Mercedes Benz India is doing everything in its capacity to emerge as the leader of luxury car market in the country. With the launch of 2015 C-Class, they got a step closer, and after testing it, we believe they are actually miles ahead than just ‘closer’. Read our 2015 Mercedes C Class Review to find why we are making such a statement.
In earlier days, Merc C-Class used to be the go-to luxury vehicle when people upgraded from just-premium cars. And the car was loved for its distinction among the very few options that were available around its price bracket. Now, the segment is quite crowded and a new sub-segment is born with the price range that once defined the C-Class space.
And Mercedes ended up working more on the distinction, pushing the C-Class to a whole new level even above its direct competitors in a manner of speaking. So we didn’t anticipate what one would expect from a car that is on the lower end of the luxury car pyramid. And we were still amazed!
Earlier we reviewed the 2015 Mercedes C-Class petrol, the C 200. We have talked about looks and features of 2015 C-Class in general inside that post with extensive image gallery. As the C220 CDI is same, we will not be discussing that portion in this review. If you want to read about styling, interiors, safety, features, please read the C 200 Petrol review.
In this review we will focus on the underlying character of C220 CDI diesel variant.
At the heart of the C220 CDI, is a 19.27 kmpl mileage promising 2.1 litre 4-cylinder (single) turbocharged engine, that pushes out 170 PS max power @ 3,000 rpm and 400 Nm peak torque @ 1,400 rpm, which has continued its duty from the older C-Class. There is no twin-turbo C250 CDI here yet, so this is as much power and torque one can get from a diesel C-Class as of now. The engine is highly refined and the acceptable level of noise that comes from it seeps into the cabin only at low speeds.
Acceleration and performance of the new C220 CDI are not really higher than requisite, but are sufficient indeed. The engine has good low-end grunt and does way better in mid-range, in other words, one can hover at a calm pace say in city and get into performance mode within moments once a free road is spotted.
Agility settings: Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual, are offered, which regulate the engine, Air Conditioning and steering efficiencies correspondingly. No dramatic change between subsequent modes could be felt, but keen and prolonged testing did reveal the finer differences that contribute to extra performance, feel and responsiveness.
Thanks to the 7G-Tronic transmission system with the increasingly popular combination of torque converter and Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), all that performance and responsiveness are augmented and offered in a pleasurable manner. The gear shifts are barely noticeable and transition between gears is silky smooth. Only when one floors the throttle at an unexpected timing will he catch the transmission control unit off-guard and get a chance to say ‘you aren’t quick enough’. And that can also happen when the driver is too liberal with the timing of using the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.
Speaking of steering wheel, the feedback is quite generous and resolution of response is commendable. Handling is one of the fortes of the new C-Class, and so is the balance between the same and ride quality. The car is based on the modern MRA platform (Modular Rear-Drive Architecture), and the behaviour of chassis is really admirable.
After driving the 2015 C-Class C 220 CDI diesel as well, it is very apparent that Mercedes is trying to make the cars more fun and engaging to drive, and they are willing to compromise a wee bit on comfort. We are saying that because, the suspension is tuned to be stiffer, which in conjunction with really sticky run-flat tyres, offers applaudable handling and enthusiasm while belting the car out on a ghat.
For that, the car has clearly sacrificed some of its attention to comfort, but that doesn’t make it ‘uncomfortable’ at any time. The tyres are made sure of road-contact at all times, that it is painfully difficult to drive in such a way to let a gush of air pass underneath any tyre even for a moment. That has resulted in to much of road-tyre noise that easily creeps into the cabin, and thuds from road are more than ‘just felt’ by the occupants.
As said before, the 2015 Mercedes C-Class is not at all an uncomfortable car, just that it is tuned to make the driver smile wider than the passengers, like most of the latest offerings by the company are tweaked to do.
Competing with the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series in India, the new C Class brings a fresh change to the segment. It not only looks good, but is also feature rich. The 2015 Mercedes Benz C-Class diesel is brought into India via CBU route, and is offered in two variants – at price of Rs. 39.90 lakhs for C220 Style and Rs. 42.90 lakhs for C220 Sport (ex-showroom Delhi).