1995 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

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1995 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Available in 3 styles:  C220 4dr Sedan shown
Asking Price Range
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Estimated MPG

18–23 city / 22–28 hwy

Expert Reviews

    Expert Reviews 3 of 5
1995 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 5.0 5
$ -
April 14, 1995
I WAS listening to singer Smokey Robinson -- "Everybody plays thefool. . . . There's no exception to the rule." I was listening toSmokey's music and running through the Shenandoah Valley in theMercedes-Benz C-36.

It was hard not to play the fool in the C-36. It was a fast carthat knew how to dance with curves. And it looked good too. With its17-inch diameter tires and low-slung body, it's the sassiest, sexiestMercedes-Benz to take the road in several years.

I was having a good time! Driving, bopping and finger-popping.It was better than, well . . . . It was very good, very enjoyable, lotsof fun -- until I returned to the main highways. Then some fool shows upwho wants to turn the revel into a rumble. That's what happened on thereturn trip from the Shenandoah Valley.

Some throttle-jockeys in highly tuned sports cars decided totake on the C-36. I wasn't interested. I was mellow. I was going home.

But these fools just kept racing up alongside me, gunning theirmotors, being real cowboys. So, I did a nasty on eastbound I-66, a roadI know very well. I suckered the cowboys, gave the C-36 a little gas,held my speed and waited for the rowdies to come racing past -- whichthey did, right into the radar of Virginia's uniformed Smokies.

I tell ya, the Virginia State Police never cease to amaze me.They're very, very good. Two of 'em can pull over several speeding carsall at the same time, just like that! Anyway, I smiled as I passed mytormentors. Maybe, I oughta try to find out their court dates, and send'em a copy of Smokey's album.

Background: The C-36 is a limited-edition sports car based onthe Mercedes-Benz C-280 sedan. The difference is the zoot-suit, hot-rodtreatment given to the C-36 by AMG (Aufrecht, Melcher Grossapach), oneof Germany's leading automotive customizing companies.

Both the C-280 and C-36 have inline six-cylinder, 24-valve,double-overhead cam engines. But the C-280 runs with 194 horses at 5,500rpm. In the C-36, AMG boosted that power to 268 hp at 5,750 rpm.

AMG also designed the C-36's automatic transmission, whichvirtually eliminates downshifting in the car. Power is deliveredsmoothly, evenly. Absolutely no jerky stuff. The car feels good!

Of course, all safety items included in the C-280 are found inthe C-36. That means dual front air bags, four-wheel-disc brakes withanti-lock backup and Mercedes-Benz's legendary crash protection.However, traction control is optional on the C-36, which is a pity. Acar with this much power and performance should have traction control asstandard equipment.

Mercedes-Benz/AMG will make only 400 copies of the C-36 in the1995 model year.

Complaints: Absence of traction control as standard equipmentand, um, those tires. Mercedes-Benz officials said that with "normaldriving," C-36 owners can expect to replace the car's speed-rated,low-profile tires every 15,000 to 20,000 miles. And with "aggressivedriving," every 10,000 to 12,000 mi les. Either way, that's shortmileage, and it carries a price tag of about $350 per tire.

Also, trunk space isn't much at 11.6 cubic feet. But it is asports car, after all.

Praise: Overall design and engineering; superior highwayperformance; superior cornering and other handling characteristics;comfortable seating for four adults.

Head-turning quotient: Gets all of the right and wrong kinds ofattention. You will be noticed.

Ride, acceleration and handling: Triple aces, which issurprising. Most sports cars with low-profile tires give harsh rides.But the multi-link, four-wheel-independent suspension system on the C-36takes most of the bump out of the road. Braking was excellent.

Mileage: Yipes! About 20 miles per gallon (16.4-gallon tank,estimated 300-mile range on usable volume of unleaded), combinedcity-highway, running with one to two occupants and light cargo.

Sound system: AM/FM stereo radio and cassette withtrunk-mounted, six-disc CD changer. Insta lled by Mercedes-Benz.Excellent.

Price: Base price on the C-36 is $49,800. Dealer's invoice onthe base model is $40,836. Price as tested is $57,137, including $4,620in options (including ASR traction control on test car), $2,242 infederal "luxury taxes" and a $475 destination charge.

Purse-strings note: Compare with the Volvo 850 T-5R; and, er, don'tspeed in Virginia.

    Expert Reviews 3 of 5

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