By KBB.com Editors
The C-Class offers young drivers a way to join the exclusive Mercedes-Benz family without spending an arm and a leg. Although priced slightly higher than similarly equipped models from Audi, Infiniti, Saab, Cadillac and Lexus, the C-Class can certainly match these vehicles in the areas of luxury, performance and value. The availability of a slick-shifting six-speed manual with the C230 and C350 Sport trims is a must for the driving enthusiast and is offered as a no-charge alternative to the seven-speed automatic. Those not concerned by such matters will find much to like in the C-Class, including a number of desirable features such as the 4MATIC all-wheel drive and a new Flex-Fuel V6 capable of running on E85 or gasoline.You'll Like This Car If...
If you're looking for the quality and prestige that comes from the Mercedes-Benz brand at a price comparable to some top-of-the-line family sedans, the C230, C280 and C350 are the way to get it.You May Not Like This Car If...
Prestige has its price. The C-Class is tight on rear-seat legroom and can cost thousands more than comparably equipped European, American and Japanese rivals.What's Significant About This Car?
The C230 receives a new E85-compliant engine, while the C280 and C350 Luxury models gain power front seats and a power-adjustable steering column with memory settings for up to three drivers. C230 and C350 Sport models receive new 17-inch wheels, an AMG rear deck spoiler and dual AMG exhaust pipes.Driving It Driving Impressions
The top-of-the-line C350 definitely feels tighter and more in touch with the road than most of its luxury counterparts. Yes, the ride is a bit firm and can even be rough over broken pavement and untended expansion joints, but it's a small price to pay for the benefits a taut suspension yields.
The C350's six-speed manual is a vast improvement over previous Mercedes-Benz manuals, with much tighter gates facilitating shorter shifts. The 3.5-liter V6 engine is an absolute dream. It responds willingly to the slightest throttle input, calling upon its ample low-end torque to shoot you across busy intersections or to overtake slower-moving traffic.
Panoramic Glass Sunroof
The C-Class's panoramic glass sunroof covers the entire interior and includes an electric sunshade for both the front and rear panels.
The C230, C280 and C350 models offer a Mercedes-quality interior at a surprisingly affordable price.