Mercedes C-class facelift (2011) first picturesThu, 23 Dec 2010
Mercedes has facelifted the C-class - and the new one arrives in UK dealers in March 2011. It's a classic mild Merc facelift, with a cosmetic polish-up and a raft of more detailed engineering changes.
It looks like a subtle upgrade, but Merc says more than 2000 new components are fitted. Both the saloon and estate are facelifted; the new C-class Coupe arrives later next spring.
That front bumper is new, with hints of S- and E-class around the snout. The grille surround stands out more and the air intakes are recontoured too. The headlamps are new (soon-to-be mandatory day-running lights are standard) while the bonnet is now aluminium, saving weight and contributing to the new look.
It's a slippery shape; Merc quotes a 0.26 drag coefficient.
Daimler claims efficiency gains of up to 31% in the new C-class, aided no doubt by the adoption of the seven-speed 7G-Tronic automatic transmission which now offers stop-start as standard. All the petrols are now direct injection:
C180 1.8 four-cylinder, 154bhp, 44mpg, 148g/km
C250 1.8 four-cylinder, 201bhp, 44mpg, 150g/km
C350 3.5 V6, 302bhp, 42mpg, 159g/km
And three diesels will be offered:
C200 CDI 2.1 four-cylinder, 134bhp, 57mpg, 129g/km
C220 CDI 2.1 four-cylinder, 168bhp, 59mpg, 125g/km
C250 CDI 2.1 four-cylinder, 201bhp, 59mpg, 125g/km
There's a thorough workover inside, too. A high-definition colour display arrives from the E-class, giving the centre stack a more sophisticated air. Drowsiness detection systems are available, as is onboard internet access.
Roaming fingers will enjoy the new grain of the dashboard, and much of the swithcgear is now galvanised.
The C-class remains one of the most successful pillars in Merc's line-up. It's sold more than a million since launch in March 2007. Looking at the big picture, the numbers stack up even more impressively - Mercedes has moved 8.5 million compact execs since the first 190 in 1982.
By Tim Pollard