Before they were undercut by the CLA sedan and GLA compact crossover in the 2014-MY, the C-Class sedan and coupe were the most affordable Mercedes-Benz models available to executive fleet buyers.
For 2015, the C-Class sedan has outgrown its entry-level trappings to offer a higher level of sophistication, performance and safety in the mid-size luxury sedan category.
The redesigned four-door has grown in every direction — adding 3 inches to its wheelbase, 1.6 inches in width, 3.7 inches in length and 2 inches in rear legroom. Remarkably, thanks to a body composed of 50% aluminum, the new sedan is 200 pounds lighter than its predecessor.
Much like the CLA-Class, the design is an odd collision of shapes and lines that somehow produces a cohesive, graceful exterior. A three-tier grille and oversized badge top an X-shaped headlight and front bumper stack.
The new cabin was redesigned with a distinctively sporty look and upgraded finishes and materials, including optional synthetic or real leather. An iPad-like touchscreen is affixed to the dash above the center stack and a new touchpad floats above Mercedes’ signature dial controller. They are used in combination to control the OEM’s COMAND interface.
Under the hood, the new C-Class sedan boasts two new powerplants, both mated to a seven-speed shiftable automatic transmission. The C300’s 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four delivers 241 horsepower (hp) at 273 pound-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque, and the C400’s turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 is good for 329 hp at 354 lb.-ft.
The base four-banger burns a respectable 27 miles per gallon (mpg) in combined city and highway driving to the V-6’s 24 mpg. Both models sport Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive system; C300 drivers can opt for rear-wheel drive.
The C300 is available in base, Luxury and Sport trim, while the C400 is only available in Sport. Both models offer optional equipment grouped in packages or available as stand-alone additions. New safety features include “Attention,” parking and steering assist plus available blind-spot and lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control and more.
The 2015 C-Class sedan is available now for a starting MSRP of $43,180. The coupe carries over largely unchanged from 2014; a redesigned two-door is expected sometime in 2015. Diesel and plug-in hybrid variants will appear sometime thereafter.