The latest edition of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan is winning over drivers with its combination of performance, comfort, and style. But I was most impressed by the luxury ride’s safety features. Standard electronic perks include a driver-drowsiness monitor, a collision-prevention braking system (which uses radar technology to detect vehicles or stationary objects in one’s path), blind-spot alerts, and even a “crosswinds-assist” to help detect the effects of strong side-winds on handling. I got to personally experience Mercedes’ reputation for safety when I ran over a giant pothole on Interstate 35. Although the vehicle took a huge hit—leading to not one but two flat tires—I was easily able to drive to a safe, off-highway spot while the tire-pressure monitoring system kicked in. Next, of course, I got to experience the brand’s reputation for top-tier service.
1. The C300 has a turbocharged, 241-horsepower, 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, making for plenty of get-up-and-go. Its fuel efficiency of 24/31 mpg city/highway is better than most of its rivals. (Note: In March, Mercedes-Benz issued a recall on a limited number of C300s, due to a fuel-system glitch.)
2. The car’s luxurious interior is one of its standout features, with rich leather, brushed-aluminum, and fine-wood finishes. Mercedes is targeting entry-level luxury buyers with its new C300. (The model I drove was priced at $49,875.)
3. A new “agility select” on the console offers four modes (ECO, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+) that lets you alter the car’s throttle response, shift points, and steering. A fifth “individual” option allows you to custom-design your own mode or set the transmission for purely manual shifting.
4. The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is both elegant and athletic. It’s also lighter than its predecessor by about 200 pounds, thanks to the use of more aluminum. The car’s new design is sleeker and more spacious than previous models. A 3-inch-longer wheelbase enhances handling and makes for more room inside.