Mercedes-Benz never seems to let us down. No matter how many vehicles the German manufacturer offers to the diversity of drivers in today’s growing luxury car market they continue to churn out hits like the Houston Astros’ Jose Carlos Altuve. Emboldened with another luxury sales title customers can continue to expect greatness from a great car company. Tasked with the premonition of 30 fresh models over 7 years M-B successfully launched the red-hot CLA which welcomed 75% of its buyers as new to the brand and allowed the previous entry-level C-Class to move up the roster. The S-Class Coupe is launching next as well as the GLA that borrows its DNA from the CLA. Wait, there’s more! AMG sales are up an impressive 76%.
What we have in hand for 2015 is the all-new C-Class. Traditionally the letter “C” represented the “volume” and “entry” vehicle for M-B. If you couldn’t afford an S-Class or E-Class but still wanted the 3-pointed star in your driveway the C-Class was your season ticket. But no longer will this latest generation model be looked upon as a rookie since coach M-B enhanced it with traits, attributes and characteristics you come to expect from the S-Class. Stylistically, it even resembles a baby S. However, don’t go showboating your bravado to owners of the halo vehicle because they will pay you no attention whatsoever.
Offered as a C300 ($38,400), C300 4MATIC ($40,400) and C400 4MATIC ($48,590) the 2015 C-Class is 3.7” longer, a bit lower, has a 1.5” wider track as well as 2” of additional rear legroom than the outgoing model it replaces. An AMG is coming down the line as well as a clean diesel variant that M-B dubs BlueTEC. During Fit Fathers’ test drive in Seattle we spent intentional time in the rear and felt pretty comfortable. Though, the pilot position is impeccable with the vehicle’s luxury crafted and quiet cabin. Again, many technology features are coming directly from the S-Class. “Mercedes at its best – that’s the new C-Class, which sets new standards for the mid-range segment on many fronts,” says Prof. Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “It is characterized by an emotional yet clear design which is continued in the high-quality and modern interior. Its efficient and high-performance engineering provides the basis for a high standard of driving enjoyment.”
Dr. Weber is pinpoint with his oral assessment. I was totally enamored with the vehicle’s ability to provide high-end innovation such as the 13-speaker, 590-watt Burmester premium surround sound system. It is absolutely delightful to the ears no matter the genre of music. I also love the graphics of the navigation and its digital city view. In addition, a few notable elements of the C-Class include the standard touchpad controller which mimics the interface of iPhones and allows access to the stand-alone 7” multi-media display by way of touch sensitive commands. However, I preferred the redundant physical controls since I’m not yet ready to put added levels of concentration into vehicle operations while driving. M-B says it’s a seamless and fluid technique but any time you have to consciously put extracurricular thought into what should be simple directives the task becomes a distraction in itself.
But when it comes to thinking Mercedes-Benz takes the guesswork out of the driver’s mind and into that of Intelligent Drive, a complex system of proactive safety measures. Think of it as the vehicle’s senses. Intelligent Drive commingles (but not limited) Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Parking Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST, PRE-SAFE Brake with pedestrian detection and much more. The names of these systems may seem foreign to consumers outside of the M-B family but just know they work in milliseconds to protect and serve their owner. Active Lane Keeping Assist for example steers the vehicle into its own lane if you drift without using the turn signal. It works so proficiently that oftentimes I felt as if someone else was at the wheel. Speaking of which, the C-Class inherits new electronic steering providing it — in conjunction with an AIRMATIC suspension — with agility and nimbleness.
The latest powertrains see significant gains in power and performance. The C300 4MATIC gets going with a 2-liter turbocharged, direct-injection 4-cylinder engine distributing a decent 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. The happier engine and my preferred choice sits in the C400 4MATIC. Its 3-liter bi-turbo direct-injection V6 provides 329 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration is good and power is adept for hauling the vehicle’s weight and that of its passengers without struggle. In early 2015 the rear-wheel drive C300 will make its debut. Yet, there is nothing like all-wheel-drive performance or all-wheel-drive commuting in four season cities like Maryland where I am located.
Whether sitting inside of the C400 or glancing at its newfangled design I enjoyed every pleasure it had to offer. My red and black interior combo was pretty captivating as well as all of its ancillary benefits such as front seat leg extenders, cooling and heated front seats, Head-Up Display, steering wheel functions and more. Aesthetically pleasing to the eyes and physically comforting to the senses is how many will interpret the 2015 C-Class. It’s a pretty extraordinary gift to own and one that won’t disappoint. Trust me!