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Merc launches greener C-Class

2010-08-10 15:10

Sergio Davids

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Mercedes-Benz
Model C-CLASS CGI BlueEfficiency
Engine C180/C200 1.8l four cyclinder CGI
Power 115 @ 5 000 r/min; 135 kW @ 5 250 r/min
Torque 250 @ 4 200 r/min; 270Nm @ 4 600 r/min
Transmission Six-speed manual/Five-speed automatic
Zero To Hundred 9/8.2 seconds
Fuel Consumption 7.1l/100km; 7.6l/100km
Steering Power steering
Airbags Dual front and curtain airbags
Front Suspension Three-link suspension, anti-dive, coil springs
Rear Suspension Multi-link independent suspension
The locally-built Mercedes-Benz C-Class receives a new BlueEfficiency engine in the form of the 1.8l four-cylinder CGI (Charged Gasoline Injection) unit. The German carmaker has launched its new engine in two variants (C180 and C200) across two models (sedan and estate).

Compared to conventional port injection, the direct fuel injection engine allows higher compression and results in improved efficiency. Although the new CGI engine in the C180 offers the same power output as the outgoing engine, it does offer a higher maximum torque figure.

At the core of Mercedes BlueEfficiency range is the creation of engines that are more environmentally friendly and 27 of the new CGI unit’s components are made from recycled plastics and renewable materials.

New engine

The CGI engine is offered in C180 and C200 variants, with the latter seeing an increase in its power output by 20 kW.

The C180 CGI develops 115 kW at 5 000 r/min and has a higher torque figure of 250 Nm at 4 200 r/min, higher than the 230 Nm of the engine it replaces. Fuel consumption on a combined cycle is quoted as 7.1l/100km in the sedan and 7.4l in the estate.

The new C200 CGI uses the same engine, but it has been tweaked to offer more power. The C200 produces 135 kW at 5 250 r/min and has a peak torque figure of 270Nm at 4 600 r/min. The C200 CGI has a combined fuel consumption figure of 7.6l/100km in sedan guise while the estate derivative is rated at 7.5l/100km.

Both models are available in either six-speed manual or five speed automatic transmissions.

Driving it

Getting behind the wheel of the new C180 CGI there’s hardly any noticeable difference between the current 1.8l and new BlueEfficiency model.

Out on the road though, it is clear that the C180 features a less responsive engine than the slightly more powerful C200. The power output discrepancy renders a slightly less athletic response to throttle input. Thanks to a characteristically refined Mercedes automatic transmission (featuring smooth gear changes) the drivetrain keeps its composure (and low noise levels) even when pushing on a bit.

Both models ride with typical C-Class decorum and handle quite well - especially when cornering at pace. The steering feels a little detached though, a feature of most contemporary power-steering systems.

Styling changes

Mercedes-Benz has made a number of styling changes to the entire C-Class range to coincide with the launch of its new CGI engine. The front grille has been changed, with the three-slatted option previously reserved Avantegarde now being standard across the range. C-Class owners are also able to add LED lights as an optional extra (R12 000).

Other options include keyless-go and the addition of heated seats. Another styling change sees the Avantgarde/Elegance badge being moved to inside the vehicle and replaced with a CGI badge. All exterior changes apply to the entire C-Class range.

All in the name

Mercedes-Benz is moving away from its nomenclatures indicating engine capacities and drivers can now infer that the higher the number, the more powerful the model is, regardless of its engine size. For instance, the C180 tag was traditionally associated with the 1.8l engine, but the new C200 badge will be used to denote the same 1.8l engine, albeit a more powerful version, and not a 2.0l engine.

Mercedes-Benz has adjusted the prices for its new C-Class engine range in line with the impending CO² emission tax. As of September this year the new C-Class CGI’s price will increase by R4 000.
The CGI range comes standard with the MobiloDrive 120 maintenance contract which includes a two-year/120 000 km full vehicle warranty and complimentary roadside assistance.


C 180 CGI BlueEfficiency: 
R339 000 sedan
R348 000 estate

C200 CGI BlueEfficiency:  
R359 000 sedan
R368 000 estate

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