Ever since their inception, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the BMW 3 Series have been neck-and-neck to one another, putting their fight as one of the most historic battles between two sedans in the history of automobiles.
As for us automobile journalists, things have been quite easy till this date. You see, the earlier iterations of the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, while being closely matched with one another, had their own trademarks. The Beemer is known for its exceptional driving dynamics while the Mercedes being lauded for its comfort and opulence.
But since then, both manufacturers have worked hard in making their luxury saloons a perfect composition. This led to BMW taking a huge leap with the current-gen 3 Series and making it substantially luxurious, while Mercedes has seemingly worked upon the driving dynamics and sportier intentions of the C-Class. As a result, automakers have made it hard for us journos to decide which of these cars to give the crown.
Sufficed to say, it is still the BMW that still enjoys carving into corners, but it now comes with a very appreciable rear seat. Since we picked the diesel-powered saloons for our test, the 320d feels a bit underwhelmed in comparison to the C300d, which looks absolutely beautiful.
So, it’s the C300d that took us with its enormous power and torque (we’ll get to the numbers in a bit) and its overwhelming power delivery. It was also the first in this comparison to be certified for the BS-VI emission standards, which only means the BMW will only receive a price hike when it does so. Therefore, it like us, you also appreciate the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (for only the diesel versions, that is), here’s a complete model overview.
Despite the fact that the Mercedes-Benz C-Class first made its entry in 2014, and was only given a facelift in 2018, the Merc looks fresh and beautiful, especially in the top-spec C300d AMG Line trim. Up-front, it gets a huge, sporty two-bar grille that has the big star in the middle. The distinctive LED Multibeam headlamps look modern, and the front bumper is quite sharp. The mildly raised bonnet and the sharp line in the middle give the C-Class a chunky look at the front. Along the side, there are quite a couple of creases and curves that will remind you of its bigger sibling, the S-Class.
As for its overall dimensions, the baby S-Class measures 4,686mm in length, 1,810mm in width, and 1,442mm in height. It has a wheelbase of 2,840mm and a ground clearance of 157mm. The base-spec variant tips the scale at 1,655kgs. Other than that, it has a boot space capacity of 480-litres and a fuel tank capacity of 66-litres.
Under the hood, the Mercedes comes with two engine-gearbox combinations. To keep things simple, we won’t discuss the C 63 S AMG variant of the C-Class throughout this blog, which is another beast in its own right. First, of course, is a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol, which makes 181bhp and 280Nm of torque. It comes mated to a 9-speed automatic gearbox.
As for the diesel, there is only one powertrain. It is the company’s 2.0-litre CDI engine, which is good for 192bhp and 400Nm of torque in the lower-spec variants. The C300d AMG Line variant, which is powered by the same engine, features the same engine in a different tuning, producing 241bhp and 500Nm of torque. Regardless of the tuning, the diesel engine, too, comes mated to a 9-speed automatic gearbox as a sole fit. Moreover, as of early-2020, the diesel engine meets the stringent BS-VI emission norms, while the petrol engine is yet to be updated to meet the stricter emission standards.
Right from the get-go, the C300 d feels extremely powerful even during city driving, thanks to the massive 500Nm of torque. The throttle response is almost instant, and there’s virtually no turbo lag.
Where the Merc simply doesn’t impress is the ARAI-rated fuel efficiency. While the petrol-automatic combination, which delivers 11.9km/l, seems just about average for a car this size, the diesel-automatic is rated at 12.06km/l, which is easier on the lower side given its aerodynamic shape.
Before we hop onto the features, let’s discuss the interiors a bit. From the moment you step inside, the Merc impresses right away with detail and finesse. Everything from the contours of the seats to the stitching and other highlights really livens up the cabin. Factor in the high-rent metal finished switchgear, the beautiful leather wrap on the steering wheel, and piano black trim elements, and you know that you’re in the presence of a very high-end machine. In fact, the seats have so much padding that it reduces the room in the back of the Mercedes.
As for the equipment, the C300d gets many nice-to-have features, which includes memory front seats, an electronically adjustable steering wheel, dual-panel sunroof, rear-seat sun blinds and multibeam headlights that don’t dazzle oncoming traffic.
The C-Class, as of early-2020, comes in six shades, namely, Polar White, Mojave Silver, Obsidian Black, Selenite Grey, Cavansite Blue, and Designo Hyacinth Red. While all the colours suit the C-Class exceptionally well, it’s the Mojave Silver – the one from our comparison test – that we feel suits the aerodynamic shape of the C-Class very well.
All the details regarding the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, namely, the engine, specifications, variant wise equipment, colours, dimensions, interiors, and exterior details are extensively covered in the brochure.
Variants and Prices
As of early-2020, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is available in five variants, two in the petrol-automatic configuration, and three in the diesel-automatic configuration. The prices start at Rs. 40.9 lakhs for the C200 Prime variant going all the way to Rs. 51.25 lakhs for the C300d AMG Line variant. For the enthusiasts, there is also a C 63 S AMG variant, which is priced at a whopping Rs. 1.39 crores (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi). For the variant-wise on-road prices, visit us at autoX.
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