Launch Pad: 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

13C1007_002The big question on everyone’s lips in the Mercedes airport lounge is can the new 2014 C-Class beat the mighty BMW 3 Series?

There’s no point in beating around the bush – this is the car the C-Class has to topple. It’s been the king of the mid-size saloon sector for as long as we can remember, but an analysis of the C-Class’ vital statistics and a good look around the car at the recent Geneva Motor Show proved to us that the Merc has the credentials to succeed.

Mercedes has taken many of the lessons learnt in the development of the S-Class  – a car we raved about at MR – and stuffed much of that tech into the new C-Class.

As such the new executive saloon is lighter, faster, more efficient, and packed with more technology.

There’ll be a full first drive up on soon, but here are a few highlights:

  • There’s a new touchpad and head-up display, using similar technology and an identical touch-sensitive interface as in the S-Class.
  • The 2014 C-Class is the first car in its sector to feature optional air suspension at both the front and rear – should be good for dynamics and ride comfort.
  • There’s now more passenger room in the rear and the boot is also bigger than before, even if the increase in capacity is only five litres.
  • The C-Class is clever. As well as interent available in even the entry-level version, it receives signals from satellites that can enable air recirculation when entering a tunnel, disabling it again on exit to ensure the cabin atmosphere remains optimum for passengers.
  • There’ll be a hybrid model that returns 72.4mpg combined – the C300 Bluetec – which will sit alongside a 170hp C220 Bluetec diesel and a 184hp C200 petrol from launch. Prices start from £29,365.
  • We already know from Geneva the interior is a massive improvement over the old car – it feels extremely plush and expensive inside the C-Class. Will the drive live up to the premium cabin, allowing Mercedes to knock the BMW 3er of its perch?

Check back soon to find out…

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