The Mercedes-Benz C-Class represents a line of small luxury cars that was first introduced in 1994. Available in coupe and sedan body styles, the rear- or all-wheel drive C-Class is one of the best-selling models from this renowned German luxury marque.
2015 to Present: Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Sometimes known as the “Baby Benz,” the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is no longer the smallest or lowest cost model in this brand’s portfolio. Starting with the 2015 model year, the C-Class is now in its fourth generation and continues to be a top-selling car for Mercedes.
The C-Class sedan is available in C300, C300d, C450 AMG, AMG C63 and AMG C63 S models. A plug-in hybrid C350e is also available. Rear-wheel drive is standard and Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive system is available.
The C300 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. It comes paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
Higher trims offer engines that include a turbodiesel four-cylinder in the C300d, as well as a twin-turbo V6 in the C450 and a twin-turbo V8 in the AMG C63.
The fourth-generation C-Class is marked by a pronounced horizontal grille punctuated by the trademark Mercedes-Benz tri-star. This model has wraparound headlights and a sporty lower grille opening. A long hood and a raked windshield mark the sedan. Profile character lines and body sculpting are also evident. To the rear, the C-Class has a raised rear deck, wraparound rear combination lights, further body sculpting and embedded exhaust tips.
The C-Class interior is meticulously laid out, featuring a three-spoke sport steering wheel and an instrument panel with analog and digital displays. A free-standing color display sits on top of the dashboard above the center console, which is tied to the COMAND Infotainment System. An innovative touchpad between the front seats controls the display and other vehicle functions.
Numerous technological features are available or included. A head-up display and an available Burmester surround-sound audio system are among the amenities. A host of driver assistance features such as blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control are available.
Earlier Mercedes-Benz C-Class Models
The first-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class arrived on the market for 1994, replacing the previous 190 series that was the original “Baby Benz” model. That first-generation model offered a 2.2-liter four-cylinder and a 2.8-liter V6 that are both paired with a four-speed automatic transmission. Beginning in 1997, the base engine was replaced with a 2.3-liter four-cylinder and both engines were now paired with five-speed automatic transmissions. The first-generation model was produced from 1994 to 2000.
The second-generation C-Class was produced from 2001 to 2007. A 2.6-liter V6 and a 3.2-liter V6 were offered initially. The smaller engine is paired with a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. The larger engine is paired with a five-speed automatic only. Beginning in 2002, a C32 AMG variant with a supercharged 3.2-liter V6 debuted.
In 2003, a supercharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine was added. In 2005, a C55 AMG model powered by a 5.4-liter V8 made its debut, replacing the previous 3.2-liter supercharged V6. In 2006, the C-Class engine line was changed once again with 2.5-, 3.0- and 3.5-liter V6 engines available.
The third-generation C-Class was produced from 2008 to 2014. The base C300 is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 engine making 228 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission and a seven-speed automatic are available.
A C350 model is also available, which is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. That engine makes 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Engine output increased for the 2012 model year, with the C350 now offering 302 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.
Topping the C-Class line was a C63 AMG model, which is powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine making 451 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque.
Mercedes-Benz introduced the C250 for 2012, which is powered by a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine making 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque. In 2013, Mercedes dropped the 3.0-liter V6, but continued offering the other engine choices.