New for 2015
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan has been redesigned for 2015, with attractive new sheetmetal, more powerful and efficient engines, higher-quality interior materials, and more technology. The C-Class coupe remains unchanged for 2015, but sees minor trim package and equipment changes.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class consists of sporty luxury sedan and coupe models that focus more on luxury than sport in most models. Variants range from the comfortable C300 to the powerful C63 AMG S, but all possess a new level of luxury that brings the C-Class closer to the S-Class flagship than the new entry-level CLA-Class. The C-Class fits above the CLA-Class and below the E-Class in the Mercedes-Benz four-door lineup.
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan gets a new set of powerplants, but the coupe continues mostly unchanged from last year. A seven-speed automatic is used across the line, but AMG models get a unit with revisions that enable even faster, more aggressive shifts when called for.
Model: C300, C300 4Matic
Engine and Transmission: Turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 – seven-speed automatic
Power: 241 hp/273 lb-ft
EPA rated fuel efficiency: 24/31 mpg (4Matic) – 25/34 mpg
Model: C400 4Matic
Engine and Transmission: Twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 – seven-speed automatic
Power: 329 hp/354 lb-ft
EPA rated fuel efficiency: 21/29 mpg
Model: C250 Coupe
Engine and Transmission: Turbocharged 1.8-liter I-4 – seven-speed automatic
Power: 201 hp/229 lb-ft
EPA rated fuel efficiency: 22/31 mpg
Model: C350 Coupe, C350 4Matic Coupe
Engine and Transmission: 3.5-liter V-6 – seven-speed automatic
Power: 302 hp/273 lb-ft
EPA rated fuel efficiency: 20/28 mpg
Model: C63 Sedan, C63 S Sedan
Engine and Transmission: Twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 – seven-speed automatic
Power: 469 hp/479 lb-ft (C63) – 503 hp/516 lb-ft (C63 S)
EPA rated fuel efficiency: TBD/TBD
Model: C63 AMG Coupe
Engine and Transmission: 6.2-liter V-8 – seven-speed automatic
Power: 451 hp/443 lb-ft – 507 hp/450 lb-ft (Edition 507)
EPA rated fuel efficiency: 13/19 mpg
The C-Class’ features list and the quality of its interior really help give the impression of “baby S-Class” rather than “entry-level luxury”. Gone are the “German Taxi” jokes, as the C-Class now offers safety technologies on par with the E- and S-Class. Interior features include an 8.4-inch infotainment screen, full-color head-up display, heated/ventilated front seats, and a panoramic power sunroof. The C-Class even has an optional cabin fragrance system, further solidifying the “Baby S-Class” feeling. The safety list is comprehensive, with features such as adaptive cruise control with steering assist, Lane Keep/Blind Spot/Cross Traffic assistance, and Parktronic with active park assist. Just like the big Mercedes, the C-Class can nearly drive itself under certain conditions.
The C-Class coupe continues on, for more than another model year we’re told, but is nonetheless well appointed, getting just a 5.8-inch infotainment screen, no ventilation for the front seats, and a few less safety nannies. Considering how much equipment was added to the Sedan, the Coupe remains a nicely equipped luxury sports vehicle. This is also buyers’ last opportunity to score a naturally-aspirated AMG C-Class, as the Sedan switched to a twin-turbo V-8 mill.
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has not yet been crash tested by the NHTSA or the IIHS.
What We Think
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan was a 2015 AUTOMOBILE All-Star, dethroning the BMW 3 Series by not trying to emulate it, but by excelling at being a sporty luxury sedan. In our All-Star Award article we said “it succeeds at being a Mercedes.” In a style similar to the “less is more” new S-Class coupe, the C-Class sedan makes an impression by not following the design language of the dressed-up CLA-Class. We noted, “The resemblance to more expensive Mercedes models doesn’t end when you open the door … Many sedans at this price level provide the veneer of premium, but the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class ensconces you in it, with excellent materials and solid switchgear. Some of us are still not sold on the stand-up touchscreen, but it frees the rest of the dash of techno clutter.”
In a Driven review of a 2015 C300 4Matic we said, “The C300 4Matic never puts a foot wrong on the twisting, hilly roads outside Tacoma. Variable ratio steering provides excellent freeway stability, but turns in quickly on the switchbacks. It may not win awards for its feedback, but the C-Class’ electric power steering weights up in a natural, progressive manner that we wish more of its rivals could manage.”
After driving the C400, with its adaptive air suspension, we found the traditional steel-sprung model to be more comfortable. In a 2015 Mercedes-Benz C400 4Matic review we noted, “Airmatic air suspension, standard on the C400 and optional on the C300, makes the car feel more like an athlete who’s arrived at training camp out of shape. It leans heavily into turns and jounces in reaction to fast lane changes.” In the C300 we recommend passing on the Airmatic upgrade, commenting that “excellent suspension damping quickly brings body motions under control after dips and crests, and the car hugs the road with enough suspension compliance to handle potholes and rough roads. The ride-handling balance is just right.”
For buyers hoping to get a sportier C-Class, the Mercedes-AMG C63, and racier C63 S, are wonderful options. With the C450 AMG 4Matic on the horizon for the 2016 model year, the C400’s days are numbered. Around town, the C400’s power isn’t much more noticeable for the extra money over the base C300, so we suggest buyers wait for the C450 to be introduced for 2016.
The Mercedes-AMG C63 is another story, however, as it gains an engine similar to the mill found in the AMG GT. In a Driven review of a 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 we said “the thrust is delicious” and “the sound is glorious.” We also praised the car’s excellent carbon-ceramic brakes, rear-wheel drive with a mechanical or electronic limited-slip differential, and several track-oriented features.
Buyers who prefer their C-Class with two doors are stuck with the same carryover model for at least another year, but expect a similar set of changes to make their way from the sedan to the coupe. For now, the C63 AMG coupe retains its 6.2-liter V-8, devoid of power-adding turbochargers, and equipped with snappy throttle response that can only be dreamed of by turbocharged mills. Sure it’s the old body style, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still any good.
Our only complaints about the C-Class sedan are with the odd “floating” infotainment screen, which we complained didn’t flow with the rest of the interior styling, and the sometimes overly sensitive touch pad paired with the COMAND system.
- More efficient and more powerful engines
- Baby S-Class in fit and finish
- Traditional suspension
You Won’t Like
- Airmatic suspension
- Odd, floating infotainment screen
- Overly sensitive COMAND touch pad
- BMW 3/4 Series
- Infiniti Q50/Q60
- Audi A4/A5
- Cadillac ATS