Six months after introducing the latest generation of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (W206), Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) has launched the locally-assembled version. As with other models assembled in Malaysia, the new C-Class comes from the brand’s facility in Pekan, Pahang.
Two versions of the sedan are offered – the C200 Avantgarde priced from RM287,888 (excluding insurance) and the C300 AMG Line from RM327,888 (without insurance). Local assembly naturally saves money and unlike some cases, there doesn’t seem to be any significant difference in the features and equipment compared to the CBU versions we saw earlier.
Both models are powered by 4-cylinder turbocharged engines, the C200 having a 1.5-litre displacement and an output of 204 ps/300 Nm, while the C300’s 2-litre engine produces 258 ps/400 Nm. Both engines get additional assistance with the integrated starter generator which can add 15 kW (equivalent to 20 ps) and 200 Nm to the output for brief periods. The same 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with 9 speeds is used to deliver power to the rear wheels.
The classic sedan form that has characterised the C-Class is maintained with a more modernised appearance that has sporty elements. The C200’s Avantgarde line features include the radiator grille design with central Mercedes star as well as elegant trim strips in high-sheen aluminium and chrome with 18-inch 5-spoke wheels.
For the C300 with AMG Line, the grille incorporates the star design in chrome. To distinguish this version are LED High Performance headlamps with Adaptive High Beam Assist, 19-inch AMG multi spoke wheels and a panoramic sunroof is standard.
The rear ends of both models are similar, but this generation has had more attention given to the tail lamp units. For the first time in a C-Class, they have a 2-piece design, with the light functions divided between the side wall and bootlid lamps.
For this new generation, the interior has influences from the latest S-Class so its image is elevated. Notable features in the cabin are the high-resolution 12.3-inch free-standing display, which makes a difference from traditional cockpits with the classic round meters. The touchscreen appears to float above the expanse of trim and is slightly tilted towards the driver for easier viewing.
The dashboard is divided into an upper and a lower section. Above the wing-like section are a trio of flattened round vents reminiscent of aircraft engine nacelles. The tablet-like central display flows down to the centre console which has a rear padded section for the armrest and a front section in lustrous jet black, divided by a chrome insert.
As with every new Mercedes-Benz in recent times, the new C-Class comes with MBUX and includes MBUX Navigation Premium. The MBUX multimedia system has extended functions and comes with a LTE module to connect to Mercedes me, the app that allows the owner to interact with his car. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make it possible to transfer favourite apps like Spotify or Waze onto the display screen and use them from there.
The system also has a fingerprint scanner but this is not used for security. Instead, it is used to retrieve stored profiles of different occupants (usually the driver) with regards to their personal preferences such as seat and steering adjustments, air-conditioning settings and even the ambient lighting levels.
Besides the advanced driver assistance systems to help the driver’s awareness and intervention when action is not taken to avoid an accident, there is also an emergency call (e-call) system. This will send a message to a control centre to notify of a possible accident when sensors detect a severe impact and deployment of the airbags. This could bring rescuers faster and make a difference in saving a life.
Each new C-Class comes with the URBAN GUARD vehicle protection package which is a security system for the car that can be helpful on recovering it if stolen. This makes use of the Mercedes me app and besides the usual security systems, it is also possible to deactivate the car keys preventing their use to start the engine. There is also visualisation with camera images to identify possible cause of parking damage.
For those interested in buying the new C-Class, Mercedes-Benz Financial has various financing plans starting from RM2,388 per month (for the C200). Additionally, there’s a MobilityPlus programme with a guaranteed temporary Mercedes-Benz replacement car if the car is retained by the service centre for 48 hours or more.