The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is no absolute action sedan, but it’s one hell of an ambrosial affluence car.
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If you appetite a aftertaste of the acceptable activity afterwards eviscerating the kids’ academy fund, entry-luxury cars like the C-Class acquire answered that affectionate of alarm for added than two decades. Or not: The approachable C-Class auto sputtered into aftermost abode in 2013’s $46,000 Action Auto Challenge (read it here). That was a turbocharged four-cylinder C250 Sport, and we collection a V6-powered C350 anon afterwards that didn’t redeem much. If this is the babyish Benz, a lot of bathwater bare draining.
Drain it, Mercedes did.
With the CLA-Class now anchoring the basal of the lineup, Mercedes confused the redesigned C-Class upmarket in agreement of both affection and price. The redesign hits dealerships backward this ages in all-wheel-drive C300/C400 form, and in aboriginal 2015 in rear-wheel-drive C300 form. From affluence to technology, it’s conspicuously added adorable than the car it replaces.
I collection the all-wheel-drive (4Matic) C300 and C400 sedans, both with Action packages. The C-Class auto soldiers on in prior-gen anatomy for 2015, but aggregation admiral said to apprehend a auto advancement aural a year or so. Oh, and yes, there will be a high-performance AMG version.
Mercedes-Benz has a addiction of dressmaking alternating ancestors of the C-Class afterwards the latest flagship S-Class, and the new C-Class follows that cast alike added than usual. The able-bodied headlights and curvaceous lower grille arresting a bright affinity to the brand’s top-flight sedan, which Mercedes redesigned aloof a year ago. The C-Class is now a little afterpiece in size, too: All-embracing breadth is up 3.7 inches against the approachable sedan, and amplitude is up 1.6 inches.
Despite the added size, all-embracing weight is bottomward as abundant as 200 pounds against the old C-Class auto acknowledgment to a anatomy that mixes aluminum and animate against the all-steel anatomy in the approachable car. Admiral say abundant of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class’ anatomy panels — including the hood, doors, roof and block — are aluminum, too.
Fire up the C300’s 241-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and this year’s added accepted ability is anon noticeable. The agent has little in accepted with the approachable C250’s 201-hp, turbo 1.8-liter four-cylinder. It has a collapsed torque ambit — 273 pounds-feet that plateaus from aloof 1,300 rpm on up — that evokes the BMW 3 Series 328i’s accomplished turbo four-cylinder. Where the 2014 C250 ran out of steam, the new C300 moves out. Accelerator progression has bigger against the above-mentioned car’s asleep pedal, and the accepted seven-speed automated bliss bottomward readily with little accessory hunting, decidedly in the drivetrain’s Action and Action Additional modes. You ascendancy all that through an Agility Select switch, which additionally adjusts council assist, accelerator progression and (in Eco mode) altitude ascendancy acuteness in one acceptable toggle.
With the alternative Airmatic adaptive air abeyance — a aboriginal for the C-Class — Agility Select additionally changes abeyance damping. In the all-wheel-drive, Airmatic-equipped C400 I drove, the system’s assorted modes dialed up attenuate but apparent differences in ride comfort. Still, the C-Class lacks the all-consuming abreast that characterizes added Airmatic-equipped Benzes. Ride accord was acceptable over accelerated dips and rises on my drive, but Airmatic accustomed pockmarked highways to accelerate up a amount of berth agitation that was little altered from my time in a fixed-suspension C300 Sport; the 1-inch-larger auto in the Airmatic car (19s) shouldn’t be abundant to account the system’s ride-control capabilities. There are additionally anchored (non-Airmatic) abject and Abundance suspensions, as able-bodied as cushier 17-inch auto and higher-profile tires, beyond the lineup. All those will affect ride quality, so test-drive one and adjudge for yourself. My take? Airmatic, a stand-alone advantage on the C300 and C400, isn’t account its $1,190 price.
Mercedes-Benz expects beneath than 20 percent of C-Class buyers to opt for the C400, and it’s accessible to see why. It’s a able car whose turbo, 3.0-liter V-6 makes a stout 329 hp, and the wall-o’-torque (354 pounds-feet from aloof 1,600 rpm) crests aboriginal to accelerate you aerial accomplished slower cartage with bisected the pedal to go. But it’s unnecessary; the C300 does this in a pinch, too, admitting with beneath ability in reserve.
It handles better, too. Though Mercedes-Benz claims aloof a 2 percent aberration in weight administration amid the C300 and C400, the closing feels added nose-heavy, with a blow added sloppiness up advanced in across-the-board corners. Flip the Agility Select to Action Plus, and the Airmatic seems to annihilate anatomy cycle bigger than alike the sport-tuned anchored suspension, which pitches askance a bit as you bandy it around. But the C-Class is still no 3 Series or Cadillac ATS; the appendage was abhor to alluvion in my all-wheel-drive analysis cars, and the sole rear-driver of the calendar — the non-4Matic C300, accessible in 2015 — doesn’t appear with the bigger engine.
Brake-pedal feel, at least, improves a lot against the approachable C-Class’ doughy pedal. And both the C300 and C400 beacon with a ablaze touch, alike in Action Additional mode. The caster feels absolute abundant as you punch into a corner, but all-embracing acknowledgment has a amount of asleep at aloof about every speed. It keeps with today’s affluence cars, but it will absolute the C-Class’ address to active enthusiasts.
If affluence enthusiasts exist, the C-Class will get their trophy. Real copse and metal beautify a berth that sports first-rate abstracts from the dashboard to the doors. Anywhere your arms, elbows or knees blow has padding, with accessible stitched MB-Tex vinyl on areas of the birr and aerial doors. Consistent, low-gloss abstracts are about everywhere — a akin of affection you don’t generally acquisition in this class.
My C300 and C400 had able action seats, save for their baby lower cushions. Non-sport seats with lower ancillary bolsters are additionally available. MB-Tex vinyl seats are standard; covering seats are optional. Alas, the backseat still sits low to the attic — an affair in the antecedent C-Class, too — afterwards a lot of adjustment in headroom. Despite claimed advance in backseat space, legroom for adults charcoal alone adequate.
Cargo aggregate in the new C-Class is a aggressive 12.8 cubic feet, which is up hardly against the approachable C-Class (12.4 cubic feet). A new (and standard) 40/20/40-split folding rear bench replaces aftermost year’s 60/40-split seat, and it’s appreciably well-executed.
Mercedes’ Comand system, with a 7- or 8.4-inch screen, is controlled by a rotary bulge and a new touchpad. You can circuit and bang through submenus if annexation on a touchpad isn’t your thing.
Standard audio includes Bluetooth buzz and audio streaming, HD radio and USB/iPod integration. Mercedes-Benz bales accessory radio with a Burmester stereo, which is alternative in the C300 and accepted in the C400. The Burmester is appealing abuse good.
As of this writing, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class had not been crash-tested. Accepted assurance appearance accommodate seven airbags additional the appropriate antilock brakes and adherence system. A drowsy-driver apprehension arrangement and forward-collision admonishing arrangement with automated braking are additionally standard. That’s rare, alike amid affluence cars. Alas, a advancement camera — accepted on cars as plebian as the Honda Fit — is optional.
Rear anatomy airbags are additionally optional, which brings the absolute airbag calculation to nine. (Head-protecting dark airbags for advanced and backseat occupants are standard.) Adaptive cruise ascendancy with full-stop braking and council support, which can nudge the caster larboard or appropriate to break in your lane, is allotment of a $2,800 Driver Assistance Package, which additionally includes dark spot, cantankerous cartage and lane abandonment admonishing systems. It additionally adds a lane-keeping arrangement that applies careful brakes (not the council support) to actual your advance if you alpha to drift. It won’t arbitrate if you acquire a about-face arresting on, and should you charge to swerve, you can affected it calmly with council effort.
The all-wheel-drive C400 gets an EPA-estimated 22/29/24 mpg city/highway/combined, which is appropriate ammunition abridgement for the six-cylinder competition, but EPA abstracts are awaiting for the added accepted C300. Mercedes says it expects advanced movement on EPA figures, which would advance bigger ratings than the accepted C250/C300, which are as aerial as 25 mpg combined.
The approachable Mercedes-Benz C-Class auto abject amount started at $36,725 for a rear-drive C250 Sport, including destination. Mercedes says it has no affairs to reprise that trim, authoritative the C300 the new base. Rear-drive models will alpha at $39,325 back they go on auction in aboriginal 2015. The added ability and anew accepted advanced blow admonishing justifies abundant of the increase. Added accessibility appearance acquire the accepted shuffle: A anamnesis driver’s bench and ability tilt/telescope council cavalcade move to the accepted accessories list, while aftermost year’s moonroof moves to the options list.
A loaded C400 retail amount should top out about $65,000, which is a bashful access over the accepted C350. I doubtable shoppers will acquire it. Alike with the CLA-Class on sale, the Mercedes C-Class topped 33,000 sales through the aboriginal six months of 2014. That makes it the additional best accepted Benz and fifth best accepted U.S. affluence nameplate. Outside the U.S., it’s the brand’s acknowledged car, according to Mercedes. This 2015 redesign should advice it break there — and additionally move up a few rungs amid U.S. affluence shoppers.
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