By on February 14, 2018

Image: Daimler AG

There’s significant changes in store for the freshened 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, though you wouldn’t know it from a casual glance. German automakers aren’t known for messing around too much with something that works — even full redesigns, at least as of late, remain on the cautious side.

The 2019 C-Class’ exterior changes very little, adding standard LED headlamps and taillamps, larger lower air vents, and a sparkly grille you’ll recognize from the C-Class coupe. Inside the compact rear-drive sedan, however, lies the bigger story.

A bigger engine? Not quite, just one with more top-end power. The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder grows in output from 241 horsepower to 255 for the upcoming model year, but torque stays static at 273 lb-ft. If you’re looking for a real boost, the AMG line awaits. As before, a nine-speed automatic handles the shifting duties.


Front-drive CLA notwithstanding, the C300 represents the bottom of the true premium class, hence the need for greater content. Those with money to toss around can opt for a fully digital instrument display — a screen measuring 12.3 inches across — instead of the usual panel of gauges. A 7-inch multimedia screen remains in the center stack, though a new option lets buyers swap it for a 10.25-inch unit.

Image: Daimler AG

New controls appear on the 2019 model’s steering wheel, including one for cruise control. Other steering wheel-mounted highlights include “Touch Control Buttons” activated by a swiping motion, giving drivers easier access to the various instrument cluster menus.

In the safety category, extended Active Brake Assist now comes standard on even the most modest C-Class, with the model adopting its bigger E-Class brother’s suite of driver assistance features as optional kit. Included in this package is enough camera and radar technology to grant the model membership in the  semi-autonomous club.

“The C-Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations,” the automaker states (with obvious caution). “To do this, it keeps a close eye on the traffic situation; improved camera and radar systems allow it to see up to 1,640 feet ahead. The vehicle’s surroundings are scanned by radar across a distance of up to 820 feet to the front, 130 feet to the sides, and 260 feet to the rear, while with the camera a range of up to 1,640 feet is possible to the front, including 295 feet in 3D.”

The car taps map and navigation data for added assistance, helping the car plan ahead and adjust its speed when there’s a curve or intersection ahead. Joining the Active Steering Assist system is the automaker’s intuitive Active Lane Change Assist and Active Emergency Stop Assist. Yes, it’s just a smarter lane-holding/cruise control feature, but one that should take some of the exhaustion out of long highway drives. There’ll be no snoozing or reading of books with this system.

The 2019 C-Class sees its world premiere in Geneva next month. New models should arrive stateside by late 2018.

[Images: Daimler AG]

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18 Comments on “Smallest ‘Real’ Mercedes-Benz Sedan Updated for 2019 – Honest!...”

  • avatar

    Here is a good QOTD: At what point is the “driver” no longer a driver?

    • 0 avatar

      Ra-Ra-Rasputin, lover of the Russian queen…

      We’re shooting ourselves onto foot IMHO. We creating society that will have no skill. In this case, driving skill that will eventually lead to issues. Aviation already went through it. It has so much automation that pilots are no longer needed besides to turn autopilot on and input data into it. Experts found that some companies even told pilots not to fly or land their planes. And planes started to crash. They found that pilots with thousands of hours would have no landings and very little manual flying. A small abnormality in flight parameters would cause pilot not know what to do. Source: Air disasters.

  • avatar

    “Those with money to toss around can opt for a fully digital instrument display — a screen measuring 12.3 inches across — instead of the usual panel of gauges. ”

    Thanks, no.

    “New controls appear on the 2019 model’s steering wheel, including one for cruise control.”

    My Toyota had this for last 20 years

    I still don’t like the rear of this car

  • avatar

    Unfortunately for Mercedes-Benz, the Chinese automaker Geely has started buying shares in Daimler, eventually aiming to become its largest shareholder. This means that any notion of premiumness for the Mercedes-Benz brand will go out the window, as nobody will pay a premium for a Chinese car.

    • 0 avatar

      The Chinese are more than willing to pay a premium for a Chinese car. The Chinese automotive market is has much larger growth potential than NA and EU. MB alone grew 25% in China last year.

      • 0 avatar

        You’re right. What I should have said (and even meant to say) was that nobody *outside China* would pay a premium for a Chinese car. Perhaps Daimler’s OK with that, even though it means that in NA and EU, Mercedes-Benz cannot be perceived as a premium brand any more.

        • 0 avatar

          I think by now, most multi-national companies know if the cliche of “made in China = bad” will affect their brands.

        • 0 avatar

          Asdf, Geely owns Volvo, which has increased sales during each of the past 4-5 years (2017 unit sales were up 7% over 2016).

          People aren’t avoiding Volvos because the company is 100% Chinese-owned, so why would they eschew M-B simply because a Chinese company is a minority shareholder?

          • 0 avatar

            Don’t worry. A report just came out stating that any Chinese living next to you is probably a spy for PRC. Soon, there will be such anti-Chinese push that you will know “China = bad thing”. Volvo will die

          • 0 avatar

            Volvo has managed to get away with becoming Chinese so far because many consumers are still not aware that it is Chinese (indeed, even some of TTAC’s writers are chronically unaware of the fact that Volvo is now a Chinese automaker). Of course, this “grace period” will not last.

            Another important distinction here is that Mercedes-Benz is perhaps the quintessential premium brand, whereas Volvo is not and has never been a premium brand.

    • 0 avatar

      A similar argument was made for the ML and now MBUSI has grown so much there’s talk of a drivetrain plant being built in Tennessee.

  • avatar

    It’s a shame that the C-Class wagon isn’t being sold in the USA. Canada gets it, however. The Straight Pipes just did a review of one. IMO the wagon looks much better than the lumpy, misshapen sedan.

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