The Mercedes W204 C-Class was first released in 2007 as the landmark car for the company. The model was intended to return the company’s reputation for quality designs and mechanical integrity. The W204 introduced a digital stimulation of the vehicle that could be driven in cyber space before actual road tests could be implemented. As time went by, the C-Class introduced changes to its succeeding generations. There was the re-engineered and madeover facelift in 2011. This year, the C-Class toned down on the changes but still introduced notable improvements. Rebrands have also been released, such as the Executive SE, the entry-level variant, and the AMG Sport and Sport Plus.
The facelifted C-Class model included major changes such as reprofiled bumpers, curvier headlamps, improved rear lamps, and a contoured aluminum bonnet. Beneath the bonnet lies other big additions such as an upgraded engine with BlueEfficiency features, modifications on the chassis for a better drive, and seven speeds on the autobox.
The Mercedes C-Class comes in three types of models: as a saloon, three-door coupe, or estate. The first launched W204 C-Class was obviously a homage to the W124 E-Class series, but the vehicle came into its own when the 2007 variations were released. At that time, the cars sported a sparser look, single-piece headlamps, and a bigger, slatted grille. The rear light clusters sported a more stylish touch thanks to the deep ledged bumper and the wrap around feature of the light clusters. The Sport trim featured a more aggressive design as the grille sported the three-pointed star logo. The estate design emerged as the most successful of the three variants, sporting rakish lines to balance the large load bay of its class. The 2011 re-engineering and facelift project is what led Mercedes to introduce a coupe model into this diverse mix. The coupe focused more on an upmarket design to contrast the hatchback look.
The interior also sports significant improvements from its previous life. The foot-operated parking brake, large front seat for travel, and all around visibility are all practical features that keep the driver happy. The sporting steering wheel, attractive and functional instruments, brushed aluminum, and high quality sat-nav graphics are the more innovative, contemporary elements of the interior. Quality increases throughout each generation, as the angular cockpit is built not just for durability but also for reliability.
Unfortunately not all details are advantageous to the Mercedes Benz C-Class. The right hand drive model has offset pedals. The seats aren’t very accommodating either, with the driver feeling as if they are on rather in them. Don’t expect a smooth transition when stepping on the parking brake.
All C-Class engines perform adequately, with the 1.8 petrol engine reaching 62mph in 9 seconds. Diesel engines can arrive at such a mark between 7.1 to 9.2 seconds. Despite the speed, however, the engine isn’t as smooth and pales in comparison to the rival engines. Although not complete unrefined, it’s still not as well paced as the others. The steering response is rather slow and not as keen when you decide to turn into corners.
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