January 19, 2023 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Isabel N. Delos Reyes

2023 Mercedes-Benz C180 Avantgarde

Mindset Recalibrated

Now on its 5th generation, the Mercedes-Benz C-class is still fondly regarded as the baby S-class even if the model has grown and evolved so much over the years. It was designed by Gorden Wagener the chief design officer for Mercedes-Benz Group AG who also designed the new S-class so naturally the design language is consistent mostly differentiated by proportions and engineered purpose. Wagener also designed the mind-blowing Formula 1-inspired AMG-ONE, the EQ, and the SLR McLaren. The new C-Class model family that includes the new All-Terrain crossover also uses the Mercedes MRA II rear-wheel drive modular platform applied to the S-Class/Maybach, E-class, and GLC.

For our domestic market, despite the plethora of model variants and powerplants available to other territories, we get the new C180 Avantgarde entry-model only thus far to represent for the general luxury consumer. I am confident that enthusiasts and more discerning customers can indent their own custom models much like in the past. Now notwithstanding the small moniker number, the C180 has a lot more charisma and talent than you would expect. Unlike other current principally front-wheel-driven Mercedes-Benz models that use the modest number for example, the CLA180/200, A180/200, B180/200, GLA180/200 and GLB 180/200 that use a transverse direct injection 1.3-liter turbo engine, the C180 uses a longitudinal direct injection turbo 1.5-liter inline-4 that has a twin-scroll “segmented” turbocharger featuring an overboost function that allows it to produce an additional 20 bhp (15 kW) and 148 lb-ft (200 Nm) for up to 30-seconds together with a 48V lithium-ion battery that provides assistance at low engine speeds using a belt-driven integrated starter-alternator generator called the EQ Boost Mild Hybrid system integrated into the transmission housing to improve overall drivability and efficiency.

So, the all-new Mercedes-Benz C180, here seen in Mojave Silver exterior, black Artico synthetic leather seats, and Avantgarde interior trim, drives with significantly more purpose and thrust than expected which is a huge bonus considering the lofty retail price. Compared to the outgoing model, the all-new C-class wheelbase has increased by 25 mm to 2865 mm, has a longer sedan body by 65 mm to 4751 mm, wider by 10 mm to 1820 mm, a lower roofline by 4 mm to 1440 mm, and wider tracks, front increased by 20 mm (0.8-inches) and rear by 48 mm (1.9-inch).

Like the new S-Class, the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class is equipped with the 2nd generation of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) to operate/manage the new central portrait-style 11.9-inch infotainment touchscreen and the reconfigurable 10.25-inch (upper trims get a larger 12.3-inch cluster) digital instrument cluster. The audio performance from the 6-speaker FrontBass system is quite good however for this price point I would have loved to see the optional 15-speaker Burmester system installed which would have also looked even better with the elaborate 64-color ambient cabin lighting that illuminates the dash trim, console and door trim, and in the air vents. The rear seatbacks fold down in a 40/20/40 split, offering a variety of cargo and passenger configurations too.

The newly designed front seats feel and function like its larger brothers. The digital displays are free-standing while the sensual dash with diamond-pattern trim curves downward, waterfall-style. The door handles and seat control switches are contained in a pod that appears to be floating while the bull’s-eye air vents have flattened tops and bottoms. The overall handling is athletic and energy filled. The illusive pride of ownership is retained as well as the sense of occasion but you will really need the conviction at its asking price. It is the best performing luxury compact sedan in the Mercedes-Benz Philippines model lineup but perhaps a GLC 200 maybe more compelling and useful in our market for a bit more cash.

Specification – 2023 Mercedes-Benz C180 Avantgarde

Engine: Inline-4

Location: Front, Longitudinal

Displacement: 1496 cc

Cylinder block: Cast Aluminum

Cylinder head: Cast Aluminum, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, VVT, 48V 15 kW/200 Nm EQ Boost Mild-Hybrid

Fuel Injection: Direct Injection Intercooled Twin-scroll Turbo with Auto Start-Stop Technology & NANOSLIDE technology

Max power: 168 bhp @ 5500-6100 rpm

Max torque: 184 lb-ft @ 1800-4000 rpm

Transmission: 9-Speed ZF Automatic with steering wheel paddleshifts, rear-wheel-drive.

Front suspension: Independent 4-link, coil springs, dampers with anti-roll bar.

Rear suspension: Independent lightweight multi-link, coil springs, dampers with anti-roll bar.

Fuel Capacity: 66 liters (17.4 gallons)

Drag Coefficient: .24 cd

Ground Clearance: 157 mm

Load Capacity: 455 liters with rear seat fixed

L x W x H: 4751 mm x 1820 mm x 1440 mm

Wheelbase: 2865 mm

Brakes: Front 13-inch (330 mm) ventilated discs with 1-piston calipers / Rear 11.8-inch (300 mm) solid discs with 1-piston calipers, ABS, ESP, ACR, ABA, BAS, Agility Control, Dynamic Select, Adaptive Brake Technology, Brake Energy Regeneration.

Wheels: 18”x 7.5J Front & 18” x 8.5J Rear Mixed Multi-Spoke two-tone Alloys

Tires: 225/45R18 95Y Front & 245/40R18 97Y Pirelli Cinturato P7 XL RFT

Weight: (kerb) 1625 kg. (3575 lbs.)

0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 8.5 seconds

Top Speed (mph): 234 km/h (146 mph)

Fuel Mileage: 6.3L/100km (Overall)

Price as tested: PhP 3,890,000.00

C! RATING 9/10

+Baby S-class, spirited, most spacious and most agile C-class sedan, handsome, lovely steering wheel and standout interior with tasteful lightshow, agile, balanced standard equipment.

No 710-watt 15-speaker Burmester® audio, faux rear exhaust trim, price.

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