The New Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, a model range that accounts for one in every five Mercedes-Benz cars sold here, has been launched on the Irish market and can now be seen in dealer showrooms.

When fully available here, the new C-Class line-up will consist of four petrol engine and five diesel engine versions with entry prices beginning at €37,750 (ex works) for petrol models and €37,950 for diesel models.

Petrol versions will include the C180, C200, C250 and C300 models. Diesel versions will include the C180, C200, C220, C250 BlueTEC models and a C300 Diesel Hybrid.

First to arrive is a C220CDI diesel-powered 2.2-litre, 170bhp version at €43,300 whose many features include a 0.24 Cd value, 103g/km CO2, 4-litres/100km fuel consumption and €190 road tax.

With it comes two petrolpowered versions – a C180 1.6-litre, 156bhp model at €37,750 with 116g/km C02 and 5.0 –litres/100km and annual road tax of €200 and a C200 2.0-litre, 184bhp version at €39,500 whose equivalent features are 123g/km CO2, 5.3-litres/100km fuel consumption and annual road tax of €270. All of the remaining models, including a C300 Hybrid, arrive in September.

In appearance, the C-Class has well-balanced proportions and smooth, contoured bodylines that give it a gracefulness in keeping with the character of a Mercedes-Benz.

On the outside, and within its luxurious, ultra modern interior, one sees touches that echo the S-Class and E-Class before it.

Its long bonnet, short overhangs and set back passenger compartment reveal a vehicle one step up in size from its predecessor – extra roominess that comes from a 80mm longer wheelbase, 95mm longer body and 40mm wider frame to make rear seat travel more comfortable.

Thanks to a 100kg reduction in weight, fuel consumption is an average 20% lower. Boot capacity is 480 litres.

Three design and equipment lines are offered – an Avantgarde version with grille-inset star aimed at younger buyers; an Exclusive version with a distinctive bonnet-mounted standing star aimed at the more conventional buyer; and an AMG line aimed at the sporty buyer.

As one would expect, the C-Class is festooned with high-tech items to satisfy the needs of a younger, internet-active generation.

Features include infotainment display, interactive touchpad and apps that give the driver online access to all forms of route planning, guidance, weather and traffic information.

New is a ‘head-up’ display system that can project data directly on to the windscreen. With tunnels now a common feature, it has an airpanel mechanism that closes the air flap to prevent pollutants entering the passenger compartment

Reaping the benefits of technology introduced in the new S-Class, its many optionally-available features include new ambient lighting with three colours and five dimming levels, an ‘air balance’ package that can ‘perfume’ the interior to one’s liking, a Burmester ‘feel-good’ surround sound system comprising 13 high-performance speakers configured specifically for the vehicle and fully automatic ‘hand-free’ access that opens and closes the boot lid with a gentle toe tap.

Transmission is 6-speed manual or 7G automatic. Permanent all-wheel drive is also available. A new suspension system can be adjusted electronically with air suspension on front and rear axles available as an option. Safety elements include the acclaimed Attention Assist drowsiness detection system and Collision Prevention Assist – an adaptive braking system that activates automatically if the driver fails to respond to danger ahead.

Additional offerings include systems to control distance from the vehicle in front, lane keeping assist, active parking, adaptive head beam, traffic sign and wrong way alert systems and a 360- degree camera. Pelvis bags, a newly developed window bag, side bags and a driver’s knee bag also form part of the safety story.

Speaking at its launch, Mercedes-Benz sales manager Ciaran Allen said: “With its new looks, keen pricing and well-appointed features, we expect the C-Class to be a very competitive model offering in the mid-range luxury segment. It will be marketed on the three platforms of design and appointments, technical innovation and performance and a highly-competitive specifications- to-value offering.”

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