Launches & Reviews Review South Africa


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    The new Mercedes Benz C Class. Petrol or diesel?

    I really pondered around this for quite a while and in the end, I knew which one I'd prefer. I tested both the new petrol and the diesel derivative back to back for a week. Yes, there was plenty of prestige, sportiness and agility. And not to mention the stunning good looks.
    Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
    Image credit: Naresh Maharaj

    But after all, I was in a Mercedes Benz. And right up front, I have to mention that the fuel consumption in the diesel derivative was incredible, especially in these times when the price of fuel is rising continually. The C Class of old was often referred to as the ‘baby Merc’. Not anymore. The ‘baby’ has finally grown up.

    Slightly longer, higher and wider than its predecessors. A new kind of comfort and besides the sleek styling, the attention grabber inside was the large central display screen that controls virtually everything with the C Class. A remarkable user experience.

    Right here right now

    The new C-Class is manufactured in Mercedes-Benz Cars production plants in Bremen, Beijing, and right here in East London. R13bn has already been invested in numerous upgrades at the East London plant in preparation for the production of the new model, providing a major boost to the local automotive industry.

    Mark Raine, President of Mercedes-Benz Cars and Co-CEO of Mercedes-Benz South Africa says the fact that East London is one of three global manufacturing plants for the new C-Class is an unparalleled success story for the local industry.

    Sporty and elegant

    The new C-Class already looks to be in motion at a standstill with its dynamic proportions, thanks to the combination of short front overhang, long wheelbase, and rear overhang.

    Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
    Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
    Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
    Image credit: Naresh Maharaj

    The sporty bonnet with power domes accentuates this urge of forward motion. The designers have reduced lines to a minimum, which accentuates the so-called catwalk line or shoulder line even more.

    LED high-performance

    The new C-Class is equipped with LED High-Performance headlamps as standard. DIGITAL LIGHT has a light module with three extremely powerful LEDs in each headlamp, whose light is refracted and directed by 1.3 million micro-mirrors.

    The resolution is, therefore, more than 2.6 million pixels per vehicle. Wow! With these dynamics and precision, this intelligent system creates virtually endless possibilities for high-resolution light distribution which optimally adjusts to the surrounding conditions. However, the deciding factor is not only the technology in the headlamp but rather the digital intelligence behind it. On-board cameras and sensor systems detect other road users.

    Expansive touchscreen

    One of the added features is a high-resolution LCD screen. It is free-standing and appears to float in front of the wing profile and the expanse of trim. This sets the driver displays apart from traditional cockpits with classic round dials. You have a choice between the standard 10.25-inch (26.0 cm) or an optional 12.3-inch (31.2 cm) version. The touchscreen appears to float above the expanse of trim.

    Like the dashboard, the screen is slightly tilted towards the driver. The central display has a screen diagonal of 11.9 inches or 30.2 cm as a market standard. The driver display and media display offer a holistic, aesthetic experience. The look of the screens can be individualised with three display styles (Discreet, Sporty, Classic) and three modes (Navigation, Assistance, Service). In "Sporty", for example, the colour red is predominant and the central rev counter has a dynamic design.

    Rear-axle steering: more agile and dynamic

    The new C-Class is especially agile and stable with the optional rear-axle steering and the accompanying, more direct steering ratio at the front axle. The steering angle at the rear axle is 2.5 degrees. This reduces the turning circle by 43 centimetres to 10.64 meters. It makes parking into a side bay that much easier.

    The driver also needs fewer turns of the steering wheel for full lock. With rear-axle steering, and depending on the drive concept, this requires 2.1 instead of 2.35 turns (rear-wheel drive with comfort steering.


    It’s systematic electrification of the modern four-cylinder engines. Thanks to this electrification and intelligent downsizing, the new C-Class sets new standards in efficiency. The engine range has only four-cylinder units from the current modular Family of Modular Engines Mercedes-Benz engine family. The engine is quieter and more efficient and is mated to a super-efficient nine-speed gearbox.

    “The new C-Class is a sporty interpretation of modern luxury. It combines dynamic proportions with accentuated design lines and a modern look. I am entirely confident that the new C-Class will excite existing customers and future fans with its wide range of high-tech and superior features derived from the flagship S-Class”, said Raine.

    The Avantgarde design and equipment line

    With Avantgarde exterior and interior, you can further enhance the individuality and sportiness of your vehicle. The lowered suspension offers the ideal balance between dynamism, comfort and safety.
    The AMG Line

    The AMG line lends to sporty, exclusive touch to both the exterior and interior of the C-Class. Driving pleasure is enhanced by a series of special technical features eg the agile sports suspension with Sports Direct-Steer

    About Naresh Maharaj

    Naresh Maharaj is a petrol head who loves cars and writing about them. He is also a Member of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists. Naresh is also an international sports correspondent and an acclaimed corporate MC and voice-over artist. Naresh is a sports/news producer for community radio stations and also an award-winning sports journalist. Contact Naresh on moc.liamg@123jarahamn.
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