The newest C-class sedan may leave the BMW 3-series shaking in its boots; because the new C-class really is a sedan worthy of being a real alternate to the 3-series sedan.
C300 comes with our favorite engine choice. It’s a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder pumping out 241hp and is the most sensible choice for those who want their C-class to have a price tag within reason. C400 4matic trim gets an even more oomph thanks to a 3-liter bi-turbocharged six-cylinder with 329hp. AMG fans can rejoice because there is not only one but two engines you can choose from; and unlike the M3 sedan both are turbocharged eight-cylinder engines. C63 form uses a 4-liter bi-turbocharged eight-cylinder producing 469hp and the C63 S using the same engine pumps up the output to 503hp.
The C-class just doesn’t feel as composed as a 3-series and it isn’t as sharp to drive either. Our tester car came equipped with the air-suspension system which made the ride feel more comfortable and composed in bends and sharp corners. The best of the bunch goes to the AMG forms which seem to be outrageously fast and contagious to push hard the engine note is simply amazing and the steering inputs are communicative. Wind and road noise won’t be much of an issue unless you option for the glass roof and the wind noise won’t be completely shut out and that’s just doesn’t fit the Mercedes caliber of refinement.
Slip behind the driver’s seat and you’ll be greeted with plenty of adjustments and comfort. Headroom and legroom is good while those in the back may suffer a bit in the legroom department. Boot space is decent too for a sedan. Visibility is decent too and the overall infotainment system is pretty much well laid. The infotainment system is best used with the rotary knob located in the center console, it makes things a lot easier to use while on the move but some of the menus are distracting. We still don’t like the single stalk used to control the wiper blades and turn signal.
C300 comes standard with auto headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, Bluetooth, LED brake lights and leatherette seating surfaces. C300 trim can be had with a luxury package which adds special alloy wheels, topstitched MB-Tex upper dash trim and a comfort suspension. Sport package adds 18-inch alloys, sport tuned suspension and brushed aluminum pedals. C400 trim comes standard with 4matic all-wheel-drive 18inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and tail lamps with AMG body-kit agility control for the suspension. Both AMG forms add the aggressive AMG styling with AMG crafted interior and performance tuned suspension, steering and an excellent turbocharged eight-cylinder engine.
The C300 and C400 are the only two trims that really do make the most sense. Both are decently priced and offer decent kit for the money, but for those who just have to have an AMG the C63 form is decent but expensive and you’ll get nowhere near the estimated 18city/25hwy even if you are the most careful driver in the world. The C63 S adds more power and bumps up the price tag north of $70k and let’s just face the truth anyone buying an AMG concerned about running costs shouldn’t even consider an AMG at all. Resale value should be good too.
The C-class sedan at times feels like all style and little substance, even if the 3-series isn't as stylish. The 3-series is still more fun to drive and offers the better infotainmet system. It's hard to fault the C-class too because it really is a great overall package but the price tag is steep and well the most fun to drive forms are the ones that you'll pay an arm and a leg to run.
Likes: Stunning looks inside and out. AMG versions are the best forms, but the C300 and C400 are the most sensible.
Dislikes: Not as sharp to drive as a 3-series and it isn't cheap to buy either. Halogen headlamps on standard C300 is just disappointing at this price point.