“Did the new C-Class grow up? Yes!”
“C-Class keeps its place at the heart of the segment.”
“Handling is the best part of my whole drive!” said Issam.
If we look back 30 years, we all remember that Mercedes-Benz had only C-Class, E-Class and S-Class. At that time, the C-Class was the smallest sedan. Nowadays everything has changed. C-Class is now the same size as the E-Class was 30 years ago. Why is that? Well, for one simple reason: business is business. Car manufacturers are striving to fulfill every single niche that can be filled. The sedan segment in Mercedes now consists of A-Class Hatch, A-Class Sedan, CLA-Class, C-Class, E-Class, CLS-Class, S-Class, etc…
What’s new on the 2019 facelifted C-Class that we took for a weekend in Beirut?
For instance, let’s have a look at the body styles available on the C-Class: today we have the C-Class sedan, station wagon, coupe and convertible, as well as the C43 and C63 AMG variants of these body styles. Now we are testing the smallest entry engine of the C-Class, which is the C180 sedan.
Since we first drove the all-new C-Class almost five years ago back in Marseille, the 2019 facelifted C-Class hasn’t had its body changed, just tweaked. The grille is not there anymore and was replaced by a diamond pattern; the ribs that cross it have been joined. LED headlights and taillights enhanced its exterior look. Inside, Mercedes has left the C’s fabulous style and honestly speaking, you can’t beat the widescreen display for infotainment.
Among my main concerns is the rear seat legroom. The C-Class cabin leaves less space for rear-seat passengers than some rivals, though it’s still acceptable for reasonably short to medium road trips.
Handling is the best part of my whole drive. Honestly I never imagined that the C-Class would handle way better than any of its predecessors. That’s the main aspect that is felt when driving on mountain roads in Lebanon. Forget about the city drive—which basically any small and not costly sedan can do the job—but the twisty corners are the skill that every car needs to pass the test.
Fundamentally, there is no major change in the 2019 C-Class. You get an efficient, highly advanced drivetrain such as the interior cabin (infotainment and the entire interfaces are twisted), and changes to the suspension and head/tail lighting. This facelift should serve to keep the C-Class at the heart of the segment because as I said previously, nothing was fixed but only a few tweaks were done to what was already a permanently common set. The C180 is around $52,000 USD on the road in Lebanon.
Pros: Efficient and powerful entry turbo engine, greatest C-Class sedan handling ever, beautiful cockpit
Cons: Tight rear seat legroom, active safety features only on C300
Rivals: BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, Jaguar XE, Cadillac ATS, Infiniti Q50, Alfa Romeo Giulia
one word: supplemented
4 / 5 stars
1.6L turbocharged, 4-cylinders, 156 hp @ 5,300 rpm, 250 Nm @ 1,200-4,000 rpm
9G-speed automatic, RWD
0-100 km/h: in 8.3 secs, top speed: 207 km/h, fuel consumption: 7.6L/100 km
Weight: 1,365 kg