2018 C-Class New Car Test Drive
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class includes a range of sedans, coupes and convertibles, each of which offers stunning good looks. The sedan was launched for 2015, the coupe for 2016, the Cabriolet for 2017. They come with a selection of powertrains, designated by their nomenclature: C300, C350e, AMG C43, AMG C63, AMG C63 S.
The Mercedes-Benz C300 uses 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 241 horsepower, mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission, with rear- or all-wheel drive. It accelerates from zero to 60 mph in about 6 seconds.
The C350e plug-in hybrid uses a turbo four and battery pack combining for 275 horsepower.
The AMG C43 uses a turbo V6 making 362 horsepower, with a nine-speed automatic new for 2017. It shoots from zero to sixty in less than five seconds, and has sports exhaust and adaptive sports suspension. It's a good fit, between calm C300 and radical hot-rod AMG C63.
The C63 and C63 S use a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, making 469 and 503 horsepower, respectively, blasting to sixty in less than four second and reaching a top speed of 180 mph. It competes with the Cadillac ATS-V and BMW M3.
The C300 sedan gets an EPA-rated 24/34 mpg City/Highway, 28 mpg Combined. With all-wheel drive it gets one less mile per gallon, while the coupe and convertible get two less. Over a 90-mile run in the C300 sedan, a mix of freeway, suburbia and country two-lanes, we got more than 30 mpg. The high-performance C43 AMG gets 20/28/23 mpg. The powerful V8 in the C63 sucks gas, with a score of 17/23/19 mpg.
The 2017 C-Class earns Top Safety Pick by the IIHS, despite a Poor rating for the headlights (and frankly we wonder how a car with poor headlights can be a top safety pick), and got five stars overall from NHTSA, with four stars in frontal crash and rollover. The Audi A4 does better.
For 2017 a rearview camera becomes standard. Some airbags are also new, the lot includes pelvis airbags in front, a new window airbag, side airbags in the rear, and driver knee airbag. Advanced safety technology includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, driver attention alert, and a semi-autonomous traffic assistant that follows the car ahead at up to 37 mph. There's also an advanced brake assist system that detects pedestrians and parked cars, and automatically brakes, at up to 45 mph. The lane-keeping system applies the brakes on one side of the car to stop drifting. Active parking assistance, surround-view cameras, and traffic sign assistance (which warns of speed limits, no-entry signs, and other information) are also among the available high-tech safety equipment.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 Sedan ($39,500), C300 Coupe ($42,650), and C300 Cabriolet ($51,825) come standard with vinyl upholstery, cruise control, keyless ignition, rearview camera, COMAND interface with capacitive touchpad and a 7.0-inch display. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)
C300 4MATIC models, such as the C300 4MATIC sedan ($41,500), include all-wheel drive.
The C350e Plug-in Hybrid Sedan ($46,050) uses a hybrid gas-electric powertrain.
AMG versions, such as the AMG C43 Sedan ($52,000), AMG C63 Sedan ($65,200), and AMG C63 S Sedan ($72,800) feature high-performance powerplants.
Options include leather, navigation, power passenger seat, LED headlamps, fragrance dispenser, panoramic sunroof, head-up display, hands-free trunk closer, a Sport Package with AMG bodywork; AMG Performance sport seats; AMG wheels; sports suspension.