2010 Mercedes-Benz C300: Love/Hate

As I’ve mentioned in previous Love/Hate posts, it’s not always the big things that can make or break a car for a particular driver. Yes, things like fuel economy and blind spots are important to consider, but it’s often the little things you may initially overlook that can make you want to tear your hair out shortly after driving off the dealer lot. Such was the case with the all-wheel-drive C300 I drove recently. As one of Mercedes-Benz’s more accessible models – the starting MSRP is $33,600 – there are a lot of things this car does right. It was a fun weekend car, and if I were considering the entry luxury segment, I’d give it a closer look.
Love: Flip-up navigation screen
With all the high-tech options available on new cars, the center stack on many cars has gotten incredibly cluttered, with the navigation screen occupying a large chunk of that real estate.  Luxury cars can be complicated machines, but there’s no reason for the inside to look like the cockpit of a 747. Mercedes-Benz has tidied up the interior with a display screen that flips up from the dashboard with a touch of a button. For those of us who spend our working hours in front of a computer screen, the option to stow the display screen in the car is a welcome one.

Hate: Cruise control stalk
This feature is common across the Mercedes-Benz line, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. The cruise control is adjusted using a stalk that’s located a couple of inches above the turn signal; so there are two stalks on the left side of the steering wheel. In at least half the instances when I was trying to engage the turn signal, I adjusted the cruise control instead. The effect of this mix-up can range from minor annoyance to potential safety hazard. Considering how infrequently most people use the cruise control, it’s not clear why those controls would be in a more prominent position than the turn signal.
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