Deal breakers: Mercedes-Benz C-Class' ride comfort and handling need major improvement

Zamil Syaheer/May 05, 2020 04:37 PM

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The W205 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is an aging fighter in the luxury car market, and a replacement is long overdue. Launched way back in 2014, the W205 Mercedes-Benz C-Class was given a major mid-life update in 2018, with an all-new engine and 9-speed 9G-Tronic transmission for the C200 and C300 variant, along with a new dual digital display in the cabin. 

You would think that being a Mercedes-Benz, comfort would be its forte, but that’s no longer the case with today’s Mercedes-Benz cars. The entry-level C200 damper feels way too firm on the rebound, and compress way too slow going through any road imperfection. It makes for a ride so uncharacteristically Mercedes-Benz. It handles twisty roads well, but not well enough like the new G20 BMW 320i or our favorite Toyota Camry.

The fancier Airmatic air suspension system in C300 doesn’t feel like a big upgrade either. Driving at normal road speeds in Comfort mode, the car does well to cushion road imperfections from intruding into the cabin, although it does feel a little floaty over certain humps, harking back to older days of air suspension systems.

While the primary ride is A-Okay, secondary ride, especially over rougher road conditions can be a jarring experience. The 19-inch wheels and relatively low-profile run-flat tyres made it even worse. It’s an unsettling feeling, as the floatiness is felt over mild bumps, but crashy when encountering potholes. One would expect a more composed, neutral ride over the former and mitigation of the latter, but that’s not the case here.

Setting the suspension to Sport or Sport+ tones down the pillowy feel slightly, but amplifies the firm rebound ride which feels terrible. It felt like it was running on a solid steel pole. Even in this configuration, the car's body doesn't feel very settled, and you'll need to hold your nerve when attempting to drive the car in a more spirited manner.

Both the C200 and C300 exhibit vague steering and inconsistent feel while navigating the roads, but this is still acceptable as both isn't an AMG model. For regular use, the quick and light steering makes navigating tight roads an easy affair, and the texture of the leather is rather nice.

Other than that, the infotainment system features both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, something which its rival does not have (only Apple CarPlay in BMW 320i, none in Toyota Camry), the new engine powertrain option is fantastic and cabin quality remains top-notch.

However, you’re better off buying a certified pre-owned unit or barge in for a huge discount promo if you ever consider buying one. After all, a new one is currently a work in progress somewhere back in its birthplace.

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