specification may differ, the entry-level C 180 and C200 variants make use of a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol, making 170kW/250Nm and 150kW/300Nm respectively, while the C300 uses a turbocharged two-litre four-cylinder petrol making 190kW/400Nm.
Mercedes-Benz offers both the C200 and C300 with the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system that has the same power and torque figures.
The C220 d and C300 d are the only two diesel options available, with both using a turbocharged two-litre engine making 147kW/440Nm and 195kW/550Nm respectively.
Mercedes-Benz will also offer a plug-in hybrid version of the C-Class which pairs an electric motor making 95kW/440Nm with a 25.4kWh battery which is capable of delivering a WLTP tested range of 100km on electric power.
All engine options are coupled to the nine-speed torque converter automatic transmission which, along with the 4Matic system, has been further tweaked to increase efficiency.
The new C-Class resembles a familiar figure to the outgoing generation, with the traditional grille staying at the front, with the AMG Line trim levels using a star design finished in chrome.
A two-piece LED lamp headlight set up is equipped as standard, with Mercedes-Benz’s Digital Light system found on the S-Class available as a cost option. The optional lighting feature projects guidelines and even warning symbols onto the road ahead as needed.
At the rear, the tail lights now more closely resemble Mercedes-Benz’s new design direction seen on models such as the A-Class sedan.
Mercedes-Benz has stretched the dimensions of the C-Class significantly, with the sedan gaining 65mm in length and 13mm in width, while the estate has gained 49mm in length and 13mm in width making it closer to a large sedan than ever before.
Both the sedan and wagon have stretched their wheelbase by 25mm to free up room on the inside, while the wheels themselves are available from 17 to 19-inch sizes.
With the C-Class growing noticeably longer this generation it’s no surprise to see Mercedes-Benz have also decided to offer rear-wheel-steering.
At speeds under 60km/h the system turns up to 2.5-degrees against the angle of the front wheels while at speeds above 60km/h it turns up to 2.5-degree with the front wheels to increase stability.
The fitment of rear-wheel-steering will make the C-Class more maneuverable around town, with the system reducing the turning circle by 43 centimetres to 10.64 metres.
Mercedes-Benz has heavily updated the interior of the C-Class with a large emphasis placed on increasing the physical space inside and the technology on offer.
Rear headroom has been increased by 15mm in the sedan and 11mm in the estate, elbow room and knee room have also been increased in both body styles which should make the C-Class more comfortable on long trips.
Placed directly in front of the driver is a 10.25-inch display that can also be upgraded to a 12.3-inch unit on higher trims, the screen is joined by another 9.5-inch standard or 11.9-inch centre touchscreen display which sits in the centre.
Mercedes-Benz has fitted their second-generation MBUX infotainment system, which is said to be more powerful and intuitive for the driver with the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice command system able to control significantly more functions.
The new MBUX system even has the ability to control your own home through the Smart Home function, which can perform tasks such as checking if anyone is home through sensors and switching off unnecessary lights if your home is fully connected.
Following in the footsteps of the likes of Tesla, Mercedes-Benz will now offer over the air updates for the C-Class, which allows the engineers to find issues and send out a fix across the internet without the driver even taking their car to a mechanic.
The 2022 C-Class frame has integrated increased occupant protection along with region-specific technology such as a centre airbag which is required to receive a full five-star safety rating in Europe.
It would be reasonable to assume Australia will also receive the centre-airbag in our models as the new feature is also a requirement to achieve full marks in our local ANCAP safety rating system.
Mercedes-Benz has also added a range of safety features to the C-Class, such as the Pre-Safe Impulse Side feature that uses the seat to physically move the driver further away from an incoming side-on collision to reduce the impact.
More information about local pricing for the C-Class will be released closer to the Australian arrival date later this year.
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