At Mercedes, design revolutions don’t happen in every generation, certainly not twice in one generation! But with the W204, Merc has done exactly that. The new L-shaped
headlamps mould aggression into an impressive, sleek form. LED-turn indicators are a must-have these days and you get a strip that spans the entire width of the headlamp at the bottom.
Immediately noticeable is the new bumper that borrows design cues from the E-class. A fine crease runs under each headlight and tips down into the new bumper.
A wide, purposeful air-dam takes centre stage. The LED daytime running lights look great too. Look further on and you can see more bits borrowed from the E-class — the new, bigger rear-view mirrors and the 17-inch wheels with 225/45-R17 rubber. The tail lamps have been tweaked, with LEDs sharpening the C’s appeal.
It also has an increased use of aluminium, saving 9.2 kg on the bonnet and more on the front wings and the doors. Mercedes has been very generous with the interiors. The sturdy dash design has been supplanted by what looks like a miniaturised E-class dash. Car settings like ESP control and Park Assist can be controlled from here. A striking four-spoke steering wheel with special inserts at the nine and three positions adds to the cabin’s youthfulness.
The C200 CGI’s 1.8-litre turbocharged, direct-injection motor felt sprightlier than expected. The C-class now uses the latest 7G-Tronic Plus version as its automatic gearbox. The wonderfully-fluid hydraulic steering offers a magical blend of feedback and low effort but what makes it special is the linear way it weights up. The suspension, like every Merc, offers sublime ride quality and remains flat even at higher speed.
Price: R 29–35 lakh
(est, ex-showroom Delhi)
Top speed: 235 kph
Kerb weight: 1,585 kg
Engine layout: 4 cyls, in-line, 1,796cc, turbo-petrol
Installation Front: Longitudinal
Power: 186 bhp at 5,600 rpm
Torque: 28.8 kgm at 2,400-4,000rpm
Compression ratio: 9.3:1
Suspension (f/r) MacPherson strut/ Multi-link
Gearbox: 7-speed, automatic
Fuel tank: 66 litres
Brakes (f/r): Vented discs/discs
Tyres (f/r): 225/45-R17