If you are going to fork out a small fortune on a new Mercedes-Benz, you'd want the neighbours to know, wouldn't you?
I mean, you'd hardly cough up $70,000-plus to upgrade your pride and joy if the new car looks practically identical to the last. But that's what Mercedes-Benz has asked from buyers of its newly upgraded C-Class, the German brand's best-selling model and a huge sales success in Australia.
After five years on the market, they've given the volume-selling C-Class a facelift - almost without changing its appearance at all.
Still, the folk in Stuttgart are not famously known for sitting on their hands either - so you can rest assured that while this mid-model update might look the same as the original, it's a different story beneath the surface. It's received more of a heart transplant than a quick botox injection.
New engines and new technology have replaced the usual chrome strips and interior makeover in what is a surprisingly comprehensive rebuild of a very successful machine.
The changes start at the very bottom of the range, where the entry-level C200 (tested here) gets an entirely new engine - a 1.5-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant that uses less engine capacity - and hence less fuel - to deliver identical performance to the 2-litre version it replaced.
More broadly, the updated C-Class shows off a new "mild hybrid" engine technology steadily making its way through the entire Benz model range.
Called EQBoost, the system stores energy from the petrol engine, and when the car's brakes are used - to power a small electric motor that, ever so subtly, boosts the car's performance and hence its efficiency. The result is a thirst of 6.4L/100km for the new C200.
It also adds about 10 kilowatts of power to the petrol engine's 135kW output - thus helping that smaller engine deliver similar performance to the larger engine it has replaced.
Rounding out a complete overhaul of the C200's drivetrain is the introduction of Benz's latest transmission - the nine-speed 9G-Tronic that replaces the very adequate seven-speeder used widely throughout the three-point star's domain.
There's also a new, more powerful diesel engine in the C220 variant - replete with 143kW (up 18kW from the previous model) and a thumping 400Nm of torque, while sipping just 4.7L of diesel spirit for every 100km travelled.
Further up the food chain, the C-Class delivers shaper performance via the C300 (an upgrade of the previous turbo four); and a range-topping C43 AMG model - whose twin-turbocharged V6 delivers a gaudy 287kW and 520Nm of torque - enough to reach the speed limit in a blurry 4.7 seconds.
Still, while it might impress the bloke beside you at the traffic lights - all those changes don't mean much when keeping up with the Joneses.
So Mercedes has given the C-Class's cockpit a decent dress-up to put an exclamation point on all those hidden improvements.
Key among them is the introduction of an all-digital instrument display in place of the old analogue dials. It brings Benz into line with German rival Audi, which has boasted one of these very impressive, very versatile "virtual cockpits" for quite some time in its A4.
It also brings the C-Class up to speed with its smaller, cheaper A-Class sibling, which trotted out the digital dashboard in even the cheapest models when launched late last year. So the C-Class couldn't very well have not followed suit.
Like the A-Class, the C also gets a bigger, wider 10.25-inch media display screen to drive its always impressive cabin command system - with beautiful new graphics on the satellite navigation and the ability to configure it in Sport, Classic and Progressive modes.
The upgraded C-Class also gets Benz's latest steering wheel configuration, with touch-sensitive controls that allow easy navigation of both the centre screen and that very smart digital instrument display.
Beyond those tweaks, the C-Class cabin has changed very little - not necessarily a bad thing but perhaps a challenge for second-time buyers.
Perhaps that explains why, almost as soon as it launched this new C-Class, Benz marketed the kind of offer usually reserved for runout clearances - offering a no-cost upgrade from the base model tested here to the more powerful, better specified C300 - a free kick worth about $8000 to prospective buyers.
It's not the first time Mercedes have done this, either - they did virtually the same thing with the recent launch of the all-new A-Class - again offering the upscale A250 4Matic at a price barely above that of the base model.
Still, no point biting the hand that feeds you, I guess.
What I can say is that this new C-Class makes a more convincing case for first-time or upgrading Benz buyers - and that's going to be particularly important with the imminent arrival of an all-new BMW 3-Series.
From a Benz to a Beemer? What would the neighbours say about that!
HOW BIG? The three-point star's compact sedan has won a legion of fans because of its nimble driving dynamics coupled with ample interior space. This facelifted model doesn't tweak with that formula.
HOW FAST? The entry-level model tested here gets a smaller engine - but doesn't seem to have suffered at all in terms of performance. There's more power available, though, if you're willing to look further up the C-Class range.
HOW THIRSTY? Benz claims 6.4L/100km for the new C200 which is good - but the C220 diesel wins the economy stakes with its 4.7L/100km thirst.
HOW MUCH? The base-model C200 will set you back $63,400 plus on-road costs.