A few weeks before the official launch, colleagues from Auto Motor und sport participated from the passenger position in the first test drive with the new Mercedes C-Class W206.

Photo: Auto motor und sport 

In the case of the W205 generation, less than 10% of buyers ordered the Airmatic air suspension and for this reason Mercedes will no longer offer it to the new generation W206. The 6-cylinder engines will also disappear due to the emission norms but also the star on the hood.

Until the premiere at the end of February, the new Mercedes C-Class W206 still appears camouflaged in the front and rear, but it is still noticeable that it is an imposing car, although the length has remained unchanged, of 4.75 meters. In contrast, the wheelbase increased by 25 mm to 2865 mm.

The new Mercedes C-Class has many similarities to the luxury limousine S-Class W223 but looks more compact and sportier. As a design detail, the dome on the hood stands out, as if it wants to show that there are many novelties under the hood. From the side you can see the belt line that connects the LED headlights with the taillights also with LED. The model is an AMG package version with a matte black radiator grille.

Test team leader Cristoph Kuhner invited the auto motor und sport editor in the passenger seat for first impressions. Kuhner knows the car well because he drove and supervised the 4 million-kilometer test drives with C-Class prototype.

The first test drive took place with a C300 4Matic equipped with the new M254 2-liter turbo engine with 4 cylinders  that develops 258 HP, mated with a 48V mild hybrid system and with a 15 kW integrated starter generator in the 9 speed automatic gearbox. In fact, all engines in the new C-Class range will have a 48V mild hybrid system.
The mild hybrid system works very refined and the transition from the electric motor to the thermal one is extremely smooth.

co driver test drive Mercedes C-Class W206

Only 4-cylinder engines

The range will start with the 1.5-liter four-cylinder petrol engine that will develop 170 HP (C 180) or 204 HP (C 200) both with mild hybrid system.

Mercedes is not giving up diesel, which is still in high demand in Germany and Europe. A quarter of the more than 10 million Mercedes C-Class W201-205 were sold on the domestic market.
Therefore, the Mercedes C-Class will continue to be available with the excellent OM654 diesel in various power levels but also in the Plug-In Hybrid diesel C 300 de version that will be launched towards the end of the year.

A novelty is the overboost function for gasoline engines that offers in the short term of 30-40 seconds an extra 20 kW.

Even with the overboost function coupled, the traction and stability are impressive because the test model is equipped with all-wheel drive, sports suspension but also the new integral steering taken from the S-Class.

As we announced, AMG C43 e and C 63 e will also have electrified 4-cylinder engines.

More spacious interior

Mercedes says the interior width is larger, and the kneeroom in the rear has increased by 35 mm. The interior looks more airy because there is a little more shoulder space in the rear. The front seats are better configured and the new large monitor embedded in the center console with the latest version of the MBUX system is very similar to the Mercedes S-Class W223 layout. However, Mercedes did not allow the dashboard to be photographed.

And the ergonomics are similar to that of the S-Class. There will be two screens for the multimedia system: a basic one with a 9-inch diagonal and an optional 11.9-inch screen similar to the S-Class.
As with the S-Class, the air conditioning menu is displayed at the bottom of the screen and is accessible at all times regardless of the menu displayed.

Then, below the display is a button bar from which you can select the driving modes, the volume of the audio system or the parking assistant. A fingerprint sensor is also housed here. The LED headlamps will be standard across the range.