The new, redesigned 2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has a more rakish appearance yet also has a roomy interior; overall, it's about four inches longer and two inches wider than the model it replaces. It's now offered with two engines--designated C300 and C350--and in two quite different models. The Sport model is geared more towards sharp handling and a contemporary appearance, while the Luxury model is more comfort-oriented and more closely follows traditional Mercedes-Benz styling cues.
C300 models are powered by a 228-horsepower, 3.0L V6 engine, while the C350 has a 268-horsepower, 3.5L. A 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system is also available on the C300 but not on the C350. The all-wheel drive is delivered through an all-new system that's integrated with the transmission and saves weight compared to the system used in previous model years.
The C300 can be had in Luxury or Sport guise, while the C350 is only offered as a Sport model. The C300 Sport has a 6-speed transmission with an optional seven-speed automatic. The rest of the models have the seven-speed standard.
Sport models get staggered-width 17-inch twin-spoke wheels, plus sport shocks, stiffer springs, and thicker stabilizer bars for a firmer ride and crisper handling. They also ride a half-inch lower. Inside, Sport models get a three-spoke steering wheel in place of the Luxury's four-spoke design, and aluminum (C300) or Birdseye maple (C350) trim in place of the burl walnut.
The instrument panel on the new C-Class has been redesigned with three round--rather than arced--gauges for a sportier, more traditional appearance, and there's now a 12-function information display included.
Safety features are as expected, with ESP stability control, anti-lock four-wheel disc brakes, and six air bags among the standard features; active front head restraints are also included.
A Bluetooth hands-free calling interface is now standard across the model line, as is an eight-speaker, 100-watt sound system with CD/MP3 player. There are steering-wheel controls that apply both to the audio functions and to the available navigation system.
Top options include a COMAND screen-based interface, a navigation system, and a new Multimedia Package, which includes four gigabytes of music-storage space--enough for about 1,000 songs. The system will also read music from a memory card, and the contents are automatically identified via a built-in Gracenote music database.
The new 2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is about four inches longer and two inches wider than the model it replaces, and with the interior reconfigured it's no longer one of the more cramped small luxury sedans. Its availability as a Luxury or Sport model--now with a quite different appearance for each--also increases the C-Class's appeal both to sport-sedan enthusiasts and to traditionalists who value ride and comfort more than performance.
Fashionable new look; available all-wheel drive; focused Luxury and Sport models.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has been completely redesigned for 2008, with an all-new look inside and out, revised suspension and steering systems, available all-wheel drive and a new seven-speed automatic transmission.
Most notably, the C-Class's lineup has been consolidated to focused Sport and Luxury models, which differ significantly cosmetically and mechanically. Sport models are most easily distinguished from Luxury models by their different grille and front end; they get a large integral emblem rather than a conventional hood ornament and chromed grille, which the Luxury models have.
Vehicle Price: 32,475.00
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