There was a time when you could call the Mercedes-Benz C-Class an entry-level luxury vehicle. But to do so for 2018 would be a bit of a disservice. First of all, the CLA-Class is technically Mercedes' entry-level sedan now. But more importantly, the C-Class is more impressive than the words "entry-level" would lead you to believe. It comes with an impeccably built interior, high-quality materials inside and out, upgrading and customizing options galore, and a variety of engine choices.
As for those engines, there's a lot to chose from if you want something other than the C300's turbocharged four-cylinder engine. For better fuel economy, check out the C350e. This plug-in hybrid version of the C-Class offers a modicum of all-electric driving range, an increase in power and the best fuel economy of the C-Class range. If autobahn-worthy speeds are more your thing, there's a turbocharged V6 in the AMG C43 and the turbocharged V8 in the AMG C63, both of which are bona fide sport sedans.
Of course, there are other entry-level luxury sedans, coupes and convertibles that may catch your eye. But it would be a glaring omission if the 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class didn't end up on your short list.
Notably, we picked the 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class AMG C 63 as one of Edmunds' Best Sports Sedans for this year.
trim levels & features
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class comes in three body styles: sedan, coupe and convertible (Cabriolet). The C-Class sedan, coupe and convertible are available in five trim levels: base C300, C300 4Matic (all-wheel drive), AMG C43, AMG C63 and AMG C63 S. The sedan also gets a plug-in hybrid variant called the C350e. With the exception of the high-horsepower engines and sport-tuned components in the AMG models, most C-Classes get the same standard equipment and are available with a plethora of packaged and stand-alone options.
The C300 sedan (and C300 4Matic) comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (241 horsepower, 273 pound-feet of torque), a nine-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch wheels, automatic wipers, a rearview camera, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 10-way power front seats (with four-way lumbar adjustment), driver-seat memory settings, simulated leather upholstery (the rather good MB-Tex) and 40/20/40-split folding rear seatbacks.
Standard tech includes the COMAND infotainment system (with a 7-inch central display screen and a console-mounted dial controller), Bluetooth and an audio system with a CD player, dual USB ports, an SD card reader and HD radio.
For the most part, the C300 coupe gets the same equipment plus 18-inch wheels. The C300 convertible gets a power-folding fabric top, Mercedes' Airscarf system — which delivers warmed air to the neck and shoulders of front passengers — and a removable wind blocker.
On top of the 18-inch wheels, the C350e (sedan only) gets a turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor (275 hp combined), a seven-speed automatic transmission, an air-spring suspension with multiple tuning modes, and LED headlights.
Primary options packages for all C300s are essentially the same. The Premium package adds an electronic trunk closer, blind-spot monitoring, keyless entry and push-button start, and satellite radio. In the coupe and convertible, the Premium package also includes an upgraded Burmester sound system.
Several other options packages are available for the C300 and C350e as well as stand-alone options. We'll dispense with the packages first.
Options packages include the Multimedia package (an upgraded 8.4-inch screen with navigation, voice controls, touchpad infotainment controller); Advanced Lighting package (adaptive high-beam headlights, cornering headlamps, LED headlights, ambient interior lighting); Smartphone Integration package (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility); Parking Assist package (front and rear parking sensors, top-down parking camera system); the AMG Line package (upgraded brakes, sport suspension, a rear spoiler, unique bodywork); and the Driver Assistance package (forward collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, rear cross-traffic alert).
Stand-alone options for the C300/350e include a panoramic sunroof, a head-up display, heated and ventilated seats, leather upholstery, a cabin air purification and fragrance system, a heated steering wheel, and a number of interior and exterior trim pieces.
For the most part, AMG C43 models get the Premium package equipment along with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 (362 hp, 384 lb-ft), all-wheel drive, a nine-speed automatic transmission, a sport tuned suspension, adaptive suspension dampers, heated front seats and unique interior trim.
The AMG C63 and C63 S are widely similar with the exception of the turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 (469 hp, 479 lb-ft with the C63; 503 hp, 516 lb-ft with the C63 S) and a multiclutch, high-performance seven-speed automatic transmission. Options for the AMG models include carbon-ceramic brakes, exhaust and upgraded wheels and tires sport seats, carbon-fiber interior and exterior trim, and a special AMG head-up display.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 4Matic Convertible (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 9-speed automatic | AWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Mercedes-Benz C-Class has received some minor revisions. Our findings remain applicable to this year's Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
noise & vibration
ease of use
getting in/getting out
child safety seat accomodation
audio & navigation
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.