Mercedes-Benz C 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, Exclusive Line, Cavansitblau metallic, Leder ARTICO Kristallgrau/Tiefseeblau, Zierelemente Holz Linde linestructure, (W205), 2013

Buyers in the market for the W205 Mercedes-Benz C-Class will see their choices broaden soon with two new models joining the lineup – one at the bottom end and one near the top of the cooking range (barring the spicier C 450 AMG 4Matic and AMG C63 models).

Forming the new base level in the lineup is the previously-announced C 160 – it draws 129 hp and 210 Nm from a detuned version of the C 180’s 1.6 litre turbo four, propelling it from 0-100 km/h in 9.6 seconds while returning a fuel consumption figure of 5.2 litres per 100 km. Priced at €31,684 (RM124,100), the C 160 is around €2,000 (RM7,800) cheaper than the previous entry-level C 180.

At the other end of the scale is the C 300, which sits at the top of the four-cylinder C-Class range. It utilises the C 200 and C 250‘s turbocharged 2.0 litre engine, but uprated to produce 245 hp and 370 Nm. As such, it sprints to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds and delivers 6.3 litres per 100 km. Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive system also makes its way to the C 200 and C 220 d as a near-€5,000 (RM19,500) option for both variants.

The two new engine options are particularly pertinent to our market, as they could potentially enable the local C-Class market to compete directly with similar BMW 3 Series variants on sale here in Malaysia – the 136 hp/220 Nm 316i and the 245 hp/350 Nm 328i.

The C 200 and the C 250 are the sole W205 C-Class variants on sale in Malaysia

The C 160 is slower to 100 km/h than the 316i (9.6 seconds versus 9.2 seconds) but uses less fuel (5.2 litres per 100 km as opposed to 5.9 litres per 100 km), while the C 300 is just as fast (5.9 seconds) and as frugal (6.3 litres per 100 km) as the 328i.

However, the C 160’s lack of an automatic gearbox (it is only available with a six-speed manual in Europe) could force Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s (MBM) hand into bringing in the C 180 – fitted with the 7G-Tronic Plus auto – as a cut-price alternative instead. That car uses the same engine tune as on the A 200 and B 200, punching out 156 hp and 250 Nm – exactly the same figures as on the previous C 180 that formed the base of the W204 C-Class range here.

In any case, we’re probably gonna have to wait a while to receive any new variants of the W205 – even with the advent of the locally-assembled version, the current C 200 and C 250 are expected to soldier on as the sole engine choices on offer at least in the near future, as they were the only ones mentioned in MBM’s Returning Expert Programme (REP) and Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) price lists.