Mercedes has revealed the 2011 / 2012 Mercedes C Class with a facelift to the exterior to give it family looks and an upgraded interior with E-Class quality.
When we recently reviewed the Mercedes C Class – in relatively lowly C180 CGI guise – we had to conclude that Mercedes’ baby has come a long way. For the first time it really can be judged as small S Class and as a worthy competitor to the BMW 3 Series.
Which means the 2011 Mercedes C Class facelift can only add more appeal to a car that is very close to being the most desirable in its sector. There was a time that the C Class was the choice for the older driver and the 3 Series for the younger. But that line is now very blurred and the choice is very subjective.
For 2011 – or the 2012 MY if you’re on the Colonial side of the Pond – Mercedes has given the C Class a bit of a tweak and titivate on the exterior to make it look more like its newer siblings. The bumpers get a re-shape and there’s a new grill at the front, a new set of curvier headlights, a new bonnet (made of aluminium to save weight), new lights out back with LEDs and some new alloys.
Inside Mercedes has taken the C Class distinctly upmarket with a new dashboard design (which looks very like the E Class), higher-quality materials, the latest COMAND, new steering wheel and updated switchgear. All this conspires to make the C Class look a class above the current model.
Under the skin Mercedes has had a bit of a play to coax more from the existing engines. Stop-Start gets added across the range and Mercedes’ 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed auto ‘box has been brought in as an option – with tweaked ratios for better economy – on the four-pots. These changes have improved economy by up to 31%.
Engine options remain unchanged although Mercedes has replaced the existing M272 six-pot in the C350 CGI with the newer M276 lump. The M276 3.5 litre V6 offers 302bhp and 273lb/ft of torque and is much more economical than the M276 offering 41.5mpg as well as slightly more torque and a handful of extra horses.
Some all round decent improvements to the already classy C-Class. The 2011 C-Class will show at Detroit next month and at Geneva in the Spring before going on sale shortly after. Prices may nudge up a bit but should be very similar to the current model.
For even more detail have a look at the 2011 Mercedes C Class Press Release.
2011 Mercedes C Class Video
2011 / 2012 Mercedes C Class Photo Gallery