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If you’re a more conventional luxury enthusiast who digs the occasional fast-paced drive, the Mercedes C-Class could be your cup of tea. With its reassuringly traditionalist interior, the C-Class is more like a scaled down premium car than an aspirational entry-level offering – which we think is a good thing.
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Though it’s more stylish than ever, the C-Class still recalls Mercedes-Benz’s stodgy reputation, and while it’s sprightlier to drive than its predecessor, there’s still a trace of restraint when pushing the C-Class to the limit. Hardcore driving enthusiasts might find more satisfaction from the C-Class' Munich-based competition, the BMW 3 Series.
Optional air suspension joins the Mercedes C-Class lineup for the first time, and atones for the otherwise firm feedback provided by the car’s run-flat tires. The system can be dialed to one of four styles – Comfort, ECO, Sport and Sport+ – and can help smooth out the ride dramatically.
DRIVER ASSISTANCE PACKAGE
This bundle of safety features includes blind-spot assist and active lane-keeping assist, though our favorite item is adaptive cruise control, which makes driving in traffic a wonderfully mindless task.
Lovely. Few other words suffice when it comes to describing the new Mercedes C-Class sedan's interior, especially on the heels of the outgoing model, which had a cold, clinical demeanor. The new C comes available with an attractive array of wood and aluminum finishes, and a relatively clutter-free layout that manages to still feel elegant. Central to the de-cluttering is a new rotary dial and touchpad that responds to gestural inputs, swipes and handwriting. Adding to the upscale feel is an available Air Balance Package with a fragrance diffuser that atomizes perfume into the air conditioning system. Because the 4-passenger C-Class coupe variants are carryover, they have yet to be blessed with these new features.Exterior
At first glance, the Mercedes C-Class bears a strong resemblance to the E-Class and S-Class – and yes, it certainly does borrow cues including the aggressive front grilles, sweeping character lines, and taut rear end. However, the C’s compact proportions give it a more purposeful appearance that’s a bit more stern than the jaunty CLA. If you crave a snazzier look, the 3-pointed star on the grille can be lit up with LEDs for an extra $480, while a Sport package brings more aggressive bodywork and wheels. The coupe variant retains its handsome but familiar looks until the curtain lifts on its own revamp, still yet to be announced.
Under the Hood
The new C-Class sedan comes with a potent turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that acts as the base powerplant in the C300 or an optional turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 found in the C400. Both models are mated to 7-speed automatic gearboxes. The C300 can be had in standard rear-wheel drive (RWD) or optional 4Matic all-wheel drive (AWD). For now, the C400 for is linked to all-wheel drive. The rear-drive AMG C63 models use a new 4.0-liter biturbo V8 that makes 469 horsepower or a headier-still 503 in the AMG 63 S. 2015 C-Class coupes retain the engine choices formerly found across the C-Class range: a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder in the C250, a 3.5-liter V6 in the C350, and the 6.3-liter V8 in the AMG C63 Coupe.
1.8-liter turbocharged inline-4 (C250 coupe)
201 horsepower @ 5, 550 rpm
229 lb-ft of torque @ 2, 000-4, 300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/31 mpg
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (C300 sedan)
241 horsepower @ 5, 550 rpm
273 lb-ft of torque @ 1, 300-4, 000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/34 mpg (RWD), 24/31 mpg (AWD)
3.0-liter turbocharged V6 (C400 sedan)
329 horsepower @ 5, 250-6, 000 rpm
354 lb-ft of torque @ 1, 600-4, 000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 mpg
3.5-liter V6 (C350 coupe)
302 horsepower @ 6, 500 rpm
273 lb-ft of torque @ 3, 500-5, 250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 mpg (RWD), 19/27 (AWD)
4.0-liter turbocharged V8 (AMG C63 sedan)
469 horsepower @ 5, 500-6, 250 rpm
479 lb-ft of torque @ 1, 750-4, 500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg
4.0-liter turbocharged V8 (AMG C63 S sedan)
503 horsepower @ 5, 500-6, 250 rpm
516 lb-ft of torque @ 1, 750-4, 500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg
6.3-liter V8 (C63 AMG coupe)
451 horsepower @ 6, 800 rpm