The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon

Caroline drives the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon is one of the stalwarts of the Mercedes-Benz range that has been endearing buyers of compact executive saloons for over two decades now.

The current generation of the car debuted in 2014 and quickly gained notoriety for its interior elegance and comfort. Now in 2019, there is an updated C-Class range with pricing starting from €37,710.

What’s new for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon in 2019?

Updates include new engines, equipment and trim elements to keep it at the races against key rivals like the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series.

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon gets a slim makeover in that all the elegant, compact saloon proportions are retained but with some new trim elements, alloy wheels and headlight/rear light design.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon has been updated for 2019
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon has been updated for 2019

Available in the classic Avantgarde trim or the sportier AMG Line, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class oozes class and prestige. AMG Line models get standard fit 18” alloys, more aggressive bumpers and a stunning diamond radiator grille with chrome pins. LED headlights come as standard.

The interior of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon

Inside, the cabin of the C-Class is very plush and luxurious with beautiful soft touch materials and design elements, like the circular air vents and open pore black ash wood trim. The C-Class range gets a technology upgrade in that you can now opt for a 12.3-inch digital cockpit display and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen. The 10.25 inch screen as part of the Advantage pack is definitely worth considering (€3,417) as it looks a lot more premium and at home than the standard 7” screen.

There is also a new multifunction steering wheel with touch-control buttons that respond to swiping motions like the screen of a smartphone. It gives a bit more modernity to the cabin of the C-Class.

The interior of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon
The interior of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon

The C-Class Saloon will seat five though the rear will be more comfortable for two rather than three because of the large ‘hump’ housing the transmission tunnel. The boot is a competitive 480 litres and the boot lid lifts electronically from a button on the key or a switch in the cabin.

Equipment and engines

Standard equipment includes leather upholstery, cruise control, dual zone climate control, heated front seats, keyless start and 17” alloys. The AMG Line (from €39,250) models add sports pedals, 18” alloys and AMG bodystyling.

Engine options for the C-Class include a 1.6-litre petrol (C180), 2.0-litre petrol (C300), 1.6-litre diesel (C200d) and 2.0-litre diesel (C220d), as well as some sportier variants.

The C200 is now powered by a 1.5-litre turbo petrol with 'EQ Boost'
The C200 is now powered by a 1.5-litre turbo petrol with ‘EQ Boost’

The new Mercedes-Benz C200 with EQ Boost

One of the most exciting additions to the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon range is the C200 now with EQ Boost. The new 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine has mild hybrid technology. A 48 volt on-board electrical system with a belt-driven starter/alternator gives the car a boost in performance and efficiency. The power output is 184hp and 0 to 100 kmh is achieved in just 7.7 seconds.

The C200 delivers smooth power through a nine speed automatic gearbox, and is refined at a cruise though gets noisier when you give it a heavy right foot. Over a week of driving the C200 averaged fuel consumption at 8.4l/100km, while motor tax is €390 per year for this model, so a diesel would offer superior economy for high mileage drivers.

Rear legroom in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon
Rear legroom in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon

On the road in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon

My test car featured Dynamic Body Control that alters suspension damping characteristics in three stages. The damping characteristics are tuned more tautly in the two stages “Sport” and “Sport+”. The “Comfort” mode is more comfortably tuned, unevenness is levelled out better and road roar and tyre vibration characteristics are improved.

There’s also a Sports Direct-Steer system for more agile and smooth handling.

On the road, the C-Class Saloon glides along the tarmac effortlessly offering a top class comfortable and serene drive. It offers rear wheel drive agility and is flexible through corners, though the sensations reaching the rim are not overtly sporty. I recently drove the Mercedes-Benz C200 Coupé, but I really like the C200 set-up in the Saloon.

There may be a squeeze on saloons from SUVs but there is likely to always be a market for prestigious, premium saloons like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. This facelift has improved and modernised the interior even more, so that the car still feels current. This is a fine luxury motor for cruising and Mercedes-Benz has successfully packaged the essence of the brand in the C-Class, making it a great entry point into the premium saloon market.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon is a very desirable compact premium saloon
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon is a very desirable compact premium saloon

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Mercedes-Benz C200 Saloon AMG Line Automatic
Price:
€43,600 (Range from €37,710)
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
184 hp
Torque: 280 Nm
0-100km/h:  
7.7 seconds
Top speed: 239 km/h
Fuel economy:
6.0-6.3l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
144g/km
Motor tax: 
€390 per year