Mercedes C-Class always had to carry the mantle in most countries to bring in sales, gain customer satisfaction, let the consumer become loyal to the sub-brand, and creates its own space despite it has competition from the outside as well on the inside. Mercedes has always had a lower car in the Indian market than the C-Class. It has always created a cloud of confusion about whether to go for the well-known for all truly choose affordable luxury. That confusion just got so much stronger in the Indian market than is ever seen before. The A-Class is competent enough and the E-Class is very comfortable. However, the C-Class has something that woos enthusiasts and luxury car buyers to it. What is it? We find out for you.
On the outside, the mini S-Class tail lamps are a great addition to the C-Class. The new angular LED DRL at the front along with the large logo and the small grille makes the car look like one of the best entry-level Mercedes saloons to come out from the brand globally. The C-pillar makes it look like a legitimate younger sibling of the S-Class. A large bumper on both ends makes the C-Class like a proper European sports sedan derived from the sonderklasse.
The build quality on the outside seems and sounds great and it scores high on crash tests like any other Mercedes. The C300 and C200 had different alloy wheels and digital lights over the normal LED lights that the C200 had. Overall, the elements on the car, such as lamps, and a well-done front grille make the C-Class opulent.
On the inside, the build and quality are good and so is the expansive feature list we have explained time and again in our previous report. The interior has fantastic turbine jet air vents and rocker switches which makes the cabin look sporty and powerful. You get automatic lights and wipers to reversing cameras, front and rear parking sensors, wireless chargers, ambient lighting, and projectors with LED lamps. The scrollers on the steering can be tuned to be much better and more intuitive. All the buttons make the steering very busy to understand and it takes a few days to get used to. The sound system is downright brilliant on the C-Class. The ambient lighting at night just makes the experience very special.
The car has a large panoramic sunroof, electric and memory function-equipped seats. Missing equipment continues as it lacks ventilated seats, wireless apple car play, and android auto. However, the best part is the big tablet-like S-Class-inspired screen that is on offer. The instrument cluster has everything you need via 5 screens which include a service screen that shows tire pressures to AD blue level. There is Mercedes ME, concierge service, and all other connected features to make it just like the A-Class, but with more performance!
Baby S-class means there is supposed to be space right? It has! Space is still more than sufficient with enough shoulder and knee room you expect, slightly up then before, not substantially. Leg and headroom continue to be in good supply but as always it is a strict four-seater. The boot space is good enough at 400 liters but the space saver takes away the space. Road noise inside the cabin is a bit higher but the wind noise is well-controlled thanks to excellent insulation. Like any other Mercedes, it is still a pleasant place to be thanks to multi-level filtration. The safety kit continues to be high with electronic stability control and eight airbags, Hill Hold Assist, ABS and EBD, Active Brake Assist, etc coming as standard.
Mercedes petrol engines are smooth, free-revving, and low on NVH and the one on the C200 is the same. 1.5l Motor makes 204 BHP and 300 Nm of torque. Low and mid-range are good on the motor. All this is going through a semi-fast-shifting, smooth, and seamless 9-speed DSG automatic. The engine is flexible and powerful at the same time. 0-100 km/hr in 7.
3 seconds is quick.
Off-the-line acceleration for a car that looks like a family car shoots so fast and ahead that it makes you concentrate very hard when you do. The boost from the ISG motors makes things far more superior than you anticipate and that is exactly what you felt. I was ready to be disappointed by this petrol motor, but it took me backstage after the party instead of front stage everyday drama. It is very special indeed, the way Mercedes has used mild-hybrid technology. We were blown away when we first sampled it in the E53 AMG.
Top-end is excellent when the turbo kicks. The C200 has an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/hr on offer. The engine can cruise at legal speeds and higher than that, quite easily when you want it to. This makes it good enough for city and highway duties and makes driving comfortable. We saw it getting 16 km/l on the highway and 10 km/l in the city which isn’t that bad for 200 horsepower sedan.
Talking about the C300d. The diesel-powered rocket sedan deserves a special place. The fuel economy of 12 km/l even in the city with bursts of acceleration. The shove that you get from the ISG motor boost from a standstill is just surreal. The engine sounds rough at lower revs and can get some time to get used too, but as you rev it higher, it behaves like a mature German diesel engine.
The 263 BHp and 500 Nm of torque going through RWD mean it is fun, spins its wheels only when the traction control is off and gives almost sportscar performance with a tight chassis setup and excellent steering. Our test car brakes were shot to a large extent but we still did fine while stopping from all kinds of speed.
The ride quality is compliant enough at all speeds and that is something not new with Mercedes. The steering gives enough feedback and is very precise at all speeds. This is something Mercedes is doing just right with all its cars these days. The steering weighs up on the highway really well too! High-speed stability is spot on thanks to the ideal balance of underlying stiffness and compliance from the suspension.
The brakes were good too with great pedal bite and a lot of performance on offer. Body roll is negligible while changing lanes at high speeds and it is still a very confidence-inspiring car to drive at any given speed. The ground clearance is good enough. The stiff suspension and just about enough clearance mean it will only bottom out under a very heavy load.
2022 Mercedes C200 And C300d Review, Verdict
We weren’t ready to be impressed with the C200d when it comes to driving and vice versa with the C300d. However, we did get impressed. The ISG technology is a short in the arm that everyone needs. Also, the level of kit, luxury, and new design language inside out makes the C-Class very tempting only till the moment you realize, you are spending almost E-Class money. The C-Class becomes for the enthusiast then. It appeals to the driving enthusiast within you and the luxury-seeking consumer as well. Why? C-Class has its own cult and following. With the introduction of the A-Class and E-Class being not so much of a driver delight, you end up getting everything in the C-Class from both ends of the Mercedes portfolio.
2022 Mercedes C200 And C300d Review