2008 Mercedes-Benz 300-Class Long-Term Road Test


2008 Mercedes-Benz C300 Sport's Agility Control

December 07, 2007

That C/S button at the bottom of the PRND indicator has nothing to do with the car's suspension. No doubt long-time Mercedes-Benz fans will know it only changes the behavior of the transmission. Why the confusion?

With the release of the 2008 C Class, Mercedes has been actively promoting the car's all-new suspension system with a term which sounds very much like marketing-speak to us: Agility Control. The problem is that some people are assuming that means the car has active dampers or adaptive suspension. Not so. The truth is that in as much as every modern shock absorber uses multi-stage, hydraulic valves that are sensitive to the velocity of the piston within that shock absorber, producing more resistance with faster piston movement, the C300 Sport has such an "active damper."

That's like saying that this year's ExpeNaviBurbaLade has Impact Absorbing Pneumatic Tires.

The problem is that European markets are already enjoying genuine adaptive suspensions on their C Classes. The working name for that feature, which our market will get sometime next year, is Advanced Agility. Online Mercedes-Benz forums are already filled with pages attempting to clarify this nomenclature. It seems that even some U.S. Mercedes-Benz sales staff are telling customers that the button next to the shifter controls the adaptive suspension. When it does arrive in the 2009 C Class, the button controlling truly active dampers will be at the base of the center stack.

Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 3,500 miles

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