Smallest 'Real' Mercedes-Benz Sedan Updated for 2019 - Honest!
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.
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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