Performance Is Not Only Reserved For The AMG Badge If someone asked you to name a moderately priced, fun-to-drive, compact, rear-wheel-drive sport sedan, the BMW 328i would likely be the first vehicle that pops to mind. After that, other four-door models like the Cadillac ATS, Lexus IS250 and even the Audi A4 (if you are willing to accept its rear-bias all-wheel-drive system) would follow suit. The Mercedes-Benz C250 would eventually make the list, but that luxury-oriented sedan would likely be near the bottom. But what if an entry-level C-Class could be configured to run with a sporty 3 Series, and not just at the AMG level? To answer that question, we spent a full week with a 2013 C250 Sport that was fitted with a few choice options that bumped its athletic demeanor several notches, yet still kept its sticker price from hitting the stratosphere. Mercedes-Benz launched the all-new third-generation C-Class (internal code W204) at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show for the 2008 model year. The four-door received a mid-cycle refresh in 2011 (shown at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show) that introduced a revised seven-speed gearbox and a refreshed, more upscale interior to better align it with its more expensive siblings. But that wasn't all, as Mercedes also treated its smallest sedan to a slew of exterior cosmetic enhancements, new driving assistance systems and next-generation telematics. The upgrades were comprehensive and very stylish, likely explaining why the Mars Red sedan in our driveway turned heads everywhere it went. Added all up, this car's grand total was $42,355. Our particular test car was a 2013 C250 Sedan with a base price of $36,255 (including a $905 destination fee). Its most expensive option was the Dynamic Sport package ($3,050), which added the unique seven split-spoke 18-inch wheels, AMG rear spoiler, sport seats in MB-Tex/Dinamica, red seat belts, red contrasting stitching, sport steering wheel, Advanced Agility Suspension and speed sensitive steering. The Premium 1 package ($2,500) added Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, 10-way power driver's seat, power lumbar, power steering column, split-folding rear seats, Harmon-Kardon surround sound audio package and other enhancements. The remaining two options were the rear decklid spoiler ($300) and a special order fee ($250). Added all up, this car's grand total was $42,355. But our test car was missing a few desirable options. Had we added navigation ($2,790) and xenon headlights ($1,290), our price would have jumped to $46,435 – that's a big jump over its base price. While a swelling sticker price may push it near the top of the segment, its physical dimensions keep it at the bottom. The C-Class sedan has a 108.7 inch wheelbase, the shortest in its competitive grouping, and its overall length trails all of the others by an inch or two. While those tiny numbers won't really affect the ride and handling, they do translate to a slightly smaller passenger cabin, especially for those in the back seat. During our week, not a single occupant complained about a lack of room. Yet during our …
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|MPG||20 City / 29 Hwy|
|Power||302 @ 6500 rpm|
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