Malaysia is known to have one of the worst traffic congestions in Southeast Asia, being able to give our neighbours in Indonesia and Thailand a run for their money. With traffic accidents being a regular occurrence, trying to have a safe drive is a task on its own. However, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 200 is here to take that challenge to the test with its all-new Intelligent Drive system.
We had a chance to test drive the C-Class C 200 during a recent drive up towards Cameron Highlands. Known for its fresh produce, cool breeze, and windy roads, it was the near-perfect scenario we could hope for when putting the car through the works.
The Mercedes-Benz C 200 comes with the distinctive look and feel of the German automaker. From its front bumper and all the way to the back, the C 200 features a new design that is much sportier than its predecessors. Its multi-beam LED headlights and taillights provide ample brightness, making the drive all the better and safer.
But it isn’t what’s on the surface that matters for the C 200; much like how we judge a person, it’s what’s on the inside that matters. Housed in the hood sits a new M264 engine with a 1.5-litre twin-scroll turbo, offering 181hp. The C 200 also comes with an EQ Boost feature, which grants you additional power when you need it most. This came in handy during the long, arduous journey through long straights on our way up to Cameron Highlands.
And that is where the Intelligent Drive capabilities come into play. Mercedes-Benz promises that every drive in its car will be a quick, comfortable, and safe one with the numerous safety features at your disposal.
As the journey took approximately four hours, safety measures like the ‘Active Blind Spot Assist’ came in handy. Essentially an additional pair of eyes on the sides of the car, the C 200 has its exits covered in the event of you wanting to switch lanes. It warns the driver if there is an incoming car in your blind spot and will apply selective breaking to avoid any potential collisions.
If you’re coming up too close to the car in front, the ‘Distance Pilot Distronic’ greatly lowers the risk of a rear-end collision. It will help in maintaining a safe distance between you and the car in front and if you ever get too close, the C 200 will have visual and audio assistance to ensure a collision never happens. A radar-based system, it will also deploy the brakes if necessary to avoid any accidents.
With long journeys taking a toll on one’s physical and mental state, mistakes can happen behind the wheel. Inadvertently the car can drift out of the lane unintentionally. This is where the C 200’s ‘Active Lane Keeping Assist’ comes in handy. By detecting if the car is straying across continuous lines, brakes will be applied. In the case of broken lane marking lines, the C 200’s radar sensors will intervene if it detects imminent danger in the adjacent lanes.
While its many safety features are great, the handling of the C 200 comes second to none with its driving and handling capabilities. Through ‘Dynamic Select’, the driver can decide between five driving programs – Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual, and Eco. The system will then change the way the car is driven by changing the characteristics of the engine, suspension, transmission, and steering.
With Comfort being the default setting, one can opt for Sport or Sport+ for a more adrenaline-fueled rush. Eco allows the car to keep fuel consumptions to a minimum while Individual gives you the chance to configure the driving characteristics to your own preference.
But what makes the Mercedes-Benz C 200 worth the drive is because of its stylishly designed interior cabin. Exuding a sporty-classy look, the interior is fitted with enough features to not make you want to leave. On the driver’s side sits a 12.3-inch full digital instrument display with three dynamic styles – Classy, Sporty, and Progressive. The centre console also gets a large 10.25-inch display, which is controlled through the Mercedes-Benz centre touchpad and track wheel.
All in all, having the Mercedes-Benz C 200 for a short period of time has made us realised how far safety measures have come. With the latest technological innovations in our cars, it’s only a matter of time before accidents will be a thing of the past rather than a daily occurrence.