By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
KBB Expert Rating: 9.5
With the arrival of a new coupe and convertible, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class lineup is now complete. Along with the C-Class sedan, the 2-door twins usher in the new Mercedes-Benz design language, which is bolder and more muscular than any C-Class before it. Mercedes’ 2017 C-Class leaves nothing to be desired, combining power, handling and superb interior craftsmanship into a vehicle packed with cutting-edge technology and safety features. More aggressive-looking than the BMW 3 and 4 Series’ cars, the C-Class has the goods to take on the Cadillac ATS and Lexus IS and in AMG form, these same cars’ M, V and F-Sport trims. Although the C-Class is more expensive than some rivals, many feel the Mercedes-Benz name is worth the added premium.
If you’re looking for a luxury car that not only impresses with its badging, but with its engineering excellence, performance capabilities and outstanding luxury amenities, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan, coupe or cabriolet makes an excellent choice. Environmentally sensitive drivers will love the 2017 C350e plug-in hybrid.
KBB Expert Ratings
For 2017, Mercedes-Benz’s C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet return riding atop the sedan’s recently revised chassis and interior. Three new AMG models are added: AMG C43, AMG C63 and AMG C63 S.
A lightweight body and nimble suspension make the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class fun to toss into tight curves, although feedback from the steering wheel isn’t as quick as in the Cadillac...
... ATS or BMW 3 Series. There is a discernable solidity to this car, something that helps reinforce the feeling of safety and security when seated behind the wheel. A step up to the AMG cars brings a completely different feel, backed by a 503-horsepower turbocharged V8. On the track, our AMG C63 S exhibited impressive poise. Drifting into corners required little effort, and when too much throttle caused the rear wheels to break loose, it was easy to stay on course until the tires hooked up again. Of course, the AMG Race-mode setting turns up the C-Class’s electronic settings to 11, but even in normal driving conditions, we found the AMG C63 S surprisingly civilized.
The term “like floating on air” turns literal in the Mercedes-Benz 2017 C-Class cars. The available Airmatic suspension softens the ride when necessary and makes life with the run-flat tires a bit less harsh. Owners can select from four settings: Comfort, ECO, Sport and Sport +.
The 2017 C-Class from Mercedes-Benz offers a Driver Assist Package consisting of active lane-keeping assist and blind-spot detection. Employing the car’s adaptive cruise control, this system helps keep the C-Class from drifting out of its lane should the driver become inattentive or distracted.
Lovely. Few other words suffice when it comes to describing the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan and coupe interiors, especially on the heels of the former generation, which had a cold, clinical demeanor. The C-Class comes available with an attractive array of wood and aluminum finishes, and a relatively clutter-free layout that manages to still feel elegant. Central to the de-cluttering is a simple rotary dial and a touch pad that responds to gestural inputs, swipes and handwriting. Adding to the upscale feel is an available Air Balance Package with a fragrance diffuser that atomizes perfume into the air-conditioning system.
At first glance, the Mercedes C-Class for 2017 bears a strong resemblance to the E-Class and S-Class -- and yes, it does borrow the aggressive front grilles, sweeping character lines, and taut rear ends. However, the C’s compact proportions give it a more purposeful appearance. If you crave a snazzier look, the 3-pointed star on the grille can be lit up with LEDs for an extra $480, while a Sport package brings more aggressive bodywork and wheels. The coupes have a similar front end, but a more bulbous rear quarter and a higher, upswept beltline that culminates in a fastback rear window.
The Mercedes-Benz C300 for 2017 features a decent amount of standard equipment, including dual-zone climate control, keyless start and a touch-pad-operated multimedia interface. The 300 Cabriolet features a power-retractable soft top, AIRSCARF, heated front seats and 18-inch wheels. Standard items on the C450 AMG get more substantial, including Bluetooth audio streaming, 14-way-power sport seats, AMG adaptive sport suspension, adaptive braking, Collision Prevention Assist and ECO start/stop. Optional features that are standard on most of the C-Class sedan’s competitors include heated seats, navigation and leather upholstery.
There are seemingly endless ways to load up the C-Class’s amenities. Opt for the Interior Package, and you’ll get leather (which you’d think would be standard on a car of this caliber), ventilated seats, and multicolor LED ambient lighting. The Premium Package 2 ($4,500) adds navigation, blind-spot assist, Burmester audio, voice control and a 10-gigabyte music hard drive. The Parking Assist Package ($1,290) adds the Surround View camera and Parktronic w/Active Parking Assist. Airmatic suspension adds $1,190 to the C300’s premium, and if you’re looking for features you never knew you needed, you’ll want the cabin fragrance system for $350.
The 2017 C-Class from Mercedes comes with a potent turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that acts as the base powerplant in the C300 sedan, coupe and convertible. It is mated to a 7-speed automatic gearbox. The C300 can be had in standard rear-wheel drive (RWD) or optional 4Matic all-wheel drive (AWD). The C450 AMG sedan and AMG C43 Coupe and Cabriolet come standard with 4Matic. The rear-drive AMG C63 models use a 4.0-liter biturbo V8 that makes 469 horsepower or a headier-still 503 in the AMG C63 S. The C350e plug-in hybrid puts out a combined 275 horsepower from its 4-cylinder gasoline engine and 60kW electric motor.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (C300 sedan, coupe, convertible)
241 horsepower @ 5,550 rpm
273 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/34 mpg (RWD, sedan), 23/30 mpg (RWD, coupe), 24/31 mpg (AWD, sedan), 23/29 mpg (AWD, coupe)
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 + 60kW electric motor (C350e)
443 lb-ft of torque
EPA city/highway fuel economy: NA
3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (C450 AMG, AMG C43 coupe and convertible)
362 horsepower @ 5,500-6,000 rpm
384 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 mpg
4.0-liter turbocharged V8 (AMG C63 sedan, AMG C63 coupe and convertible)
469 horsepower @ 5,500-6,250 rpm
479 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg
4.0-liter turbocharged V8 (AMG C63 S sedan, AMG C63 S coupe and convertible)
503 horsepower @ 5,500-6,250 rpm
516 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting right around $40,000 for a base, rear-drive C300 sedan. The C300 Coupe starts closer to $43,500, while the C300 4MATIC pushes past the $45,500 mark. Opt for the C450 AMG at around $52,000 and you'll still need to spring $2,880 for leather upholstery. At the top end, the AMG C63 S begins at nearly $75,000. With the Lexus IS sedan starting around $38,000 and the BMW 3 Series under $35,000, that leaves the C-Class on the premium end of the spectrum. But the Mercedes C-Class is expected to have strong resale and residual values, and it won 2015’s Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award in the Luxury Car segment. Check out the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the new C-Class.