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4.7 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 32 reviews
2006 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 32 reviews
Mercedes has slimmed the C-Class lineup considerably for 2006, discontinuing both the wagon and coupe body styles. Power plant options have also been reduced, and every 2006 C-Class style is V6-powered.
The entry-level C230 has swapped the 1.8 liter four for a new 201 horsepower, 2.5-liter V6. The also modest C240 becomes the C280, thanks to a new 228 horsepower, 3.0-liter V6. Finally, a new 268 horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 transforms the C320 into the C350. Transmissions have also been upgraded for 2006: the 4Matic models receive a more refined five-speed automatic, while the rear-wheel-drive models get a new seven-speed automatic.
Mercedes has cut the number of C-Class trim levels in half for 2006, now offering just two AWD and four RWD sedans. The C230 is the entry point, and Mercedes has once again designated it as a sport sedan. There are two models wearing the 280 badge, both luxury sedans, available with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. The same drive train options apply to the C350.
All C-Class sedans come standard with the luxury basics, including full power accessories, a tilt/telescope leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate controls, interior air filter, vinyl and leather upholstery, heated power mirrors, a CD player, alloy wheels and a trip computer. Key safety features include front side airbags, curtain side airbags, front-seat active head restraints, ABS, brake assist, an anti-skid system, and daytime running lights.
The C-Class has been lauded for the the typical Mercedes reasons: build quality, refinement, amenities, quietness, and styling. The availability of all-wheel drive and a few potent engine options also make this entry-level Benz a solid value in its class.
Reviewers have warned that the Sports Sedans may not be suited to all Benz shoppers. Test drivers reported a firm and involving ride, due to the sport-tuned suspension, and a slight lack of refinement in the manual transmission. Steering here is not as responsive as the M3 or Audi S4, but it is precise and balanced enough for most enthusiasts.
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