The first thing you’ll notice about the new C-Class is the striking exterior. We’d forgive you if you mistake it for the much more expensive S-Class at first glance. Up front there’s a handsome grille set into a nicely sculpted hood. The rear end is also scaled-down S-Class, and looks every bit as elegant.
The C-Class cockpit is the real star, though. Its waterfall console is gorgeous, especially with this optional wood trim. The latest iteration of Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment system now has a touchpad puck hovering over the control wheel. It’s pretty slick once you get used to it. All together in design, details and features, we'd say the cabin is a knockout.
The C-Class has grown a bit over the years, and this generation is the largest yet. Up front you’ll find plenty of space for the larger adult and the seats are simply wonderful. Unfortunately back-seat space is still kind of tight when it come to legroom and knee room for anyone six foot or taller. Taking a road trip? Those rear seats fold down, and trunk space is a healthy 17 cubic feet which will easily swallow your luggage and maybe even a stroller.
Under the hood of the 2015 C-Class you’ll find either a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder rated at 241 horsepower, or our tester’s twin-turbo V-6 rated at 329 horsepower. No matter which engine you choose Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel-drive system is standard as is a seven-speed automatic transmission. More options, including standard rear-wheel drive, is coming soon.
With the current powertrains, it’s a matter of quick or quicker. The base engine is plenty fast for most, and it feels wonderful. As for the larger engine, the sound is quite different, but honestly you might not notice the power difference unless you have your foot buried into the throttle. The steering is electric but it’s one of the best systems available today among luxury cars. Base cars have steel springs while our very well equipped tester had the available air suspension, a first in this class. As you’d expect, it provides a smooth yet comfortable ride with little body roll at the limit.
Fuel economy wise you’ll find EPA ratings of 31 mpg highway with the base turbo four and 29 mpg with the turbo V-6. Both are impressive numbers considering all-wheel drive is standard.
The new C-Class hasn’t been crash tested yet but it’s been built with safety in mind from the ground up. A laundry list of active-safety features are now offered in the C-Class. Everything from Attention Assist that warns you when you might be distracted or dozing off, to Crosswind Assist and Pre-Safe braking and pedestrian detection.
The 2015 C-Class has a features list that’s closer to that of an E-Class. For a base price of about $40,000, the C gets touchpad controls, keyless start, a power driver’s seat, and a seven-inch display with the COMAND interface. Start throwing options at it like the panorama sunroof, a head-up display, AMG wheels, leather, and dynamic LED headlights, and you’ll be starting at a sticker price of over $63,000 like our test vehicle. That may seem expensive, but from the active safety systems to the semi-autonomous driving, this C-Class offers features that no other car in its class offers.
So what’s the bottom line with the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class? It’s more sophisticated than anything in its class, inside and out—it’s one charming luxury car.
Be sure to read the full review on the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class on The Car Connection.