“Hey, you sure that is a C-Class and not an S-Class?”
This was the question I asked when my local dealer pointed to the new 2015 Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC on the lot. I must say, from the basic profile, it looks like somebody at Mercedes-Benz took the CAD design of the S-Class, re-sized it to be 30% smaller, renamed it “C-Class,” hit the save button and called it a day.
One look at the car makes you fall in love with it!
I might be exaggerating this point, but then again, this is how I felt when I saw the car.
Compared to its predecessor, the new C-Class looks a lot more streamlined, athletic, and emits a more luxurious vibe. Since I live in Wisconsin, the most popular model sold here is the 2015 C300 with the optional $2000 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system.
The C-Class starts at $41,325 but can easily climb into the high $50,000 to low $60,000 markwhen you select all the options. The C300 4MATIC I drove this past weekend was almost fully loaded and even included the optional air suspension.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is completely redesigned inside and out for the 2015 model year. Compared to the old C-Class, the new one has grown marginally with the new wheelbase measuring in at 111.8 inches, the length at 184.5 inches, the width at 71.3 inches, and the height at 56.8 inches.
However, the new car weighs in at 3,648 pounds, a few hundred pounds lighter than the old one.
The C-Class features Mercedes-Benz’s new design language known as “sensual purity” and this results in the new long nose and short deck lid side profile, a more curved roof line, and wider tracks at both axles.
This gives the new sports sedan a more aggressive looks while standing still.
The interior fit, finish, and feel is more premium and the cabin layout is similar to that of the flagship S-Class. With Mercedes-Benz CLA taking care of the entry-level market, the C-Class is bumped up and now offers more luxury and safety features than it did before.
The C300 4MATIC I drove was almost fully loaded and carried a sticker price of $57,820 (excluding destination).
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C300 comes with either the Luxury Package or the Sport Package. My tester was fitted with the latter. The Sport Package ($2,175) includes 18-in AMG wheels, sport seats, drilled and vented front brake rotors, and sporty cosmetic touches throughout the vehicle
The Driver Assistance Package ($2,800) includes DISTRONIC PLUS with steering assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, PRE-SAFE Brake with pedestrian recognition, PRE-SAFE PLUS, and BAS PLUS with cross-traffic assist.
The Multimedia Package ($2,690) includes COMMAND navigation screen with 8.4 in LCD screen, voice activation, and back up camera.
The Premium Package ($2,120) includes Burmester sound system with satellite reception, Keyless Go, and LED head and taillights. When you select this package you also get the $580 heated front seats and the $800 Lighting Package which includes the LED head and taillights with Adaptive High-Beam Assist and Active Curve Illumination.
The 4MATIC Package ($2,000) includes the 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system and 4-wheel electronic Traction System (4-ETS).
The AIRMATIC Package ($1,190) includes the AIRMATIC suspension and AGILITY SELECT suspension modes which can be controlled by a rotary dial located in the center console.
If you want the cabin of the C-Class to smell like lavender or any other exotic flower, the Air Balance Package ($350) is available as an option.
The cabin fragrance and air purification system made for some nice touches on my drive.
For rear passengers wanting some privacy from their surroundings, the new 2015 Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC can be optioned with the $440 power rear-window side shade and $380 manual rear side window sun shades.
The interior of my tester featured MB-Tex faux leather upholstery (but it almost looked and felt like genuine leather), and brushed aluminum dash and door trims.
Finally, my C300 4MATIC tester was fitted with the PARKTRONIC with Active Park Assist ($970) and I found it very convenient while I was parking the car in tight spaces. The cool thing is that I only had to modulate the throttle and brake while the C300 took care of the steering responsibilities.
Engine Features and Fuel Mileage
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC is fitted with a 2.0 L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, which produces 241 horsepower at 5500 RPM and 273 lb.ft. torque between 1300-4000 RPM. For now, the engine is backed by a 7-speed transmission, but for 2016, the C-class will be fitted with the new 9-speed transmission.
The torque split is fixed at 45% to the front axle and 55% to the rear axle.
The EPA certifies the new Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC at 24 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. During my test drive on city streets and the highway, I was able to achieve 23 mpg average, which I believe is acceptable.
The chassis of the new Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC is very agile and unlike the previous generations of the C-Class, this car actually likes to go in corners instead of just a straight road.
The standard suspension setup on the C300 is MacPherson Struts up front and Multi-link out back. My tester was fitted with the optional AIRMATIC air springs and boy did it provide a smooth ride.
With this system, the driver can set the adjustable dampers between Comfort, Normal, Individual, Sport, and Sport + modes, and based on the selection, the car’s throttle and transmission shift points are calibrated from being super smooth to mildly aggressive.
In city and on the highway, I left the setting in “Comfort” mode and enjoyed the smooth ride.
However, on the twisty back roads, I put the system in “Sport +” mode to see how much fun I could have in this baby and the answer is a lot!
The new chassis is a vast improvement over the previous one, but it still is not as athletic and fun to drive as the new BMW 3 Series (but it is very close). While transitioning between turns, the chassis is well planted and the all-wheel-drive system gives you the additional grip you need to come hard out of one turn and then drive hard into the next one.
Initially, the brake pedal feels a bit mushy, but I think it was due to the cold rotors and brake pads. However, when the pads and rotors come up to their normal operating temps, the fade almost disappears and only comes back after a few rounds of heavy braking.
Overall, after spending a few quality miles with the car, I believe it’s the best C-Class to date.
BMW 3 Series – watch out – you have company.
The new 2015 Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC is the best C-Class to date. Compared to its predecessors, the new generation is more athletic, dynamic, luxurious, technologically advanced, sporty, and most important of all, attractive.
From a distance, the new C-Class can almost be confused for the S-Class, but this is a good thing.
If you are in the market, looking for a well-rounded European luxury sport sedan, then I recommend highly that you checkout the new C-Class.