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Considering Buying a Mercedes-Benz C-Class? Get Our Expert and Unbiased Tips
Mercedes’ C-Class is a perennial favourite in Singapore, and we think the latest W206 model is the best one in living memory.
But, you can come out of your Mercedes dealer in Singapore with a much better C-Class if you follow these basic tips.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class: Interiors, colours
The first are somewhat subjective. And that’s to do with interior trim colours and materials. The long-term test C200 was specified with Beige Artico trim. This makes the interior much brighter and less monolithic-looking than all black interiors. And it feels cooler too which is always a bonus here in sweltering Singapore.
Also, Artico is the Mercedes-Benz synthetic leather alternative, and it’s really very good – the best in the business. It’s also brilliant because – even in the lighter beige tone – it doesn’t show marks. If you do get a mark on it, wiping it off with a damp cloth makes it disappear like magic. Ideal if you have young ones.
In Singapore we’re addicted to the notion of leather as equating to luxury, but in the base C180 model at least, the Artico is available standard, while leather adds between $4,400 and $9,200 to the cost of the car, depending on which leather you choose. We’d choose the Artico. We’d also choose it in the other models if we could.
Our choice for wood trim is the brown open-pore walnut, but it wasn’t available when we specified the test vehicle unfortunately. The silver-grey diamond pattern we ended-up with is still quite nice. Some trims look better in photos than in the flesh, so if you can see it – and feel it – before you order, you may be doing yourself a favour.
For exterior styling we like the Avantgarde trim, for being less fussy than the AMG Line options, and there can be some big savings selecting it too.
What C-Class engine sizes are available in Singapore?
Engines are the next choice, and in Singapore we are spoiled for choice – well, sort of.
Despite the model names, there are actually only three different engine sizes available: The C180 and C200 models have a mild hybrid 1,496cc turbocharged four cylinder (with 170hp + 23hp, and 201hp + 23hp respectively), while the C300 has a full hybrid 1,999cc turbocharged four cylinder (with 204hp + 129hp), and the C43 goes with a mild hybrid 1,991cc turbocharged four cylinder (with 408hp + 14hp).
No need to be confused. Budgetary requirements are probably going to dictate your choice here somewhat, and the bright side is that we actually like the smallest engine the best. That could mean close to $200,000 in savings!
The car on test is the C200 model, which we found was even quicker in the 0-100km/h sprint than the specifications suggest, at just under 7 seconds (against a 7.3-seconed claimed time). That’s plenty quick-enough for most situations, and because of the turbocharging and hybrid drive, there is plenty of instant torque at low revs, which is where you want it in traffic situations.
Unusually for a turbocharged engine, it also likes to rev, and sounds good doing so. The C300 and C43 are obviously quicker again, but the former feels a bit more workmanlike than the C200, while the latter just doesn’t feel sorted at all because of its automated manual transmission settings.
In Singapore the C180 is probably still going to be the most common choice, despite the fun-factor of the C200. More than $30,000 in savings will go a long way to justifying buying a C180, and even if the 0-100kmh sprint is done in a more leisurely (claimed) 8.6 seconds than the C200, that’s still enough for most drivers.
Soak up the bumps in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class
In Singapore all C-Class models except the C43 are fitted standard with AGILITY CONTROL suspension, which can adjust automatically to the road conditions. Our preferred option is the basic suspension without AGILITY CONTROL because it offers a perfect balance between ride and handling, but the AGILITY CONTROL comes at no-cost, so it’s no advantage to delete the option, and we think most drivers will prefer it.
The alternative is the C43’s standard adaptive damper option that is either too soft and ’boaty’ in comfort mode, or too firm and brittle-feeling in sport.
One thing we would note here is that if you can opt for 18-inch wheels, rather than 19-inch items, you will end up with a smoother ride, no matter which C-Class model you choose. That little extra rubber in the tyre sidewall helps soak-up the bumps.
As we said at the start, this W206 model is the best C-Class we can remember – it really does live up to Mercedes’ reputation for building high-quality, high-tech, and solidly-engineered cars. Option it well, and you’ll end up with a car we think you’re going to love.
Catch the Mercedes-Benz C-Class in action. Don’t buy a C-Class without watching THIS! (Mercedes-Benz C200 long-term update & buyer’s guide).
The video is produced by Chasing Cars, partner of our sister company Budget Direct Australia. Some features or options in the car build may not be applicable to the Singapore market (including the availability of car parts). Note that all prices quoted in the video are in AUD. Remember to check with your local dealer for details.