2009 Mercedes-Benz C300

With 228 hp on tap, the V-6 in the C300 isn't overly powerful, but it's sufficient for most buyers and is delivered very smoothly thanks to the optional seven-speed automatic transmission. I especially like the exterior styling of this car, with the Mercedes emblem on the grille rather than on the hood and the attractive seventeen-inch wheels. The interior has comfortable seats, nice materials, and controls that are fairly easy to decipher - but the placement of the cruise control stalk on all Mercedes continues to drive me crazy. When I reach for the blinker, I seem to hit the cruise instead at least once every three tries. The trunk is good-sized, with plenty of room for two sets of golf clubs, although we had to load the push cart in the back seat.

When I saw the base price of $32,975, I thought that the C300 Sport was a bargain - until I saw that the car I was driving was loaded with more than $12,000 in options. Yikes.

Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor

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