- Completely redesigned last year
- Adds three new variants for 2016: C450, C350e, and C300d
- Uses rear- or All-wheel drive
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class got a complete redesign last year, but they are refusing to take it easy for 2016 and have added three new variants to the mix for the new model year.
The C450 replaces the C400 and gets a new engine, while the C350e is a plug-in hybrid for environmentally friendly driving and the C300d is a diesel which will offer the best fuel economy. In addition, Mercedes has announced that a coupe version of the C-Class will return early in 2016.
The C-Class redesign dramatically changed up the styling of the compact luxury car, adding extra size and curviness to the body work. Up front, the headlight clusters flank an updated grille (which is different for Luxury or Sport models) that sits above large air intakes. The body work has also been changed, swapping in more aluminum which cuts weight about 220 pounds, aiding fuel efficiency.
Each of the different C-Class variants gets a different engine under the hood. The C300 features a 235-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, while the new C450 gets a 362-hp, biturbo 3.0-liter V-6. All of the C-Class models come with a seven-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive (4MATIC in Mercedes parlance) is optional on the C300 but standard on the C450. From Mercedes’ performance division, AMG, comes the C63 AMG and C63 S AMG, which features a hand-built biturbo 4.0-liter V-8 that makes 469-hp in the C63 and 503-hp in the C63 S.
The exterior changes were pronounced but inside, the changes are just as drastic; the C-Class gets a brand-new cabin with better materials and a new design. The 3.7-inches of added length from the redesign are mostly felt in the rear seat, which now offers more legroom and added comfort for passengers. Standard features include dual-zone climate control, a HomeLink universal garage door opener, two USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, HD radio, and a 7-inch touchscreen that is mounted high up on the dash, similar to the CLA-Class. Also available are a larger 8.4-inch touchscreen, navigation, heated/ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, and satellite radio.
Mercedes-Benz has long been a leader when it comes to safety technology and the C-Class is no exception. New for 2016 is an automated parking system with surround view camera for easier maneuvering in tight spaces. Standard safety features include a driver drowsiness monitory, seven airbags, antilock brakes, collision prevention with automatic braking, automatic windshield wipers, and electronic stability control. A rearview camera, rear side-impact air bags, lane keep assist, blind spot warnings with cross-traffic assist, active headlights, and a rear collision detection system are optional.