More economical, better equipped and with massive interior upgrades, the Mercedes C-Class just got better than it needs to be right now. But when it goes on sale in SA at the beginning of August, will 6,500 new parts be enough to keep the Benz mainstay ahead of the next contenders from Audi and BMW? Benz fully expected either the BMW 3 Series or the Audi A4 to have clambered up to equal footing with the C-Class by now, but they haven’t, and neither have the ensemble players such as Jaguar, Alfa Romeo or Lexus. Yet a new 3 Series is in the works and an A4 facelift is around the corner, both of which will hit the C-Class like a wave in the next year, so this facelifted version has about three years to fight on. It’s also one of those mid-cycle facelifts that aren’t obviously a facelift. Benz insists it has changed almost 6,500 parts in the cycle shift, so the changes run far deeper than the skin. Visually, the upgrades are different for each specification and the car can look like a c...

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