The new C-Class is no exception, and benefits from having higher-end siblings whose advances it inherits.
The new C-Class offers new dimensions with regard to technology, ecology, comfort, desirability and driveability. The C-Class has grown to take account of people’s increasing average height. With an 80mm increase in the wheelbase compared with the previous model, the vehicle is 95mm longer at 4 686mm, and 40mm wider at 1 810mm. It creates room for the new front axle and future hybrid components.
Customers can choose from two fronts – sporty with a central star, or the classic sedan grille with the Mercedes-Benz star on the bonnet.
With an aluminium content of 48% this model is 100kg lighter.
C-Class customers will have a choice of three versions of the standard-specification steel suspension, which also includes a very sporty set-up. As an alternative Mercedes-Benz air suspension in this segment is offered for the first time. The Airmatic air suspension manages to bridge the gap between a high level of ride comfort and dynamic, agile handling.
One of the areas the C-Class has benefitted from the most technologically is in its safety systems pioneered in the S- and E-Class models.
The new C-Class comes standard-equipped with the enhanced Attention Assist drowsiness detection system and Collision Prevention Assist Plus, which helps prevent rear-end collisions. The assistance systems enhance both comfort and safety.
An extensive sensor system, which provides the vehicle with a 360-degree view includes a new stereo multi-purpose camera behind the front windscreen in the area of the rear-view mirror and hence at the level of the driver’s eyes and two cameras provide a three-dimensional view.
There is also a radar system. The data from the camera and radar is compiled in order to provide relevant data for a host of assistance systems.
The radar-based system constantly monitors the area of traffic in front of the vehicle, and can determine the distance and speed of the vehicles ahead. If it detects a serious risk of collision, the driver receives an additional audible warning. If the driver fails to react, the new Collision Prevention Assist Plus can go one step further and autonomously brake for slowing or stopping.
The system even brakes when stationary vehicles are detected up to a speed of 50km/h, and can prevent rear-end collisions up to 40km/h depending on the situation.
An unusual feature is Cross-Traffic Assist, which is not only capable of helping the driver prevent or mitigate the severity of rear-end collision in linear traffic, but can also help in the event of impending collisions with crossing traffic at junctions. If this anticipatory system detects a hazardous situation of this type, it prompts the driver to start emergency braking by issuing visual and acoustic warnings. If the driver presses the brake pedal too tentatively, BAS Plus will step in by automatically boosting brake pressure for effective braking.
The Cross-Traffic Assist function is effective at speeds up to around 72km/h, while BAS Plus is able to aid the driver in linear traffic at any speed.
The system can also detect pedestrians in front of the vehicle. Visual and acoustic warnings are triggered when a hazard is detected. If the driver reacts by braking, the braking power will be boosted by BAS Plus with Cross-Traffic Assist as the situation requires. If the driver fails to react, the Pre-Safe Brake brakes the vehicle autonomously.
When it comes to pure convenience, Active Parking Assist enables automated parking with active steering and brake intervention in both parallel and perpendicular parking spaces.
The four-cylinder petrol engines have power outputs ranging from 115 to 150kW and the four-cylinder diesel, which is a BlueTEC model, is equipped with selective catalytic reduction technology.
The emphasis in the new C-Class is clearly on technology to make driving easy and safe. The rest we have come to take for granted.