MERCEDES-BENZ HAS launched the updated C-Class range in Australia today, which boasts tweaked aesthetics, two new fuel-efficient engines and an all-new model.
Standard equipment levels have also been improved, with the Federal Government’s recent lowering of import duty allowing Mercedes to add more equipment without raising sticker pricing
Mercedes has also broadened the range of C-Class offerings for 2010, adding the new C250 CGI to the line-up.
The same 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine used by the C250 CGI also sees service in the C200 CGI, which replaces the outgoing C200 Kompressor.
Sheetmetal and bumpers for the 2010 W204 C-Class are unchanged, but new LED daytime running lamps differentiate the updated C-Class range from previous model years.
The new LED lights bisect the side air intakes of the front bumper, and make the C-Class the fourth locally-delivered Benz model (after the E-Class, S-Class and GL-Class), to sport LED daytime running lights.
However, C-Class variants equipped with front foglights have the daytime running lights deleted.
The mirror casings have also been changed over to a newer design that echoes those used by the bigger E-Class.
The lenses for the wing mirror-mounted indicators are more elegantly shaped than last year’s model, with a more visually appealing streaked-back design.
Additionally, the Avantgarde-spec three-bar upper grille (and its inset three-pointed star) are standard on the C200 CGI and C250 CGI, replacing the more understated slatted grille of the Elegance model line.
The C200 CGI gets five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels as standard, while the C250 CGI is fitted with 18-inch five spoke alloys.
The C300 and C350 CDI are equipped with 18-inch twin-five spoke alloys, and also receive bi-xenon headlights and a glass sunroof.
Interior fittings bear no changes for 2010, but what has changed is the standard specification offered for each model.
For 2010, Mercedes-Benz has equipped the base C200 CGI and mid-spec C250 CGI with dual front cupholders and a 60:40 split fold rear seat as standard.
The C300 and C350 CDI also now feature dual front cupholders and a split-fold back seat on their standard equipment lists. The C63 AMG only gets the dual front cupholder added to its standard features.
The C250 CGI is offered in Avantgarde specification as the default trim package, which brings a darker interior colour scheme.
The new C250 CGI is offered with Benz’s Comand APS telematics system as standard, which adds sat-nav and a single-disc CD/DVD player to the basic C-Class package.
Comand APS is already standard on the C300, C350 CDI and C63 AMG.
C300 and C350 CDI models now benefit from auto-on bi-xenon headlamps and a Harmon/Kardon 450W premium surround-sound audio system, both of which are now standard fit. A tilt-slide glass sunroof is also standard for these models.
Rain-sensing headlamps are standard on all models, as are parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, a trip computer, cruise control and steering wheel-mounted multifunction controls.
Safety-wise, all C-Class models feature an extensive range of active and passive safety equipment.
All models come with nine airbags – dual front airbags for the driver and front passenger, side airbags for both front and rear, full-length curtain airbags and a driver’s knee airbag
Another piece of passive safety equipment is Mercedes-Benz’s Pre-Safe system, which monitors driving behaviour to determine whether the car has lost control and, if so, repositions the front seats and tensions seatbelts to help minimize injury.
ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, stability control and traction control are all standard across the C-Class range.
The range begins with the C200 CGI, which is powered by a 1.8 litre turbocharged direct-injection petrol inline four.
Its power output of 135kW is identical to that of the C200 Kompressor that it replaces, but the C200 CGI’s peak torque figure of 270Nm is higher than the Kompressor’s by 20Nm.
The move from port injection to direct injection and from supercharging to turbocharging improves fuel economy too, with the C200 CGI consuming just 7.3 l/100km on the combined cycle and emitting 171g/km of carbon dioxide
The newest addition to the C-Class range, the C250 CGI, uses the same 1.8 litre turbo four as the C200 CGI, but different ECU tuning sees a full 150kW and 310Nm produced.
Fuel economy for the mid-range C250 CGI comes in at 7.7 l/100km – a modest increase over the C200’s rating.
Engines for the rest of the C-Class range carry over unchanged.
The C220 CDI is the entry-level diesel with its 125kW/400Nm 2.1 litre turbodiesel engine, while the C350 CDI’s 3.0 litre petrol V6 develops 165kW and 510Nm.
The 3.0 litre V6 of the C300 produces 170kW and 300Nm, while the M3-challenging C63 AMG is powered by a 6.2 litre petrol V8 that spits out 336kW and a hairy-chested 600Nm of torque.
The C300, C350 CDI and E63 AMG are equipped with Benz’s 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic (the E63’s boasting a sportier shift map and upgraded internals), while the rest of the range use a five-speed auto.
The entire updated 2010 C-Class range is available now nationwide, with pricing as follows.
C200 CGI sedan: $57,900
C200 CGI estate: $59,790
C220 CDI sedan: $57,900
C220 CDI estate: $62,805
C250 CGI sedan: $65,900
C250 CGI estate: $67,790
C300 sedan: $ 89,500
C350 CDI sedan: $ 97,900
C63 AMG sedan: $148,900
C63 AMG estate: $150,800