The C-Class in its current generation was Mercedes-Benz’s top-selling model in its fourth year on sale. Worldwide sales topped 415,000 in 2017. The C-Class is produced at four plants on four continents. These are the lead plant in Bremen (Germany) plus East London (South Africa), Tuscaloosa (USA) and Beijing (China). The Beijing plant also produces the long version of the C-Class Saloon, which is built and sold exclusively in China. China was the biggest market for the C-Class in 2017.
On the new version of the C-Class, the AMG Line features the diamond radiator grille as standard. The front bumpers have been redesigned for all lines. These new designs render the EXCLUSIVE exterior even more expressive and lend the AVANTGARDE exterior an even more dynamic character. The front bumper features either a silver trim strip (standard), a chrome-plated trim strip (in combination with AVANTGARDE exterior) or a three-part chrome trim strip (EXCLUSIVE exterior). In conjunction with the AMG Line exterior the vehicle sports a newly designed AMG front apron and rear diffuser. The rear bumper on the Saloon and Estate has a new lower section; geometry, trim and tailpipe trim vary according to the selected equipment and engine variant.
The C-Class comes with halogen headlamps incorporating LED daytime running lamps as standard. LED High Performance headlamps featuring a particularly purist interior design are optionally available (standard in the UK). For the first time in this model series, MULTIBEAM LED headlamps with ULTRA RANGE high beam are additionally available.
The colour spectrum has been broadened by the addition of Mojave silver metallic and emerald green metallic.
The KEYLESS-GO starting function is standard. The start/stop button comes in a new turbine-look design. The vehicle key also features a new design. Customers have a choice between three variants here: black with high-gloss chrome surround, white with chrome surround or high-gloss white with matt chrome surround.
The Multicontour Seat package is new to the C-Class. With this package, the side bolsters and lumbar support can be individually adjusted by means of an electrically driven pneumatic pump. A massage effect in the lumbar area is provided by air chambers which are inflated and deflated in a pulsing or wave-like motion when the function is activated. The seat’s pneumatic functions are operated via the multimedia system.
The updated C-Class adopts the display concept of the current S-Class, with an optional fully digital instrument display offering the three different display styles “Classic”, “Sport” and “Progressive”.
In conjunction with Audio 20, a high-resolution central display in 16:9 format is available for the first time, with a 10.25-inch screen diagonal and a resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels (standard in conjunction with the optional COMAND system).
The C-Class has touch-sensitive controls mounted on the steering wheel. They respond to swiping motions like the screen of a smartphone. They enable the driver to control the functions of the instrument cluster and of the entire infotainment system without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. The operation of DISTRONIC and cruise control with controls directly on the steering wheel is another new feature.
The new C-Class features the latest driving assistance systems, offering the driver cooperative support and providing a higher standard of active safety than its predecessor. The C-Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. The C-Class also uses map and navigation data for assistance functions. For example, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC as part of the Driving Assistance package is able to support the driver in numerous situations on the basis of map information and predictively adjust the speed e.g. when approaching bends, junctions or roundabouts. Other new developments include intuitively understandable Active Lane Change Assist and Active Emergency Stop Assist as new functions of Active Steering Assist.
The new C-Class comes with extended Active Brake Assist as standard. Depending on the situation, this can help to mitigate the consequences of rear-end collisions with slow-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles ahead, and even with crossing pedestrians and cyclists, or prevent them altogether.
The optionally available MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are new to the C-Class. Each headlamp incorporates 84 individually controllable LEDs. These allow extremely quick and precise, electronically controlled adjustment of the headlamps to suit the current traffic situation.
New functions in comparison to the previously available LED Intelligent Light System are junction light, roundabout light, city light and bad-weather light.
ENERGIZING comfort control (optional) links various comfort systems in the vehicle. It systematically uses the functions of the climate control system (including fragrancing) and the seats (heater, ventilation, massage) as well as lighting and musical moods, and enables a specific wellness set-up tailored to the mood and need of the customer.
ENERGIZING comfort control also incorporates ambience lighting, which is harmoniously tailored to each of the individual screen designs. With 64 colours, the optional extended ambience lighting offers a wealth of individual settings.
The C-Class comes as standard with the Audio 20 multimedia system featuring two USB ports, an SD card reader, Bluetooth connection and media interface.
The latest-generation COMAND Online system (option) boasts fast 3D hard-disc navigation with topographic map display, photo-realistic 3D buildings and 3D map rotations. Comprehensive information is displayed on the navigation map: in addition to real-time traffic density information it can e.g. include Car-to-X warning messages, the weather, filling stations including current fuel prices and free parking spaces.
With the Concierge service (available as a subscription service), Mercedes me connects customers have a host of individual services at their disposal: from making restaurant reservations and obtaining tips about tourist routes, to gathering information on cultural or sporting events and sending navigation destinations directly to the vehicle.
Mobile devices corresponding to the Qi standard can be charged while on the move with the optional wireless charging system. The charging surface in the stowage tray at the front of the centre console is also suitable for large smartphones. This function also includes multifunction telephony, which additionally pairs the smartphone with the vehicle’s exterior aerial. This equips the vehicle for the best possible telephone connections and data transfer.
An additional sound system is now optionally available. With nine speakers and an output of 225 W (2 x Frontbass with 50 W, remaining five channels each with 25 W), it is positioned between the standard sound system and the Burmester surround sound system.
UK pricing and specification will be revealed at the end of March, with first cars arriving from August 2018.