Affordable luxury; a wide selection of performance engines; available 4MATIC all wheel drive system; strong safety feature list
Three models are offered for 2011: C300, C350 and C63. The C300 comes in either a Sport or Luxury trim, and is available with either standard rear-wheel-drive configuration or with Mercedes-Benz' 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system. The C350 and C63 are offered only in rear-wheel drive form. The base C300 Sport with rear-wheel drive comes with a 6-speed manual transmission, while the other models come standard with a 7-speed automatic transmission.
C300 models are powered by a 3.0L V6 engine that makes 228 horsepower and 221 foot-pounds of torque. The C350 models get a larger 268-horsepower 3.5L V6 engine and a transmission with dual shift mode. The high-performance, limited-production C63 AMG is powered by a monster 6.3L V8 engine that produces 451 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque.
Luxury models offer standard Comfort Suspension that incorporates a special damper system, which effectively has two modes: a stiff one for uneven surfaces or quick handling motion and a softer one to dampen vibration and road noise.
The C63 AMG model distinguishes itself with fender flares, a bulging hood, larger front air intakes and LED tail lamps to make it stand out, while inside there are special sport seats and a distinctive trim.
Standard equipment on all trims includes aluminum wheels, performance tires, sunroof, leather wrapped steering wheel, trip computer, and a host of other comfort and performance features. Optional equipment on all models includes navigation, harman/kardon surround-sound audio, HID headlights, rear parking aid, backup camera, hard disk drive, panoramic roof, leather seats and remote engine start. Rain-sensing wipers, woodgrain interior trim, power folding mirrors, heated seats and 4-way power lumbar is standard on the C350 and C63 and optional on the C300. Mercedes-Benz' Universal Media Interface with USB connectivity is optional on all C-Class cars.
Safety features on all C-Class cars include 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, front side airbags and full-length curtain bags, in addition to Mercedes-Benz' unique pelvic air bags. Electronic stability control is also standard, along with adaptive braking, tire pressure monitoring system and a brake-drying feature to help maintain peak brake performance when wet or dry. Rear body air bags are available as an option.
A number of packages offer a variety of luxury upgrades. The Premium 1 Package includes an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated front seats, power-adjustable seats, a power rear sunshade, split-folding rear seats and SIRIUS satellite radio. A Lighting Package adds HID bi-xenon headlamps and LED tail lamps, while a Multimedia Package includes navigation and an upgraded stereo with 6-GB hard drive.
While the C63 is an admirable performer already, it can be upgraded with the AMG Development Package, which adds a limited-slip differential, compound brakes, a track-calibrated suspension and a special Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel.
For 2011, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class receives modest styling updates, particularly a redesigned front end, with a new look to the bumper, headlights and grille. The rear end has been reshaped slightly as well, with new taillights.
Coming later in the model year is a new C-Class coupe, which will feature a long, swooping C-pillar and no B-pillar.
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class models are the entry-level luxury cars for the brand. In particular, the Sport trims compete directly with the BMW 3-Series and Infiniti G35.
Luxury trims come with a more traditional appearance, with a chrome grille and the Mercedes-Benz 3-pointed-star hood ornament. Sport trims feature a more-prominent grille-mounted Mercedes-Benz star and AMG body-styling. The Sport trims also feature deeper front and rear aprons, under-door rocker panels, 17-inch twin-spoke wheels, firmer suspension, 3-spoke steering wheels and titanium colored instrument panels. Each sport model also gets unique trim and wheels to fit.
The 2011 C63 AMG still stands out as one of the fastest high-performance vehicles available in the United States. Alternatively, the entry-level C300 is a very affordable Mercedes-Benz, carrying an affordable base MSRP of $33,900.
Vehicle Price: 34,865.00
*Estimated payments are for informational purposes only and don't account for acquisition fees, destination charges, tax, title, and other fees and incentives or represent a financing offer or guarantee of credit from the seller.
Equipment that may affect values (standard equipment is pre-selected):
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