With less than a day to go until Christmas and many people in the midst of travelling to be with family and friends, you could be forgiven for questioning the timing of Mercedes announcement about its revised C-Class range. But far from being a brush-under-the-carpet piece of news, there are significant changes coming for the C-Class that should make it even more popular with buyers.

The headline news is fuel efficiency, 2010 has seen some stunning improvements delivered by car makers and Mercedes has been one of the leaders in this with such models as the frankly ridiculous cake-and-eat-it CL63 – which delivers more performance for substantially less fuel consumption. Surely some dark magic is involved in such alchemy..

With this New Generation C-Class, Mercedes are promising up to 31% better fuel consumption from its revised engines largely as a result of its BlueEFFICIENCY technology including ECO start/stop function as standard plus a revised 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed automatic transmission. All the engine variants are now classed as BlueEFFICIENCY units, showing that they are particularly efficient and environmentally compatible in their use of fuel. In addition, the overall ratio of all new powertrain variants has been optimised for better fuel economy.

The most visible changes are the modernised interior and exterior, with its new front and rear sections, a high-resolution colour display screen in the instrument cluster, an elegant new dashboard with grained surface and prominent decorative trim emphasising the premium character of the interior. This interior modernisation is supplemented with a new telematics generation that not only includes completely redesigned displays, but also makes onboard internet access available.

Interior trim and materials receive an upgrade and Mercedes COMMAND system now provides internet access for the first time.

“In terms of drive and protection systems the new-generation C-Class offers the same comfort and safety as our luxury models. High-grade interior features remind one of the new CLS, the C-Class sets completely new standards in its segment with respect to perceived value and quality,” says Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Sales & Marketing Director at Mercedes-Benz Cars.

The front bumper has more expressive and dynamic contours, with the front section being brought in line with the brand’s new design idiom. The radiator grille surround is now more prominent and the central air intake opens out upwards in a V-shape. Both saloon and estate now have a new aluminium bonnet, contributing towards weight reduction and fuel efficiency.

The newly designed clear-lens headlamps have been modified to create a more dynamic and resolute impression, and to act together with the bonnet, radiator grille and bumper to emphasise the V-shape of the front section, all of this adding up to an improved Cd figure of 0.26.

A total of more than 2,000 new components distinguish the latest generation of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class from its predecessor, which now features Mercedes next-generation telematics functions including larger displays, telephone directory transfer, display of SMS messages, wireless music reproduction via Bluetooth, a USB interface in the centre armrest and COMAND Online which provides internet access for the first time.

All the petrol engines now use direct injection, starting out with the 154 bhp C 180 BE, 201 bhp C 250 BE and 302 bhp C 350 BE. The most economical model in the new Mercedes C-Class range is the 168 bhp C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY with its manual six-speed transmission and the standard ECO start/stop function, this splits the C-Class diesel variants which start out with the 134 bhp C 200 CDI BE and climb to the 201 bhp C 250 CDI BE.

Both the C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY and C 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY deliver top-class fuel efficiency figures with a combined diesel consumption of 58.8 mpg, which corresponds to CO2 emissions of 125 grams per kilometre.

The new C-Class will be launched in spring 2011 with deliveries beginning shortly thereafter.

At a glance

BE = BlueEFFICIENCY, * figures for automatic transmission, manual transmission in brackets
Model* Cyl. cc hp
at rpm
Nm from
mph (s)
Top speed
C 180 BE 4/in-line 1796 156
C 250 BE 4/in-line 1796 204
7.2 149 44.1 150-161
C 350 BE V6 3498 306
6.0 155 41.5 159-164
C 200 CDI BE 4/in-line 2143 136
C 220 CDI BE 4/in-line 2143 170
C 250 CDI BE 4/in-line 2143 204
7.1 149 58.9

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Written By

Steve Davies

Steve is an investor, private equity advisor and former Partner at KPMG, PwC and Bain.   Most importantly he's a life-long car enthusiast, mountain biker and active sports enthusiast. He designs and builds technology platforms and is the architect behind Transmission.

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