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2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class First Impressions

Marseille, France -- The brand new 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is the perfect example of luxury-meets-technology. Decked out with the latest and greatest (as well as some brand new, never-before-seen) hi-tech bits along with a new overall look, this particular Benz is at the forefront of midsize luxury vehicles.

Traversing the French countryside behind the wheel of the C250 BlueTEC, C250 (which will be our C300) and a C400, I was able to fully appreciate the effort Mercedes-Benz put towards yet another impressive upgrade in their lineup.

What is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class?
In its fifth generation, the C-Class is Mercedes’ compact sedan. Offering a variety of engines as well as Merc’s 4MATIC all-wheel drive system, the C-Class is the ideal blend of everything Mercedes-Benz has to offer, and in an attractive package.

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Price and Specs
Pricing for the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has yet to be announced for Canada.

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4MATIC features Merc’s brand new 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder good for 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. While the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C 400 4MATIC houses a 3.0L biturbo V6 that pushes out 329 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. While it won’t come immediately, Canadians will see the C 250 BlueTEC diesel variant as well. Performance numbers for the diesel-burner are nearly identical with the gas C 300, and it features a turbocharged 1.6L 4-cylinder.

All are equipped with the Mercedes-Benz 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission and are equipped with start/stop functionality.

Driving the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
I began my day behind the wheel of the C 250 BluTEC and made my way up the ranks to the C 300 4MATIC then to the C 400 4MATIC in AMG aesthetic trim. It was fascinating to see the evolution in driveablity, handling, and suspension across the board. Off the bat, I much prefer the V6 performance overall. But hear me out about the other two:

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C 250 BlueTEC has a healthy amount of torque and pep that makes it both pleasant and a bit sporty to drive. Equipped with AGILITY SELECT (as are the other two), drivers can select between five different drive programs: comfort, sport, sport+, ECO, and individual. While differences between driving dynamics aren’t always apparent, flipping from comfort to sport+ shows some serious characteristic changes, but even more so in the C 400 4MATIC.

With its updated V6 and available AIRMATIC suspension, driving the 2015 C 400 4MATIC can be quite thrilling. It did feel a bit piggish on some of the tighter Aix-en-Provence streets, but on open stretches where limits allowed, this Merc had some serious grunt; and the sound of that biturbo V6 -- my goodness.

The AIRMATIC system, a self-leveling, optional air suspension, is immediately noticeable when going from an AIRMATIC car to a “regular” one. In comfort mode the C 400 4MATIC almost felt large-American-sedan-like (read: float-y), but in a good way. Immediately that’s tightened up when AGILITY SELECT is toyed with -- brilliant.

Pop the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C 400 4MATIC into sport+ and the electric steering immediately sharpens, the suspension tightens up beautifully (but not to the point of discomfort, which is proper Mercedes in my opinion), and the 7-speed transmission is spot on if left to its own devices. Should you choose to take over, the steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters are fab.

Visibility is rather hindered by the front pillars on tighter, urban Marseille roads; but a comfortable driving position is easily attained and the AMG interior trim steering wheel offers great feel.

Inside and Out of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Although longer and wider, from some angles the new Merc C-Class actually looks smaller, more compact and slightly stunted, and that’s not a bad thing.

the new C-Class sports Mercedes-Benz’ brand new sophisticatedly manly front end with standard LED lights, as well. The massive central star with the two-tier matte iridium front grille is both modern and classic. While the C 300 comes standard with 17” wheels, 18” AMG 5-spoke are available (and come standard on the C 400).

The C 400 also boasts AMG air intakes up front as well as a three-piece AMG front chrome chin spoiler, and unique AMG-branded calipers and perforated front rotors -- all of which is part of the optional sport package on the C 300.

Step inside the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class and your sense will immediately come to life, thanks in part to ARTICO leather and a plethora of techy bits to fiddle with.

The interior of the new 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has been beautifully and meticulously designed. This is craftsmanship at its best, and I couldn’t stop touching surfaces and marveling at the attention to detail.

Brand new passive and active safety features are at the forefront of the new 2015 C-Class, as is Merc’s brand new COMAND centre with an integrated touchpad for driver control. You can read more about these systems here.

Comparing the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Standards amongst luxury brands are growing at an almost alarming rate. Where one stood leagues above the rest in the past, things have quickly leveled off; suddenly the competition is fierce. Mercedes has placed the C-Class directly in line with the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Cadillac ATS, and rightfully so.

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