Mercedes C-Class (2021), how is the 265hp diesel mild hybrid going

It looks like one Class S, right? But no! As you read from the title, the one you see in the picture is the brand new Mercedes C Class. A quick glance is enough to understand that the change from the past has been radical from all points of view, not only in terms of aesthetics but also in content and engines.

For this test we chose the diesel as much as possible in the price list, a mild hybrid four-cylinder with 265 HP: to find out how it goes, read the article below or click on the video.

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External | Interior | Guide | Curiosity | Prices


Password, simplicity. The new Mercedes C-Class demonstrates how it is not necessary to add lines and exasperate the shapes to bring out something more beautiful and modern, and the side crossed by only two soft ribs is an example of this. The general stylistic features are those introduced by the latest S-Class: the smooth lines of the bodywork, the balanced proportions and the shape of the headlights, both front and rear.

The front overhang is reduced and the passenger compartment seems to rest on the rear axle, which highlights the long curved bonnet. The large front grille can change in the finishes depending on the chosen trim and, for the first time on the C-Class, the sedan does not have the single rear lights, here divided in two between the boot and the car body.

Then there are more sporty elements such as the lowered suspension, the wheels that can reach 19 inches in diameter and the aesthetic features signed by AMG. Compared to the previous generation it has grown by 7 cm in length and one in width, and is also one centimeter shorter. From the outside, therefore, the reference to the S-Class flagship is evident, as are the equipment, some of these never seen before on a C today.


Technology has definitely taken over, with the two instrumentation and infotainment screens that attract the eye and can reach a diagonal of 12.3 and 11.9 ”. All screens can be customized in terms of aesthetics and the MBUX system arrives here in its second generation: now it can be updated Over The Air and some functions – such as answering the phone – can also be activated without the password ” Hey Mercedes ”.

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New Mercedes C-Class (2021)

In general, there are very few physical keys, all of which are gathered at the lower end of the screen. It may seem strange but you immediately get used to interacting with the system with your voice or with very few touches on the screen which, to facilitate operations, is slightly turned towards the driver and seems to float on the central tunnel. Looking around, it is impossible not to be struck by the shapes and the alternation of materials, soft both in the upper part of the dashboard where there are the three turbines of the air vents and in the lower part, covered in carpet and soft touch plastic.

On request, drawing from the price list there are many different coatings for any visible surface. Coming to space, it is plentiful in all directions, with the extra stride that has earned those traveling behind over 2 inches more for the knees and shoulders in width. On the other hand, the trunk, which on the sedan, is still 455 liters.


All the engines of the new C-Class are four-cylinder, all turbos and all mild hybrids, with powers ranging, for now, from 170 to 258 hp for petrol and from 200 to 265 for diesel. For the first time, both power supplies can count on a 48V on-board network that powers the ISG system. In practice, instead of the flywheel, an alternator is mounted that can function both as a generator and as a starter motor.

In a nutshell, it is an evolved Stop & Start system: at low speeds or by taking your foot off the accelerator, the engine switches off letting the car sail, while when you are looking for maximum performance it is able to provide a boost of 22 CV and 200 Nm of torque to support the thermal thrust.

On the most powerful diesel engine, the one in this test identified by the initials 300d, several optimizations have been made to achieve this level of performance: the crankshaft is new, the injection pressure has been increased by about 200 bar and now both turbos are equipped with a variable geometry turbine. The technicians also worked on the steel pistons which now have cooling channels filled with sodium, which allows to reduce the temperature peaks inside the chambers.

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All this translates into a linear, fluid and constant delivery spread over the entire range of revolutions. However, it is practically useless to aim for the red zone because the bulk of the torque is already present in the 2,000 zone and in any case the 9GTRONiC 9-speed automatic transmission is always ready to make the most of its back.

New Mercedes C-Class (2021)

Among the many driving modes that there are, I immediately set up the Individual, which allows the driver to independently manage all the parameters of the car. The engine gives the best left in comfort as well as the gearbox to maximize comfort, but depending on the road I played a little with the steering and set-up to make the first more full-bodied and the second stiffer.

The response of the shock absorbers is soft and the absorption of roughness, especially the prolonged and repeated ones, even with the 19 “rims of the 300d of this test takes place without any vibration or noise, you pass over them almost as if nothing had happened. Dry ones feel a little more, but for a less generous rim with a higher shoulder tire it would certainly help.

I felt the lack of electronic control especially on fast motorway curves with asphalt that is not always perfect, with that floating effect at the rear that is perceptible above all by those who sit behind. Apart from this, it is almost useless to add that it is precisely over long distances that the C-Class, especially with this engine, gives its best. And the numbers also prove it: in just one day we traveled about 480 km between the motorway and the main roads and the average consumption of diesel was 5.5 liters per 100 km, over 18 km per liter.

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New Mercedes C-Class (2021)

The ADAS – which have been optimized compared to the old C-Class – work great. They are activated by the left spoke of the steering wheel and, in my opinion, are among the best around, with the adaptive cruise control being progressive as well as the active lane maintainer.

A novelty is the automatic recognition of road signs which now has a wider range of signs in memory, including road works. Think that the car is able to recognize the prohibitions depending on the circumstances by integrating what the camera sees with what the sensors detect. For example, if it says “slow down on wet roads” and it’s raining, the car will advise you to slow down.


The headlights are LED as standard but, on request, you can choose the Digital Light system that we have already known on the S-Class. Inside each headlight there is a module consisting of three LEDs, whose light is broken down by 1 , 3 million micro-mirrors that make the light beam extremely intense and precise. They can also have a projection function, so they represent symbols such as road signs or even animations that interact with what is in front of the car on the road.

New Mercedes C-Class (2021)


The new C-Class debuts on the Italian market in six versions: Business, Sport, Premium, Sport Plus, Premium Plus and Premium Pro, with prices starting from 50,990 euros for the C 200 mild hybrid Business in sedan version, and it takes about 1,500 euros more for the Station Wagon. It is already possible to order it, with the arrival in Italian dealerships set for summer 2021.