2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Starting MSRP: $39,500 - $80,850

Estimated MPG: 24 city / 34 hwy

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Review

The 2017 Mercedes–Benz C-Class combines aggressive styling, superior driving dynamics and impressive luxury. Its lineup includes a sedan, coupe and convertible body styles. Available with a range of turbocharged engines or a hybrid powertrain, the C-Class delivers an excellent blend of power and efficiency, which is complemented by a comfortable tech-filled cabin and a host of active safety features.

By Chris Brewer
Last Updated 04/18/2017

With a wide range of body styles and trim levels, the Mercedes C-Class is a luxury compact car that can be anything from a family sedan, to a drop-top beach mobile or a 503-horsepower track-capable sports coupe.

For 2017, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class lineup receives numerous changes. A rearview camera is now standard on all C-Class models. The sedan previously known as the C450 AMG 4Matic has been renamed the AMG C43 for 2017, and it replaces its seven-speed automatic transmission with a new nine-speed automatic. The C-Class coupe - which was on hiatus for 2016 - returns, and it's been fully redesigned. The 2017 model year also sees the C-Class family expanding its ranks with the addition of a convertible model.

All C-Class body styles come in four trims: the C300, AMG C43, AMG C63 and AMG C63 S. Sedans are available in a fifth trim, the C350e plug-in hybrid.

Both nine-speed and seven-speed automatic transmissions are offered. The engine lineup for the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class model range consists of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a turbocharged V6, a pair of turbocharged V8s and a gas/electric plug-in hybrid. Rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available.

Exterior

Exterior
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The C-Class borrows heavily from the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and S-Class designs, squeezing much of what makes of them elegant vehicles into a more compact footprint. The aggressively styled front grille is framed by a pair of attractive headlights. Sweeping character lines create a feeling of forward momentum, even when the C-Class is stationary.

Whether you opt for a sedan, coupe or convertible, the C-Class features a sporty aesthetic. Its muscular stance includes mildly flared fenders that frame alloy wheels.

Eighteen-inch wheels are standard on the C-Class coupe and convertible, while 17-inch wheels are standard on the sedan. Coupes come standard with a sunroof, and this amenity is optional on sedans. LED headlights, daytime running lights and taillights are standard on coupes and convertibles, while sedans offer these features as options.

Sedans may be upgraded with 18- or 19-inch wheels, and 19-inch wheels are available for coupes and convertibles. All body styles may be enhanced with power-folding side mirrors.

Interior

Interior
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Mercedes-Benz is synonymous with high-end luxury interiors, and the C-Class does not disappoint. Although base models lack leather seating, the seats are comfortable and highly adjustable. Finding a comfortable driving position is straightforward, and the ergonomically designed cockpit provides easy access to the car's controls.

Rear seating in the sedan is comfortable, but rear legroom in the coupe and convertible is tight.

The C-Class coupe offers 10.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity, and the sedan provides 12.6 cubic feet. Convertibles offer 8.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the top up.

While you’d expect the sedan to have a decent trunk, the C-Class coupe also provides enough room for a long weekend’s worth of luggage. The convertible is another story, especially with the top down. Once the top is down, there is barely enough room for a couple of backpacks and some groceries.

The C-Class sedan and coupe come standard with dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, power-adjustable front seats and push-button start. Available upgrades include leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats and an power trunk lid.

Convertibles come standard with heated front seats and the Airscarf heating system, which delivers warm air to the neck, head and shoulders of front-seat occupants to keep temperatures pleasant when the top is down. C-Class convertibles may be upgraded with Aircap, a virtual wind-blocker that keeps the cabin tranquil and draft-free, even at highway speeds.

Performance

Performance
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Depending on the model selected, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class can be powered by four different turbocharged engines or a hybrid power plant.

C300 sedans and coupes are governed by a seven-speed automatic transmission, as is the C350e plug-in hybrid sedan. All convertibles utilize a nine-speed automatic, as do all AMG C43 models. AMG C63 and AMG C63 S models use an AMG-tuned seven-speed automatic transmission.

Mercedes C300 models are motivated by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. This trim is available with rear-wheel drive and Mercedes-Benz's 4Matic all-wheel drive.

Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 25/34 mpg city/highway for the rear-wheel drive C300 sedan, coupe and convertible, while models with all-wheel drive deliver up to 24/31 mpg.

The C350e plug-in hybrid mates a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with an electric motor for 275 horsepower and an impressive 443 pound-feet of torque.

The AMG C43 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that generates 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. This trim is offered with all-wheel drive only.

The AMG C63 is powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 that generates 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. AMG C63 S variants have the same engine, but in this application it makes 503 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Both trims are rear-wheel drive.

Although enthusiasts will find the C300’s base engine a bit slight, the willing power plant provides a nice balance of power and efficiency. Mercedes has developed a lightweight platform and sport-tuned suspension that yields noteworthy performance characteristics. Driving the C-Class is something that you look forward to. Whether it’s a short trek to the grocery store or a 3,000 mile cross-country adventure, the C300 makes every trip enjoyable.

AMG variants take the model's already excellent driving dynamics to the next level. The purpose-built sport suspension keeps the car firmly planted to the ground, and the powerful engine choices catapult the car with authority. The steering is among the most precise that we’ve experienced, and it's so compliant, you may wonder if the AMG’s steering wheel is actually reading your mind. Braking is authoritative both on the track and on the highway.

Technology

Technology
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The 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 includes plenty of standard features. There’s an infotainment system with a 7-inch display, as well as HD radio, Bluetooth connectivity and dual USB ports. The infotainment system is controlled by a touchpad located on the center console. It requires a little time to master, especially when compared with the systems in a few of the C-Class’ main competitors.

Where the C-Class really shines is in its wide range of available features. The optional navigation system comes with a larger 8.4-inch screen. An available head-up display illuminates important information on the windshield, including entertainment, is also available. The optional Burmester surround-sound audio system not only sounds great, but looks good doing it. Those who want to stay connected will appreciate the optional Wi-Fi hot spot. Satellite radio is also available.

Safety

Safety
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In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests, the 2017 C-Class sedan scored a perfect five stars overall.

The C-Class has a long list of standard safety features. Highlights include a rearview camera, a driver's knee air bag, side curtain air bags, antilock brakes and electronic stability control.

Standard active safety features include a collision prevention system that works to alert the driver and intervene in potential accident situations. A crosswind assist system keeps the car on course during strong crosswinds. If your driving patterns seem erratic, a standard attention alert system will send an audible and visual warning.

The C-Class can be optioned to include even more of the latest active safety technologies. Blind spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, a surround-view camera system and a parking assist system are offered. Speed limit assist, which warns the driver of speed limit infractions, is also offered.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
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The 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 sedan starts at $40,425, including destination charges. The C300 coupe starts at $43,575, and the convertible starts at $51,825. Adding Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel-drive system raises the cost by $2,000.

On the high end of the C-Class range sit the mighty AMG C63 and C63 S, with sedans starting at $66,125 and $73,725, respectively. The AMG C63 S convertible carries the highest starting price in the lineup at $81,775.

A C300 sedan optioned with leather seats ($2,050) and the Premium 1 package featuring blind spot assist and satellite radio ($1,300) will carry a suggested price of $43,775.

While the C-Class sedan has a higher base price than competing models such as the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4, it comes with standard driver-assistive features that are optional or unavailable on rival cars. Once this is taken into account, its price becomes more competitive.

Overall

Overall
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Assertive styling, incredible performance and a luxurious tech-filled cabin make the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class an impressive vehicle. Whether you opt for the family-friendly sedan, stylish coupe or sleek convertible, the C-Class is a comfortable and fun-to-drive vehicle with powerful curb appeal. The AMG products add track-ready capabilities and performance to the formula.

Mercedes-Benz carries weight as a premium brand, and it isn’t a big surprise that many associate C-Class ownership with success. While there are certainly other strong competitors in the segment, it is fair to say that the C-Class ranks with the very best of them.