For 2012, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class family grows larger with the addition of the C-Class coupe. The C-Class also receives over 2, 000 tweaks to its mechanical bits, sheetmetal, and interior, making it a significantly refreshed model compared to its predecessor. The improvements should also make the C-Class a stronger competitor against the BMW 3 Series, the long-time benchmark in the compact luxury car segment.
The bulk of the changes take place under the hood of the 2012 C-Class, with a focus on increased efficiency without sacrificing performance. The base model C250 makes its U.S. debut with a 1.8-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder, 201-hp engine, while the V-6 in the C350 now receives direct injection and 302 hp. The naturally-aspirated, 451-hp, 6.2-liter V8 remains in the range-topping C63 AMG. All models get a revised seven-speed automatic transmission for improved engine response and the reworked suspension makes the C-Class a noticeably better performer on the road.
The refresh continues on to the exterior where you’ll find a new front fascia consisting of reworked headlights and a new, all-aluminum hood that’s 20 pounds lighter. Inside, Mercedes ups the quality with a new dashboard, a thicker steering wheel, and a high-definition info screen for the instrument panel. The 2012 C-Class will also get a few high-tech options such as Adaptive High-beam Assist, Lane Assist, and Blind Spot Assist.
Body style: Sedan, Coupe
Engines: 1.8L I-4, 3.0L V-6, 3.5L V-6, 6.2L V-8
Transmissions: 7-speed automatic
Models: C250 Sport Sedan, C250 Luxury Sedan, C300 4Matic Sport Sedan, C300 4Matic Luxury Sedan, C350 Sport Sedan, C63 AMG Sedan, C250 Sport Coupe, C350 Sport Coupe, C63 AMG Coupe
The 2012 C-Class is refreshed inside and out and is now packed with more standard features including HD radio, rain-sensing wipers, integrated garage door openers, auto-dimming mirrors, USB interface, and an integrated compass. Customers can now opt for new high-tech safety features found in bigger and more expensive Mercedes offerings, including: Adaptive Highbeam Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, and Blind Spot Assist. The all-new C-Class coupe is available in Sport trim only and engine choices include the new turbo-four, the 3.5L V-6, and the range-topping 6.2L V-8 found in the C63 AMG.
The C-Class sedan receives an exterior facelift with new bumpers and a new front fascia that includes reworked headlamps, LED daytime running lights, and a larger three-pointed star for the sport version. The new coupe, however, is arguably the sportiest C-Class yet with a sleek roofline, standard panorama sunroof, and a narrow C-pillar. LED taillights are now standard on all 2012 C-Class variants as well as the all-aluminum hood, which is 20 pounds lighter than the outgoing 2011 model.
Mercedes made extensive interior revisions to address customer complaints on the previous C-Class cabin. For 2012, the dashboard has been completely reworked to better integrate the navigation and infotainment screen, while a new, solid trim piece runs from the center air vents to the passenger-side door. The buttons, knobs, and air vents have been redesign along with the steering wheel, which is now thicker. The coupe features paddle shifters, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and sport-design seats with added bolstering and distinctive, integrated headrests.