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#7

in Upscale Midsize Cars

MSRP: $35,800 - $62,750
Invoice: $33,294 - $58,358
MPG: 22 City / 31 Hwy
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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Performance

While some reviewers say that the 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class isn't as nimble as rivals like the BMW 3-Series, they say that the C-Class still has refined handling and a range of available engines that offer plenty of power. The C63 AMG is praised for its athletic handling and strong V8 engine.

  • "Regardless of whether you opt for the 2014 C250, C300 or C350, Mercedes' entry-level luxury car boasts precise steering and handling, as well as overall driving dynamics that are comparable to other sedans and coupes in the segment." -- Edmunds
  • "During our test drive of the 2014 C250, it quickly became apparent that Mercedes-Benz puts as much care into assembling the C-Class as it does it most expense luxury sedan." -- Kelley Blue Book

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz C250 is powered by a turbocharged, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 201 horsepower, while the C300 has a 248-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6. The C350 also has a 3.5-liter V6, which is tuned to produce 302 horsepower. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard on C250, C300 and C350 models. The C250 earns an EPA fuel economy estimate of 22/31 mpg city/highway, which is a bit low compared with the fuel economy of rivals like the BMW 320i and Audi A4.

The high-performance C63 AMG is powered by a 6.3-liter V8 that produces 451 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is standard. The C63 AMG "Edition 507" is rated at 507 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. Mercedes-Benz says that the C63 AMG "Edition 507" will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and has a top speed of 174 mph.

Reviewers say that the C250 has adequate, but not especially impressive, power, especially in comparison with similarly-powered competitors like the Audi A4. As a result, test drivers tend to prefer the more powerful C300 and C350 models. Test drivers agree that the C-Class’ seven-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly, though some wish it offered quicker downshifts when more power is needed.

See full 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class specs »

  • "The C350 is a good choice for enthusiasts, given its sharply responsive V6 and rear-wheel-drive handling dynamics. Then, there's the C63 AMG. Packing a ferocious V8, the C63 responds to driver inputs with added sharpness and a degree of communication few Mercedes-Benz models have ever offered." -- Edmunds
  • "The 7-speed automatic performed flawlessly, and while we love the touch-shift manual mode, we still wish a manual transmission were available on the coupes. In the automatic's Comfort setting, the C250's power is only acceptable for a car of this cost and caliber. Models with the 3.5-liter V6 are plenty potent even in Comfort mode. The exception to the smooth-riding C-Class is the C63 AMG, which is all about blistering acceleration and razor sharp cornering." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The automatic transmission is smooth, but at times it can be a bit slow to downshift when more power is needed." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "Initial response, however, is weak before the turbo kicks in. This turbo boost isn't nearly as well integrated as in Audi's 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder, and the engine note is uninspiring." -- Automobile Magazine (2012 C250)

Handling and Braking

The C250, C350 and C63 AMG come with rear-wheel drive, while the C300 comes with all-wheel drive. Test drivers say that the C-Class offers refined, controlled handling and a comfortable ride over rough pavement. One reviewer says that Sport variants have a firmer ride than Luxury variants because of the former's firmer suspension, but are still comfortable enough for long trips. Another says that the C63 AMG model has the sportiest handling, noting responsive steering and controlled body motions through turns. Reviewers say the C-Class' brakes have plenty of stopping power regardless of trim level. One reviewer says that the C250 and 350's steering isn’t the most communicative, but he doesn't seem to mind too much.

  • "Our C250 provided plenty of power provided we left the adjustable automatic transmission in Sport mode, and its handling, while not BMW 3 Series-like, was nevertheless controlled and responsive." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Despite their more sporting character, the Sport variants offer a firm but still perfectly damped ride and the ability to tackle long road trips with ease. The Luxury variants ride a little softer and have a quieter exhaust system, resulting in a more serene driving environment." -- Edmunds
  • "C250 and C350 models corner confidently with little body lean. The steering feels a little numb, but the level of power assist is fine. C63s feel racier with sharp steering and excellent body control. All have strong braking and fine pedal action." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "While not floaty or detached feeling, the C-Class rides well over imperfect pavement and transmits little road noise to the cabin. Handling is direct and predictable." -- Popular Mechanics (2012)
Review Last Updated: 5/21/14

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