I have had the auto less than a week so my first impression I hope will be my lasting impression. I had a 2015 SLK250 and was not happy because it turned out to be just what it was suppose to be without the "Mercedes" feel and comfort. Then I test drove a 2016 C300 and it sure felt like I was driving a "sporty" sedan but this time it has the comfort and feel of what I wanted and expected in a Mercedes. The vehicle was made to order in Alabama and took about 4 weeks from day of order to day of delivery. Bottom line is the C300 I'm driving is truly one of the best, if now the best driving car I've owned, very smooth and quiet and handles like a dream. The "driver" adjustments for comfort are outstanding. Best choice in new cars for 2016 I could have made.
The overall interior experience is great, for the two people in the front seats. The people in the rear are left with nothing better than the backseat of a Toyota carolla. I really wish that for the extra money you pay for a Mercedes compared to other German auto makers, you could get better optional features for the rear seats, such as heated rear seats or maybe even three zone climate control. The Bmw 3 series offers the option of heated rear seats, and Audi A4 offers both heated rear seats and three zone climate control. I don't know what's taking Mercedes so long to get with the program. The other crazy thing is, all of these options are available on the c class in Europe! I think that it would be beneficial for Mercedes to add these options to the c class AS WELL AS THE E CLASS. The e class has this same exact issue. It would be nice if Mercedes added these, especially for people who live in places where it gets cold.
This car is described as a mini S class. That's accurate. It's fun to drive, very comfortable and feels like a luxury sedan should. My third Mercedes, it's by far the best one yet. The other two were an '12 300C and a '14 glk 350. I respected the first one and like the second one. The new C is way ahead. I got the car during a February snow storm in Maine. It's excellent in the snow. Details: 1. Ride and handling are outstanding. We've taken it on two, long road trips. At the end of the day we were never tired. 2. The interior is elegant. The Burmeister sound system is terrific--very close to a live event. The front seats are very comfortable. 3. The interior is design and materials are beautiful. MB really got this right. 4. The engine/transmission combination are a fine match. The turbo 4 has more than enough grunt to move the car very quickly. Switch from standard "C"omfort setting "S"port setting, and the car is even quicker. 5. It's very economical--not that it's a reason to buy a Benz. In 8,000 miles, I have averaged 29 mpg. It's not without its shortcomings. The back seat is still tight, but that comes with smaller cars. The BIGGEST DRAWBACK for me is the infotainment system controls. The system on the previous generation was reasonably intuitive. This new track pad is a redundant nuisance. I brush it, and the radio station changes. I constantly referring to owner's manual to do things. I find that the satellite radio cuts out more often in this car than in previous models. It's probably because the antenna is embedded in the rear glass and not on the roof anymore. Suggested option packages: A. Blind spot monitoring; B. Premium package which gives you the Burmeister stereo; C. Command package which includes voice activated control of your phone, radio, and navigation.
A perfect balance ? favors luxury / comfort, but handles well. I keep discovering touches that are just done right, additional conveniences. "Exceeds expectations" as HR would say. My last car was a Lexus GS430. This is almost as quick but much better mileage, more luxurious inside and of course more modern gadgets. Of course I always want faster acceleration *and* better mileage; the C300 is a great balance and competitive with other modern cars. I got the Airmatic and love the controlled but compliant ride ? the adjustment from comfort to sport is noticeable but not huge; can't say how it compares to the steel suspension. Distronic is fabulous ? would never again buy a car without this feature. Lane Keeping Assist is a far cry from "auto steer" (it's called "assist" for a reason). But in stop-and-go traffic these two systems work together and follow the car in front almost perfectly, hugely reducing the stress level of those situations. I wanted something smaller than the GS but with the same room for me (6'5", 175 lbs), and the C300 delivers. The seats and driving positions are great (no sunroof ? didn't want to give up that extra inch of headroom). I test drove against current GS, BMW 3 and 4, and Infiniti Q50. The C300 was the hands-down winner for me, and I have no complaints. Buying was also painless ? I configured a build here at Edmunds, emailed the result and "True Market Value" to MB San Jose (now part of Auto Nation), and they ordered it for me. No hassles, everything done as promised. My biggest reservations were based on having owned an SLK 250 ? which was a super fun top-down cruiser but had a lot of drawbacks as daily transportation ? seat comfort for long trips, highway noise, turbo lag + low seat / long hood / quick steering made it hard to drive on narrow roads with confidence. The C300 has none of these problems: more predictable handling, better seating position for both winding roads and interstate cruising, almost no turbo lag (which together with the excellent transmission programming means I never miss the traditional shift lever or need the shift paddles ? they're a nice toy). And more refined COMAND. I keep finding details: the fact that the trunk hinges have their own pockets so they don't crush cargo. And the folding box that stows under the trunk floor. Etc. I love this car. I've owned Audi, Volvo, Ford SHO, MB, and Lexus and was pretty happy with all of them, but this is by far my favorite car.
I have only had the car for 3 days, and while I love the car - it looks and drives like a dream. My only complaint on this car is the ECO start / stop. I don't like that when you are braking or place the car on "hold", after about 30-60 seconds the car jolts from zero RPM to 0.5. This is fine as the car is trying to keep the a/c up (I live in Florida), but the jolt is unpleasant - everyone thinks there's something wrong with the car. I would be okay if the transition were smoother. I know I can turn it off, but then I would sacrifice better fuel efficiency. On all other aspects of the car - it is simply amazing, the suspension is wonderfully comfortable, the sound system is crisp and surrounds you. The seats are smart and well designed. My commute to work on the highway is something special every day.