The New Mercedes Benz C Class. Prestige meets sportiness and agility

Article written by Naresh Maharaj

Has the Baby Merc, as it has been affectionately known, grown-up? Members of the media were invited to Cape Town to find out exactly what the all-new C Class was all about. And judging by the many applauses, we were certainly not disappointed. I discovered a new kind of comfort and besides the sleek styling, the attention grabber inside was the large central display screen that controls virtually everything with the C Class. A remarkable user experience.

Night into Day. Really?

The new C-Class turns “night into day” with the LED High-Performance headlamps equipped as standard. A new Digital Light system with a resolution of 2.6 million pixels is available optionally. Improved agility and stability are available via the optional rear-axle steering and the accompanying, more direct steering ratio at the front axle.

A new type of comfort zone is here to challenge the status quo. The 6th generation C-Class boasts luxurious comfort, minimalist design, and innovative assistance systems. There’s no stopping the global success story that is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Since its introduction in 1982, with the launch of the so-called ‘Baby Benz’ 190, more than 10.5 million C-Class vehicles have been sold in more than 100 markets around the world.

Out of Africa for the world

The new C-Class is manufactured in Mercedes-Benz Cars production plants in Bremen, Beijing, and East London. R13 billion has already been invested in numerous upgrades at the East London plant in preparation for the production of the new model, providing a major boost to the local automotive industry. Mark Raine, President of Mercedes-Benz Cars and Co-CEO of Mercedes-Benz South Africa says the fact that East London is one of three global manufacturing plants for the new C-Class is an unparalleled success story for the local industry.

Sporty and elegant

The new C-Class already looks to be in motion at a standstill with its dynamic proportions, thanks to the combination of short front overhang, long wheelbase, and rear overhang. 

The sporty bonnet with power domes accentuates this urge of forward motion. The designers have reduced lines to a minimum, which accentuates the so-called catwalk line or shoulder line even more. 

Lights, Camera, Action!

The new C-Class is equipped with LED High-Performance headlamps as standard. DIGITAL LIGHT has a light module with three extremely powerful LEDs in each headlamp, whose light is refracted and directed by 1.3 million micro-mirrors. The resolution is, therefore, more than 2.6 million pixels per vehicle. Wow! With these dynamics and precision, this intelligent system creates virtually endless possibilities for high-resolution light distribution which optimally adjusts to the surrounding conditions. 

However, the deciding factor is not only the technology in the headlamp but rather the digital intelligence behind it. On-board cameras and sensor systems detect other road users. 

Roll with it!

The Avant-garde Line, which is a market standard, is equipped with an 18inch wheel, with further options available in 18inch or 19inch configurations. The optional AMG line is equipped with a 19inch wheel as a standard, with an additional option available in19inch configuration.

Float like a butterfly

One of the added feature is a high-resolution LCD screen. It is free-standing and appears to float in front of the wing profile and the expanse of trim. This sets the driver displays apart from traditional cockpits with classic round dials. You have a choice between the standard 10.25-inch (26.0 cm) or an optional 12.3-inch (31.2 cm) version. The touchscreen appears to float above the expanse of trim. 

Like the dashboard, the screen is slightly tilted towards the driver. The central display has a screen diagonal of 11.9 inches or 30.2 cm as a market standard. The driver display and media display offer a holistic, aesthetic experience. The look of the screens can be individualised with three display styles (Discreet, Sporty, Classic) and three modes (Navigation, Assistance, Service). In “Sporty”, for example, the colour red is predominant and the central rev counter has a dynamic design.

Rear-axle steering: more agile and dynamic

The new C-Class is especially agile and stable with the optional rear-axle steering and the accompanying, more direct steering ratio at the front axle. The steering angle at the rear axle is 2.5 degrees. This reduces the turning circle by 43 centimetres to 10.64 meters. It makes parking into a side bay that much easier. The driver also needs fewer turns of the steering wheel for full lock. With rear-axle steering, and depending on the drive concept, this requires 2.1 instead of 2.35 turns (rear-wheel drive with comfort steering. 


It’s a systematic electrification of the modern four-cylinder engines. Thanks to this electrification and intelligent downsizing, the new C-Class sets new standards in efficiency. The engine range has only four-cylinder units from the current modular FAME (Family of Modular Engines) Mercedes-Benz engine family. The engine is quieter and more efficient and is mated to a super-efficient 9 speed gearbox. 

“The new C-Class is a sporty interpretation of modern luxury. It combines dynamic proportions with accentuated design lines and a modern look. I am entirely confident that the new C-Class will excite existing customers and future fans with its wide range of high-tech and superior features derived from the flagship S-Class,” said Raine.


C 200 AMG Line – R849, 000.

C220 d – R908, 500

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