With a first-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class collecting dust in my garage, the enthusiast in me has been waiting with anticipation to sample the latest generation Mercedes-Benz C class. Merc has been in the business of producing luxury vehicles and the current C-Class has proven to be nothing short of premium.



Still images don’t do justice to the new W207 C-Class, it has to be witnessed in the metal to be fully appreciated. At first glance, it looks like an E-Class, it's large but not bulky, and exudes an aura of premium. Looks are always subjective, but this has to be the Stuttgart design team’s finest work yet in this model. It has a smooth athletic design and is well-proportioned all around. You wouldn’t be penalised for assuming that its design inspiration came from an apex ocean predator.

Being the AMG Line, the C200 in question is fitted with a set of striking 19-inch wheels and a low suspension to complete the look. The combination is just stunning! Other AMG bits that enhance its appearance include a sportier front bumper and a neat little boot spoiler. 




This part of the vehicle is as potent as its exterior. A lot of what the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class is has been adopted from the S-Class. The focal point of this cabin is the dash area where you’ll find a large tablet-like touch screen, which acts as the vehicle's command centre. It allows you access to your media, vehicle and air conditioner settings and a lot more. You’ll also notice a new steering wheel and digital instrument cluster behind it. All of these items have been lifted off the current S Class. It’s a cabin that feels sophisticated and not what you would expect to find in a C-Class. The standard panoramic glass roof is a welcome addition, allowing light to flow into the cabin should you be in the mood. At night, the vehicle's ambient lighting gently beams to life, and unlike in previous Mercedes-Benz models, theC-Class’s ambient lights constantly change colour as you move through the night. This may seem trivial but the luminescence does bring a noticeable ambience to the interior, and with its continually alternating hues, it doesn’t lose its novelty. 

The Germans were in a tech frenzy when putting this interior together, adding touch-responsive inputs to things like the volume control and sunroof. You simply slide your finger in either direction of the volume tabs to add or reduce the loudness. You can also do the same to scroll through the menu in the digital instrument cluster or to open and close the sunroof. This function is nice to have but doesn’t work perfectly in all applications. Applying or reducing the right amount of volume this way can be more challenging than threading a needle. Functions like adjusting the air-con should also be left in mechanical format - it’s less complicated.


Cabin space is sufficient, and you’ll notice the feeling of being cocooned when seated in the front. Each seating area feels like an independent pod, while the rear offers enough legroom for an adult male. The C-Class’s boot is adequately sized at 455 litres. It should be enough for the old golf bag and a few more large items. 


Getting in and out of a vehicle this low should not be underestimated. If youthfulness is no longer on your side it can be a challenge, as my 52-year-old mother discovered. I enjoy mounting and dismounting from this style of vehicle and would prefer it over climbing into an SUV. To give you an idea of how low the C-Class is, parked behind a VW Polo, the hatchback looked like a crossover from the Mercedes-Benz cabin


Road manners


A 360-degree camera ensures you see all angles of the car, with close-up views of different sides. It’s very handy in tight situations where you’re sitting too low to see what’s on the ground around you. Of course, the seats are height adjustable for those with a vertical deficiency. 


Mercedes-Benz has always been known for offering its customers a plush ride, while the opposite has applied to BMW with its performance orientated handling. These days the two brands seem to be crossing into each other’s territory, with the latest crop of BMW feeling “soft” while the new C-Class feels more dynamic than it has ever been. Four-wheel steering enhances its cornering prowess, making it sharp and precise through the twisties. The C Class truly impresses in the handling department, despite not having authentic steering feel thanks to an electronic system. Conversely, it’s a joy to pilot in urban environments with its light and feathery feel in Comfort mode. It doesn’t feel cumbersome at all.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C200 AMG Line engine specs


You’ll be surprised to know that the C200 now uses a 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine. Now before you throw a tantrum, hear me out. Ignore the 1.5-litre displacement and focus on the output. It produces 150kW and 300Nm. Combine this with the battery-powered EQ system and the electric motor can throw in an additional 15kW and 200Nm, taking it to 165 kW and 500Nm. The result is frighteningly urgent acceleration from what you perceived to be a mere 1.5. 


How much is the new Mercedes-Benz C Class?


Pricing for this new model range starts at R896 956 for the Avantgarde, and you’re looking at R950 956 for the tested C200 AMG Line. Just round that off to R1 million. It’s a steep price to pay for a C200, but should you decide to part with the cash, know that you’re getting an equal amount of value in return. An S-Class-lite. Have a look at our website www.changecars.co.za for a wide selection of new and used Mercedes-Benz vehicles.


Words: Gugu Masuku