It has been a while since the Mercedes-Benz C-class has been in the market. With time however the competition has got hotter and the C was just waiting to get spruced up. While in overseas markets, the upgraded C-class has been available for a couple of months, Mercedes is now ready to launch the facelifted C here in India. good things-- Smooth engine, gearbox, interiors bad things-- External redesign not substantial At first glance not much seems to have changed apart from the two-tone paint scheme and a rather large sunroof. But look closely and you will notice that Mercedes has actually made things better rather than change it all. The new headlamps and the bumper are the more pronounced changes with the latter now getting repositioned air intakes that look sporty. Moreover the inclusion of day time running lights is a welcome addition. It also seems a lot better integrated in the design. In profile one can also notice the new alloys, but the size of the wheels remains same at 17 inches in diameter. The tail lights on the C-class are new as well and look sportier than before. Most of the changes though lie inside. The new dashboard is a notch above the previous gen version and looks inspired by its big brother the E-class. The instrument panel too is new and the shades used are more soothing. The Attention Assist safety system is a welcome addition too. The steering wheel is new and in this Avant Garde version it is a three-spoke unit with integrated controls for audio and telephone. Indents for your thumb once again mean that Merc wants to add a bit of a sporty appeal to the C as well. The soft touch plastics and interior trim too add up to give the driver a more luxurious appeal. Start up the C and the 1796cc petrol engine settles down instantly. So much so that at idle you will be hard-pressed to know whether it is running. Sensation of speed is also muted in the C 200 Blue Efficiency so one doesn't realise what speed one is doing until one looks at the speedo. The most significant change though comes in form of a new 7-speed automatic transmission. The 'box feels quick and in manual mode, it provides quite a bit of support for the Merc to zip past traffic. However the absence of paddleshifters is a bit surprising. The steering feels light and quick. However as the speeds rise, it does feel a bit overly assisted. Surely a little more feedback would have been better. On the ride front though there's little to complain about. The suspension soaks up bumps very nicely at low speeds and even at high speeds, it remains comfortable. With the new C-class Mercedes has paid more attention to detail than just replace things. The interiors especially are much more luxurious than before and feel it too. Quality of switchgear has improved too and that’s a good point. The new gearbox too is a good way forward, but paddleshifters are still missed.