Mercedes-Benz C 300d AMG Line: Test Drive Review
Meet the Mercedes-Benz C 300d AMG Line. Now the C-Class line-up is vast, and this sits somewhere in the middle — between the regular C 220d and the proper AMG cars. It gets more power and torque than the 220d despite sharing the same engine, and looks much more purposeful too. This C 300d is an AMG Line car — which means it gets styling cues from the hardcore AMG cars, but doesn’t get an AMG engine under the hood. Think of it like BMW’s M Sport kit on their 5 Series sedan.
What’s new in the Mercedes-Benz C 300d AMG Line?
Well, the car isn’t really new — it was launched way back in September last year, but this is the first time we’re getting our hands on it. It’s essentially the same C-Class that we all know as the 220 d with the wick turned up a bit. The same OM654 engine — a turbocharged 2-litre diesel — now makes 245bhp and 500Nm. The AMG Line kit adds more flair to the exterior to match the bump in performance. You get the diamond grille that we know from the C43 AMG, as well as the more aggressive front bumper with bigger intakes. The rear gets a faux diffuser and exclusive 18-inch wheels with the AMG badge embossed on them. The C 300d also gets adaptive LED headlights with individual LEDs that adapt to approaching traffic and road conditions.
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Are the insides the same too?
Pretty much. There are a few changes on the Mercedes-Benz C 300d AMG Line to set it apart though from the base car. You get a sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel — the same one you get on the C43 Coupe and other AMGs. You also get a matt-textured wood finish on the dash, which in my opinion feels a lot nicer than the glossy one. This C 300d also gets a 10.25-inch infotainment system, and an exclusive tan and black leather trim on the seats and doors. The C-Class’ interiors have always been head and shoulders above the competition, and are the benchmark in its class. These tiny touches make the cabin a lot nicer to be in.
Does this variant of the C-Class drive any different?
It is quick! The bump in power certainly makes the C-Class more sprightly when you get on the gas. It gets off the line much quicker — a claimed 5.9 seconds to 100kmph is certainly impressive, and even the in-gear acceleration is better. Peak torque is available right from 1600rpm and the nine-speed gearbox keeps things such that there’s barely any lag. You do get different driving modes — that adjust the engine, gearbox, steering, and ESP. The suspension is passive so that doesn’t change. In Comfort mode, the throttle response is gentle and the gearbox upshifts fairly quickly. In Sport and Sport Plus, the throttle response becomes progressively more aggressive and the gearbox ensures the engine is really on the boil all the time.
The C-Class has always been set up for comfort and since it isn’t really an AMG car, the C 300d AMG Line is no different. The chassis prioritizes ride quality over handling and this is apparent when you come to a bendy road. Don’t get me wrong — the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is actually fun to throw around a bend, it has very direct steering and the bump in power means hammering it out of corners is even more enjoyable. However, it doesn’t feel as tied down as you would want it to through a series of fast bends. The pliant suspension is a good thing sometimes. When the road surface isn’t too great, it absorbs most of what comes its way instead of getting skittish where a stiffer car would. However, if the roads are flat, you do wish it felt more hunkered down. Where this additional power can really be exploited though, is on the highway to make quick overtakes. It feels far more effortless pulling a fast move at high speeds and even just cruising in top gear.
The refinement from the Mercedes-Benz engine is great. At under 2000rpm, barely any sound from the motor percolates in to the cabin. Post this, it does get audible but never annoyingly so. That said, this is a diesel and it doesn’t sound particularly exciting when you are caning it.
Worth the money?
Well, if you don’t want to go full-fat performance sedan, this is good middle ground. It slots itself nicely in the middle of the base diesel and the C43, and there is no real direct competitor to it. Sure, BMW has the 330i M Sport but that’s a petrol-engined car. At Rs 48.5 lakh (ex-showroom), the Mercedes-Benz C 300d AMG Line is just 10 lakh more than the base C 220d Prime. It gets a lot more grunt, looks far better and gets more equipment to show for it. I’d say this is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class to be had. Unless you can afford the C 63 S. Then always get the C 63 S.