Model scaling. Test drive of the new Mercedes C-class
Three cylinders, a touchscreen like in the S-class and a voice assistant: what has the new Mercedes C-Class turned out to be lately
I’m sure a good half of the test drives of the new C-Class will be full of turns like "little flagship", "baby-benz" and other similar epithets. What can we say, even if representatives of the current Mercedes office used this technique more than once at the official presentation of the model. Indeed, this is not the first time that the Germans have made the C-Class very similar to a flagship model and equipped it with options that one of the leading trendsetters has just received.
it so happens that in the last two decades, the production cycle of the C-class almost coincides with the periods of the flagship S-class. It is for this reason that the smallest Mercedes with the classic layout from generation to generation is the first of the entire brand family to try advanced technical solutions that will surprise the world for the first time with the leading executive class sedan on the planet. This was the case with the next generation W204 and W205. So it remained with the new car under the index W206.
But putting aside all this succession marketing chatter, it turns out that the new C-Class is likely to be the most unclaimed Mercedes sedan in the current market. And that’s why.
Of course, it is worth starting with the fact that the new sedan as a whole repeats the S-class W223 not only from the outside, but also from the inside. The most important thing in it is the center console with a giant 11.9-inch vertically oriented display, which, in terms of menu design and richness of functions, is very similar to the flagship. Here you have advanced navigation with 3D maps, voice control with an intelligent assistant, and an on-board computer with dozens of indicators where the average driver really doesn’t understand anything.
However, here the “touchscreen", unlike the S-class screen, is slightly turned towards the driver. According to Mercedes experts, only due to the fact that the interior of the “tseshka” is narrower and it is much easier to use all the functions of the multimedia system on the go with a slight turn of the display towards the driver’s seat. The rest of the interior of the C-Class is original, and in some cases even more popular than the flagship. These include, for example, electric seat adjustments, which have moved from the doors to the side wall of the seat itself and remain "analog" with dynamic keys, and do not touch surfaces, as in "esque". Or, for example, a more comfortable "AMG steering wheel", which eventually received heating.
In the second row, this Mercedes clearly does not indulge in comfort, like a flagship. However, by the standards of the class, the new “tseshka” is very good. There’s plenty of legroom, and the roof, while low for aerodynamic reasons, doesn’t weigh down at all. The back of the rear seat is slightly folded back – so even taller passengers will not be cramped. But in those trim levels that we have during the test drive, unfortunately, there is no third climate zone, only deflectors.
Without the pain of choice
Separately, it is worth mentioning the C-class versions for recently, because the new car will come to us in a much more stripped-down version than that presented in Europe. only the C180 and C200 versions, the so-called "mild hybrids", will be available to current customers. Both versions are equipped with a new three-cylinder 1.5-liter M 254 turbo engine and an integrated starter-generator, which has different thrust. The basic version produces 150 "horsepower", and the older one – already 197. But the main difference between the two modifications is the type of driving. The branded 4MATIC relies only on “two hundred”, and the C180 only in the rear-wheel drive version.
And, above all, discard the skepticism about the small displacement of the engine. A torque of 250 Nm, even in the initial version of the C180, is more than enough to adequately accelerate the sedan both in the parking lot and during hard acceleration. In addition, this engine is assisted by a nine-speed "automatic", which has already established itself as one of the most experienced in the industry. And the older 197-horsepower versions have not only adequate, but also decisive acceleration. When driving, the only thing that resembles a subcompact engine under the hood is a slightly increased vibration load, which is transmitted to the steering wheel with a slight itch.
And in general, the new C-class on the winding roads of Karelia, where it was tested, offers a little less comfort than you might expect from a younger Mercedes with a classic layout. The car is deliberately not heavy on the go, but nevertheless, sharp bumps are transmitted to the cabin with a rather tangible and unpleasant buzz. Here, of course, you can rely on large AMG rims and runflat oak tires, but the shock absorbers travel in the new “shop” is rather tight. By the way, a similar impression could also arise due to the fact that the new generation car lost the optional air suspension that was available in the last C-class. This car with air bellows on the racks, however, lay very smoothly even on a rather bumpy road. Road.
At the same time, electronically controlled shock absorbers with variable characteristics remained in the resource of the new car. And just such an option with “comfortable” shock absorber settings is the most optimal for driving on our poor-quality roads.
By the way, the C-Class’s tight and stiff ride hardly induces active driving, as the steering settings here are typical Mercedes with a slightly fuzzy and indistinct steering position. And the reactive force on it, no matter how dense and understandable it may be, does not allow you to get super-transparent feedback from the street. There is barely enough information on the steering wheel to feel the cover under the wheels. But there can be no question of any pleasure from sharp reactions and surgically precise actions. In that sense, the junior front-wheel-drive CLA feels like a more manageable car.
And in general, the junior four-door Mercedes coupe is one of the main culprits for the serious loss of C-class positions in our market. Of course, along with the localization of class E. Because of this pair, the new "store" was in a very difficult position. From below, it is pressed by the CLA, which in rich trim levels looks like a rather “grown up” car, but has a much more attractive price, and from above – the E-Class in the initial versions with no less interesting price list than the localized model.
it is for this reason that the most popular Mercedes in the world is in danger of becoming not the most popular lately – as an exclusively imported product, it turns out to be very expensive. It is for this reason that the Russian representative office of Mercedes decided to import into our country only the version with a 1.5-liter small engine with a minimum customs duty. And there is no need to talk about the prospects for the appearance of diesel modifications and the previous version of the C300. But they promise that they will definitely bring us the AMG version. Although this is a completely different story.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class C180 C200 Type Sedan Sedan Dimensions: length / width / height, mm 4751/1820/1438 4751/1820/1438 Wheelbase, mm 2865 2865 Ground clearance, mm 130130 Luggage compartment volume, l 455 455 Empty weight, kg 1625 1701 Gross weight, kg 1960 2016 Engine type Gasoline Gasoline Engine volume, cc cm 1496 1496 Maximum power, h.p. (at rpm) 150 / 5500-6100 197 / 5800-6100 Maximum fresh torque, Nm (at rpm) 250 / 1800-4000 300 / 1800-4000 Transmission type, Rear transmission, AKP9 Full, AKP9 Max. speed, km / h 231241 Acceleration time from 0 to 100 km / h, s 8.6 7.1 fuel, l / 100 km 9.1 / 5.1 / 6.5 9.4 / 5.4 / 6.9 Price from, conventional units3 660,000 4,210,000