Mercedes-Benz India has launched the 2011 C-Class sedan in India in two variants – the C200 BE Avantgarde (petrol) priced at Rs. 29.79 lakh and the C250 CDI Avantgarde (diesel) priced at Rs. 32.30 lakh ex-showroom Delhi.
The prices of the petrol Mercedes C-Class are almost identical to the outgoing model, while that of the diesel are about Rs. 1 lakh cheaper than the outgoing car. However, both variants are loaded with more features than the model they replace.
Debashis Mitra, director sales and marketing, Mercedes-Benz India says, “The new C-Class is an entry-point into the luxury segment for customers, and is loaded with more features than competitors in this segment.”
So what’s new in the Mercedes C-Class Avantgarde?
The design is all-new and striking. The things that catch your eye about the C-Class are the xenon headlamps and LED daytime running lamps (all cars have caught on to the design trend started by Audi), the large Mercedes logo in the chrome grille and the huge glass panoramic sunroof. The entire roof is glass and can be opened in two stages to let light and air in. The rear of the C-Class is rather conservative with only LED tail-lamps freshening up the look slightly. Also read: Mercedes Benz SLK launched
The new C-Class was launched globally in February this year. It is powered by a choice of two engines in India – a 1.8 litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine in the C200 CGI that puts out 186 bhp of power at 5,600 rpm and 285 Nm of torque at 2400-4000 rpm. This is mated to a 7-speed (GTronic) automatic transmission that also has an intelligent manual mode.
The diesel C250 CDI is powered by a 2.1 litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine that puts out 204 bhp of power at 4,200 rpm and a huge 500 Nm of torque at 1600-1800 rpm. The diesel comes with a 5-speed automatic transmission.
These engines are fast and relatively fuel efficient. The petrol engine gives a claimed mileage of about 10.6 kmpl, while the diesel is better off at 14.2 kmpl.
What C-Class customers will find useful are a host of new features on the car. This includes adaptive headlamps that turn with the steering or increase luminosity depending on ambient lighting. The headlamps come with multiple driving modes for various driving conditions, like in the city or out on the highway. Both front seats are powered with memory settings for multiple passengers and drivers. The Thermatic climate control can independently regulate temperature for the driver and front passenger and it includes rear AC vents.
The car is loaded with safety features that include six airbags, adaptive head and neck restraints, ABS, stability program, brake assist, cruise control, as well as attention assist, which detects if a driver is drowsy.
The suspension features selectable modes for different driving conditions and adjusts the shock-absorber settings, which can make the ride either soft for comfort cruising or stiff for sporty driving.
The Mercedes C-Class essentially competes with the BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4. In terms of price, the C-Class is about Rs. 1 lakh more expensive than the BMW 3 Series, model for model, and about at par with the Audi A4. However, in terms of sales, the C-Class sells nearly 25% more cars than BMW and about 40% more cars than Audi, according to Mitra. From January to August this year 1,639 C-Class cars were sold in India, averaging about 210 cars a month.
Sales are almost equal for both the petrol and diesel models. Says Mitra, “Of the older C-Class about 45% of the models sold were petrol, while the rest where diesel.” Mercedes expects similar demand from the present model.
“The reason we launched this model now is because we expect a spurt in demand during the upcoming festival season,” says Mitra. He, however, did not reveal Mercedes’ sales targets, but expects demand to be good. “We’ve seen a 40% increase in sales over last year, this year, and expect this to continue,” he says.
The Mercedes C-Class is available in a choice of three colors – white, silver and black, with a range of interior color choices. It is available on sale immediately from 27 dealers across the country and can be serviced at 55 service centres across the country.
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