The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is one of the most popular cars from the German premium automaker in Indonesia, contributing almost 30% share to the brand’s sales last year. To find out why the car is so successful, Forbes Indonesia tested the top of the line model of the C-Class for this year, the Mercedes-Benz C 300 AMG Line. The car comes with various options that the more affordable model, the C 200 EQ Boost Avantgarde Line doesn’t. For starter, as it’s the AMG Line it comes with a more luxurious and sportier look with its diamond grille, AMG style bumpers, and wheels. On top of it all, it got features such as panoramic roof, Burmester sound system with 13 speakers, and LED headlights that can light up to 650 meters, a first equipped in a C-Class.
Outside the car features one of the sleekest looks in its class, and this year the update on the car refines the design even more appealing. The diamond grill refreshed the car looks up to date to the contemporary design cues from the brand, the aggressive bumpers, and the 18-inch five spokes wheels set up the masculine yet subtle stance of the car. While on the rear, the two elegantly designed tailpipes and a diffuser set up the sporty tone.
Getting inside the car, one will be pampered with the luxurious yet futuristic-looking interior of the car. One nice feature is the driver gets a nice 12.3-inch digital screen that replaces the analog gauges from the previous generation, the screen is crisp and easy to read with a choice of three themes that can be used. The center screen is also now nicer to see, as its now in a widescreen format with a 10.25-inch screen. The steering wheel also has the latest layout of buttons that are now easier and more intuitive to use, with a combination of buttons, scroll wheels, and touchpads.
Driving with the car is quite pleasant, with the car being quiet and ran smoothly. I can enjoy the sound system that has decent quality, complemented with natural sunlight from the panoramic roof that enhanced the ambiance of the car. On a good day, the car qualities made me enjoyed driving the car more even in the middle of hustle and bustle of Jakarta. For the driver convenience, the car also compatible with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, plus there is a wireless charging pad at the center console that can accommodate even big smartphones.
The engine was responsive and mated with a 9-speed automatic gearbox that delivers a very smooth ride. On a stop and go situation in the middle of traffic the car is easy to drive, as it has a maximum torque of 370 Nm that can be gained at a low 1,800 rpm. Only a calm and light press at the throttle was needed to move from a halt. One handy feature amidst the chaotic and sometimes the narrow roads of Jakarta is the 360-degree parking camera, it gave an extra peace of mind when navigating through challenging conditions. Plus, there are also active brake assist and blind-spot assist.
For one that wants a bit of fun, the car able to delivers decent performance. The driver can switch to sports mode that sharpens the throttle of the car and made it quite zippy. Even though it's only powered by a 2,000 cc 4 cylinders turbocharged engine, it able to produce quite a rapid speed at low to mid rev range, as of course I only tested the car on a normal road. The engine able to produce almost 260 horsepower and on paper can make the car Line accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds. While the top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h. The car also has decent handling, the car moves responsively according to the steering input, thanks to a sportier suspension that is lower by 20 mm.
The lowered suspension, however, is the biggest drawback of the car. While it drives comfortably on a smooth road, on the rough road however the car ride quality became quite harsh. The lowered ride and thin tires because of the bigger wheels contribute to the stiffness of the car suspension. One should have at least a test drive before deciding to buy, especially if sporty handling is not a priority over comfort. It’s a shame as it should able to deliver both.
Nevertheless, aside from the harsh ride on a rough road. The car is a joy to drive, especially for an executive who wants to drive themselves. As the proportion of the car is perfect, it’s not too long and wide for the road of Jakarta. The feature of the car is quite abundant, the look inside and outside is also one of the best on the market for its segment. It also has decent fuel economy , hovering around 10km/l when tested in various conditions. The C-Class below the C 300 may be more comfortable, but it doesn’t pack all the options, looks and punch like this one.