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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Mercedes-Benz C300

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MPG 20 City / 27 Highway
Pros
  • Powerful engine options
  • Excellent handling
  • Many standard safety features
  • Upscale interior
Cons
  • Front seats a bit firm
  • Expensive options
Although it's the most affordable Mercedes on the market, it doesn't skimp out on luxury or performance.

Introduction

The Mercedes-Benz C300 blends value and luxury without compromising performance. The V6 under the C300's hood is a step up from the turbo-4 C250, and it puts the latest in automotive technology to work ensuring driver safety and comfort. Adaptive brakes, attention assist, auto-dimming mirrors and rain-sensing windshield wipers come standard.

For 2013, 4Matic all-wheel drive became standard on the C300. Linked to the 4-wheel electronic traction system and Agility Control suspension, this should give it stable footing even in wet or icy conditions. It's geared more for safety than all-out performance, however. The C300 also gained 20 horsepower by adopting the C350’s 3.5-liter direct-injection V6. To increase mileage, the ECO Start/Stop system shuts off the engine at idle (at a stoplight, for instance), and automatically restarts it when you hit the gas. That gives the C300 a total of 248 horsepower while still maintaining respectable fuel economy (city/highway mileage of 20/27 mpg).

The C300's 7-speed automatic transmission is intelligent in that it adapts to the driver's input and throttle tendencies, while the Touch Shift controls let the driver revel in his or her F1 fantasies with lightning-quick shifts that would make even Shumacher proud. On the inside, standard 8-way power-adjustable seats, a power sunroof, SmartKey keyless entry and a high-resolution navigation screen greet front seat occupants. Options include a variety of driver assistance features like active curve headlights and the Pre-Safe system, which detects collisions, automatically monitors cruise control, and even helps apply the brakes and adjust the seats and windows in emergency situations. Luxury upgrades like keyless starting, leather seats, heated seats, and several subscription-based services like SiriusXM and Mercedes’ mbrace2 system increase the C300's appeal.

The Mercedes-Benz C300 offers an outstanding experience and a gateway into the esteemed brand for both young and old car shoppers alike. This C-Class drives smoother and better than the S-Class flagship sedans from the 90s, while maintaining better fuel economy, confidence-inspiring handling and loads of value. While the 2013 seems like a nice upgrade over 2012, you’re still not getting a ton of engine for the price, and the mileage is unimpressive. You’re paying a premium for luxury, and of course that famous three-spoke emblem.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Mercedes-Benz C300
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2013 Mercedes-Benz C300 Luxury

Recommended for: Those who want as much luxury as the C-Series can offer

The C300 Luxury Sedan has a more traditional exterior style than the Sport. The Mercedes-Benz symbol appears on an upright hood ornament, rather than being integrated into the grill. Absent the Sport’s front inlets and side skirts, the Luxury Sedan has an uncluttered look. The interior has hand-polished Burl Walnut wood trim and a more sedate color scheme. The 4-spoke steering wheel is wrapped in leather.

2013 Mercedes-Benz C300
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2013 Mercedes-Benz C300 Sport

Recommended for: Drivers who enjoy luxury without sacrificing performance

The Sport version of the C300 has a three-slit grill with side skirts and a different front-end treatment and wheels, giving it a vaguely more aggressive look than the Luxury version. The suspension is lowered and slightly stiffer, for better cornering. The cabin has a three-spoke, flat-bottom steering wheel and aluminum trim. The high-contrast interior gives it a no-nonsense look, despite the abundant luxury. Because it uses the same powertrain as the Luxury package, the Sport package is mainly cosmetic.

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