2018 Mercedes C-Class review
Our Rating

4/5

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class review

In the competitive executive saloon segment, the C-Class is a key rival for Audi and BMW. We get behind the wheel.

Introduction

The C-Class is a consistently popular model in the Mercedes line-up and is part of one of the most competitive sectors in the British car market.

With the recently updated C-Class we have here, Mercedes has ensured the compact saloon can keep up with rivals from Audi and BMW, while also employing new technology.

Offering plenty of comfort, space and equipment options, 46,000 units were registered here last year alone – showing how important it is to the German brand’s interests in the UK.

But can the 2018 update improve the popularity of the C-Class even further? We take a look…

2018 Mercedes C-Class

Performance

We got behind the wheel of the C200 version, which uses a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine alongside the EQ Boost 48V electrical system that helps to use less fuel and reduce emissions. The powertrain develops a total of 196bhp and is paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive.

With that setup, the car can get from 0-60mph in 7.9 seconds and go on to a top speed of 145mph. The engine is usually quiet when cruising around, especially in town – but it can sound strained under heavier acceleration.

2018 Mercedes C-Class

Ride & Handling

In most circumstances, the C-Class is refined and well-balanced – making it perfect for driving longer distances on motorways or down a twisty B-road. Even if the suspension is tuned on the firmer side, it comes with great damping to soak up the bumps, so you won’t be uncomfortable for long stretches behind the wheel.

The steering allows you to accurately place the car – even if there is next to no feel from the electric steering rack – and the C200 feels easy to drive around town and narrower roads.

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2018 Mercedes C-Class

Interior & Equipment

When stepping inside the new C-Class, your eyes will instantly be drawn to the huge widescreen infotainment system that dominates the dashboard and gives a distinctly modern feel to the cabin. The dual-screen setup incorporates the instrumentation dials and the infotainment touchscreen, and helps enhance the finish – which comes with only a few cheap plastics here and there.

Seats in both rows are supportive and feel well-padded, while rear legroom is good enough for six-footers to sit in comfort. Boot space is set at 435 litres and comes with 40:20:40 split rear seats to allow for extra space when folded flat.

In the AMG Line trim we tested the C-Class, it came with 18-inch grey alloy wheels, an AMG bodykit, a sports braking system, sports suspension, leather sports seats and upholstery, an AMG sports steering wheel with silver gear shift paddles and wood dashboard and console trim paired to metal detailing. Our test car also came with the full connectivity pack to allow for smartphone connection and satellite navigation. Parking sensors were also fitted.

The extras added came to £2,260 – with most of that spent on the metallic red paint which was a £895 option. Many of those were cosmetic upgrades, so there isn’t much need to add to the standard spec of C-Class AMG Line models.

2018 Mercedes C-Class

Cost

The C200 AMG Line starts from £35,405, which when compared to similar Audi and BMW is quite well-priced. With the extras fitted, our test car was priced at £37,665, with Mercedes offering customers plenty of extras and packages to add for further comfort and practicality.

With the electrified petrol powertrain, the C200 can achieve a claimed 53.3mpg and 148g/km CO2, which when put up against the most popular C-Class power option – the diesel 220d – is only slightly down in terms of fuel usage, helping the petrol make more sense. That means running costs won’t be that bad, even when undertaking longer journeys.

2018 Mercedes C-Class

Verdict

As you would expect from a Mercedes saloon, the updated C-Class is comfortable over extended journeys while being well-finished and offering a special feel that you would want from an executive saloon. Even though it is less efficient than the diesel alternative, the C200 can be a decent option in the executive saloon segment for you to go for. If you’re really can’t afford to go for the petrol, we’d recommend sticking with a diesel unit, but the upgraded C-Class continues to provide an enjoyable drive with refined feel.

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