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.
C 300 Sport 4MATIC 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7A)
UPDATED from 1/1/207--For the record, I owned a 2014 C300 4Matic Sport (and probably a doz or so older MB over the last 20 yrs.) and now own the 2016 C300 4Matic Sport, which short of getting an older Benz, will be the last new MB I purchase--where to start? First let's start with things that should be on a $45,000+ compact luxury car 1) Real Tailpipes--that's right the tailpipes on this vehicle look like they are very nice chrome flat-tipped tailpipes--they are fakes, not even connected to the exhaust system--just stuck in the plastic bumper--really?--did I buy Dodge Dart?; 2) MB Tex upholstery, they should put leather in their cars...period. At this price point---not even the E Class has it standard, it is still an option--ridiculous; 3) They got rid of all the dials for the climate control for 2016 and replaced them with these horrible 'climate bar' toggle switches, which take 3x as long just to more the temperature gauge--why?, the old dials worked quickly and efficiently, why move to a completely ineffective control that is 'blind'...that is you have to look at the Nav screen to see what temperature you are at--nuts; 4) Voice Control (Nav and Blue-tooth Phone) is so bad as to not be believed--my 10 yr. old original iphone had a more sophisticated voice interface than this car--don't believe me, ask anyone who drives one--it is so bad, it is unusable--Call "Schneider", did you say "Spider", no...did you say 'Slider?"...it is maddening!; 5) Navigation has traffic alerts and traffic conditions built into it, other than that, it sucks, my old 2006 TL was way better...the 2014 was worse still, so marginal progress has been made, but you still can't do the most basic functions with this nav, and as stated, voice control is completely useless.; 6) Ride is significantly worse than the 2014, it feels tinny and cheap now--you can now feel bumps and ridges, that you would have glided over in the 2014 and the interior noise is much worse as well, a lot louder inside--part of that is the crappy sounding 4 cylinder engine (as opposed to the velvety and quiet V-6 in the 2014) but it was probably done to reach those fuel economy figures moving to the future; 7) The turbo 4 cylinder engine does have excellent throttle response off the line as compared to the V-6, but after 40mph, the V-6 is way better, so negotiating around the slugs on the road is a bit easier at slower speeds with the 2016 (so long as you are in Sport or Sport+ mode that is) but it loses its torque pretty quickly after 45mph and fuel economy is marginally better, maybe 2-3 MPG--gimme' back the V-6; 8) Interior is better looking in the 2016 overall, so long as you don't mind the Nav screen sticking up like an after thought...OK, let's remodel the interior, and then decide where to put that pesky nav screen later?--it's a shame as the interior overall is really pretty nice; 9) I am convinced the auto-stop 'Collision Prevention Assist 'function although alerting you that you are getting close to something, will not stop. I am convinced it will not work after many 'tests'...if you are right behind a car you should NOT be able to floor the accelerator--you can here, so don't pay for the option if it doesn't have it-- I question if it will really work. told the dealership, and they said it is operating fine, I said OK drive toward that wall and let's see it it will stop--they smiled and wouldn't do it--they know it doesn't work either--sure to be a future lawsuit there. I have tested it many times and had to stop on my own every time, inches from walls, cars, you name it I have tried it on everything; 10) The headlights are the worst headlights I have ever seen in a car-ever; especially one costing $45,000+---I had a 1985 VW beetle in college that had better lights--why? They use H7 halogens--yes, 1980's technology in a $45,000+ 2016 car--if you get one, and I don't know why you would, definitely pay the $2,500 or whatever it is for the 'steering activated HID headlight option, I had it on my 2014, this does not--it is essential--horrible visibility without it---I mean come on, Mazdas, Toyotas and even Hyundais have HID standard for Christ-sake. OK, I could go on for awhile...suffice to say, if you want a decent MB with good build quality you have to go S or E class with all the options or an AMG. And BTW if you think the E Class is much better---it's not--I drove an E class over the weekend and I gotta' tell you, not much better, same cramped backseats, etc. No better really at all, so I figured why spend the extra $25,000?. I have driven MB since the 1970's, but no more...time to make a move, so sad. I would still buy a 2010-2011 E63 AMG or similar--at least you get the decent build quality and a real engine and amenities. Say Mercedes, want to buy this one back?