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Review: Mercedes-Benz C220d

The C-Class isn’t a very old car, if you think about it. And that being the case, a full update is still a few years away. So, you need to look at this new C220d as a mid-life refresh more than anything else. And like most midlife refreshes, this one too is rather subtle. In fact, from the outside, it would be quite possible to miss the tiny changes other than the new grille.

C220d 1

Yes, the most obvious cosmetic change is the new grille. The slats have given way to Merc’s new diamond style carbon grille. If you look closer, you’ll notice that the bumpers, both front and rear, have been redesigned too. Not heavily, but there are changes. There are also new light clusters up front and at the back – the headlights are new all LED units and so are the tail lights.

C220d 2

Insides too are very similar to what they were before. One major difference in the car we were driving was that the beige and black theme has moved over for a fresh black and aluminium finish. This, we like. The instrumentation is still the same as before with the twin tube design. There is a new infotainment screen though that is now larger than before. The steering mounted controls have also changed a bit with additional buttons and toggles being added to the trackpads that help a lot in usability (we’ve never been fans of the trackpad anyway). All other features remain the same inside. This means – SatNav, CarPlay, reasonably good sound, supportive seats, that massive panoramic sunroof and all the rest that you would expect from a C-Class.

C220d 4

Now, the meat of this update lies in the engine. While Merc has left the chassis more or less untouched (same wheelbase, length and width as before), the engine has seen some work. To start with the 2.0-litre turbodiesel now makes more power – 192bhp and 400Nm. It is mated to a new 9-speed auto ‘box that is both refined and quick. The combination can deliver quick acceleration with 0-100 kph coming up in 8.4 seconds. What really impresses is roll-on acceleration. With quick kick downs, the C220d can to the 30-50kph and 50-70kph runs in 1.6s and 2.1s respectively. And through all this, the car still manages to return 13.24kpl in the city and 18.1kpl out on the highway.

The handling characteristics remain the same as before and the car still feels eager to go even though you do feel the weight transfer in left to right transitions quite a bit. But other than that, it is a great mix of dynamics and ride quality. For a daily driver, the C-Class makes a lot of sense. It is one of those cars that you won't mind driving or being driven in. And at Rs 44.25 lakh, it is a fair bit of value in the German luxury car space.

Rating: 8/10
Pros: Three-pointed star, excellent gearbox, looks
1950cc, 4-cyl, turbodiesel
9-speed automatic
Weight: 1655kg
0-100kph: 8.4s
30-50kph: 1.6s
50-70kph: 2.1s
Highway: 18.1kpl
City: 13.24kpl
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