It has been almost 30 years since 1983 when the "Baby-Benz" started out as a 190 E 2.3-16 to set new records on the world's fastest automobile circuit, the Pista di Nardò. Meanwhile, some generations of the C-Class are already history and the current fifth generation has followed in the footsteps of the once very compact vehicle generation. The drives can now be ordered to meet the new requirements for reducing emission values with mild hybrid engines and now also as plug-in hybrids. We have intensively tested the new C-Class with the 150 kW (204 hp) 2-liter four-cylinder petrol engine combined with a 95 kW (129 hp) electric motor.
The current C-Class is based on a modified version of the MRA II (Modular Rear Architecture) platform. The axles of the "dynamically designed" chassis, according to Mercedes, have been optimized once again. With a new four-link suspension at the front and a multi-link independent rear suspension, the chassis should respond even better to all requirements. If you still value further optimization, you can choose between adaptive and sports suspension. A treat as an extra is the optional rear-axle steering with a steering angle of 2,5 degrees.
Also in the field of headlight technology there are LED headlights an optional upgrade to the Digital Light with a resolution of 2,6 million pixels. It can also display warning symbols or auxiliary markings on the road. The customer has to say goodbye to the six-cylinder or V8 engine. And with the rather rough-sounding four-cylinder, which revs correspondingly higher, the engine noise is unfortunately noticeable in the interior. The arrangement of the drive batteries has been solved more intelligently, which is particularly noticeable in the luggage compartment with a smooth through-loading option.
At Mercedes, the traditional models of the C, E and S classes are carefully digitized so that both regular customers and the new generation can experience a taste of traditional values. Accordingly, the powerful plug-in hybrid has a larger battery set and a more effective charging system. Alternating current charging (AC) is implemented with an 11 kW on-board charger, faster charging is ideally supported with direct current charging (DC) with up to 55 kW, the surcharge for this is 595 euros. This can be worthwhile if you use it more often for a break at the supercharger, for example at the motorway service station.
On the other hand, the route-based operating strategy has been upgraded for the optimal use of the electric driving mode. Once fully charged, we were still able to cover 70 kilometers purely electrically in the cool north German spring. As soon as a destination has been entered in the route planner, navigation data, route topography and speed limits as well as the current traffic situation are included in the calculations for the lowest energy consumption. If you then want to adjust the degree of recuperation individually, you can also regulate this level using the steering wheel paddles, right down to the one-pedal feeling. Automatic deceleration starts as soon as you take your foot off the accelerator.
But not only the electric range, which is interesting for commuters, impresses when driving. Above all, it is the many detailed solutions that add value to the new generation. The traditional core competencies of Mercedes, such as comfort features, exemplary seating properties and safety, are reflected in the interior. In the current model, there is also a whole armada of modern driving and safety assistants. Before the first journeys are started, each driver can configure his own assistants individually via the settings. This starts with the light settings in the interior, continues with roadway control through to the selection of the driving mode. If you prefer comfort when driving, you can fine-tune many moments of relief here.
Anyone who frequently travels long distances and is familiar with the technology can experience the treat of the C-Class with the adaptive cruise control. Anyone who has already dealt with the new catalog of fines will appreciate the automatic adjustment to the speed limits in real time. The agility due to the torque of up to 440 Nm when overtaking after swerving into the fast lane on the motorway makes longer tours fun. With the above-mentioned adjustments to the suspension behavior, the chassis is very sensitive and hardly any road noise penetrates the interior.
There is also a dynamic head-up display that shows all driving-relevant details in high resolution and interactively to match the current driving situation. Heureka, a lot of driving practice was really put into a digital solution here. In addition to the classic displays such as the current speed and the maximum speed, the elements of the adaptive cruise control and all relevant navigation elements are displayed just in time directly on the windscreen. A really successful solution, because now you no longer have to look at other displays in the car while driving.
Extended MBUX functions
For voice control via the command "Hey Mercedes", almost all settings and of course the navigation system and the telephone can now be controlled. Anyone who gets involved with the question and answer structure can regulate most of the control commands directly via voice input. With the integration of new functions, all devices connected in the household can also be controlled and monitored from the car. All essential information is sent to the car's display, for example when a motion sensor registers suspicious activity.
Reduced consumption values
With the integration of the larger drive battery from model year 2022, significantly longer ranges can be achieved by charging the battery, especially in view of rising petrol prices. Under optimal conditions in summer, an additional 100 kilometers can be achieved. The consumption values for the petrol engine are also still acceptable with an empty battery at up to 8 liters Super in the cool Nordic spring of 2022.
With the new C 300 e, Mercedes is making a few new statements for touring sedans with plug-in hybrid drives. The generous electric range, combined with the fast charging connection, brings time advantages above all for a stopover at the Supercharger. Those who place more value on comfort than on rushing over long distances can take a seat in a sophisticated C-Class thanks to the standard air suspension and optimized chassis combined with an armada of sophisticated driving and safety assistants.
Test from spring 2022
How do you like the Mercedes 300 e?
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