Mercedes-Benz has launched its updated 2011 C-Class Sedan and Estate (wagon) in Australia, bringing a host of cosmetic and mechanical updates, along with changes to the petrol and diesel engine line-up.
In all, the updated C-Class features more than 2000 new components - some obvious, and some less so.
On the styling front, the updated C-Class gets new headlights, a new front bumper, a lightweight aluminium bonnet (along with aluminium front quarter panels and door modules) and a subtly-revised grille.
At the rear, the 2011 C-Class is largely unchanged from its predecessor except for an LED-led update to the otherwise identical tail-lights, and an updated bumper.
Inside, the sporty AvantGarde variant gets the same three-spoke steering wheel fitted to the new CLS, while the base variant and the Elegance get a redesigned four-spokesteering wheel - with chrome highlights for the Elegance.
There is also a new E-Class inspired dash layout, adding a fixed LCD screen under an extended cowl, in place of the flip-up unit in the outgoing model.
The Elegance and AvantGarde are now more easily distinguished in the cabin, thanks to a choice of brown ash wood or dark burr walnut wood highlights for the Elegance, and a brushed aluminium or high-gloss black ash wood highlights for the AvantGarde.
For the 2011 model year, the C-Class range will be available with three petrol engines and three diesel engines (C 200 CDI I4, C 250 CDI I4, C 350 CDI V6).
All six engines feature Mercedes' BlueEfficiency fuel-saving and emissions-cutting technology, and are compliant with Euro V emissions standards.
The petrol engines kick off with the C 200 I4, followed by the mid-range C 250 I4 and the top-shelf C 300 V6.
The C 200 is powered by a 1.8 litre turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder petrol engine producing 135kW at 5250rpm and 270Nm of torque from 1800rpm. Fuel consumption is listed at 7.2 l/100km and the 0-100km/h sprint is covered in a claimed 8.2 seconds.
The mid-range C 200 is driven by a more powerful version of the same engine, developing 150kW at 5500rpm and 310Nm from 2000rpm. Fuel consumption is unchanged at 7.2 l/100km; the 0-100km/h run in 7.2 seconds.
At the top end of the range is the C 300, powered by a 3.5 litre V6 producing 185kW at 6500rpm and 340Nm between 3500-4500rpm. A 0-100km/h time has not been offered.
The 2011 C-Class' diesel range includes the C 200 CDI, the C 250 CDI and the range-topping C 350 CDI V6.
Opening the diesel range is the C 200 CDI, powered by a 2.1 litre four-cylinder turbodiesel producing 100kW at 2800rpm and 330Nm of torque from 1600rpm. Fuel consumption is listed at 5.4 l/100km and the 0-100km/h sprint is covered in 9.2 seconds.
The second engine in the diesel line is also the most efficient. Powered by a more powerful version of the same engine, the C 250 CDI offers 150kW at 4200rpm and 500Nm from 1600rpm. Fuel consumption is listed at just 5.1 l/100km.
Topping the diesel range is the 3.0 litre V6-powered C 350 CDI, producing 195kW at 3800rpm and 620Nm of torque from 1600-2400rpm. Its fuel consumption, also exceptionally low, is listed at 6.1 l/100km.
As part of its BlueEfficiency package, the C-Class also features an ECO start/stop function, shutting off the engine when the vehicle is stationary.
The two top-shelf petrol and diesel engines will not be available from launch however, with both arriving in September.
Mercedes-Benz has done away with the five-speed automatic transmission for the C-Class; the 2011 range now features MB's 7G Tronic seven-speed as standard in every variant.
It's standard fare down below, with MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link arrangement at the rear axle.
Controlling the way it works is MB's Agility Control Suspension system. This automatically adjusts the firmness of the dampers to suit the driving style - harder for spirited driving and softer while cruising around town.
Standard features include ESC, dual front and front side airbags, rear side airbags and curtain airbags.
But that's just part of the story: the 2011 C-Class is a 'tour de force' of dynamic safety systems. Among its protective systems is Adaptive Highbeam Assist which alters the light intensity to avoid glare for oncoming traffic, Active Lane Keeping Assist alerts the driver if close to drifting out of the lane (and gently brakes the car to keep it between line markings), and Active Blind Spot Assist, which also provides an alert and brakes the car to prevent collisions with vehicles outside of the driver's field of view.
Adding to the array of dynamic safety features is Attention Assist as well as the unusually named Distronic Plus (which slows and accelerates the car while cruise control is on, depending on the position of vehicles in front).
ParkTronic with Parking Guidance provides guidance for parking in tight spots, while Pre-Safe Brake with BAS Plus prepares the vehicle in the event of an imminent collision.
- 2011 C-Class C200 Sedan - $58,900
- 2011 C-Class C200 Estate - $60,900
- 2011 C-Class C250 Sedan - $67,900
- 2011 C-Class C250 Estate - $69,900
- 2011 C-Class C300 Sedan - $84,900 (September)
- 2011 C-Class C200 CDI Sedan - $60,900
- 2011 C-Class C200 CDI Estate - $62,900
- 2011 C-Class C250 CDI Sedan - $67,900
- 2011 C-Class C250 CDI Estate - $69,900
- 2011 C-Class C350 CDI Sedan - $94,400 (September)
Note: pricing is manufacturer's list price and does not include dealer-delivery or on-road costs.