The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is moving up in both desirability and style for 2015. The 2015 C300 and C400 models both pack turbocharged engines and 4Matic AWD as standard for the US market, and the pricing moves up the scale noticeably as well.
But as a quick spin in the C300 4Matic Sport with the LED Lighting and Airmatic suspension packages shows, this is a Benz that is the best of all worlds. In many ways, the new C-Class goes back to the roots of Mercedes brand strengths. It is fast but ultra-luxurious. It ride like a dream but can hold its own with choppy sports-sedans like the 335i. All this, plus desirability that shades the BMW for the first time... ever?
Included below is our 4K first drive video and 100 all-new photos.
Has there ever been a C-Class that looks cleaner, newer and sportier than the equivalent 3 series BMW? Not the first-gen cars, and not the 190E. This may be the first time your author has seriously considered a C-Class over its eminently competent rivals.
The new C300 has the smooth and flowing panel aesthetic outside that makes the latest E-Class and S-Class so stunning versus their predecessors. The Sport trim of our test car brings a delicious bright element in the lower bumper -- to great effect. The LED lighting is unique and creates a solid family look. Even without the E63 or S63's quad square LED light elements, the C300 Sport is stunning with the lights on.
The eyebrow of LED DRL's is complemented by a flowing set of turn signal LEDs -- which do not switch off the white LED portion while in blinker action. This instantly dates the Audi A4 to dinosaur status in terms of LED design appeal.
In profile, the C300 brings a flowing C-pillar design that is both more rounded and more semi-circular with a comfort-oriented pillar that keeps rear headroom very generous. A bubble-shaped rear glass and pert and chopped rear trunk in rear three-quarter angles are almost the only give-away that this is the C-Class versus the S- or E-Classes.
In back, LED brake lighting elements form a smooth internal teardrop - with built-in LED blinkers and brake lighting. The Sport trim versus the Luxury or standard options adds vertical slashes in the sides of the tail -- emulating the vents used on many high-performance AMG's. Here, they are just decor -- but the effect is solid and classy.
Lastly, there are many optional paints, including this Obsidian Black for $720 extra -- but it would be hard to find one that better captures the new Mercedes design ethos better. THis is a stunning and rich black that is worth every penny.
Also seen below is the same model with Iridium Silver Metallic.
Altogether, the C300 Sport is damn sexy. It makes the CLS look like it is trying too hard, and the 335i's nose look too grumpy by comparison.
Inside, the C300 4Matic adds some serious loot to the bottom line with $2,000 cranberry leather and open-pore ash wood trim. Both are lovely, but we would prioritize the Airmatic suspension and 14-way power seats with a standard MB-Tex upholstery. The synthetic fabric is nice and breathes well -- like a Lululemon-wrapped seat.
The power seats bring that fantastic squab adjustment to provide actual under-thigh support. This might be my favorite single element of German luxury cars versus American or Asian options.
The Airmatic air springs are the best $1800 you will ever spend. It gives the C-Class and especially this lightweight C300 a sublime ride smoothness.
There is agility control to up the sporty roadholding when things get curvy --- but overall, the C300 4Matic is now the smoothest-riding mid-size luxury car in history. Even on huge wheels, the C300 is a dream over bumps, which are absorbed silently and with zero cabin intrusion. There is even a 'lift' setting for driving in snow or on gravel with the Airmatic. Just another reason that Airmatic is a must-select box in the configurator.
We love the new tall-console interior design and its individual round vents. It is very sexy and also uniquely appealing versus the tired-looking BMW and Audi dashboards of the segment.
The new C300 4Matic is so smooth and peppy that you will totally forget that it runs a turbo four-cylinder versus the big V6 you might expect for its $45,000-plus pricing. The 2.0-liter engine produces 235-horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.
So is it quick enough?
Yes, and no.
For those seeking a true 'AMG light' experience, the C400 with 90-odd extra horsepower and 80 extra pound-feet of torque.
The C400 is about two seconds quicker to 60-mph, with 7.5-seconds versus about 5.5-seconds for the C400.
In terms of handling feel of the 4Matic C-Class versus the also-4Matic CLA-Class -- there is almost no comparison. The 4Matic is light in its effect on handling feel. The CLA always feels front-drive, and the C300 4Matic always feels rear-drive.
C300 4MATIC Sedan
- 2.0L turbo inline-4
- Horsepower@ 5,550 rpm
- 241 hp
- Torque@1,300-4,000 rpm
- 273 lb-ft
- Miles per GallonCity/Hwy
C400 4MATIC Sedan
Horsepower@ 5,250-6,000 rpm
- 329 hp
- Torque@1,600-4,000 rpm
- 354 lb-ft
- Miles per GallonCity/Hwy
We love this car. With $50,000 to spend, this might be the best luxury sports sedan in the world.
But above all the practical and rational appeal -- the new C-Class will make you want it as well.
Head plus heart?
Yes indeed. Take the 2015 C-Class for a spin, and you will buy one that same afternoon.
Check out the C-Class on MBusa.com at the below link.
2015 Mercedes-Benz C300 4Matic Sport
- LED headlamps and fiber-optic LED taillamps
- Burmester Premium Surround Sound System
- SiriusXM Radio with 6-month All Access trial
- Heated front seats
- Luxury styling
- Comfort-tuned suspension
- 17-inch multispoke wheels
- Topstitched MB-Tex upper dash trim
- Burl Walnut or Linden wood trim
- Leather upholstery
- Ventilated front seats
- Power front passenger seat with memory
- Illuminated front door sills
- Multicolor LED ambient lighting
- mbrace Mobile Application for iPhone or Android
- Automatic Collision Notification
- SOS/Emergency Call
- Roadside Assistance Connection
- Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance
- Automatic Alarm Notification
- Remote Door Lock
- Remote Door Unlock
- Vehicle Finder (via Mobile App)
- Remote Horn and Lights (via Mobile App)
- Dealer Connect
- Vehicle Information
- TuneIn® world radio
- Internet Browse
- Google™ Local Search with Street View and Panoramio
- Google Points of Interest/Route Download
- Mercedes-Benz Financial Services
- Traffic Cameras
- Hotel room search and reserve, provided by HRS
- Fuel Stations and Prices
- Rearview camera
- COMAND hard-drive navigation with 8.4-inch screen
- 3 years of navigation map updates
- Voice control
- SiriusXM Traffic and Weather with 3 years of service
- 10GB Music Register
- Mercedes-Benz Concierge
- Point of Interest Destination Download
- Route Assistance
- Location-based Traffic
- Location-based Weather
- Driving Journal
- AMG body styling
- 18-inch AMG 5-spoke wheels
- Sport-tuned suspension
- Perforated front brakes with painted calipers
- Sport interior
- Sport steering wheel
- DISTRONIC PLUS® with Steering Assist
- BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist
- PRE-SAFE® Brake with Pedestrian Recognition
- PRE-SAFE® PLUS
- Active Blind Spot Assist
- Active Lane Keeping Assist