The Mercedes-Benz C-Class continues its battle in the hotly-contested executive sedan segment, which apart from the ever-improving BMW 3-Series and Audi A4 also has new players in the Jaguar XE and the Alfa Romeo Giulia. But the C-Class remains an attractive proposition, thanks in large part to its uncompromising approach to luxury, channeling its big brother, the flagship Mercedes-Benz S-Class, to leap ahead of its rivals.
What's New for 2018
Apart from re-organizing the equipment list, the only major change Mercedes has made for the 2018 C-Class is that it has replaced the seven-speed automatic gearbox of the C300 with a nine-speed unit. This is not surprising after last year saw two new body styles and a pair of high-performance models hit the market.
Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz C-Class
The C-Class is available in a multitude of mechanical configurations
The most-basic variant is the C300, which gets a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive an option. Regardless of the drivetrain, power is the sent to the wheels by a nine-speed automatic gearbox. Fuel economy for is 24 miles per gallon in city, 34 highway and 28 mpg combined for RWD models and 24/31/27 mpg for AWD.
Slotting above the C300 is the C350e plug-in hybrid, which pairs a 2.0-liter engine with a 6.2-kWh lithium-ion battery pack for a combined output of 275 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. The C350e has a pure-electric range of 19 miles and returns 51 mpg when the batteries are fully charged. Interestingly, despite the added weight of the electric powertrain, the C350e is fairly quick – it takes just 5.9 seconds to hit 60 miles per hour.
Now entering the AMG arena, with the C43 AMG – its 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 produces 367 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque, while mated to a nine-speed auto gearbox. All-wheel drive is standard and the added traction allows the C43 to reach 60 mph in under five seconds.
And coming to the hardcore C63 and C63 S models — both get a 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 engine that pushes out 476 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque in the former and 510 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque in the latter. In the C63 S Coupe, which is the fastest C-Class in the line-up, 60 mph time arrives in just 3.8 seconds. A super-quick seven-speed AMG-spec transmission helps in this endeavor, although rear-wheel drive means the experience will be rather lively.
Overall, there are more than 10 packages available to the customers on the C-Class. Our picks are the Smartphone Integration Package ($350), Lighting Package ($1,090 to $1,900 depending on body style) and Driver Assistance Package ($2,250 to $3,600). The Smartphone packs included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the Lighting pack adds adaptive headlights, high-beam assist and ambient lighting, while the Driver Assistance Package adds active blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist, speed-limit assistance, enhanced version of the Pre-Safe collision prevention system and more. For the C300, customers could also look at the AMG Line package ($1,325 to $2,175), which retunes the suspension and the brakes and fits a body-kit for a sportier look.
The pick with the C-Class depends on your budget and requirements. If you want a daily driver, the C300 and C350e are appropriate models. However, if you are looking for performance and have a fanciful budget, the C43 or C63 are unlikely to disappoint. A sedan body style is the most practical one, but the coupe and cabriolet versions are more eye-catching.