2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
The new Mercedes C-Class received a lot of applause. An Alpine tour shows whether there is no getting around the volume diesel C 220 CDI or whether you can get excited about a small gasoline engine.
By Stefan Grundhoff
There has been a lot of discussion about the newly styled two-nosed face, the good chassis has been praised and the workmanship seems beyond any doubt. No doubt - the new C-Class is a class car and anyone who wants to compete in the middle class has to compete against the Stuttgart volume model. Unlike BMW, however, Mercedes-Benz seems to have overslept the trend towards new, equally powerful and efficient engines. A new car without a new engine is disappointing - especially for a top dog like Mercedes-Benz.
Petrol in the shade
Most C-Class drivers have been choosing diesel for years. In particular, the common rail diesel in the C 220 CDI, which has now increased to 170 hp, is at the top of many wish lists with its low consumption and befitting driving pleasure. But what about the gasoline engines? They led a shadowy existence in the previous generation - not only on the German market.
Direct injection, downsizing, variable valve train and turbo technology - today's gasoline engines are absolute high-tech modules - and are almost as powerful as their diesel counterparts, which were all too preferred for many years. With its four-cylinder petrol engines, Mercedes has long been relying on inexpensive and powerful compressor technology. While corporations such as Ford or Volkswagen combine the compressor with a turbo connected behind it for better performance, Mercedes offers artisanal food combining. The four-cylinder, adopted from the E-Class, delivers an impressive 135 kW / 184 PS despite a meager 1.8 liter displacement. The maximum torque of 250 Nm is available from 2,800 tours - steadily up to 5,000 rpm.
The test car for a comfortable tour through the Alpine countries of Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland is equipped with an optional automatic transmission. In contrast to the six-cylinder engines, there are still five speed levels working on a loose propulsion. Hardly anyone should miss the two additional levels in everyday use. If something is missing, it's displacement.
After the start in Munich, this becomes clear at the latest at Irschenberg, Germany's highest motorway service station. At the beginning of almost 150 km / h it goes up and the four-cylinder has to struggle for the first time discreetly due to loading, automatic and ascent. Not that the 184 hp isn't enough; but the speed shows that the engine would sweat - if it could. A little further towards Chiemsee, the volume swab, which costs at least 32,070 euros, manages the promised 230 km / h with a lot of run-up. No one is interested in 0 to 100 km / h. It should be just 8.8 seconds.
Comfortable leather seats
A similar picture near Innsbruck. Thanks to the 120 speed limit, the average consumption has leveled off at exactly 8.0 liters of super per 100 kilometers. You can live with that. The fuel in Austria is cheaper anyway - refueling is almost fun again. People have long since got used to the convenience of the new C-Class.
The electric leather seats are gorgeous, but cost a lot extra. The ergonomics behind the handy steering is exemplary and the screen navigation system should pale many competitors. You can easily operate it via voice input. Only the display should be inclined a little towards the driver - after all, he has to decide where to go. There are documents and jackets on the back seat, but people also feel at home in the sufficiently sized rear. The rear headrests should be able to be pulled out a little further. The separate climate control for the second row is pleasant.
Diesel is probably the better choice
It started way too late in Munich. After the first night in Igls, the journey towards Bologna is not continued until the early morning. The luggage can be easily accommodated in the 475 liter trunk. Nobody needs more space and payload (485 kg) in this class. Still in the dark over the dark burner - it is just one degree Celsius cold and the C 200 compressor is once again noticeable that its displacement is weak. Together with the automatic, the diesel is probably the better choice. Especially because the consumption cannot be curbed below the eight-liter mark even when gliding gently.
On the contrary: if you drive briskly, but anything but fast, on the motorway without braking and accelerating wildly, you are traveling with 8.4 liters. The promised 6.3 liters (out of town) of the factory specification must have been measured in a distant future country.
Good turning circle
That doesn't mean that the rear-wheel drive vehicle, which weighs at least 1.5 tons, would be bad or even thirsty. Consumption is okay, even if it is well above the ten-liter mark in Italian inner-city traffic from Bologna, Ancona, Milan and, ultimately, Turin. It is particularly bad in the Fiat city of Turin and on the way back in the city of Zurich. Start, brake, start, brake - it's good that an automatic is on board that goes well with the small four-cylinder. It stays in the background.
The turning circle of 10.84 meters, in conjunction with the smooth steering, suggests that you are driving in a compact car despite a length of 4.58 meters. The large screen makes you want a sharp, but adult-free television picture, at least when you are stationary.
Lush surcharge list
The fact that the television function is not even included in the usuriously expensive navigation system is no longer irritating. No wonder that many customers prefer to treat themselves to an inexpensive retrofit navigation system. The optional equipment list also has its surprises in store for inclined Mercedes customers.
Xenon light with a curve function costs 1,457 euros, through-loading, which has long been taken for granted, costs 309 euros and Parktronik 685 euros. Even little things like cruise control, folding exterior mirrors, multifunction steering wheel, rain sensor and heated windscreen washer nozzles have to be ordered individually. Those days should long be over.
Diesel is easier on the household budget
When, after crossing the border further, a tour of over 3,000 kilometers lies behind the Mercedes C 200 Kompressor, the good initial image has solidified. The new C-Class is an ideal choice, especially on long journeys - provided that you have previously served yourself generously in the option list.
When it comes to the engine, you can understand why many customers choose the 220 CDI. The bottom line is that it offers more torque, driving fun and significantly lower consumption. 8.6 liters of super per 100 kilometers are not a bad value; but the diesel is more easy on the household budget. Both in the city center and on the motorway.