The C within the Mercedes-Benz C-Class could as nicely stand for consistency.The compact C-Class sedan’s competency stands alongside dying and taxes on the listing of life’s ensures, and a midcycle refresh for the 2019 mannequin 12 months solidifies its spot on that listing. There’s extra energy and extra tech to maintain up with a phase that exhibits no indicators of slowing amid a shift to SUVs, and whereas it errs towards luxurious, it isn’t afraid to have a little bit of enjoyable.Slight tweaks exterior, improved supplies insideAs we famous in our first drive, Mercedes selected to not radically restyle the C-Class for 2019 as a result of its consumers proceed to heap reward on the sedan’s visuals. Sure, there are niceties like customary LED headlights tucked away within the replace to this four-year-old physique, however by and huge, consumers shall be hard-pressed to level out all of the adjustments made for this 12 months.
My tester rocks a barely sportier look, because of the $2,000 AMG Line bundle. It provides slightly extra aggression within the bumpers, and mixed with my tester’s elective 18-inch AMG alloy wheels, the entire bundle seems sharper than the typical C-Class with out requiring the scratch for a correct AMG. The solely bummer is that tight tolerances between the wheels and brakes means it is laborious to clear them of snow after cruising by deep powder — not one thing each C-Class purchaser will expertise, in fact.
The inside, alternatively, shows its adjustments extra prominently. The new steering wheel comes from the E-Class and S-Class, and I recognize its simple, well-labeled format that features two small contact controllers for quick manipulation of each screens (12.3 inches within the gauge cluster, 10.25 inches for the infotainment). Every change, from the window to the local weather controls, has a pleasant weight and really feel to it, lending its greater siblings’ premium sense to a extra inexpensive automobile.I feel Mercedes’ middle console design is on level, even when I disagree with the rotary controller smack dab in the midst of it.
My tester ditches customary vinyl surfaces in favor of a $1,950 leather-based bundle. The seats are a lot comfy, however the entrance seat heaters take ceaselessly to heat up and by no means actually get that toasty. While the seats themselves are comfy, rear-seat house is slightly on the cramped facet, particularly if there are tall individuals seated up entrance. Visibility, although, is top-notch entrance and rear.Options abound, and whereas some are deal, others aren’t. A panoramic roof presents additional gentle within the cabin, nevertheless it prices $1,000. Adding vinyl to the dashboard and higher door trim prices one other $350. Heated and ventilated seats will set you again one other $1,030. On the opposite finish of the price-sensibility spectrum, Mercedes-Benz’s wonderful 64-color LED ambient lighting is a steal at $310, and upgrading to set of strong Burmester audio system runs simply $850. The brown ash wooden trim, plush in tactility and look, is a free improve.Calm and picked up on the roadIn its hopped-up C43 guise, I discover the C-Class far too sporty to be comfy in each day driving. However, even with the elective AMG Line’s sportier suspension, this C300 is way calmer on the highway. There’s sufficient really feel from the dampers to offer the experience some character, however bumps and different annoyances do not instantly translate to the our bodies inside. The respectable sidewalls on my tester’s 225/45R18 Pirelli Sottozero winter tires additionally assist issues — and make it tremendous succesful throughout a winter snowstorm, too.Most of my week with the C300 includes snow, nevertheless it’s no drawback for me, thanks partially to 4Matic all-wheel drive. Traction is simple to seek out, even on unplowed roads. When the traction management does have to kick in, it occurs within the background with out jarring noises or jolts from the drivetrain. A sportier stability-control program lets me ship the again finish spherical with ease, solely dialing issues in when the slip angle will get a bit too excessive. It’s a hoot.
Under the hood is a brand new model of Mercedes-Benz’s turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 gasoline engine. It’s up 14 horsepower over the previous one, now placing out 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. It would not have the perfect exhaust word, sounding like one in all Volvo’s tractor engines, however I recognize the development in low-end torque. Its nine-speed computerized transmission is so easy it is virtually invisible.It would not take advantage of interesting sounds, however the torque makes up for it.
The EPA estimates that the C300 4Matic will obtain 22 miles per gallon metropolis and 33 mpg freeway. Most of my metropolis driving is completed in snow, and the additional effort has a deleterious impact on my gas financial system, reaching 20 mpg at most. On a transparent, salty freeway, although, my figures are nearer to the EPA’s, however nonetheless 1 to 2 mpg beneath.
For an additional $2,250, you’ll be able to load up the C300 with all method of energetic and passive driver aids. The lane-holding mixture of adaptive cruise management, energetic steering help and lane-keep help works effortlessly on the freeway, holding me centered with none ping-ponging within the lane. It can deliver the automobile to a halt with out being too heavy on the brakes, and it is all simply managed from the steering wheel. I particularly get pleasure from the brand new lane-changing characteristic, which automates a lane change after partaking the flip sign whereas adaptive cruise management is energetic. If you need one thing extra bare-bones, although, you’ll be able to skip the bundle whereas nonetheless receiving customary computerized emergency braking.It’s no MBUX, nevertheless it’s not dangerousThe C-Class makes use of Mercedes’ previous Comand infotainment system, not the flashy new MBUX system we have seen within the newest A-Class and GLE-Class autos. While it has been reskinned to enhance its aesthetics and performance, it is nonetheless a bigger maze of menus than MBUX is, resulting in only a bit extra distraction behind the wheel. That stated, it is simpler to make use of the system than earlier than, thanks largely to these contact controllers on the steering wheel.On the entire, Comand nonetheless works high quality. The navigation system by no means led me astray, with a search operate that is simple to, um, navigate. I dislike the rotary-dial-and-touchpad mixture on the middle console, however regardless that it isn’t my private jam, it is nonetheless practical. Plus, you’ll be able to skip a majority of its use by sticking with the steering wheel and voice management.Base fashions pack a 7-inch central display screen, whereas my tester sports activities a 10.25-inch upgraded unit as a part of a $2,600 Multimedia Package that additionally contains navigation, stay visitors and climate data and vehicle-to-everything communication. If you don’t need all that additional package, the display screen will be upgraded by itself for $300. Replacing the usual gauge cluster with a 12.3-inch configurable display screen prices $750, and I feel it is value each penny from a usability standpoint. If that is not sufficient display screen, one other $990 will add a 9-inch colour head-up show that may present navigation data.Comand is an previous canine, nevertheless it is aware of some newish tips.
How I would spec itMy tester begins at $43,400, however liberal software of choices packages despatched the worth into the realm of obscenity at $63,525, together with $995 for vacation spot.I, too, will go for an all-wheel-drive variant for $43,400. I stick to the free white paint colour, saving $720 over extra expressive hues. I want my experience cushier, so I will skip over the $2,000 AMG Line improve, however I’ll spend $500 to improve the 17-inch wheels to 18s. Inside, I am saving $1,950 by holding my seats vinyl — “MB-Tex,” in Mercedes parlance — however I will reap the benefits of the free improve to my tester’s ash wooden trim. I will spend $310 for the 64-color ambient lighting, one other $580 for seat heating and $250 for a heated steering wheel. On the tech entrance, I am spending $300 to improve my middle show, $750 to improve my instrument cluster and $850 to improve my audio system. I will skip over the $2,250 suite of security techniques, since autobrake is all I actually need and because it additionally requires the $2,600 Multimedia Package.That leaves me with a $46,940 window sticker, which is way extra palatable than my tester’s E-Class-adjacent price ticket.Down to brass tacksThe Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series are the C300’s largest and brightest opponents. The A4 takes a extra tech-forward method, and it impressed us with its mixture of driving dynamics and tech. The 3 Series shall be all new for the 2019 mannequin 12 months, and whereas we’ve not spent a ton of time with it, we walked away very impressed. While there’s technically competitors from the Infiniti Q50, the Q50 has a number of the worst in-car tech within the phase. The Genesis G70, an up-and-comer that is already ok to win our Roadshow Shift Award for Car of the Year, is one to be careful for, too.The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was already a superb compact luxurious sedan, and it has been for the 4 years its present era has existed. The updates for 2019 enhance its on-road demeanor and its tools loadout, guaranteeing it stays related within the face of constant (and persistently bettering) competitors.
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