Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The 2018 C-Class is offered in several trims: C300, C300d diesel, C350e plug-in hybrid, C450 AMG Sport, AMG C63 and AMG C63 S. Rear-wheel drive is standard, while Mercedes-Benz' 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system is available on the C300, C300d and C450 AMG Sport. The C-Class coupe comes in C300 and C300 4MATIC trims only.

The C300 is powered by a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine displacing 2.0 liters and making a stout 241 horsepower. The C300d is powered by a 2.1L biturbo 4-cylinder diesel that makes 195 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Next is the C350e plug-in hybrid, with power derived from the 2.0L four in addition to a 6.2 kWh lithium-ion battery. The combination is good for 275 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. In the C450, there's a 3.0L twin-turbocharged V6 that produces 362 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. Finally, the AMG C63 tops them all with its 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8, rated at 469 horsepower and 503 pound-feet of torque. A 7-speed automatic transmission is standard across the range; in the AMG models it is a heavy-duty AMG Speedshift unit. Fuel economy in the C300 is rated at 25 on the highway and 34 in the city.

Like most European luxury cars, the C-Class can be optioned up with a huge variety of convenience and luxury features. However, the C300, C350d and C350e come with quite a few amenities on their own. Standard features include a 14-way power adjustable driver's seat, dual-zone climate control, two high-resolution screens with a touchpad interface, USB connectivity, Bluetooth audio streaming and LED daytime running lamps.

The C450 AMG includes everything on the C300, plus a Burmester premium sound system, heated front seats, sport tuned suspension, larger brakes to go beneath the 18-inch wheels, and of course, a bigger, more-powerful engine.

In addition to the V8, the AMG C63 features wider 18-inch wheels and a mechanical limited-slip differential, while the AMG C63 S ups the ante with 19-inch wheels, larger brakes with red calipers, an electronic limited-slip differential and more.

An optional Interior Package adds leather seating, perforated and ventilated front seats, a powered front passenger seat and some additional interior lighting. An Air-Balance Package further spruces up the interior environment with an air purifier and a cabin fragrance system that will perfume the air in the C-Class.

A Multimedia Package includes a navigation system, as well as a rear view camera and SiriusXM satellite radio.

An adjustable air suspension system that can be set for sport or for comfort is available on the C-Class, as is a Driver's Assistance Package, which includes safety features such as blind spot assist and Mercedes-Benz' PRE-SAFE system, which can actually activate the brakes on its own, should it detect an impending accident.

Standard safety equipment on C-Class models includes nine airbags as well as adaptive braking technology, attention assist and of course all-wheel drive is available.

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Editors' First Take

When the fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class debuted in 2013 it was dubbed a baby S-Class thanks to its class-above interior design and refinement. And while it's remained the aesthete's choice in the subsequent years, newer competitors offer better overall packages. Now there's a totally new C-Class yet again, and it's even more worthy of the baby S-Class descriptor.

The 2022 C-Class' exterior design is evolutionary and slots in well with the rest of the Mercedes lineup, though while it's handsome, I wish it were less boring. The biggest changes are the wider grille and horizontal taillights, and creases and prominent surfacing elements have been kept to a minimum. There are some super cool details like the repeating star pattern in the grille and the LED taillights' graphics. Compared to the outgoing C-Class the new model has a 1-inch longer wheelbase and is 2.5 inches longer overall.

Open the doors and you're yet again met with the best interior in the segment, one that punches above its class. Every new C-Class has a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and an 11.9-inch central touchscreen, the latter of which is nicely angled toward the driver. A sweeping trim panel shaped like an airplane wing can be had in a number of different finishes, with my favorite being the matte wood with inset aluminum lines. Certain trims like this car's metal weave replace the center console's standard piano black finish with a matching panel, which is a lot more interesting. My favorite design elements are the new squircle air vents, which have a really nice tactile feel.

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