Apart from a 245 hp four-cylinder engine, the C 300d is visually different from its lower powered counterpart too. What you get with the car is the AMG line body kit as standard.
Mercedes-Benz is known for their high-class luxury cars and while it is the CLA that introduces you to the Mercedes family, the C-Class is what luxury driving is all about.
The new C-Class may be just a 2019 facelift, but it certainly brings it up to date to compete with the newer rivals, and is available in two variants – the C 220d powered by 194 hp and 245 hp C 300d that we get to test.
The C 300d is firmly different from its lower powered counterpart too. What you get with the car is the AMG line body kit as standard. This includes a more aggressive bumper, side skirts and a set of large 18-inch alloys. The diamond grille at the front comes down from the older C 43 AMG, giving it an extremely attractive profile, especially when viewed from the front. Also part of the kit is the 'Multi-Beam' adaptive headlamp that does a little dance when you start up the car.
First let's talk about driveability. The engine is brilliantly refined as the 245 hp of power and 500 Nm of torque shoots you off the line thanks to the 9G-Tronic automatic gearbox. It is worth mentioning that this is the first time Mercedes introduced a BS-VI compliant engine on the C-Class cars. The car gets 5 driving modes namely, Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual. The reason I mention this is because the engine's performance is quite different on each of these modes. For example, the engine is tame and extremely easy to drive in comfort mode, even for someone new to driving. However, there is a very noticeable lag between stepping on the pedal and accelerating when trying to overtake. This is where the paddle shifters come in use. You won't be able to rev up high in comfort mode to keep you from jerking forward, so always shift down on the paddles when trying to pass that truck in front of you.
But if you find an open road, switch to the Sport or Sport+ mode. This immediately stiffens your suspension and steering wheel. Your engine revs higher too and what sounded like nothing in Comfort now becomes a deep, throaty rumble. I've heard people say it sounded like a diesel, but personally, it wouldn't make much sense if it were silent in sport mode too. What is impressive though is the amount of power at the tip of your toes. A slight touch packs enough punch to pull away with a grin that is larger than your face.
Mercedes says the C 300d can make a sprint time of 5.8 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h and while I didn't get to test that, they don't seem to be lying. You can feel the large wheels of the car every time you hit a sharp bump, but over the outgoing C-Class, ride quality is a whole lot better with slightly softer suspension too. It's good to see what Mercedes has done to improve the quality especially with the quick and easy steering and fairly limited body roll in any mode.
What are the interiors like you ask? Like you would expect from Mercedes. The steering wheel is all new, and is similar to the S-Class with metallic buttons and two touchpads, and it gets a flat bottom thanks to the AMG line kit. Behind the wheel are analogue dials sandwiching a digital display. It is extremely informative but the C-Class' international counterpart gets an all-digital display and we would've been happier if we saw it here too.
You do get the standard 10.25-inch infotainment display however. This is large and crisp with a high resolution display and uses the COMAND interface that is available in the E-Class and S-Class. I am a little disappointed it is not a touchscreen unit however, and it can get a little confusing when using the touchpad below after connecting your phone using Android Auto. Below that, the open-pore wood trim is a lot nicer than the varnished one on the outgoing C-Class. This makes it less prone to scratching and is honestly, quite a bit classier too.
The seats are something to talk about, however. The front two seats are brilliant as they are electronically adjustable to a fair degree, and it comes with a large plush seat with decent under-thigh support. The rear however seems just a tad bit cramped. With the front adjusted to my preference, my passenger had a little to complain about in terms of leg space. And this is not a car for three people in the back. That is probably obvious but while there is enough space on the back seat for three people to be comfortable, the transmission tunnel leaves the person in the middle with absolutely no where to put their legs. There is also a surprising lack of under-thigh support in the back with no room for adjustments.So should you buy one? Sure, why not! It's what you would expect from a facelift and much more. Larger bumpers, slightly more aggressive styling and all-new headlamps and tail lamps updates the Mercedes to look the part of a new generation. The new engine feels like an all new powerhouse ready to take on the streets and the cabin takes it up a notch for both the driver and the passenger. With all the updates however, Mercedes has jacked up the cost but at Rs 48.50 lakh (ex-showroom), it is not a whole lot more expensive than the outgoing C 250d.