2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class: a Modest However Apparent Generation Void

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This is not to say there is anything wrong with Generation four, which has served the company well since it was introduced in September of 2014, and it continues to sell well despite the pending arrival this fall of the 2019 model. Sales are down about 30 percent for the first six months of 2018 over last year — as dealers clear the lots for the 2019, Mercedes still sold 29,659 copies of the 2018 C-Class, beat out only by the Mercedes GLC.

Indeed, the C-Class is a crucial car for the company: It has been the best-selling model for Mercedes the last decade, and it has a worldwide footprint with factories in Bremen, Germany; Beijing, China; East London in South Africa, and of course in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

That’s one reason why you won’t see a huge number of those 6,500 new parts on the outside, and even in the inside. “We didn’t make major changes because we got such good reviews from our customers who liked it,” said Iris Schleicher, longtime product manager for the C-Class. Often that line is manufacturer-speak for, “We really couldn’t justify the expense of changing it much,” but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. The nose, including the grille, has been updated, and arguably adds a stronger sense of family with the flagship S-Class. The rear fascia has been updated, too, and at both ends, LED lighting is standard for the U.S. market. Schleicher was one of the presenters at the press preview for the C-Class, which started in Luxembourg and the Moselle region known mostly for its lovely valley views. And wine. Did we mention there was wine?

Mercedes-AMG C 43 4MATIC Limousine, designo hyazinthrot metallic, Leder AMG schwarz. Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 9,3-9,1 l/100 km, CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 213-208 g/km // Mercedes-AMG C 43 4MATIC Sedan, designo hyacinth red metallic, AMG leather black. Fuel consumption combined: 9.3-9.1 l/100 km. Combined CO2 emissions: 213-208 g/km

This is not to say there is anything wrong with Generation four, which has served the company well since it was introduced in September of 2014, and it continues to sell well despite the pending arrival this fall of the 2019 model. Sales are down about 30 percent for the first six months of 2018 over last year — as dealers clear the lots for the 2019, Mercedes still sold 29,659 copies of the 2018 C-Class, beat out only by the Mercedes GLC.

Indeed, the C-Class is a crucial car for the company: It has been the best-selling model for Mercedes the last decade, and it has a worldwide footprint with factories in Bremen, Germany; Beijing, China; East London in South Africa, and of course in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

That’s one reason why you won’t see a huge number of those 6,500 new parts on the outside, and even in the inside. “We didn’t make major changes because we got such good reviews from our customers who liked it,” said Iris Schleicher, longtime product manager for the C-Class. Often that line is manufacturer-speak for, “We really couldn’t justify the expense of changing it much,” but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. The nose, including the grille, has been updated, and arguably adds a stronger sense of family with the flagship S-Class. The rear fascia has been updated, too, and at both ends, LED lighting is standard for the U.S. market. Schleicher was one of the presenters at the press preview for the C-Class, which started in Luxembourg and the Moselle region known mostly for its lovely valley views. And wine. Did we mention there was wine?

Cowl shake is non-existent on rough pavement – not surprising for a brand-new car, but given the build quality and our experience with other Mercedes Cabriolets, we feel safe in predicting that even after the odometer has rolled well into five figures, cowl shake will remain minimal. Unless you live in the Detroit area, where the potholes erase all bets.

If you aren’t particularly motivated by the C300’s 255 horsepower, you’ll be interested in the inevitable Mercedes-AMG C43, which also comes in coupe, sedan and convertible configurations. The C43s are powered by a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 with 385 horsepower, up 23 from the 2018 models. Peak torque is a pickup truck-caliber 384 pound-feet, available from 2,500 to 5,000 rpm. As with the C300s, the only transmission offered is the nine-speed automatic, but in the C43 it’s massaged a bit by AMG. Expect a 0-to-60 mph time of around 4.5 seconds. All the 2019 C-Class models are limited to a top speed of 130 mph, which I brushed up against several times on the Autobahn.

The C43 has three modes of performance – Eco, Sport and Sport Plus. As a centrist, I preferred the middle setting. Via the specific AMG menu, the driver can monitor multiple data streams, including Warm-up, Setup, G-Force, Race Timer or Engine Data. If you are serious about turning left and right, opt for the AMG Track Pace package, which can be ordered in combination with the COMAND infotainment system.

AMG Track Pace records more than 80 specific data sets such as speed and acceleration 10 times a second. Lap and sector times are shown in green (faster) and red (slower) in comparison with past laps. There’s a new algorithm that determines the car’s position more precisely than before, and even detects when you’ve left the track, or shortened your route around it (intentionally, I hope.)

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