The Baby Benz collection, like its older siblings, is instantly recognizable by its grill and famous 3-point logo, coming to stand for the brand’s core values of style, performance, and safety. Luxury is instilled. What the C-Class does so well, like many entry-level luxury brands, is offer an array of great cars to a wider variety of people. Call it a gateway class.
The 2012 C-Class keeps tradition alive with another impressive arsenal. You can configure one of your own or read about it here first. Here’s what to expect.
Mercedes Benz C-Class Trims and Options
Mercedes Benz offers both coupe and sedan models within each class. C250, C350, and C63 AMG get the coupe/sedan split; C250 has Sport and Luxury sedan options while C300 4MATIC is strictly sedan with Sport and Luxury models.
Expect standard niceties like a sunroof, dual-zone climate control with a number of add-on packages including trim upgrades (wood, leather) and audio/infotainment boosts including navigation.
Sport and Luxury trims differ in exterior styling as well as interior trim modifications geared toward ‘sport’ (aluminum trim, 3-spoked wheel, black roof liner) or ‘luxury’ (leather touches and wood trim).
C63 AMG trims go all out with leather sport seats and pedals, sport suspension & exhaust, alloy wheels, and an overall sense of accomplishment.
Mercedes Benz C-Class Performance
Mercedes has given their small lineup a varied group of engines depending on the trim chosen. New for 2012, and for the first time since 2004, the C250 coupes and sedans get 4-cylinder power in the form of a1.8 liter turbo capable of 201 HP and 229 lb.-ft. of torque. C300 4MATIC comes with the familiar 3.0 liter 228 HP, 221 lb.-ft. of torque V6. Jump to the C350 and it’s Mercedes’ new 3.5 liter V6 with 302 HP and 273 lb.-ft. of torque.
C300 4MATICs are equipped with all-wheel drive; everyone else gets standard rear-wheel drive. 7-speed automatic transmission is standard on the above models.
C63 AMGs are equipped with a hand built 6.3 liter V8 capable of 451 HP and 443 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s good enough for 4.4 second 0-60 times, though an AMG Developmental Package is available (for $6,050) which raises horsepower to 481 with a top speed of 174 MPH.
Rear wheel drive 7-speed multi-clutch automatic are standard on the AMGs.
Mercedes Benz C-Class Fuel Economy
C250 models with 1.8L turbo power achieve an EPA estimated 21/31 (city/highway) MPG across the board. C300 4MATICS get 18/25; C350s will run 20/29 while C63 AMG models suck down 12-13/19 MPG.
Mercedes Benz C-Class Interior
Coupes seat 4, sedans 5 and it’s mostly top quality luxury inside either. Some will say overall volume is a bit tight with small to average trunk space- 11.7 cubic feet for coupes and 12.4 for sedans. Forget about space with a driver-friendly dash and 5.8 inch LCD display that controls audio, navigation, and hands-free phone use with steering wheel controlled access for many features.
Mercedes Benz C-Class Safety
Each C-Class Benz comes with stability & traction control, anti-lock brakes, and 11 airbags including front pelvic and driver’s knee bags- altogether offering 13-way protection. Further protection comes from smart seat belts that have a bit of give if a collision warrants slack. What puts Mercedes over the top is its pursuit of new safety technology. 2012 models come with Attention Assist which, as expected, visually and audibly warns drowsy drivers if they start to drift into danger.
Optional features include Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist- which warns drifters with a vibrating steering wheel-, rear view camera, and even a headlight washing system to keep lights at optimal performance.
Governmental crash tests give the 2012 C-Class 4/5 safety stars but most of Benz’s safety is designed to keep drivers out of collisions in the first place.
Constant competition with upscale brands- particularly BMW’s 3-series- keeps Mercedes’ smallest segment in a constant state of betterment, to the benefit of the driving public. If you’re looking to reward yourself with entry level luxury the C-Class should be at the top of the list. When you’re ready to buy, configure a new C-Class on CarWoo!