The Mercedes Benz C was restyled a little over a year ago. Broadly speaking, it took up several technologies (mostly optional) introduced by its big sister, the Classe S. These include Digital Light, the large central infotainment screen and a driver assistance package including adaptive cruise control with stop & go function, active lane keeping assistance with overtaking assistance , Active Blind Spot Control, etc.
Our test model (AMG Line) was equipped with cognac/black leather sports seats. Magnificent from an aesthetic point of view, they also provide good support but, depending on the settings selected, can also complicate access on board because of their generous side bolsters.
Overall, the dashboard presents superbly well. The digital instrumentation is of course customizable, but inevitably the eye is drawn to the large central screen giving access to the infotainment system and the various settings. The menus are clear and you can navigate quickly (possibly without taking your hands off the steering wheel thanks to specially provided touch zones), as intuitiveness seems to have been at the heart of the designers’ concerns. Another positive point, the storage spaces are numerous and vast, especially those integrated into the central console, just as the soundproofing is absolutely remarkable, as is the perceived quality, both to the eye and to the touch. On the other hand, the rear wiper control (on the indicator stalk) is really not practical to use.
On the road
With the sports chassis linked to the AMG Line finish, the damping comfort is firm but not excessively so. The reactions remain progressive and we are never heckled. As for the vibration balance, it did not fail to surprise us with its rubbery side. Naturally, the direction clearly favors comfort and ease of driving, understand by this that the assistance settings are rather calm, in other words, that it does not try to overstate the liveliness of the front axle ( which however does not really lack potential).
Several driving modes are available. We have almost exclusively used the Eco mode as it has been intelligently developed, whether for the variable recovery of energy during braking (the car slows down more or less strongly depending on the traffic, the terrain or the limitations of speed), eco-driving assistance (e.g. incentive to release the accelerator when approaching a crossroads) or for the freewheel function coupled with stopping the engine (possibility of moving without losing too much speed and without consuming a single drop of fuel). Thanks to an alternator-starter also offering an additional 20 hp and 200 Nm, the stop-start phases of the engine go completely unnoticed, which is also very appreciable in traffic jams. That said, it has happened that the restart response time seems too long to us, especially when you want to engage quickly on the road.
On a daily basis, the Diesel entry-level 200 d (163 hp – 380 Nm) proved to be clearly sufficient. It must also be said that it is associated with the excellent “in-house” 9-speed automatic transmission, and that this combination is remarkable. On the highway at 120 km/h, the 4-cylinder turns at less than 1500 rpm, which necessarily benefits consumption. In these conditions, we were able to achieve an average of 4.3 l/100 km!
Throughout our test, with a lot of small trips, the overall average was 5.3 l/100 km. This represents a range of more than 1,100 km without depleting the reserve and… recoverable at the pump in less than 5 minutes!
Obviously, at 50,900 € including tax, this break is not within the reach of all budgets (ours was 62,787 €). But hey, it’s a Mercedesand as is the case for all cars with the star, we know that the residual value remains higher than that of models from general brands.
Very pleasant, functional and remarkably sober, this Mercedes station wagon is there to remind us how much the diesel engine can still be justified today, at least for large rollers. Obviously, the politicians are no longer in his favour, but it would be a shame to deprive oneself of it… while there is still time.