In 2012, the Germans decided that India needed to look at something new and basically upgrade their line-up of cars. The first to cross the upgrade line was Audi with the A4 and the launch of the updated version was very close to that of the new BMW 3-series. However, Audi did get a head start in the sales of the A4 and BMW had to rethink their strategy. BMW did eventually launch the new 3-series and people loved the car. Of course all eyes and heads turned to the other German among the contenders - Mercedes-Benz!
Mercedes-Benz however, was silent and we didn't really hear from them until now. The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has been revealed and from where we stand, it's gotten better. If BMW and Audi are looking, well Mercedes-Benz has waited (a long while at that) and have come out with a product that not only matches these two updates but also surpasses many expectations.
The 2015 model certainly looks grown up and it is evident that the styling is borrowed from its big brother - the E-Class. The new C-Class gets a 3-inch longer wheelbase and despite the growth, Mercedes has managed to shed some weight and this will reflect in the overall performance and the fuel efficiency it will eventually attain.
The engine range expected after its international launch includes a 168bhp 2.1-litre turbodiesel in the C220 Bluetec, a 154bhp 1.6 petrol in the C180 and a 181bhp 2.0-litre petrol in the C200.
So what Mercedes has done here is that, take all the features from the S-Class, the E-Class and mash them up to put it into this car. From what we know, all this technology will be made available at a reasonable price as well. There is still time for the car to be launched in India and we will be driving it soon enough but here's a brief comparison on how it will do against the competition here.
Let's look at the dimensions of each of the cars first. The BMW 3-series is 4624mm long, the Mercedes C-Class is a tad longer at 4673mm but the Audi A4 is the longest of the lot with 4701mm.
The wheelbase battle is however won by Mercedes. The C-Class gets 2844mm of space while both the 3-series and the A4 come in a close second and third at 2810mm and 2808mm.
But the biggest transformation for the C-Class has been in the weight department. Mercedes-Benz has used aluminium and that is why the C-Class is the lightest of the lot and weighs in at 1310kgs while the 3-series comes second with 1585kgs and the A4 a close third at 1590kgs. Since the car is light, we might see it doing even better in the performance department but we cannot comment on that till we drive it.
The new C-Class is also the first car in its class to be offered with air suspension, Mercedes says. The Airmatic system features four modes - Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport+ and a customizable Individual mode. There isn't an option of air suspension on the Audi or the BMW.
The Audi A4 gets the MMI interface which is absolutely a delight to operate while the BMW 3-series gets the iDrive system with its neatly arranged menus. But what these two have to fear about is the COMAND interface (which has gotten better) and the heads-up display and an air conditioning system that uses GPS data which will come in the new C-Class.
Mercedes-Benz has indeed taken its time to make things better and borrowing features from its more luxurious cousins will make it an amazing car to own. However, both BMW and Audi will not sit back and take this in their stride. They will fight back and Mercedes-Benz has to be ready for it.
We will be driving the all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class and we will bring you a first drive report very soon. So stay tuned!
Meanwhile you can check out our Gallery of the C-Class