Has the 2019 C Class really been updated?
The car in our photo is the best selling Mercedes Benz model in the UK. Think of it as a mini version of the S Class. So when it comes to comfort itís hard to beat and has a dazzling array of the latest tech. The car weíre describing is the Mercedes C Class and itís just been updated. Ok, it looks just like the old one but is it any better?
When a car counts for one in five of your sales and youíve sold close to ten million of them since it first went on sale then itís probably not a car that youíd want to change too radically. This is exactly why Mercedes havenít, well thatís unless you count then six and a half thousand components that have been changed which pretty much accounts for half the car. Unfortunately, most of these components are in places that you canít see.
The C Class is really up against some stiff competition from the likes of the Jaguar XE, the Audi A4, the Alfa Romeo Giulia and of course the BMW 3 Series which are all competing for the same buyers. If you look closely, and we mean really closely, youíll notice that the 2019 C Class gets new bumpers and slightly different lights. Also, the rather lovely diamond grille is now standard across the range. Thatís about it for the looks department and inside itís not dramatically different either. Donít get us wrong, this isnít a bad thing at all because the interior is certainly one of its best features. In fact, when it comes to premium interiors both Mercedes and Volvo really do stand out at the moment. Saying that we were extremely impressed with the interior found on the BMW 3 Series and the new Jaguar XE. Thereís a lot to like about the C Classís interior. The car we looked at for our article is the top of the range AMG trim but even the entry level models come with plenty of standard kit such as heated front seats and a reversing camera. The general layout of the interior looks great with really elegant trims like the beautiful brown walnut which surrounds the central console. When you sit inside this car you can really appreciate how much time and effort has gone into the interior. Itís an interior which resembles a mini version of its big brother the luxurious S Class. We particularly like the new steering wheel and although the plethora of buttons on the wheel look daunting this shouldnít put you off as theyíre really easy to use. All models get a 10.2 inch display screen which are a big improvement on the ones seen on the previous model. They have really sharp and clear graphics and are set in a really fantastic position so that you donít have to take your eye-line too far away to view it. There are also some really nice gimmicks on it such as the lighting system. There are quite literally a dazzling array of lights that you can choose from and one to suit every conceivable mood. We also like the digital dials that you can customise. For example, you can switch the right hand dial between a large sat-nav display, a g-meter, detailed trip info or a rev counter. You even get the option of even more colour schemes. What isnít so great is that even on the top spec AMG trim level the seats, may be comfortable and really hug you in, but they arenít fully electric. So, youíve got to reach down and manually adjust your seats backwards and forwards which all seems a bit odd in todayís standards.
As youíd expect there are no changes to space on offer in in the C Class so when it comes to interior space itís still pretty good Ė although the sloping roof does have an impact on your head room. The boot is roughly the same size as the Audi A4 and the BMW 3 Series although itís worth noting that only the mid-range Sport and AMG models get a split-folding rear seats as standard.
Moving on to engines, you can choose from three diesels, three petrols and two AMG performance models. The car weíre looking at is the C200 which gets an all new engine with mild hybrid tech. It has a 1.5 litre petrol engine with some hybrid technology that adds a burst of around 13 brake horse power (bhp) to the 181 bhp output. So, what does this car feel like? Well, if you switch the drive selector into Eco model then youíll notice that the engine will cut out as you coast along or approach junctions to save on emissions and youíll also be aware of the whining of the electrics as you pull off. Unfortunately, you are going to have to pay a lot more for this and it isnít the most refined engine either. In fact, youíd be hard pressed to know if it was a diesel or a petrol unit if you didnít already know due to the fact itís just so noisy and clattery around town. If the whole point of this car is to be comfortable and to be refined then weíre just not so sure that the C200 is the one that weíd go for. The one that we would recommend however is the C220d. It uses a recent 2.0 litre diesel engine which is relatively quiet quick off the mark. Itís also an engine that perfectly suits this car if youíre looking for a smooth motorway cruiser.
Mercedes knows that comfort is the C Classís strong point and while comfortable isnít the most exciting adjective it really does sum this car up. If you want a fun car to drive then you should probably opt for the BMW 3 Series or even the Alfa Giulia as both are far more fun behind the wheel. The C Class is just an easy going confidence-inspiring well-balanced car whose main focus is getting you from a to b, and yes in comfort.
Letís head back to the six and a half thousand components we mentioned earlier. A lot of these components are taken up by technology. For example, thereís a new system that detects if the car is crashed into or stolen while itís parked and sends an alert to your phone. If itís crashed into then the parking sensors will record when and where the car was hit and if youíre likely to get in without seeing it then theyíll be an alert waiting for you on the screen. The C Class can also drive semi-autonomously in certain situations by using a camera and radar based system that first appeared in the S Class and gives you a glimpse into the self-driving future towards which weíre all heading.
So, how would we sum up the updated Mercedes Benz C Class? Well, weíre going to have to come back to a word that weíve used quite a lot in this review Ė itís comfortable and a car that you can live with - with ease. If you like the idea of the C Class sitting on your driveway then head to DesperateSeller.co.uk where we have thousands of used C Class cars for sale.