The all new C300 sits at the bottom of Mercedes-Benz's U.S. line-up. It's a very affordable car with a nice degree of luxury.
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The C300 is available in Sport and Luxury trims, distinguished by very different grilles. The Sport model gets the big badge in the center of the grille, while the Luxury model gets a hood ornament.
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The 3-liter V-6, with 228 horsepower, isn't over-powered, but it works well in the C300. We found acceleration in every day driving circumstances more than adequate.
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The C300 uses some nice design features to make it stand out amongst small sedans. It has the sweeping contour along the side and a hood that juts up, suggesting some brawn. The front comes down at a fairly steep angle.
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Mercedes-Benz keeps the back of the C300 very clean, and creates an concave wedge shape with the tail light assemblies.
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The C300 gets a thorough make-over for its cabin tech, including a hard drive-based navigation system.
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Steering is very responsive in the C300, and the multifunction steering wheel gives easy control over car audio choices. Most cabin tech functions can be controlled with voice command, activated with the voice button on the steering wheel.
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The gauges on the C300 are tastefully designed, and the center of the speedo serves as a display for trip, audio, and navigation information.
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The standard transmission on the C300 Sport is a six speed automatic, although it can be optioned up to the seven speed automatic. This six speed has a manual shift mode.
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This knob lets you control most of the cabin tech functions, as part of the COMAND interface.
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Map resolution on the navigation system is very good, although you have to zoom in all the way to see all street names.
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Route guidance is aided by highlighted roads, turn graphics, and voice prompts.
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The audio system lets you choose folders from MP3 CDs.
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The disc load screen shows a number of logos, including Dolby Digital and Gracenote, a database of all CDs that applies the proper tags to any CD ripped to the hard drive.
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With a CD loaded in the changer, you can choose to copy it to the car's hard drive, or Music Register, as Mercedes-Benz calls it.
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The interface uses this horizontal tuning screen for FM, AM, and Sirius satellite radio.
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As the six disc changer reads DVDs, you can watch DVD video on the car's LCD or listen to DVD audio discs.
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The Harmon/Kardon Logic7 audio system uses 12 speakers and a 450 watt amp to produce excellent sound.
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The C300 is the first Mercedes-Benz we've seen with Bluetooth cell phone integration.
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