June 08, 2021 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Andréas N. Delos Reyes

2021 Mercedes-Benz C180 Avantgarde

All Grown & Leaving the Nest

With the all-new Mercedes-Benz C-class (W206) arriving late next year in other markets that will be much larger and significantly more electrified in every way, we get to review the current model (W205) in our Philippine market while supplies last. If you already think that the current C-class has become financially restrictive as an entry model, then the upcoming all-new model will definitely be even more expensive. Thankfully to address the growth of the entire family range, the more financially accommodating models in the A, B, and CLA fields are all well-appointed to suit each consumer’s needs.

Despite having the most modest model badge in the whole 4th-generation C-class family, the C180 in Avantgarde trim will surprise you with pretty good dynamic ability. The C-class family is the entry point for traditional rear-wheel driven Mercedes-Benz sedans. By the way, if you want to buy a C450 or C63, this current generation will supposedly be the last to use larger displacement engines.

Our Polar White C180 Avantgarde test unit with black Artico leather seats and piano black-lacquer-look/light longitudinal-grain aluminum trim was a good reminder that progress and evolution of the motorcar is a direct reflection of the period when it is sold. Huge dynamic performance figures are not as essential as they used to be. They are extremely important naturally for hardcore enthusiasts but for the general populace, sufficient propulsion is more than enough as long as the other critical areas are covered; reliability, passenger comforts, fuel and emissions efficiency, build-quality, and pride of ownership. In these areas the Mercedes-Benz C180 has got all the areas covered yet it is still a performer when the opportunity presents itself. It’s real-world driving dynamics outperforms an iconic Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 AMG for example while having more space, safety measures, modern technologies and creature comforts. The C180 has the elusive premium feel, technology features, and elegance expected from a Mercedes-Benz. The C-class has grown so much over the generations that it actually has comparative space to a W210 E-class (1995 to 2003) but with significantly more kit and elegance. The other colors currently available at the Mercedes-Benz Philippines dealerships are Iridium Silver, Obsidian Black, and the unique Cavansite Blue.

Some of the key standard features of the Philippine-spec C180 are lovely full LED High Performance headlights and taillights, the audio system has the FrontBass® speakers so it sounds pretty good with the Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto connections, KEYLESS-GO Comfort Package, Ambient lighting, Agility Control suspension system managing the fully independent four-link front and five-link rear suspension, Driver-selectable multiple modes: Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport+, and Individual settings, the brilliant 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and the 10.25-inch central infotainment control screen which can be controlled and manipulated by scrolling and tapping at the two touch-sensitive nubs on the left and right spokes of the steering wheel with paddleshifts (and/or use the rotary control knob and associated touchpad with haptic feedback), 17-inch 5-twin-spoke light-alloys wrapped with purposeful Bridgestone Turanza 225/50R17 94W Runflat tires, and so much more.

The overachieving modestly sized powerplant manages to properly optimize the modular MRA chassis thanks to its excellent synergy with the 9-speed automatic transmission. The overall driving characteristics are very good especially when driving solo. However as most of these cars get commonly driven by chauffeurs, I wish I could say that the rear seats are very plush and limousine-esque but they are perhaps too firm for more senior passengers even if the C180 looks like a mini-S-class. Ultimately, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz C180 Avantgarde is a solid premium luxury compact sedan with very balanced performance and kit, only its retail price is a challenge to overcome.

Specifications

Engine

Engine Inline-4
Displacement 1497 cc
Cylinder Head dohc 16V
Fuel Injector Direct Injection Intercooled Turbo, Atkinson-Cycle, VVT
Max Power (bhp @ rpm) 154 bhp @ 5300-6100 rpm
Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm) 184 lb-ft @ 1200-4000 rpm
Transmission 9-speed AT

Performance

Top Speed 225 km/h (141 mph)
0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph 8.5 sec.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Fuel Milage (km/l) 6.2 L/100 km Overall

Ratings

Price as Tested (PHP) PhP 3,290,000.00
What's Great Optimal real-world performance, nice packaging, comprehensive driver aids, pedigree, excellent build-quality, real dual exhausts with trim, very smooth and efficient
What's Not So Price
C! Editors Rating 9.5/10
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