Class C Merc | 

Midsize saloon is a baby S-Class at half the price but with all the looks

The new C Class 220d is aimed at a younger market

The new C Class 220d is aimed at a younger market

Robbie Farrell

Mercedes Benz – C-Class 220d

Owners of traditional petrol and diesel-engined motors have had a ‘C-rude’ awakening in the last few weeks with prices at filling station pumps reaching an all-time high.

If it continues to head in the same direction, it won’t be long before we will be forking out more than €2 a litre for fuel at this rate. It is no wonder that so many Irish people are switching over to some form of hybrid or fully-electric models this year.

Figures released only this week by SIMI (Society of the Irish Motor Industry) revealed that new electric car registrations reached their highest month on record with 2,714 registered in January 2022 (+178 per cent), compared to 977 January 2021.

However, there are still many brands out there that still see a massive future for traditional ICE (internal combustion engine) models and are not closing the door on fossil fuels just yet.

The new C Class 220d is aimed at a younger market

One such manufacturer sticking to its diesel guns is German premium brand Mercedes Benz — albeit with mild-hybrid technology.

The first thing that struck me a couple of weeks back when I arrived at Mercedes Benz Ireland HQ on the Naas road to pick up the highly-anticipated new C-Class saloon was that it was sporting a 200d badge at the rear.

I had it in my head that I was going to collect some sort of plug-in hybrid model but I was sorely mistaken.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a massive fan of the old-school Mercedes Benz diesel engines, many of which have clocked up more miles than a fleet of Ryanair jets.

Just take a look on our roads and you will see hundreds of Merc vans nearly as old as myself still ticking over on a daily basis like a Swiss clock if you don’t believe me.

Leaving engines aside for a minute, the new C-Class Mercedes has come on leaps and bounds from the old model and the shape and style seems very much geared towards attracting a younger generation of buyers.

It it somewhat mind-boggling to me that it actually shares similar looks and interior parts with its far more expensive flagship sibling — the S-Class.

Step inside the new C-Class and you will discover a bright new layout and world of technology.

There is not a single dial to be found, just an oversized iPad-like touch-screen that controls practically everything.

Unfortunately it also controls the temperature gauges, which is a particular pet hate of mine, but it’s definitely not as fiddly as some of the other nightmare digital heating controls I have encountered.

Still though, sometimes simple things should be best left alone and you still can’t beat an old-school plastic dial when it comes to regulating the hot and cold air.

Elsewhere around the cabin there is definitely a premium feel although I did come across one or two small things that had a plastic feel about them.

The one area that the new C-Class is slightly let down by is the space on offer in the cabin. Although Mercedes Benz claim that the overall size of the new model has increased over the outgoing model, I found the leg and headroom on offer for rear-seat passengers a little tight for my liking.

The boot space too falls a little short compared to one or two of its closest premium rivals, in my opinion.

Other than that it is really hard to find fault in the new C-Class Merc. To me it’s a baby S-Class at half the price.

On the road, the upgraded diesel engine is extremely refined and sounds as quiet as a small petrol engine.

Power in my test model came via a two-litre diesel engine combined with 48v mild hybrid technology.

Mercedes claim that it will average 4.2-4.5l/100km but I found that I was averaging closer to 5.5l/100km.

Still though, that number isn’t too far off the company’s claimed mark that most drivers could never achieve under normal, everyday driving conditions.

Overall, the new C-Class Merc is yet another breath of fresh air for a brand that continues to re-invent itself by offering a range of models to appeal to customers of all ages.

It is no longer considered the brand that attracts the more mature buyer like in the days of old.

Maybe Mercedes Benz finally has a mid-sized car on its hands to take on the likes of the BMW 3-Series and Audi’s A4 saloon in the battle for premium supremacy.

Prices for the new Mercedes Benz C-Class start at €56,425. My test model came in AMG guise, which adds close to another €5k on top of that.

Top that off with another €1,451 for the superb metallic paint job and the final price came in at €63,330 before delivery charges.

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