Vehicle Overview
For 2005, Luxury editions of Mercedes-Benz's compact C-Class get new styling that follows the lead of the 2004 C-Class sport sedan. In addition, the new season's sport sedans display AMG appearance touches that are adapted from the high-performance 2004 C32 AMG model. The automaker says the sport coupes have a more aggressive look, highlighted by a new perforated grille.

A 189-horsepower, supercharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder goes into the C230 Kompressor sport sedan and sport coupe. The C320 models hold a 215-hp, 3.2-liter V-6, while C240 sedans and wagons have a 2.6-liter V-6. Coupes and sport sedans are available with rear-wheel drive only, but other sedans and wagons may be equipped with all-wheel drive.

Updated interiors contain a new dashboard with a four-gauge cluster, a revised steering wheel and center console, and redesigned seats. Luxury models gain enriched wood trim and adjustable lumbar support for the front seats.

The C-Class is split into Luxury and Sport editions. The special suspension tuning and front brake system from the 2004 sport sedan are also used on the 2005 model. A six-speed-manual transmission with revised linkage is standard in C-Class coupes and non-AMG sport sedans.

Regular models went on sale in May 2004. A C55 AMG powered by a 362-hp, 5.5-liter V-8 replaces the C32 AMG.


Exterior
For 2005, C-Class models have redesigned clear headlamps and revised taillamps. By using wider rear wheels and tires, the track width has increased. Luxury models get 16-inch wheels, while Sport sedans use 17-inch wheels. Bi-xenon headlamps are available on all models. A moonroof is available as part of an option group.

The performance-packed C55 AMG has a unique body structure that differentiates it from other C-Class models. The front section has been specially designed to accommodate the V-8 engine.


Interior
C-Class sedans and wagons seat five occupants. Switches have been redesigned in all of the interiors. Sport sedans and sport coupes feature aluminum trim in the cabin. Special AMG seats, gearshift buttons on the steering wheel and a new AMG instrument cluster are installed in the C55 AMG. Mercedes-Benz's Comand and Tele Aid systems are available in all models.

Under the Hood
Four distinct engines are available in C-Class models. The C230 Kompressor sport coupe and sport sedan use a 189-hp, supercharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder. A 3.2-liter flexible-fuel V-6 that develops 215 hp goes into C320 models. The C240 sedan and wagon hold a 168-hp, 2.6-liter V-6. Topping the performance spectrum, the C55 AMG gets a 5.5-liter V-8 that produces 362 hp. A standard six-speed-manual gearbox or an optional five-speed-automatic transmission with Touch Shift operation may be installed in coupes and non-AMG sport sedans, but other models have the automatic as standard equipment.

Safety
Antilock brakes, side-impact and side curtain-type airbags, and Mercedes-Benz's Electronic Stability Program are standard.