Elegant, technological, powerful and luxurious. No, we are not talking about the S-Class, but the new one Mercedes-Benz Classe C300 d Mild Hybrid fifth generation (code W206) which debuted on the market in mid-2021.
For almost thirty years the Teutonic sedan has been the reference point among the D segment but this new model, which in less than two years has managed to inherit most of the technologies present on the top of the S-Class range, has brought the reference benchmark to really high peaks thanks to an amazing tech sector, fine finishes, low fuel consumption and satisfying driving pleasure.
We drove there Variant Mild Hybrid since 265 CV for over 2,000 km, thoroughly testing its qualities of cruiser because highway and being truly surprised at how comfortable this sedan is even on the most demanding roads.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class: elegant but with a touch of sportiness
The fifth generation of Class C has matured in all respectsthe dimensions have grown and the design of the car has reached a truly enviable refinement.
The lines are clean and soft but thanks to the AMG trim there is a touch of sportiness that fits perfectly without being exaggerated. We find a rear diffuser, a front blade and gods 19-inch wheels with an iconic design with low shoulder rubber and a lower set-up compared to the 9 mm already eroded by the fourth generation.
All this gives the German sedan a simple but elegant silhouette, able to capture the gaze of many passers-by thanks to some prominent elements such as the bonnet with ribs, the blade side skirts and the Digital Light optical groups. The new C-Class is proof that you don’t need extreme solutions, frills or exaggerated lines to achieve a sporty and elegant look, the smooth but muscular design – with clear references to the E and S Class – of this car manages at the same time to be modern and to maintain the class that has always distinguished this family.
As we said, the dimensions have also grown considerably compared to the W205: the length of the car is now 4.7 meters (+7 cm and almost +30 cm compared to the 1993 W202!), The width is 1.82 meters (+10 mm) and the ground clearance has decreased by a generous centimeter, which reduces aerodynamic friction but it sometimes creates some problems on bumps and ramps.
The luggage compartment capacity is also more than remarkable: don’t be fooled by the sedan look, there are 455 liters under the boot lidmore than enough to tackle long journeys and trips out of town.
The interiors of the new C-Class are those that most represent the clear evolution compared to the previous generation, you are welcomed in a refined, refined and futuristic environment.
The central area is dominated by the massive 12.3-inch screen on which the MBUX 2 operating system is installed with integrated voice commands “Hey Mercedes” and over-the-air updates, from there you can manage practically every function of the car since the physical buttons from the console have completely disappeared, a technical choice derived from the implementation of on-board AI.
In their place we find a tunnel in glossy black plastic, the same material continues throughout the lower part of the dashboard – with a texture chosen by the customer – and is perhaps the only negative note of the interior. While overall it is wrapped in fine leather and aluminum inserts, the use of a lot of plastic on the dashboard is slightly out of place, as well as filling up with “fingerprints” and getting scratched really quickly.
Behind the leather steering wheel with haptic controls there is an 11.9-inch screen that acts as a dashboard and can be controlled directly from the keypad on the spokes. The user interface has a lot of customizations and you quickly get used to its functions, just a pity that in “Discreet” mode the travel information is missing (still visible on the larger screen on the right).
Overall it is impossible not to fall in love with the interior of the new C-Classthe alternation of different materials and the totally customizable ambient lighting create a super premium effect, if you then choose some extra options such as the Burmester stereo system and the panoramic roof then you will feel almost on board the flagship of the star logo.
Driving and consumption of the Mercedes-Benz C300 class d
Anyone who says diesel is dead has probably never driven a latest generation Mercedes; it is true, we are running out of this type of engine but the numbers speak for themselves and perhaps after reading what follows you might even change your mind.
The soul of this car is the Mercedes OM654M 4-cylinder 2 liters able to deliver 265 hp and 550 Nm of torque in addition to other 22 HP and 200 Nm extra given by the 48 V hybrid system. The engine is part of a family that also sees two variants – 200d and 220d Mild Hybrid – less powerful with 163 and 200 HP, but this engine in particular has received a special treatment that allows it to reach very high torque values while keeping fuel consumption. on almost ridiculous levels. The two turbos, for example, are both with variable geometry, there is a new crankshaft, pistons with sodium cooling channels – to reduce temperatures – and the pressure of the injectors has been increased by as much as 200 bar.
A smooth delivery is obtained, constant and well distributed throughout the rev counterwith the bulk of the torque being around 2,000 rpm and the automatic gearbox 9GTRONiC a 9 rapporti it is very soft and almost imperceptible, in Comfort mode – for us the absolute best on this machine – it is always ready and never hesitates.
The weight of the car, with full and standard load, is close to 2 tons but despite this the response by pressing the right pedal is lightning-fast, the 0-100, to give an example, is covered in just 5.8 seconds (sports car values !) and you can easily reach one self-limited top speed of 250 km / h.
The highway is its natural environment, the suspension setup allows the C 300d excellent bump absorption despite there are 19-inch rims in play, the soundproofing is excellent, the comfort on the seats magnificent.
We covered the 360 km that separated us from the Enzo and Dino Ferrari circuit in Imola for the Clio Cup (aboard the Clio Cup V) totally pampered by this car and its adaptive Cruise Control with Augmented Reality vision on the road directions screen. The consumption? The on-board computer sentenced a 5.4 liters per 100 km, values well over 18 km per liter and therefore a concrete possibility of doing more than 1,200 km with a single tank of diesel. However, there is a hidden side of the C 300d on which we want to make a note, a character that not everyone liked but that we in the editorial office loved from the first moment.
As mentioned, this model is devoted almost exclusively to comfort, however the rear-wheel drive, the immense torque of the diesel and the sedan body-style do not make it forget the tradition and when it’s fun this car doesn’t hold back.
We reiterate that it is not a sports car, it was born and should be exploited for something else, but taking advantage of the magnificent streets around Imola and a slimy asphalt we realized that this C-Class stuffed with technology he still wants to queue up and be mistreated – gracefully – on scenic roads.
At first glance the rear end seems to float but in reality it helps to close the curves as if it were a real sports car while – although the mass is not exactly negligible – it almost never mentions understeer.
The low center of gravity and the lowered suspension then do the rest, in a world dominated by SUVs it is a pleasure that there are still cars capable of giving glimpses of pleasant driving in the right conditions.
The the new C-Class 300d Mild Hybrid is a fantastic vehicleit is no secret that it has won the unanimous approval of practically the entire international press.
So we too join the chorus and we can only praise the work done by the Stuttgart technicians, the final product is incredibly well cared for in every detail, rich in technology and luxurious to the point of realizing how huge the gap between fourth and fifth is. C-Class generation
Il starting price for the model we tested is 56,300 euros – which become 58,100 in the 4Matic variant – but the list of options is really long and the price rises not a little by adding essential accessories.
Let’s give you a tangible example: our test car was full optional and equipped with the Premium Pro package which includes, among other things, the AMG Line trim, the lowered suspension, the panoramic roof, the sports suspension and heat-insulating glass, this already brings the price tag to 63,700 euros, to which must be added 915 euros of AMG rims and 518 euros for Digital Light headlights.
The two-tone leather interior is another 2,180 euros, the Driving Assistance Package Plus 2,415 euros, the Burmester audio system 1,240 euros and finally, adding a few other gems, you get to a finished price of about 73,000 euros.
Perhaps not a “simple” price considering the gap between the starting and final price but we can guarantee you that this car is worth every penny. [Fotografie di Edoardo Curioni @notedocurio7]