Mercedes-Benz C200 review

₹ 55,00,000


Since it is no longer the stepping stone into the tri-starry universe, the baby C-Class has been free to ape the patriarch of the family – the S-Class – in recent years. But, no previous generations have come this close to tricking you into believing so, even when you’re inside the cabin. The W206 isn’t just a facelift, but an all-new generation of C-Class that borrows tech and design cues heavily from the larger Mercs, and somehow, looks the best proportioned of all.

A swept-back look to the cabin, the power domes on the bonnet and the short and stubby boot that tapers into split tail lamps do their part to lend width and stance. It’s a pretty looking car with fantastic wheel designs on both the C200 Avant Garde and C300d AMG line variants. There’s also a C220d diesel in the line-up, but this impression is all about the only petrol-powered model in the line-up, the Mercedes-Benz C200.


Externally, the digital lights are the only real differentiator in terms of tech between the C200/C220d and the C300d AMG line. Still, the C200 gets high-performance LEDs that don’t diminish its street cred by much. Aesthetically, there are differences in the front grille, bumper and the rear apron too, along with different wheel sizes for the two lines but the overall design of the C-Class is a head turner no doubt.

Step in and the resemblance to the S-Class becomes even more evident. The 11.9in tablet-style infotainment screen is plucked right out of the dearer Merc, and even the 12.3in digital instrument cluster is the largest in the segment. In unison, they create a particularly high-tech vibe inside the cabin, which is only enhanced by the turbine AC vents. Did we mention they are illuminated and move with Swiss watch-like precision?
Featuring the latest version of the MBUX operating system (NTG7), there are some key updates like 3D maps, courtesy of Here Maps and it offers rich, almost photo-realistic detail of popular sites and monuments. Though, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard now, I doubt if anyone would want to use the native sat/nav. The only advantage if you do use it though, is that it also shows up in the middle of the instrument cluster, which is easier to look at when you’re driving at full tick.

Angled towards the driver ever so slightly, the giant screen might look daunting, but the MBUX system is ergonomic and logical. The important climate control settings always stay at the bottom of the screen regardless of what you do in the top half, so quick changes to fan speed and temperature are possible. A capacitive touch bar under the screen toggles between drive modes and also has the biometric fingerprint scanner and volume controls. 
Up to seven different users can log in via their fingerprint or voice and the C-Class will readjust its seat and steering position, ambient light colour and temperature, and even the last media source and route taken. “Hey Mercedes, load my personal profile” is all that needs to be said for the steely German lady residing inside the system to get to work.

Alternatively, you could also use the heavily updated Mercedes Me connected car app and login even before you get in the car and while you’re at it, even pre-cool the cabin via the app. Of course, it also lets you monitor a plethora of the car’s vital systems like tyre pressure, door/boot/hood status, sunroof control, geofence, eco display and lots more.

Although the C200 gets the stock audio system, which honestly is a letdown with only four full-range speakers doing all audio duties, the C300d gets the proper Burmester experience with 15 speakers and more than 700W of power. If you’re a music lover, you will have to look for after-market upgrades for the C200 and what really rubs it in your face are the faux grilles for the tweeters.

Connectivity is adequate, with a USB-C port next to the wireless charging pad upfront in the centre console and two more USB-C charging ports in the front armrest. The rear passengers just get AC vents but no ports of their own. Instead, you will have to run a longer cable from the front armrest to the backseat as a workaround. 
Similarly, while the seats are supportive, well-cushioned and beautifully finished in perforated tan leatherette, they aren’t ventilated. A feature that is rapidly becoming the clincher amongst the entry-level sedan and SUV segments, this omission deserves a heated debate (no pun intended). Also, in their quest to reduce physical buttons, even the seat adjustment buttons shown as a diagram on the door panel are capacitive and don’t move forward or back in conjunction with your inputs. It’s unnerving and unintuitive, making it seem like forced tech. 
But the door card itself is beautifully finished with ambient lighting and a floating door handle finished in matte aluminium. There’s almost nothing to complain about, quality-wise. This is what a proper Mercedes cabin should look and feel like. 
Mercedes has stepped up the tech around safety too, equipping the new C-Class with its Car-to-X platform that allows it to be connected to other new-gen Mercs that run the same NTG7 (and to a lesser degree, NTG5/NTG too) and stay up-to-date with road closures, accident situations or any hazard by relaying information via the Mercedes cloud and on to the C-Class’ infotainment screen. It’s still early days, with a few hundred cars using this network but the numbers are only set to go up. With a camera and radar, the C200 also gets active park assist and active brake assist, both need to be approached with realism in Indian conditions, not optimism.


Downsized to a 1.5-litre petrol unit, the C200 gets a 48V mild-hybrid integrated starter generator that adds a 20hp+200Nm power boost when needed to the already potent 201bhp/300Nm figures. You don’t feel it in action though since everything is given a buttery smooth coating thanks to the 9-speed gearbox that makes seamless shifts which are imperceptible. 
Turn of speed is masked by the hushed and relaxed nature of the power delivery. Push the 4-cylinder unit and it does get a bit noisy and strained at the top end, but it makes brisk progress, especially on part throttle. The predictable handling now comes with a much-improved suspension over the previous generation, soaking up bumps much better and even letting in less noise inside the cabin from nasties on the road below.

As a mile muncher, the C200 is superb, striking the balance between ride and handling that Mercs have always been known for and now with the mild-hybrid system and engine downsizing, Mercedes also claim that this is the most efficient petrol engine they’ve sold in India so far…with a 16km/per litre figure being touted in official communication.
Having grown in every dimension, there’s 21mm of more legroom at the back and crucially for our country, 7mm of additional ground clearance to tackle the constant state of construction that Indian metros seem to be in.


In the eternal war of the three German marques vying for the young entrepreneurs’ money, Mercedes has always appealed to those who rank comfort, luxury and tech higher than outright driving thrills. Seems like nothing has changed in almost 30 years of this three-way battle, and the new C-Class still toes the line perfectly somewhere between soft and hardcore. 
It undoubtedly has the newest tech, biggest screens and the most advanced UX/UI. It also arguably looks the smartest in its class and that, along with the pizza-sized star on the front end is enough to seal the deal for the majority of its target audience. The rest of the advanced machinery is just a bonus.

Stuff Says

The C200 has become expensive but redeems itself with top-notch craftsmanship, avant-garde design and advanced tech.
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Design inside and out is outstanding

  1. Logical and easy to use MBUX infotainment system

  1. Rear knee room is a big improvement

  1. Refined and sophisticated

  1. Rear-view camera resolution is exceptional

  1. No ventilated seats at this price feel odd now

  1. Stingy audio system for a car of this class

  1. Engine not meant to be hustled

  1. Capacitive buttons on steering and seat controls take getting used to

  1. All the glass and piano black act as a fingerprint magnet

Engine: 1.5L turbo petrol
Power: 201bhp (+20hp) / 300Nm (+200Nm)
Transmission: 9G tronic
Acceleration: 0-100 in 7.3secs
Efficiency: 16.9km/l