Competes with: Audi A5, BMW 4 Series, Infiniti Q60, Lexus IS
Looks like: Last year’s model, for the shopper that wants restrained sportiness.
Drivetrain: 255-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with nine-speed automatic transmission (C300); 385-hp, twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 with AMG nine-speed automatic (AMG C43); rear- or all-wheel drive (C300); all-wheel drive (AMG C43)
Hits dealerships: Late 2018
It’s been a busy year so far for the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, with sedan versions of the C300 and AMG C43 having already made their debuts at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show. Now it’s time for the two-door variants of the C-Class to step up and be recognized.
The coupe and cabriolet versions will make their debut at the 2018 New York International Auto Show next week. Both C300 and AMG C43 performance versions will be shown in New York, and each gets a set of updates that corresponds to those found on the sedan: updated technology, slight styling tweaks and some added power under the hood.
Much like the sedan, Mercedes rattles off a long list of updates that I, frankly, had trouble spotting. I had to pull up photos of the 2018 to compare the two and … I still couldn’t really tell. But if you look hard enough, you can spot them.
The full-LED lights are now standard, as is a diamond radiator grille (optional on the sedan but standard here). There are also new front and rear bumpers to round out the updated look. Out back, the taillights have a new LED design and a standard dual exhaust system.
AMG C43 models get their own cosmetic updates, including twin louvers in the lower part of the fascia that are painted silver, chrome cross fins on the grille and side air curtains integrated into the front bumper. The rear has four tailpipes (instead of two) and a more prominent rear diffuser. The AMG C43 also offers two additional appearance packages: the AMG Performance Studio Package and a Night Package, which adds black elements.
All coupe and cabriolet models feature a new steering wheel that has touch-sensitive controls and a standard 10.25-inch multimedia screen. A 12.3-inch digital virtual gauge display is optional, as well, if more screens is your thing. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay also come standard, as does a year of Mercedes’ concierge services (available for a subscription fee after the year passes).
The AMG C43 also offers optional performance sport seats with added bolstering. Those seats now offer heat and ventilation (just heat was available last year) and on cabriolet models also feature standard Airscarf neck heating for chillier top-down days.
Under the Hood
Both the C300 and AMG C43 models see a power boost for 2019. The C300’s new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder makes 255 horsepower and 273 pounds-feet of torque, which is up 14 hp over last year’s model (torque stays the same). A nine-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard, with all-wheel drive optional.
The AMG C43 comes with a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system standard and, for 2019, a 23-hp increase (torque is the same again) to 385 from its twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6. It also features a nine-speed transmission.
The 2019 C-Class is a safety juggernaut. It has improved radar and camera systems that allow you to see nearly one-third of a mile ahead (about 1,640 feet), plus it can drive itself semi-autonomously in certain situations. Forward automatic braking is standard, according to Mercedes-Benz, but for the rest of the safety features, it was unclear if they come as standard or optional equipment. Those features include blind spot warnings, lane keep assist and a host of active safety systems that will help change lanes or keep a consistent following distance from a car in front of you.
The coupe and cabriolet versions of both models will arrive at dealerships in late 2018, with pricing information to come closer to launch. We’ll be on site at the New York auto show next week covering all the action straight from the exhibit floor — so check back often.
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