By on December 22, 2010

Mercedes may have taken a light hand with the exterior design of the facelifted 2011 C-Class, but under the skin some big changes await. According to Auto Motor und Sport, all updated C-Classes will have stop-start-equipped direct-injection engines, as well as the option of upgrading to all ten of the latest driver-assistance systems from the CLS, E-Class and CL. With more power (306 HP) and better efficiency (from about 29 MPG to about 34 MPG, European test cycle) and a touch more life to its classy but somewhat characterless looks, the updated C350 should help spearhead Benz’s attempt to regain the US-Market’s luxury brand crown (just not the wagon version… musn’t hurt the GLK). Of course the C-Class will still probably be beaten silly by the 3-Series, but then everyone’s used to getting beat by the Dreier.

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25 Comments on “Spot The Facelift: 2011 Mercedes C-Class Edition...”

  • avatar

    I would buy one if it came with a manual and turbo-diesel.

  • avatar

    Shame we won’t be getting the wagon. That’s a nice looking car.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    The other big news is the return of the 4 cylinder to the US. How long until BMW relents and gives us 4-cylinder 1ers and 3ers?

    • 0 avatar

      Where are you seeing that about the four cylinder versions? After reading your post I anxiously clicked over to, but saw no way to build a 2011 with anything other than the 3.0 or 3.5 V6.
      Never thought I’d live long enough to hear myself say this, but sometimes I’d gladly forgo additional power in favor of better handling and fuel efficiency.
      That, and I might use the money I saved on the engine upgrade to buy some things that are standard in other makes, yet MB continues to charge extra for. Kind of galls me that I have to pay extra for a folding rear seatback and keyless ignition in a $33k vehicle, both of which are standard on your basic Camcordia…

    • 0 avatar

      “Better cars” don’t have split fold down rear seats.  What am I saying?
      A car with a fixed rear seat has a much more structurally sound body.  Being able to bolt down the car body mid way reduces the flex of the body, improving it’s handling, internal quietness, among other benefits.  The car is also safer in crashes, because the body is more structurally sound.
      Twist a soda can holding it by the top and bottom.  Imagine how harder that would be if there was another layer of metal half way down the can (like the cap on the top) holding it all together.
      Mercedes charges you more because they make less of them.  They are also charging you to cheapen the quality of the car.

    • 0 avatar

      Mercedes (C250) and BMW (328i) both have turbocharged four-cylinder engines for 2012 as their entry-level engines.

      The Mercedes is a 1.8 liter turbo with 201 HP and 229 lb/ft of torque. The BMW is considerably more powerful (I’ve read 240 HP and 260 HP in different places).

      I have the new four-cylinder Mercedes and love it, performance is about equal to the old 3.0 liter V6 with much better fuel economy and no significant penalty in smoothness or drivability.

  • avatar

    With more power (306 HP) and better efficiency (from about 29 MPG to about 34 MPG,

    Is that from the 3.5  or  3 litre engine? The mpg does look impressive.
    Thats almost the small car territories.
    Direct Injection gave its the edge.
    I suppose the timing has to be damn good inorder to prevent the pre-ignition.

    even my 300sd didnt get up to this kind of mileage. Mind u is old technology.

    Putting a 4 cyl in it may not work all that well, as I had owned a 90 300se and a 87 420 sel now. The 420 needs very little gas pedal whereas the 300 need to rev a lot to move the car, plus the 420 revs so much slower.

  • avatar
    Sam P

    I wonder why Mercedes even bothers to compete with the 3-Series. I guess the lineup must be returning a positive cashflow and they’re in much stupider niches (the R-class upscale minivan).

    • 0 avatar

      Why they even bother? Mercedes used to be the KING of luxury. They may not be as sporty, but their are plenty of people who actually prefer that. Besides, every other manufacturer tries to compete with the 3-series (Acura, Infiniti, Lexus, Audi, SAAB, Volvo, Cadillac, arguably Buick, even Pontiac tried…and failed hugely). Some of them succeed reasonably, including the C-Class.

      Plus, since when do manufacturers say “Well THAT is clearly a successful category, but somebody else has got it so, lets just not bother.” Geez.

    • 0 avatar
      Rod Panhard

      That’s an easy one Sam P. Some people realize that the 3-series handling is only noticeable when driving at 8/10ths. At normal speeds, it seems “choppy.” That’s the word one of my neighbors used after leasing two 3-series and changing to a C-Class.
      The real lamentation about the 3-series and C-Class happens when one is old enough to know how fun the 3-series and C-class were to drive in the ’80s, before the Germans recognized they could “sell” their products as high-end consumer goods like purses and shoes. Except it was called “leasing.” Once they realized that, these cars totally changed.
      Back to my neighbor. Her only complaint about her new leased C-Class is trying to input her address book from her iPhone.

  • avatar

    I still can’t stand those ugly dial pads that Mercedes refuses to abandon. I guess people in Europe still take their SIM cards out of their phones and stick them in their cars? I’ll take Bluetooth and no dial pad, thanks.

    • 0 avatar

      If you have not been to Europe and used the mobile phones in the vehicles, you don’t know the whole story behind the dial pad.
      Most European countries require the motorists to have hand-free conversations with mobile telephones while driving. If the police officers see the motorist holding the mobile phone in any way even if the call is being dialled for the hand-free conversation, the penalty does cost more than arm and leg…
      Many vehicles have the interface (either Bluetooth or cable) with the mobile phones. I have seen the instance where the mobile phones are inside the centre armrest or console and accessible through the vehicle’s command panel or control stalks. They use the vehicle’s internal microphone and stereo system for the hand-free conversation.
      Really nifty stuff!

  • avatar

    The dial pad works with the bluetooth on the later models.

  • avatar

    The photo with the previous generations make me pine for the older ones. I liked them better. The last generation was an especially pretty car (especially with the 5 spoke wheels).
    I think that the tri-star in the grill is way too large and looks odd. From the side the car looks too tall. I do not mind the back end.
    The 3 series looks much better and is closer to the right size also. The G37 is better looking and probably more reliable although maybe not as refined.

  • avatar

    The “same sausage different length” theory works well for the C-class.
    I’m happy it has a COMMAND knob and looks more like the S550.
    But, why the hell did Mercedes keep the dial pad on the center panel rather than on the armrest?
    and why aren’t seat adjustments done through the software rather than those silly knobs and switches?

  • avatar

    Mercedes-Benz and BMW have been using the same motor and same displacement for three or four different model levels: C200 CDI, C220 CDI, and C250 CDI have same 2,1-litre four-cylinder motor detuned or tuned accordingly (100, 125, and 150 kw respectively). BMW uses the same 3,5-litre six-cylinder motor at different power output for 525d, 530d, and 535d. Ironically, 535d is more “efficient” than 525d with same fuel consumption rating but different power curve. No longer are the model designations matching the motor displacements. Instead, they are according to their place in the pecking order.
    As for the limited motor and body ranges in the US market, it is due to the protectionist federal laws regulating the automotive safety and emission. They are not mutually compatible with the international de facto automotive standards in many categories, forcing the manufacturers to engineer and build the “third model variation” (LHD, RHD, and US version). They spend tens of millions of dollars to certify EACH motor and gearbox variation along with EACH body variation in addition to paying at least two million dollars to NHTSA for approval procedure. They must have the support system to provide the parts and service for at least fifteen years. This adds enormous cost with slower amortisation. The US market is very brutally competitive with thin profit margin for certain models or manufacturers.
    No wonder the Americans are missing out many wonderful vehicles and motors. For example, Australians wised up and harmonised its Australian Design Rules with international standards. The result is more competitive price and more choices for Australians in spite of smaller market. Look at the Mexican market, which has more than what the Americans have. Mexico accepts both US and international regulations.
    It does get annoyingly irriating when the Americans bemoan about lot of great vehicles not earmarked for US market. How come nobody, not even the car magazines, bother to demand that US abolish its safety regulations (that have failed to protect the American consumers many times over) and adopt the international standards? The easy answer is the intense lobbying from the domestic manufacturers and importers who want to protect their investment and control the supply and demand as to maximise the profit margin.

    • 0 avatar

      They must have the support system to provide the parts and service for at least fifteen years
      I don’t see how this is bad. Here the government requires it to be 10 years.

  • avatar

    Regarding the wagon – meh.  I would also be quick to jump in line for a sporty upscale wagon with a manual tranny, but this one doesn’t do it for me at all.  The whole thing is pretty frumpy looking and the back is all droopy.  Would much prefer a CTS Sportwagon.

    • 0 avatar

      Of course… out of the two… which one would actually have more useable space?
      Hint: Not the Cadddy.
      I applaude MB for still making a wagon that goes the function over form route.

  • avatar

    Yawn.  I’ll take a 3 series, thanks.
    Interesting how they claim the Höchstgeschwindigkeit for the C180 CDI is 206 km/h while the B180 CDI (manual) I recently rented in Germany could hardly manage 180km/h downhill.

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