Mercedes C180 test drive review…….why not a simple life?


Published on January 22nd, 2018 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Mercedes C180 test drive review…….why not a simple life?

Many middle class Malaysians in the past 40 years walked into Mercedes-Benz showrooms to buy their very first Benz after dreaming of having one in their garage for years. The brand, like Patek Philippe was for the next generation. This has changed in the last 5-6 years as the ‘next generation’, the millennials now have their parents well stocked funds to walk into a Mercedes-Benz showroom and buy their own Benz (which is mostly high value, high specification variants). This is why Mercedes has a very wide selection of models and variants to suit all needs.

Now…..for the buyers who have been working hard in their middle income jobs and dreaming of owning a Benz, the answer is right here. The C180. The starter Benz as we call it.

All the lifestyle and business publications will ignore this C180 and instead concentrate only on the C250 and C350e, but we know that there are many Malaysians who are itching to scale up from their Japanese and Korean rides for this German brand. So, we will not ignore their needs and we will not discriminate a Mercedes just because it sits a little below the food chain.

Meet the C180…..the updated version to be precise. Until a few months ago the C180 came with a 7-speed gearbox, now the C180 has a 9-speed gearbox and some little extra features without any price increase.

It still retails for RM228,888.00. This new gearb0x impresses with smooth operation and rapid gear shifts while reduces fuel consumption and emissions at the same time. With the DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes “Economy”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, “Sport+” or “Individual”, the shift characteristics can be preset from highly economical to dynamic. In “Individual” mode, gears can be selected manually via the steering wheel gearshift paddles (“M” mode).


This C 180 Avantgarde line comes with 17-inch 5 spoke alloy wheels shod with Bridgestone Run-Flat Tyres (RFT). To keep the driver entertained there is AGILITY CONTROL suspension with selective damping system for entertaining driving dynamics. We suggest ‘ECO’ mode for daily traffic commute and ‘Sport’ for highway driving.

Cabin Technology

The C180 features the Audio 20 with CD player. This multimedia system combines entertainment, information and communication. The Audio 20 CD offers internet capability, radio, twin tuner and CD player.

It enables networking with mobile devices via Bluetooth® and offers navigation capability in conjunction with other equipment features. The Audio 20 CD can be operated with the touchpad and is furthermore equipped with a CD drive (MP3/WMA/AAC/WAV-capable).


Developing 156bhp at 5300rpm, this 1,395kg C180 accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 8.5 seconds and can easily reach 223km/h when needed. It is responsive at low-end with negligible turbo-lag. This C180 is responsive and muscular in its mid-range delivery considering its engine size. On a test drive up steep inclines on rural roads we could feel its punchy mid-range despite its low-revving character.

With a near ideal weight balance, the C180 is smooth, poised, stable and refined at speed. Additionally, it is agile and tidy through older JKR roads with responsive, precise and well-damped steering and manoeuvrable on narrow lanes and congested city streets.

Nimble and settled, with a small light engine at the front for improved weighting, the C180 turns tidily and eagerly into corners, with balanced handling and good body control in ‘Sports’ mode.

Living Space

We found the beige on black cabin with the metallic trim run the length of the cabin inviting when we opened the doors and as lived with the C180 over the weekend. This C 180’s well-appointed cabin features comfortable, supportive and highly adjustable and versatile front seats. Rear comfort is decent for 3 adults and great when there are just 2 adults.

Final word

It is package that is hard to fault and the 1.6L engine is entertaining and efficient. Yes, there are plenty of alternatives to consider from Germany and they are all fine deserving cars, but if you want a Benz and your budget is tight, you can hold on to this C180 for the next generation to own some day.

Mercedes-Benz C 180 Avantgarde Specifications

Engine: Turbocharged 4-cylinder

Displacement:  1595

Transmission:  9-Speed Automatic

Max power: 156hp @ 5,300rpm

Max torque: 250Nm @ 1,200-4,000rpm

Top Speed: 223km/h

0-100km/h: 8.5 secs

Price: RM228,888.00

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