Mercedes C300d AMG Line Review
Car Tested: Mercedes C300d AMG Line; Road Test No. 1083; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 57,97,893/-
The C300d is a perfect blend of performance, dynamics and luxury
India is one of the fastest growing car luxury car markets in the world. However, like the rest of the world, Indian luxury car buyers prefer premium compact SUVs. That said, the classic sedan silhouette still remains very popular. To count on that popularity, Mercedes-Benz has given the C-Class a shot of botox along with new engines and more equipment. Can this be enough to take on the current crop of cars in the segment and those coming in the near future like the BMW 3-series and Volvo S60? Stay tuned.
Motor Quest: The Mercedes Benz C-Class was introduced in India in its second generation avatar in 2002. Since then the car has proved to be the de-facto choice for many luxury buyers. Over the years the car has proved itself to be an extremely capable all-rounder. In its fourth generation, the C-Class is one of Mercedes' best-selling cars and retains a strong fan following in India.
Exteriors - The Mercedes C300d is available with the sporty AMG Line treatment. You get what you expect like aggressive bumpers, side skirts and larger 18-inch wheels. The AMG Line also gives you higher spec 'Multi-Beam' LED headlights which look different than the other versions of the C-Class. Another great addition is the classy looking 'diamond' grille that is available with the C300d
The AMG Line trim brings various cosmetic changes to the C-Class which makes it look sporty and swanky
The styling hasn't changed by a huge margin and that is only a good thing. The C-Class always looked elegant and polished, just how a Mercedes ought to. The new C300d takes that theme forward while adding a touch of sportiness. On the side the character lines are prominent and this gunmetal colour gives the car enough bling value. The back is characterised by nicely designed bumpers with (fake) visible exhausts and the S-Class inspired 'C' shaped LED taillights. The front seems to be changed more than any other profile of the car and it gives the C300d a nice and confident stance.
Like all AMGs or AMG inspired models, the design of the C300d looks wonderfully constrained. It does not look too plain nor does it shout power. As always Mercedes seems to have found the right balance between the two.
Interiors - The C300d is a relatively low slung car so getting in is not very easy. However once inside you are greeted by the friendly C-Class layout which even after all these years still looks contemporary. The circular AC vents look premium and the buttons feel tactile and long-lasting. It takes hardly any time to spot the changes. The glossy wood finish is gone replaced by 'open pore' wood which is not only scratch free but also looks more understated in our opinion. The centre screen is now a 10.25-inch unit as opposed to the 7-inch unit on the outgoing car. The infotainment isn't the slickest but is a huge improvement over the previous COMAND systems from Mercedes-Benz. The larger screen also makes it easier to operate it when on the move.
The cabin feels luxurious and premium; quality of materials used is outstanding
The flat bottom steering wheel is similar to other AMG models and is chunky to hold. We love the placement of buttons on the steering which feels very ergonomic. The India-spec C300d misses out on the digital instrument cluster. We get the standard analog meters and honestly, we don't find a reason to complain. The hooded binnacle in which the meters are housed looks ace and adds to the cabin's characters. The dials are easy to read and crystal clear at all times. The tan leather on our car felt refreshingly different than the usual black or beige. The interiors look very athletic and quite charming with that colour.
The quality of materials is all but faultless and everything shutting with a positive thud just reaffirms that feeling. The seats at the front are quite comfortable and come with functions like electric adjustment with memory function and bolster adjustment for both the driver and the passenger. The C300d also gets colour changeable ambient lighting which only lifts the ambiance of a very characterful cabin.
The cabin feels well built and Mercedes has used a variety of materials to give the interior an opulent look
The C300d comes loaded with the usual features. In addition to the ambient lighting, you get climate control, a nifty little clock, two-part panoramic sunroof and others. The back seats are good but the thigh support could have been much better and the headroom is limited for the taller passengers. The centre person will find the transmission tunnel to be a bit high and the rear AC vents intruding into the leg space. The rear seat passengers do get sun blinds.
Performance - Powering the Mercedes C300d is the same engine (OM654) as the C220d but gets an additional 50 BHP and 100 Nm, resulting in a total output of 245 HP and 500 Nm which is close to 6-cylinder numbers. As expected, performance is extremely impressive with great grunt throughout. The low-end is strong, turbo lag is well contained and drivability is excellent too. The motor is refined lower down but as you push it past the mid-range, it becomes vocal and is very audible near its 4500 RPM redline.
The diesel engine is very powerful and the gearbox offers lightning fast shifts
The mid-range is really strong and the Mercedes C300d pulls relentlessly, taking just 5.9 seconds to reach the ton from a standstill. The 9G-Tronic gearbox is super fast with shifts and gives you a downshift whenever you need it. You can manually control the cogs using the steering mounted paddles but it will upshift if you don't do so near the redline. The engine revs fast and there are 5 driving modes on offer - Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual (this can be configured), these modes alter the engine and gearbox, steering and ESP. The C300d's engine is BS6 compliant on BS4 fuel and the vehicle returns a mileage of 9-12 km/l.
Driving Dynamics - When Mercedes developed the fourth generation C-Class, they managed some weight reduction due to which they had to stiffen the chassis and suspension but with the facelift, they have softened the suspension a bit as it felt quite stiff. It still feels firm though but the ride quality is quite good even on the low profile tyres of this AMG line trim. However, on bad roads, you can feel the stiff suspension as the vehicle thuds through.
The stiff suspension does make the ride harsher but it also leads to very confident handling around corners
The steering is well weighted and feels light at low speeds but weighs up brilliantly at high speeds. Body roll is very well contained too and the C-Class is a joy to drive around the corners as the wide tyres offer terrific grip. In fact, turn off the traction control and it becomes a bit tail happy, yet it's less prone to oversteer than the C220d, in spite of having more torque because of the grippier rubber. The brakes offer very good stopping power and the C-Class remains stable at high speeds although expansion joints due to affect the car due to the stiffness and low profile tyres.
Safety - Being a Mercedes, you needn't worry about the safety in your C300d. The car gets a host of features like 7 Airbags, ESP, traction control, driver fatigue detection system to keep you safe and sound. Unfortunately, the new C misses out on the radar-based safety systems and it is very likely that the C-Class will get it only after the E-Class does. But the C-Class has aced every single crash test it has been subjected to and with stellar build quality, you have probably one of the safest cars in the world.
Verdict - The Mercedes C300d is a truly impressive car that does many things right. It looks beautiful, has sophisticated interiors, good driving comfort and an exceptional diesel engine. The traditional Mercedes qualities like build quality and refinement are not sacrificed. Sure, the backseat could've been better and the ride quality should've been a bit softer. But those criticisms are no deal breakers. In the end, the Mercedes-Benz has done a stellar job at updating the C-Class and we are quite sure that the C300d will maintain a strong ground even after the entry of new rivals.
* Striking and elegant looks, unmistakably a Mercedes
* Luxurious and feature-loaded interiors along with great build quality
* Punchy performing engine and great ride and handling dynamics
* Loaded with a lot of safety technologies
What's Not So Cool
* Rear seats could have offered more space
* Suspension should have been a little softer
Alternatives: - BMW 3-Series, Jaguar XE, Audi A4
Mercedes C300d AMG Line
Mercedes C300d AMG Line Review
The Mercedes C300d AMG Line excels in a lot of areas like looks, features, performance and safety. The C300d is quite fun to drive but the suspension is setup on the stiffer side, leading to slight discomfort over bad roads. The C-Class feels very luxurious and makes you feel special. Mercedes has recently given the vehicle a lot of updates that make it a compelling product.