The 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class began life as the smallest Mercedes (the "Baby Benz"), but has now grown to near midsize proportions, offering a level of roominess and comfort that rivals many larger cars. With the CLA-Class taking over as the compact Mercedes, the C-Class models are no longer entry-level vehicles. But with a wide range of trim levels and price points, they can still hit the mark for shoppers looking for a modest-size luxury car.
The C-Class sedan underwent a major refresh for the 2015 model year, so the big news for 2017 is the revamped coupe. What was previously more of a two-door sedan has been transformed into the sportiest C-Class model available, with firmly tuned suspension, a lower stance and design cues that finally separate it from its four-door sibling. From the diamond grille and long hood to the low greenhouse and sloping rear roofline, the new coupe proudly displays its own unique style.
Sedan or coupe, the luxurious design of the C-Class interior is sure to have wide appeal, and the choice of materials — wood veneer, gleaming brightwork and lush seating surfaces — won't disappoint even the most discriminating buyers. There's plenty of room for front-seat occupants to stretch out, although additional passengers might find entry into the backseat a bit of a challenge. And even though the feel of the interior is classic, there's no shortage of modern technology available, including the latest version of the Mercedes COMAND infotainment interface.
The standard powerplant is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque and comes linked to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Not enough power for you? There's also an AMG C43 model with a 363-horsepower twin-turbo V6, as well as an AMG C63 and C63S with twin-turbo V8s that put out 469 and 503 hp, respectively.
Performance, even with the base engine, will likely satisfy the vast majority of buyers. Although the C-Class isn't an all-out sports model, acceleration is sprightly, and there's plenty of power for comfortable, quiet highway cruising. Four driving modes — ECO, Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus — allow drivers to tailor response to suit their moods, and the available Mercedes 4Matic all-wheel-drive system provides extra traction when needed.
Fuel economy for the C-Class sedan with the standard four-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive is EPA rated at a combined 28 mpg (24 city/34 highway). Checking the all-wheel-drive 4Matic option box will lower the rating just a bit to a combined 27 mpg (24 city/31 highway).
C-Class models include the very well-equipped standard C300 Sedan, C300 Coupe or the Cabriolet, any of which can be further enhanced with a large variety of packages and options. And the AMG models are available for those who are looking for more spirited driving. Whatever your preference, let Edmunds help you find the vehicle that best meets your needs.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.