The steering doesn’t have any AMG badging & hence it feels like an M-Sport from the BMW stable.
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- Engine & Gearbox (Strong Performance)
- Exterior Looks (AMG Line Treatment)
- Economy (Efficient, Long Range)
- Interior (Ambience & Feel)
- Missing Features (Keyless Entry, HUD)
- Pricing (At INR 61L Ex-showroom it’s E-X-P-E-N-S-I-V-E)
- Rear Seat & Boot Space (Personally feel for people who require more space the 3 GL is a better family car for the driving enthusiasts)
- Ride Quality (Stiff at low speeds but gets better with speed like any German car would. Maybe if it had come equipped with Air Suspension it would have greatly helped particularly at this price point)
Video Review – This is a Driver’s Perspective Video Review of the Mercedes-Benz C300d AMG Line.
Those who prefer text may read on.
Engine & Gearbox Performance
At a time when Diesel cars are going scarce & environmentalists are keeping their yardstick ready for internal combustion engines, this diesel engine seems to be the saving grace for not only the Tree Huggers but also the Enthusiasts.
In India the C Class is available with a 1.5L Petrol, a 2L Diesel in the form of 220d & then we have this which is the 300d & all these engines have the 48V Hybrid system.
The test car too was a 2L Diesel just like the 220d however the engine is massaged more to churn our 265 HP & 550 NM of torque. This engine is codenamed the OM 654 M & this is their 1st Diesel engine with an Integrated Starter-Generator.
The M in the OM 654 also stands for modifications, the key modifications (New Crankshaft, Increased Injection Pressure & ability to glide with the Engine “Switched Off”) done to this engine allow it to produce such a healthy output of 265 HP & 550 NM of torque. The EQ Boost function allows an addition of up to 20 HP or 200 NM more torque on demand & this will keep the enthusiasts smiling and surely not miss more cylinders.
This 300d engine in the C Class though a 4 cyl, pulls, accelerates (0-100 km/h in 5.7 secs, factory quoted) and feels like a 6 cylinder but doesn’t sound like one. However once past a couple of gears, the sound of the engine is acceptable. Speaking of the gearbox, it’s doing a good job most of the time & has never been jerky or confused, it is the 9-speed unit which Mercedes call the 9G-Tronic unit. It’s internally codenamed the W9A-700.
The paddle shifters are also well crafted and suit the car’s new Sport steering, however, it doesn’t flaunt any AMG badging which is a bit of a downer as this variant (AMG Line) is like an M-Sport (which has plenty of M Logos) from the BMW stable hence a subtle AMG logo/badge would have helped. However, coming back to another strong point of the engine is that it’s very economical too as it comes with an ARAI-rated fuel economy of about 20 km/l which is genuinely impressive.
Another point which works in favour of this engine is that this W206 gen C Class will no longer get 6 or 8 cylinders (43 & 63 AMG’s included) hence you won’t feel too bad driving around in a 4 cyl diesel because there’s no option to buy a C-Class with more cylinders than 4. This decision though not favourable for true blue AMG fans but will psychologically work well for non-AMG variants. Hence overall, this kinda economy with Electrical assistance from the 48V motor & a torquey engine upfront is surely a game changer for Diesels.
This 5th Generation of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class being a Rear Wheel Drive car belongs to the Modular Rear Architecture platform but the 2nd gen Hence another name for it is the MRA2. This updated version of the MRA platform now allows integration with the steering & uses a lot of Aluminium components. This updated platform feels more agile than the outgoing predecessor.
It is essential to discuss the steering calibration (natural build-up of heaviness with speed) of gen C Class in the handling department. Although completely electric, it contributes greatly to the overall dynamics & is further helped by the beautiful new AMG line steering wheel design. It is a joy to operate under all conditions.
As already said that this platform allows rear wheel integration for steering (available Internationally) but unfortunately we don’t get it in the Indian spec even for the C300d AMG line. The setup seems to be dynamically configured with a new 4-link axle at the front & a multi-link axle at the rear mounted to the subframe.
Rear wiggling out is understandable with so much torque (+ added EQ Boosts) but during those times too the front end remained impressive to aid control. The suspension system feels dynamic enough for having all the sporty fun, but honestly, at these prices I expected an Air Suspension at least for this AMG line variant.
The braking system on the other hand feels solid and reliable.
The brakes not only look good with a large caliper and cross-drilled rotors but also stop well.
Coming to the ride quality, we need to talk about the tyres as we are running a low profile setup with 225/54 R18 front and 245/40 R18 at the rear. There’s nothing magical to write about the ride other than the ride being stiff at low speeds but getting better at higher speeds. For those who prefer a better ride it’s best they pick the 17″ variants or downsize with a higher profile. Quick mention about the ground clearance which is manageable but with this AMG kit the front bumper lip is a bit low hence one needs to be careful while negotiating the speed bumps.
There’s no doubt the design language seems to be inspired from the top of the line S-Class, but the original design philosophy was always “Sensual Purity” & in the case of the C-Class it has an added sporty touch.
Overall “Cab-Backward” design is clearly visible in the profile of the car.
The interiors are sort of the highlight & may be the USP for the general audience. Thanks to the large floating screen interface and the latest generation of the MBUX system the cabin feels properly modernised and provides a great ambience. Other details about the interior and screen interface have been covered in the TEAM-BHP official review hence not discussing this at length.
With the demise of 6 & 8-cylinder variants from the entire C-Class line up this 4-cylinder 300d seems to be a strong performer. The rear seat space is not the best & I really hope they launch the LWB version of the C-Class in India too to make things more interesting.
Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.
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