New For 2013
The C-class got a thorough refresh last year, headlined by the addition of a four-cylinder engine and a two-door body style. Accordingly, there are few changes this year for Mercedes’ smallest model. The new AMG Sports Package Plus bestows the C-class with a specially tuned exhaust, a sport interior with contrasting seatbelts, eighteen-inch wheels, and, on coupes, a revised front suspension.
Mercedes-Benz’s C-class covers a broad spectrum of power, equipment, and price. As a driver’s car, the C-class doesn’t deliver the same all-around balance that makes the BMW 3-Series so great. However, Mercedes places a larger emphasis on luxury and refinement. Every C-class has a quiet cabin, a composed ride, excellent build quality, and an assertive but well-mannered powertrain. The C-class offers comfortable seats; a slick, three-spoke, flat-bottomed steering wheel; and a 5.8-inch display that integrates HD Radio, Bluetooth, and a USB port. The downsized C250 achieves a 21/31 mpg fuel-economy rating, but its smallish displacement means it isn’t as potent as BMW’s 240-hp turbo four. The C350’s direct-injected 3.5-liter revs eagerly and accelerates quickly. Buyers who desire all-wheel drive can choose the C350 coupe or the C300 sedan, which uses a less-potent, 228-hp V-6. A smooth-shifting seven-speed automatic is standard, but it’s not quite as quick as the eight-speed gearboxes of some competitors. The proletarian C-class might cede some performance to the BMW 3-series, but for the C63 AMG, which packs a 6.2-liter V-8 that charges off the line with an authority that is absent in BMW’s M3. The BMW boasts a more neutral, tactile chassis, but the Mercedes is a different kind of fun on the track.
ABS; front, side, front pelvis, side curtain, and driver’s knee air bags; traction and stability control; tire-pressure monitors; and drowsiness alert are standard. Automatic high-beams, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, swiveling headlights, parking sensors, and rear side air bags are optional.
- More refined than a 3-series
- Excellent build quality
- C63 AMG is as good as an M3
You won’t like:
- Nav system has a steep learning curve
- Not as nimble as a 3-series
Key Competitors For The 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
- Audi A4/S4
- BMW 3-series
- Infiniti G
- Lexus IS
The cheapest way to Mercedes-Benz refinement.