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2022 Mercedes-Benz C 180 Avantgarde Review: C+S = Customer Service

Derryn Wong
19/04/2022
2022 Mercedes-Benz C 180 Avantgarde Review - CarBuyer Singapore -  front view

Mercedes-Benz knows what its Singaporean buyers want and the base C-Class – the C 180  – delivers, plus an extra dash of efficiency


2022 Mercedes-Benz C 180 Avantgarde


PROS
Looks just like an S-Class
Cabin is just like an S-Class
Plentiful legroom and space 
CONS
Gearbox still a little jerky 
Less refinement than expected

SINGAPORE –

SINGAPORE – Baby has all grown up, but some things still remain the same. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class, so long known as the ‘baby Benz’, can no longer fit that name since it’s truly an S-Class wrought small, and the least C-Class for now, the C 180, is also most definitely going to be the one most of its customers want.

As we covered in our launch of the new 2022 C-Class in Singapore, for now the model lineup consists solely of the C 180, C 200 (in either Avantgarde or AMG Line versions), and a C 300e PHEV on the way. AMG models have yet to be shown, but we certainly expect a C 43 and C 63.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C 200 AMG Line/ Avantgarde Review - CarBuyer Singapore -
C 200 AMG Line – body kits looks incrementally more fierce

The C C 200 AMG Line was tested by ed Lionel Kong, who found it powerful and sporty-looking, but also expensive, which is where this car comes in: The C 180 in Avantgarde trim is a huge S$49,000 less than that car. Could there be an even cheaper one, like the previous C 160? We answer that toward the end.


Derryn proves his ‘C-Class is just like a small S-Class’ sausage theory in this video review

Driving experience: Not an A-grade, but not a C either

2022 Mercedes-Benz C 180 Avantgarde Review - CarBuyer Singapore -  front 3/4 shot


The new C-Class is much larger than before, and looks like what happens if you 3D print an S-Class at 75 percent. As a result, it does look elegant and properly Mercedes-like thanks to the flowing proportions – you can’t say the same about an A-Class sedan, for instance.

The AMG Line kit certainly adds more excitement, visually, but the Avantgarde model doesn’t exactly wallow in sloth in comparison, but at a S$8,000 premium, we’d stick with the Avantgarde and spend the extra in more important areas we’ll cover further down.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C 180 Avantgarde Review - CarBuyer Singapore -  engine
Now every C-Class is electrified – even the base C 180

The mild-hybrid drivetrain is identical to the C 200’s, both packing a 1.5-litre inline four-cylinder turbo engine and 20hp/200Nm electric motor assistance – the difference being the C 180 has 170hp and the C 200 packs 204hp.

The C-Class looks great from…oh wait it’s an S-Class. Fooled ya, didn’t we?
2022 Mercedes-Benz C 180 Avantgarde Review - CarBuyer Singapore -  rear 3/4
Now this is the C 180 for real.

That 34hp/50Nm difference is certainly noticeable even in Singapore, but all things considered, it’s  Singapore and that sort of power difference isn’t really worth the extra money unless you happen on a good deal for the C 200, or just want to show up the (undoubtedly more numerous) C 180 drivers. In any case, 170hp in and unto itself is plenty for here, and even the North South Highway now that that’s allowed.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C 180 Avantgarde Review - CarBuyer Singapore -  front 3/4 static

The inline four sounds decent, but it’s not particularly sporty nor distinguished – this is obviously an engine designed to help Mercedes meet fleet CO2 and EU6 requirements and beyond. A high point is just how seamless the start-stop system is now, since you won’t actually feel a thing, it does encourage you to leave it on even in Singapore.


Behave yourself, and use Efficiency mode, and the mild hybrid C 180 will deliver a very decent 6.0L/100km-ish on the highway here, and around 8.0L/100km with mixed urban/highway runs.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C 180 Avantgarde Review - CarBuyer Singapore -  rear 3/4
Is that a C-, E-, or S-Class? From far, you may not be able to tell

Where the Merc disappoints is refinement: During regular driving there’s some tyre noise at speed, the ride quality is a little busy, there’s a hint of pitching fast corners, and the nine-speed gearbox is again clunky around the first three gears. The latter we can put down to our test car having less than 1,000km on the clock, but we observed exact same behaviour in the first iteration of the W213 E-Class in 2016, and it was seemingly solved with the C-Class W 205 facelift in 2018.

In the C 180’s defence, if you decide you want to drive fast the car is surprising. It rises up to the challenge and doesn’t dissolve into wallow and understeer, and is actually quite fun to flog, though we know the vast majority of C 180 owners won’t go there.

Page 2: It ain’t no speed machine, but here’s where the C-Class speeds up heart rates…

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4-door 5 seat C 180 Avantgarde C-Class Mercedes-Benz petrol sedan

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's chief editor brings 15 years of experience in automotive journalism. Previously, he was the editor for Top Gear Singapore, and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment. He's contributed to The Business Times, Today, and many other publications, and also covered technology as editor of Stuff magazine. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he is the Chief Slave of two cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong

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