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.