The newly launched 2015 Mercedes C Class 220 is Mercedes' second offering in the C Class segment. The C 200, launched last year, was only offered in the Petrol version, but that was a big hit.
And a large segment of customers were waiting for this baby Merc to be launched with a Diesel engine. The Diesel engine has been launched in two variants: Style and Avantgarde, with the Style being the lower of the two variants.
This baby Merc takes design inspiration from the uber luxurious S Class and the clean and fluid design reflects the same. The C Class sports striking looks and comes out a winner in the segment against competitors like the Audi A4 and the BMW 3 series.
While the earlier petrol version sports the LED high performance headlamps, the same has been replaced by LED Intelligent light system with variable light distribution, active light distribution, active light function, country and motorway modes as well as corner light function, enhanced fog light dynamic beam control and a blue welcome light function in the diesel variants. The LED license plate illumination and LED rear lights is a standard across all variants.
The Style variant sports Panaromic sliding sunroof, where the Avantgarde variant has an electric sliding sunroof.
Let's take a look at what differentiates the two variants , Style and Avantgarde from the exterior. The Style version has the top surrounding of the side windows in matt black where the Avantgarde has it in polished aluminum.
The Avantgarde has a lot of additional chrome finishes in places such as the door sill, exhaust system with non visible exhaust tailpipes and the radiator grille with the usual integrated Star emblem with two louvres in Matt iridium Silver comes with a chrome insert where the same is not there in the Style.
Features such as beltline trim in polished aluminum, chrome handle strip on bootlid, underbody protection and tinted green glass is a standard across all variants.
The interiors, at a glance give off a very luxurious feeling with the wood and chrome finishing. Merc has used a high gloss brown line structure lime wood in the Avantgarde, whereas a black piano lacquer finish is used in the Style. However, this is a step down from the walnut wood trim used in the C200 Petrol range. The upholstery comes in ARTICO leather and has two options of black / black or black / silk beige.
Starting from the front, the 3 spoke steering wheel has controls for audio and onboard settings. The entertainment console has an 17.78 cm high resolution multimedia screen which is easy to navigate. We will take a detailed look at the onboard entertainment a bit later. But coming back to interior design, lets again put emphasis on the differentiating factors between the two variants. The Avantgarde has ambient lighting with three color options, analogue clock in the dashboard, and electric sunblind for the rear window, where the same are not available in the Style.
Fit and finish is top of the range with emphasis on minute details like the sliver chrome finish on the air vent adjustment knobs. Front seats have "Cobra look" and are electrically adjustable. The rear seats has a 40/20/40 split, with double cup holders and stowage compartment in the armrest. The cabin has sufficient space for storing bottles and other knickknacks as a whole.
The steering column is also manually adjustable for height and reach. An illuminated glove compartment, lighting of footwells, door handle recesses, rear reading lights and courtesy lights in all doors add to the overall bathing in luxury feel.
Comfort, Convenience, Entertainment and Safety
Living upto the Mercedes name the C Class's diesel offering is high comfort and convenience.The front and rear passenger is offered a 4 way lumbar support. Automatic Climate Contol with two inbuilt zones and reversing camera are few of the features which enhance the superiority of this car.
Safety measures such as kneebag for drivers, windowbags, ATTENTION ASSIST to detect drowsiness of the dirver are the few noteworthy features apart from the regular safety features which are present across all variants. Several measures are taken to avoid accidents but just in case an accident does occur, Mercedes has a safety feature to protect the occupants post the event also.
The NECK-PRO® head restraints for the driver and front passenger can be activated in a rear impact: a spring mechanism moves the head restraints forwards and upwards; the head can thus be supported earlier and the strain on the spine can be reduced.
It also includes the automatic engine cut-off or the activation of the hazard warning lamps and the emergency interior lighting. The central locking also opens automatically, and crash joints between the door and the wing make it easier to open the doors after an accident.
The Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus controls the light to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic while still ensuring that the road remains illuminated perfectly.
Coming to the entertainment unit in the car, it has 2 USB ports in the center armrest for external devices and storage media. Bluetooth interface with HD voice capaple hands free function, cover flow and cover art for displaying album covers, SMS display function, internet capability and whew … as if all this is not enough, it also has a Garmin MAP pilot for navigation. The touchpad with multitouch sensor system is an integral component of the Infotainment system with GARMIN® MAP PILOT navigation (3D visualization). One or two gestures with your fingers – a quick swipe or splay – are all it needs to understand what you want. It can even decipher the letters and numbers traced on the touchpad. Incidentally, the touchpad in the new C-Class is the first ever to be able to control all the functions of an infotainment system based on gestures alone.
Engine, Ride and Performance
The C220 is fitted with 2143 cc inline 4 cylinder common-rail direct injection system diesel engine which produce a maximum output of 125 KW and a peak torque of 400 Nm.
7-speed automatic transmission allow a wide ratio spread with low engine speed increments between the individual gears. The result: quick, smooth and fuel-saving gear changes every time. Skipping individual
gears allows multiple downshifts for powerful, fast bursts of speed.
At a touch of the AGILITY SELECT feature, drivers can choose between comfortable, sporty, particularly sporty and efficient driving styles, or their own individually defined style. Parameters such as the engine, transmission and steering characteristics are adjusted according to the selected transmission mode. 5 transmission mode can be selected via AGILITY SELECT: "Economy", "Comfort", "Sport", "Sport +" or "Individual"
• Standard setting "Comfort": well-balanced and fuel-efficient
• "Eco" mode: keeping fuel consumption as low as possible
• "Sport" mode: added agility and dynamism thanks to a more direct characteristic steering curve, spontaneous throttle response and modified shift points
• "Sport +" mode: further enhanced sportiness and drive system are even more dynamically tuned
• "Individual" mode: individual parameters can be varied as required, using the Controller and the configuration menu in the head unit
• Short-term M mode after using the steering-wheel gearshift paddles: automatic change back from "Manual" into the selected selected AGILITY SELECT transmission mode after a defined period of time
• Confirmation of the selection made is displayed in both the instrument cluster and the head unit
The Merc C220 is a good drive for the cities as well as the highways. The higher ground clearance with taller springs gives a better ride quality.
The Mercedes C220 Style is priced at Rs. 32.90 lacs (ex-showroom Delhi) while the Avantgarde is priced at Rs.42.90 lacs (ex-showroom Delhi). Inspite of being so pricey, once you experience the luxury on offer, you will appreciate the price paid. The car is loaded to the gills with features and is comparable to the next higher trim available. And the drool worthy looks are the icing on the cake.