NEW_CAR_PREVIEW

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Preview

By: Jeff Youngs, 12/17/2013
Fast Facts:
  • Lighter by 220 lbs.
  • Improved aerodynamics
  • Larger, quieter interior and bigger trunk
  • New, more fuel-efficient engines
  • Advanced semi-autonomous safety technologies
  • Upgraded infotainment and cabin climate systems

Introduction
With the arrival of the new 2014 CLA-Class to serve as the entry model to the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the automaker repositions the redesigned 2015 C-Class in order to compete in what it characterizes as the "premium mid-range" market. As the best-selling model for Mercedes, the new 2015 C-Class Sedan will launch as the C300 4Matic and the C400 4Matic. They will compete against the upcoming Acura TLX, Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Cadillac ATS, Hyundai Genesis, Infiniti Q50, and Lexus IS.

Exterior Features
In describing the C-Class Sedan's styling, Mercedes used words such as "clarity," "minimalist," "purist," "sensuous," and "striking." Viewed in profile, the car demonstrates a long-hood, short-deck design combined with short front and rear overhangs and a passenger cabin set back on the chassis.

As was true of the previous-generation C-Class, buyers can choose between Luxury and Sport styling themes, the former providing a traditional grille design with a stand-up hood ornament, and the latter providing a sportier appearance with the Mercedes star emblem embedded into the grille. An optional Sport package adds a more aggressive appearance to the Sport model.

Larger than the model it replaces, the new 2015 Mercedes C-Class is 3.7 inches longer, 1.6 inches wider, and sits on a wheelbase stretched by 3 inches. At 17 cu. ft., the trunk is quite big for the class, making it larger than what most midsize family sedans offer.

Interior Features
When customers sit inside the redesigned 2015 C-Class, Mercedes wants them to feel as though they have upgraded "to a higher class of travel," the automaker explains. From the materials used, to the appearance of the layout and controls, Mercedes aims to deliver a higher level of quality in the new C-Class. Leather, wood, and cool-touch metallic surfaces are used to convey luxury and sophistication inside the new C-Class, and Mercedes says the cabin's design is modeled after its sports cars.

Optional Features
Highlights from the announced list of 2015 Mercedes C-Class options include a Sport package with a lowered suspension and exterior styling modifications, and a Multi-Media package with a larger 8.4-inch color touch-screen COMAND display, navigation with Google Maps, and a "DriveShow" feature that displays information about the journey similar to those on transcontinental airplane flights.

Additional options include a choice between a Frontbass audio upgrade and a Burmeister premium surround-sound system, head-up display, panoramic glass roof, air suspension with multiple driver-selected settings, and LED headlights. Numerous safety- and comfort-related technologies are also offered for the C-Class, and are discussed in greater detail below.

Under the Hood
The C300 4Matic is equipped with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive (AWD). Preliminary ratings peg this engine at 235 horsepower and 273 lb.-ft. of torque, the latter likely generated across a broad portion of the engine's rev range to ensure lively performance.

The C400 4Matic provides a turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6 engine and AWD. Mercedes estimates that the C400 will deliver 329 horsepower and 354 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engines are paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission.

A new suspension design debuts on the 2015 C-Class, aimed at improving the car's ride and handling qualities. Selective damping is available, and models equipped with the Sport package get a sport-tuned suspension that's been lowered by more than half an inch. An AirMatic air suspension is optional, offering Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ settings.

Additionally, the new C-Class features Direct Steer electric steering, which adjusts assistance levels and steering ratio based on vehicle speed and driver inputs.

Safety
Several safety-related features are offered for the 2015 C-Class, collectively gathered as "Intelligent Drive" systems. Standard features include Attention Assist and Collision Prevention Assist, as well as Adaptive Brake Assist.

Optional safety-related upgrades include a semi-autonomous traffic jam assist feature called Steering Assist, which works with the optional Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control system to automatically follow traffic ahead. Several braking system enhancements are available, all designed to limit low-speed collisions with other cars, pedestrians, and objects. A new Enhanced Active Lane Keeping Assist system is also optional, designed to prevent collisions with oncoming vehicles, adjacent vehicles, and even vehicles that are about to overtake the C-Class at a rapid rate of speed.

Additional safety-related features for the new C-Class include Active Blind Spot Assist, Traffic Sign Assist with Wrong-Way Alert, a 360-degree camera system that provides a bird's-eye view of the car and its surroundings, and Active Park Assist that can steer the C-Class into parallel parking spaces. The front passenger's seat is also equipped with a new child-seat recognition system that automatically deactivates the front air bag if a child seat is installed in that location.

Technology
Included as standard equipment, the 2015 C-Class is equipped with mBrace2 connectivity, telematics services, and Mercedes-Benz Apps technology. The COMAND infotainment system features a larger, higher-resolution screen with a bonded-glass cover similar to those found on tablet computers and, as an option, the COMAND system offers finger-gesture control using a haptic-feedback touchpad with handwriting-recognition capability. The new C-Class can also be fitted with the same AirBalance cabin fragrance and air ionization system as is found on the redesigned S-Class models.

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