A day with the Mercedes C300D - Practical Luxury Sedan with S-Class roots

A day with the Mercedes C300D - Practical Luxury Sedan with S-Class roots
  • Mercedes C300D is priced at ₹66 Lakhs ex-showroom in India
  • A hybrid, the car is powered by a 4 cylinder 1993 cc engine
  • It uses the Mercedes thunk infotainment system from the S-Class
At a time when Sedan as a segment seems to be out of place, with more buyers preferring SUVs, the car needs to be special to stand out. Mercedes seems to have got it right, with the C300D. I had an opportunity to spend an entire day with the car, where I took it around the streets of New Delhi, and cruised with it on the national highway. Having spent some solid hours behind the wheel, in the most practical environments, I can say it is the most practical luxury Sedan I have driven so far. Giving me hope that the segment is not out of tricks yet. You can also check out our video coverage here.

Design & road presence
A day with the Mercedes C300D - Practical Luxury Sedan with S-Class roots
The C300D sports luxurious interior

Mercedes C300D improves upon the design we have seen previously on the C220. C-class has always been dubbed the mini S-class and rightfully so. We get a familiar design language albeit shrunk down to match a more sportier and coupe look. Although, when I say shrunk down in no means does it reflect on how aesthetic the car looks.

Be it the running LED-lights upfront, especially with the AMG kit looks mean and sporty. Mercedes' intention of providing a good mix of luxury and sport is delivered successfully. The AMG grill not only looks intimidating but comes with a star like pattern on the slats. There is also an over-bite that is a bit protruding, but adds to the appeal.

The bonnet on the sedan is fairly long and dipping downwards which adds to the sportier appeal.

The AMG profile carries throughout the car with a more prominent side skirt and AMG tyres. On the back we have the slimline tail lights which are inspired from the S-class. The boot space while looking compact is fairly spacious with a capacity of 455 liters.

The tech on the car starts to make its presence felt from the surface itself. Be it the auto folding ORVMs, or the auto shut-off headlights. Of Course the car comes with a keyless entry and I wouldn’t have expected anything less.

While the dimensions of a car is of a full size sedan at 2033mmx1466mm, it is easy to flicker around. I drove the car in the narrow lanes across Delhi. To drive it across west Delhi’s vendor laden roads to broad roads around CP the car is fun to drive.

Tech Inside - Mini S-Class all around!
The C300D manages to deliver an S-class like experience from the inside as well. You realize it quick when you look at the two massive displays inside. Having the famous Mercedes thunk in the middle, the cockpit is beautiful.

The middle display gives you complete access to the car and it’s various features. Before I go on to explain my favorites from it, I have to mention that the display is very responsive. My favorite functions touch upon three aspects of the car - performance, aesthetics and comfort.

Performance -

The center screen allows you to set the performance mode on the car with ease. Having 3 modes - Sports, Economy, Comfort. Its easy to select the one you prefer and go about your day. Of Course the power differs in all three modes, which I will cover in the drive section.

Aesthetics -
A day with the Mercedes C300D - Practical Luxury Sedan with S-Class roots
The cockpit is inspired by S-Class

The C300D has a very comprehensive set-up of LEDs spread across the interior. The entire set-up is customisable, which makes it fun to use. I changed the color of the interior multiple times, and it looked refreshing each time.

Comfort -
You also have quality of life features on your fingertips here. From setting up the climate temperature to setting up maps. It’s convenient and comfort comes first here. The detail Mercedes has put into the 11.9-inch display is truly commendable.

Moving away from the tech, the C-class is also very comfortable, with ventilated seats. The cabin is spacious, and you don’t have to worry about figuring out your driving position at all. I am 6 feet tall, and I was able to find my groove within the first 5 minutes. The memory seats also come in handy which let you set-up your default profile easily.

For a family of four the cabin has ample space. I had set up the front seats according to my height and yet the passengers could sit comfortably.

Storage options are also plenty in the C300D. You get storage compartments upfront under the arm rest, along with the dashboard and spacious door pockets as well. The cabin noise is also minimal.

For entertainment, the Burmester audio system comes in handy. The 9 speaker set-up is loud and delivers crystal clear audio. I accessed Spotify from the car and the quality was top notch.

Now we come to the part which defines my experience with the C300D. Driving this sedan is a fulfilling experience, from the moment you turn the engine on, the car roars to life.

The 1993CC engine runs with a 9 speed automatic transmission, which can be changed to manual mode as well. Yes, it does come with paddle shifters for a manual drive. The car produces 500Nm of torque from the diesel engine and 200Nm from the battery pack, which gives a controlled launch. But once it picks up there is no turning back. The gear box is slick and transitions back and forth without any struggle. The car has no shortage of power, be it short sprints or long marathons on the highway, it delivers optimally. To give you some numbers the car did 0-100kph in 5 seconds, which is very fast.

My favorite driving mode in the car is sports, simply because it knows how to channel the power of the engine.

What's particularly enjoyable about Sport mode is its ability to maintain gears for extended periods, and it even automatically downshifts when braking forcefully.The diesel engine remains quiet and sophisticated, there is a noticeable grumble when sitting idle, and drones a bit when pushed to its maximum RPM. While this is to be anticipated, opting for a six-cylinder engine would undeniably provide a smoother and more refined experience, particularly one of Mercedes-Benz's renowned silky straight-six engines.

Before closing I have to touch upon the hybrid aspect. Regarding the hybrid aspect, the 48V motor primarily serves as a starter boost in this case, contributing to improved fuel efficiency. During my test drive, we achieved an average of 17 kilometers per liter (17 kmpl) in terms of mileage.

Mercedes C300D is a perfect mix of luxury and sports. Over the years Mercedes has perfected the execution of technology in their cars and the C300D is another example in the line-up. The only suggestion I want to make here is to go for the AMG kit, if you plan on buying this car. It adds to the appeal, and gives it more character.