Mercedes-Benz redesigned its entry-level C-Class sedan last year, offering new styling reminiscent of the automaker's S-Class flagship. Engine choices remain the same for 2009: The C300 has a 228-horsepower V-6, while the C350 offers a larger, 268-hp V-6 and the high-performance C63 AMG packs a 451-hp V-8. Prime competitors include the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Infiniti G35.
New for 2009
There are two new pelvic airbags for front-seat occupants, and a memory seat and power-adjustable steering column are now optional. There are new interior color choices for Sport models, and the optional navigation system gets a larger internal hard drive that can store up to 6GB of music.
The C-Class grew 3.7 inches longer and 1.7 inches wider when it was redesigned last year, taking on a cleaner, more angular appearance.
- Luxury and Sport versions available
- Luxury models have comfort suspension and traditional Mercedes-Benz grille and hood ornament
- Sport models have a large grille-mounted star (think SL-Class roadster), subtle ground effects and a sport-tuned suspension
- Seventeen-inch wheels are standard, 18-inch wheels are optional
Two front bucket seats and a three-place rear bench provide seating for five. An angular dashboard design mimics the car's exterior styling theme, and Luxury and Sport models have unique instrument panels. The trunk measures 12.4 cubic feet, which is slightly more than a 3 Series sedan but less than a G35's 13.5-cubic-foot trunk.
- Standard eight-way power front seats
- Standard dual-zone automatic climate control
- Standard moonroof
- Optional features include leather upholstery, xenon headlights and a navigation system governed by Mercedes' Comand interface
Under the Hood
The C300 is powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 while the C350 has a 3.5-liter V-6. The C63 AMG performance sedan packs a 6.2-liter V-8.
- 228-hp C300 is available with a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission
- C300's engine can run on E85 ethanol
- All-wheel drive is offered on C300
- 268-hp C350 and 451-hp C63 AMG have rear-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic
Standard safety features include:
- Side-impact airbags for the front seats
- Side curtain airbags
- Front-seat pelvic airbags
- Active front head restraints
- Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes
- Traction control
- Electronic stability system