The all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class has touched down in Australia, arriving initially in sedan form only.
The line-up kicks off from $60,900 for the entry C 200 petrol model and $62,400 for its diesel C 200 Bluetec sibling.
The mid-range is filled out with the $68,900 and $70,400 C 250 petrol and diesel models, with the new family headlined by the C 300 Hybrid at $74,900 (due later this year).
That means Australia’s C-Class range will initially consist of turbocharged four-cylinder offerings and, in the case of the C 300, a diesel-electric package.
Buyers holding out for the six-cylinder C 400 or the meaner C 450 AMG Sport may be waiting for sometime, with Merc’s local arm confirming there will be no larger-engined offerings in Australia for the near future.
Opening the Australian range is the C 200 petrol, powered by a 135kW/300Nm 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine.
Matched to a seven-speed dual-clutch auto, the C 200 lists fuel use at 6.0 l/100km. Mercedes promises a relatively swift 0-100km/h time of 7.3 seconds.
In the C 200 Bluetec diesel is a 100kW/300Nm 1.6 litre four-cylinder turbo engine. Local fuel figures for this model are still to be confirmed.
Stepping up to the C 250 petrol sees output from the 2.0 litre turbo engine turned up to 155kW and 350Nm, matching ‘250’ models from the A-Class, B-Class, CLA and GLA lines.
In the C-Class, Mercedes says the powerful turbo four will hit 100km/h in 6.6 seconds, while official fuel figures match the 6.0 l/100km of the C 200.
Switching to the C 250 Bluetec sees power provided by a 2.1 litre diesel engine turning out 150kW and 500Nm of torque. Fuel use for the C 250 Bluetec is listed at 4.5 l/100km.
At the top of the range for the foreseeable future will be the C 300 Bluetec Hybrid, which pairs the 150kW/500Nm turbodiesel with a 20kW/260Nm electric motor.
Mercedes says this combination will see the C 300 return fuel figures of just 3.6 l/100km on Europe’s fuel cycle, and local figures - still to be confirmed - are expected to be similar.
Mercedes says however that it has added a whopping $10,000 in extra standard equipment to the new C-Class, compared to its predecessor.
Standard features with the C 200 models include Artico man-made ‘leather’ seat trim, power adjustable front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a seven-inch display with Garmin MapPilot sat-nav, DAB+ digital radio, and keyless start.
Safety features for the new C-Class midsizer include Autonomous Emergency Braking, along with nine airbags and a fatigue detection system that alerts the driver when drowsiness is detected and urges a rest stop.
Standard kit in the mid-spec C 250 models will include genuine leather interior, 19-inch wheels, keyless entry, and Merc’s Driver Assistance Package Plus that adds adaptive cruise, stop-and-go, active blindspot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, cross traffic alerts, steering assist and more.
The C 300’s feature set will match the C 250, but its advanced hybrid technology sees the price rise by $4500.
That relatively modest premium is expected to make the C 300 the best-selling hybrid in the Mercedes line-up - and may also outsell the more powerful but also $25,000 more expensive BMW ActiveHybrid 3 Series sedan.
Options packs will still be available however, including the $2990 Comand pack with satnav and audio upgrades, the $4490 Vision pack with sunroof and smart headlights, and the $3490 AMG pack with interior and exterior sports tweaks.
In full AMG Sport trim, the new C-Class gets deep ports and a lip spoiler in the front bumper, along with larger alloy wheels, a vented rear bumper and twin exhaust tips.
The range will launch initially in sedan form only, with four Estate wagon models set to arrive in November. Each will be carry a $2500 premium over their sedan counterparts.
The new C-Class sedan measures 4686mm long and rides on a 2840mm wheelbase, making it 95mm longer overall than its predecessor, while stretching the wheels a further 76mm apart.
That growth gives rear passengers 25mm of extra leg room, and boot capacity in the sedan grows to 480 litres - up from 450.
The new wagon benefits from an 80mm longer wheelbase, picking up an extra 96mm overall for greater legroom and cargo space.
The 2015 Estate’s boot will accommodate 490 litres of cargo with the rear seats upright, expanding to 1510 litres when laid flat.
Built on the new 'Mercedes Rear-drive Architecture' (MRA), Mercedes says the new C has the lightest body shell in the segment, with added rigidity over the outgoing model.
The new body is a ‘hybrid’ construction, using a combination of aluminium and high-strength steel.
This makes the body 70kg lighter than the conventional steel body of the outgoing C-Class, while contributing to an overall weight reduction of 100kg.
Mercedes says this has improved fuel consumption figures by as much as 20 percent.
PRICING (excludes on-road costs)
- C 200 $60,900
- C 200 Bluetec $62,400
- C 250 $68,900
- C 250 Bluetec $70,400
- C 300 Bluetec Hybrid $74,900
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