Sighted earlier this month, the wraps have finally come off the 2022 W206 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, with the fifth-gen executive sedan making its official Malaysian debut today, exactly a year after its world premiere. As previously indicated, the car goes on sale here in two variant forms, as a C 200 Avantgarde and a C 300 AMG Line, similar to the route taken with the W205 C-Class facelift. Both the C-Class models are CBU fully-imported units, but will make the transition to local assembly in the second half of the year.

Sitting on the automaker’s second-generation MRA 2 platform, the W206 measures in at 4,751 mm long, 1,820 mm wide and 1,438 mm tall, making it 65 mm longer, 10 mm wider and nine mm lower than the W205. Its 2,865 mm wheelbase is also 25 mm longer than that of the old car.

Styling-wise, the lines follow the design theme taken with the W223 S-Class, albeit in scaled down proportions, with the slim headlamps and rakish tail lights mimicking that found on the flagship. Identification of the model line is a simple proposition with the new car, given the structured approach to the front ends available for it.

There are three in all, with the base model getting a vertical louvre grille. The Avantgarde also gets the same grille layout, but extends on this with additional decoration in the louvres and by having elements of the grille and front apron surrounds dressed in chrome. As for the AMG Line, it gets a new diamond grille, with its pin design featuring a three-pointed star pattern finished in chrome.

Line-specific trim in the rear bumper also help to identify the different models, as do the wheels in the case of the local models – the C 200 Avantgarde rides on 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, which are specified with run-flat tyres.

As for the C 300 AMG Line, it gets 19-inch AMG multi-spoke units. However, its tyres aren’t run-flats, as denoted by the Tirefit tyre repair kit that is part of its specification – we understand that the AMG Line doesn’t ship with run-flats anymore, and besides, ride comfort is another good reason for going with standard rubbers on 19s. The variant comes specified with larger diameter front brake discs.

Interestingly, both the C 200 and C 300 are fitted with the same headlights, which are the LED High Performance units that ship as standard with the car, as well as adaptive highbeam assist. On the W205, the higher range model had Multibeam LED units, so it’s a surprise to not find the Digital Light LED system (from the S-Class) on the C 300.

As for powertrains, the C 200 has, as predicted, reverted to a 1.5 litre engine configuration, as was the case when the W205 C 200 facelift was introduced here in 2018. However, the 181 hp and 280 Nm M264 four-cylinder turbo – which featured a 48-volt electrical system and a belt-driven starter-generator – was replaced by a 2.0 litre mill in 2020, at which point it also became an AMG Line version.

The unit on the W206 isn’t the same – it’s the new M254 variant, which replaces the M264. Among other things, the redesigned unit features upgrades to the 48V system, replacing the belt driven starter-generator with a new integrated starter generator setup, with the system now placed between the engine and the gearbox.

Previously, the old system was able to support the engine with 13 hp (10 kW) and 160 Nm of boost when needed, but on the new engine the ISG hikes the assist to 20 hp (15 kW) and 200 Nm. On the C 200, the new 1.5 litre engine offers 201 hp (or 204 PS) at 5,800 to 6,100 rpm and 300 Nm from 1,800 to 4,000 rpm, similar numbers to the 2.0 litre unit that replaced its predecessor.

The C 300 also makes the shift away from the M264, and now features the M254 mill in its 2.0 litre guise. Power output remains the same, with 255 hp (or 258 PS) on tap, but torque has been bumped up to 400 Nm (2,000 to 3,200 rpm) from the 370 Nm available previously. Both engines are paired with the familiar 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission, which made its way on to the C-Class with the W205 facelift.

Performance figures include a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 7.3 seconds and a 246 km/h top speed for the C 200, while the C 300 brings the 0-100 km/h time down to six seconds and gets to a higher 250 km/h maximum speed.

Inside, the new car obtains some gains in space for occupants, with 35 mm more knee room and an additional 13 mm headroom in the rear, and there’s more elbow-room as well, to the tune of 22 mm in front and 15 mm at the back, compared to the W205. As for the volume capacity of the boot, it’s the same as the old car, at 455 litres.

Design highlights include a dashboard that is divided into an upper and a lower section and newly-designed air-conditioning vents, reminiscent of aircraft engine nacelles, as well as digital displays. Aside from a 12.3-inch free-standing instrumentation panel screen, both variants feature a visually dominating 11.9-inch portrait-oriented central touchscreen display. The unit, which is just an inch smaller than the one on the S-Class, is very much the centrepiece of the cabin.

Both the instrument and media display can be individualised with three display styles (Discreet, Sporty, Classic) and three modes (Navigation, Assistance, Service). In addition, both screens can be shown in seven colour schemes, in line with the ambient lighting available for the car.

The C-Class is also specified with a Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support) as well as MBUX Navigation Premium and an LTE communications module for Mercedes me connect services. No Burmester audio system to be found anywhere though, which is a bit of a shame.

In terms of interior upholstery colours, buyers of the CBU units get a choice of three schemes to pick from, and these are black, brown and a brown/black mix. Both cars come with an Artico faux leather covered dashboard and nappa-look beltlines, while variant specific trim on the Malaysian cars consists of silver grey diamond-pattern accents and a silver grey criss-cross pattern centre console for the C 200, and metal weave trim inlays and a mixed texture metal effect veneer for the centre console on the C 300.

There are of course specification differences between the variants – the C 200 gets comfort front seats, while the C 300 is equipped with sports seats. Also, aside from being differently styled (similar to that on the E-Class), the multi-function three-spoke sports steering wheel on the C 200 is dressed in leather, while the C 300’s is finished in Nappa. Elsewhere, the C 300 adds on AMG floor mats.

Standard equipment include powered front seats, Keyless-Go and start, Thermatic automatic climate control, wireless charging in the front section of the cabin, rain sensing wipers, illuminated side sill panels, rear window roll-up sunblinds and remote boot closing. Also common to both models is the suspension configuration, which is an Agility Control system with selective damping and Dynamic Select.

Safety and driving assistance kit includes seven airbags, active lane keeping assist, cruise contriol, active blind spot assist, active brake assist, a lane tracking package, a tyre pressure monitoring system and active parking assist with Parktronic. The only variation is with the camera – while the C 300 has a 360-degree camera, the C 200 makes do with just a reverse function for its unit.

Eight exterior colours are available for the CBU C-Class, and these are Spectral Blue, Polar White, High-tech Silver, Obsidian Black, Graphite Grey, Selenite Grey, Cavansite Blue and a Manufaktur shade called Hyacinth Red. Finally, the price. The fully-imported W206 Mercedes-Benz C 200 Avantgarde is priced at RM288,334 while the C 300 AMG Line goes for RM330,681, both on-the-road without insurance.

Compare the specifications of both C-Class variants on CarBase.my.

GALLERY: W206 Mercedes-Benz C 200 Avantgarde, CBU

GALLERY: W206 Mercedes-Benz C 300 AMG Line, CBU