In its current generation, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class has found its own identity. It previously chased the BMW 3 Series in a quest for sportiness, but now aims for a greater degree of luxury, offering a counterpoint to the ubiquitous Bimmer. Mercedes is trying to refine that formula with an updated version, which debuted at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan (updated coupe and convertible models will follow) is a refresh of the existing model, rather than a full redesign. It looks largely the same on the outside, but Mercedes made significant changes under the skin, including a more powerful engine and more tech features.
As before, the base C300 model will use a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The 2019 model’s engine, which Mercedes claims is all new, produces 255 horsepower, which is 14 hp more than the 2018 model, while torque remains unchanged at 273 pound-feet. The sole transmission option is a nine-speed automatic, and buyers can still choose between rear-wheel drive and 4Matic all-wheel drive.
Mercedes didn’t disclose performance data for the C300. However, it detailed the mid-range Mercedes-AMG C43 (pictured below) that squares off against the Audi S4. The model receives an updated 3.0-liter V6 engine turbocharged to produce 385 hp at 6,100 rpm and 384 lb-ft. of torque between 2,500 and 5,000 rpm. The C43 also uses a nine-speed automatic transmission, but it’s only offered with a performance-tuned all-wheel drive system that sends most of the engine’s power to the rear axle. Expect a zero-to-60-mph time in the 4.6-second range.
On the inside, the 2019 C-Class gets a new digital instrument cluster, but retains a central display screen awkwardly tacked onto the top of the dashboard. Mercedes will offer the latter in 7-inch and 10.25-inch sizes, paired with the same touchpad controller used in many of the automaker’s other models.
The C-Class also borrows some driver-assist features from the larger E-Class. That includes a more advanced version of Mercedes’ Distronic system, which allows the car to follow other vehicles in certain situations with minimal driver intervention. The C-Class also features autonomous emergency braking and a steering assist that can help keep the car centered in its lane, as well as assist with lane changes or evasive maneuvers, according to Mercedes. The C-Class is also equipped for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, allowing it relay information between itself and other networked cars.
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class goes on sale in the United States later this year. Pricing will be announced closer to the launch date.