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2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Overview
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class receives only a few minor updates for 2014 as it awaits a next-generation makeover for the 2015 model year. The 2014 updates include standard split-folding rear seats for the C-Class sedan (they're already standard in the coupe), a revised grille with high-gloss black accents for the sedan and coupe, and new 18-inch 5-spoke standard wheels on the C350 sedan and coupe. Other than that, the 2014 C-Class remains unchanged.
Deep into its current generation, the C-Class received fairly extensive updating in 2012 and 2013, designed to help it remain competitive until the next version arrives. While it might have lost a little ground to competitors like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Lincoln MKZ as it awaits a redesign, the C-Class continues to sell well with auto buyers and remains the automaker's top-selling vehicle.
For 2014, the C-Class comes in sedan and coupe body styles at C250, C300 with 4Matic all-wheel drive (AWD) and C63 AMG trim levels, as well as a coupe-only C350. Owners can also choose from Luxury and Sport packages at the C250 and C300 levels, while the C350 comes only with the Sport package. The automaker offers a wide range of optional packages to further customize C-Class vehicles, including Leather, Multimedia, Sport Plus and Lane Tracking packages, adding features like upgraded suspensions, exterior enhancements and interior upgrades.
Three engines power the various C-Class trims, although Mercedes customizes each powerplant for each trim, with varying levels of horsepower. The C250, introduced in 2012, serves as the automaker's entry-level offering, although some critics find it a little underpowered for the class. Its turbocharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine generates 201 hp and 229 lb-ft of torque. That compares favorably to the entry-level vehicle in BMW's 3 Series, the 320i, which gets 180 hp from its 4-cylinder engine, but it also posts fuel economy numbers of up to 36 mpg. The turbo 4-cylinder in the C250 mates to a 7-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters in the coupe. Fuel economy numbers check in at 22 mpg city/31 highway. All C-Class engines require premium fuel.
The C300 4Matic and C350 share a 3.5-liter V6 with direct injection. In the C300 4Matic, the V6 produces 248 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque, which increases to 302 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque in the C350. The powerplant in both trims links to the 7-speed automatic transmission and again includes paddle shifters in the C350 coupe. The V6 manages fuel-economy numbers of 20/27 in the C300 4Matic and 20/29 in the C350.
The performance-oriented C63 AMG trims continue to receive a hand-built 6.3-liter V8 engine, which puts out 451 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. The C63 makes the run from 0-60 in just 4.4 seconds. Mercedes pairs the V8 with a 7-speed AMG SpeedShift MCT transmission, which has 4 driving modes, including Controlled Efficiency, Sport, Sport Plus and a manual-shift mode. Aluminum paddle shifters come standard. Fuel economy numbers check in at 13/19.
The Sport and Luxury packages include a number of distinctive features. Sport trims sit 0.6 inches lower than Luxury trims and ride on a sport-tuned suspension with the automaker's Agility Control, while Luxury trims receive a standard suspension tuned for comfort, also with Agility Control. C63 AMG trims get a unique AMG Sport Suspension. All trims except the C300 4Matic sit on a rear-wheel-drive platform, while the C300 gets 4Matic all-wheel drive. Owners can add the 4Matic system to the C350 coupe as an option. The Sport and Luxury packages also equip the C-Class with unique staggered-width wheels, including 17-inch wheels on the C250 and C300 and 18-inch wheels on the C350. The C63 AMG trims get 18-inch AMG wheels.
The Sport and Luxury packages add distinctive looks out front as well. The Sport package displays a wide grille with black louvers and a centrally positioned 3-pointed star, while Luxury trims feature a traditional chrome grille with the star perched on the edge of the hood above the grille. Sport trims also include a front apron with mesh air intakes, sculpted side sills and a rear skirt under the bumper. The C63 AMG trims get a unique grille, headlights, rear spoiler and wheels, as well as a sport exhaust system and unique exterior upgrades, all designed by AMG. All C-Class trims receive LED daytime running lights and LED taillights.
Inside, C-Class sedans seat 5 passengers, while the coupes seat 4. The sedans come equipped with 8-way power-adjustable front seats, a 4-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, Burl Walnut wood trim, dual-zone automatic climate control and a 5.8-inch color LCD display for the audio system, which includes Bluetooth, HD radio and a USB port. The Sport sedans as well as the coupes receive sport cabin styling with additional bolstering on the front seats, a 3-spoke sport steering wheel, aluminum trim and aluminum sport pedals. The C350 Sport adds Black Ash wood trim, a 14-way power-adjustable driver's seat and heated front seats, as well as a 450-watt Harman Kardon audio system. The C63 AMG trims include AMG sport front seats, AMG-design gauges and a 3-spoke flat-bottomed sport steering wheel. All C-Class trims also include a power tilt/slide sunroof, remote keyless entry and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. Owners can add such features as leather upholstery, a panorama sunroof and a COMAND hard-drive navigation system.
All C-Class trims come equipped with a total of 9 airbags, including a driver's-side knee airbag. Electronic stability control and antilock brakes with brake assist also come standard. Owners can add such optional safety features as a blind-spot alert system, lane-keeping assist, a rear-view camera and a Parktronic parking guidance system. The 2013 C-Class was named a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS, which should continue for 2014.
Rob has been a contributor to CarGurus since 2007, and an automotive test-driver and writer since the early ’90s. He’s test-driven everything from BMWs and Jags to Bentleys and Saabs, with an occasional Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini thrown in. He also created the annual Car of the Year and Exotic Car of the Year awards for Robb Report magazine. He currently resides in Florida.
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