Mercedes C-Class saloon - Interior & comfort
The interior of the Mercedes C-Class is relaxing and quiet, but the diesel engine is noisy
The interior is one of the Mercedes C-Class' best features, with even the entry-level SE trim (A more basic S trim is offered only with the C 180 petrol) offering plenty of standard kit. Fit and finish are excellent and the design looks smart, too. All the seats are comfortable as well. It’s just a shame that engine noise sometimes intrudes into the cabin, spoiling otherwise-peaceful motorway driving.
Mercedes C-Class dashboard
Getting comfortable behind the wheel is easy thanks to reach and rake adjustment for the steering wheel and a height-adjustable driver’s seat. The dash looks great, with lots of pleasing detail and an overall feeling of quality that shows time has been spent making it feel as upmarket as the C-Class’ big brother the Mercedes S-Class – the interior of which inspires this one.
Standard equipment is generous, including 17-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, DAB radio and a 10.25-inch display screen that’s a big improvement over the old seven-inch item, with sharper graphics. C-Class SE and upwards add Parktronic, and Sport Edition models add LED headlights, lowered suspension and Artico leather upholstery.
AMG Line Edition models have 18-inch alloy wheels, an AMG bodykit, sports suspension, a sports steering wheel and a leather finish on top of the dashboard. Technology also includes a 12.3-inch digital instrument display. There are also AMG Line Night Edition Premium and Premium Plus grades, adding luxuries like 64-colour ambient lighting, wireless smartphone charging and a Burmester stereo system.
Audiophiles will want to consider the surround-sound Burmester stereo upgrade for lower trims, which sounds excellent but costs several thousand pounds once you’ve paid for the necessary options. The normal stereo will do the job for most people.
Buyers can also choose a Driving Assistance package that helps keep the car in its motorway lane and at the same speed as other traffic, costing around £1,700.
We weren’t big fans of the old seven-inch touchscreen, but the new 10.25-inch version is much sharper in every respect, and the interior is sleek, modern and well made. The system can be controlled using either a touchpad or a wheel. This can make accessing functions and settings confusing until you get used to it. It's also worth noting that the infotainment setup isn't the same as the MBUX setup found in newer Mercedes models like the A-Class hatchback and Mercedes GLB SUV; we're expecting this to arrive in the C-Class for the next model.
The front and rear parking sensors (Parktronic) work well, but it’s the (optional) self-parking technology that really impresses us. Some systems are great in theory, but frustrating in practice – not so with the C-Class: you simply put the car in reverse then engage the system when prompted, should you want to. The C-Class will even automatically apply the brakes for you as you edge into a space – something not all self-parking systems do.
The (also optional) lane-departure warning system is effective, too, providing a gentle vibration through the steering wheel if it senses you’ve strayed out of your lane without indicating. If you don’t take corrective action, the more advanced (and more expensive) lane-keeping assistance setup will even steer the C-Class back into the correct lane.