- The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which was unveiled ahead of a debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, features a high-tech cabin and sophisticated safety features.
- The redesigned C-Class goes on sale in the U.S. next fall.
- The cabin gets a touchpad inspired by smartphones and tablets.
STUTTGART, Germany — The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which was unveiled ahead of a debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, features a high-tech cabin and sophisticated safety features.
The redesigned C-Class goes on sale in the U.S. next fall. Pricing was not announced, but a Mercedes-Benz executive told Edmunds that pricing would be "stable." The base 2014 Mercedes-Benz C250 starts at $36,725, including a $925 destination charge, while the top-of-the-line 2014 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Edition 507 Coupe starts at $73,425, including shipping.
The North American version of the C-Class will be produced at the Mercedes-Benz assembly plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama starting next year. The global launch of the C-Class begins in the U.S.
The interior is the big story here, along with optional semi-autonomous safety features that typically are found in the more expensive Mercedes-Benz S-Class and E-Class cars.
The C-Class also is lighter than the outgoing model and is expected to be up to 20 percent more fuel-efficient, although Mercedes-Benz did not provide U.S. fuel economy estimates at this point. The 2014 Mercedes-Benz C250 returns 22 mpg in city driving and 31 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA.
The cabin in the redesigned C-Class gets a touchpad inspired by smartphones and tablets. The automaker said all critical functions can be "easily operated using finger gestures." The driver and the front passenger can access the touchpad to control all the functions in the central infotainment control panel.
The car also gets a new head-up display that projects information as a virtual image directly into the driver's field of vision. The setup is said to limit distracted driving.
"The new C-Class also incorporates many of the new assistance systems or existing assistance systems with a range of enhanced functions, which celebrated their world premiere in the S-Class only a few months ago," the automaker said.
These include the Pre-Safe Brake, which can detect stationary vehicles as well as pedestrians and brake automatically if the driver fails to react in certain circumstances. The BAS Plus Brake Assist System can detect crossing traffic and automatically brake. The high-tech systems also include Active Parking Assist, a system that automatically parks the car.
The C-Class competes in a tough segment that includes the Audi A4 and the BMW 3 Series.
Edmunds says: The key question is just how much those optional safety systems will add to the price tag of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class and whether or not a loaded AMG version will venture into S-Class pricing territory.