7/23/15

Mercedes-Benz C300: Notes on a Drive



I’ll just say it up front, the folks from Stuttgart make some fine automobiles.  In years past some might say their appeal has been limited, with a stereotyped audience of the more, shall I say “well-aged” among us.  In recent years however, Mercedes-Benz has made a conscious effort to bring the design language and engineering to a wider range of prospective buyers with sleeker, more aggressive exteriors and less angular interiors.
With this in mind, I have decided to put the folks at Mercedes to the test with a series of drives, the first of which is their recently redesigned C-Class sedan, specifically the C300 w/Sport Package.

And now for a few quick tech tidbits…
·         Inline 4-cylinder engine
·         241 horsepower, 273 lb-ft of torque
·         25/34 mpg
·         MSRP w/Sport Package:  40,575

 I could go on, but let’s get to the drive…
OK, I will be “up front” again…  I was impressed with this car..!  The first thing you notice upon entry is the greatly upgraded interior design and build quality.  The C-Class is now clearly at the top of the pack among its competitors, the Audi A4, BMW 3-Series and Cadillac ATS.  The exterior design is showing improvement as well, especially from the B-pillar forward.  The rear of the car does fall a tad short with too much droop and not enough muscularity to match the forward sections, but a solid design overall.

Driving impressions were on the good side of the ledger as well.  Minimal turbo lag and plenty of juice from the fine engine and generally overall good performance from the 7-speed transmission.  Handling was solid, with enough grip and lightness to feel somewhat nimble at times, although not having the dynamics of the Cadillac ATS or even the Bimmer.  What struck me the most was an excellent balance of capabilities, giving the C300 a range of personalities. The car can be a smooth luxury cruiser or a mischievous, sporty ride, depending on your mood and the weight of your right foot.
An impressive car, and deserving of a look-see, if you are in the market for an entrée into the luxury sedan world…

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