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2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Overview
Model year 2017 brings important changes to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class lineup. Like most former “compact” vehicles, C-Class models are now as big as what were once considered midsize sedans. The 4-door C-Class sedan was updated last year, and this year brings changes to the 2-door C-Class coupe trims.
Expect the new 2017 C-Class lineup to consist of five basic trims: The C300 rear-wheel-drive (RWD) Sedan, the C300 Sedan with 4Matic all-wheel drive (AWD), the C450 AMG Sport 4Matic sedan, the new C300 Coupe, and the new C300 4Matic Coupe. These vehicles constitute Mercedes-Benz's standard entry-level luxury offerings and are supplemented by a few special versions to serve niche markets.
The new 2017 C-Class coupe has a classic low-slung look; it actually sits about 0.6 inches lower than the sedan. The coupe’s classic design elements include a long hood and short rear overhang section behind the rear glass. The rear side windows are small and the b-pillar hidden, giving the appearance of a coupe that doesn't actually have a b-pillar. The black center-roof section is a stylish offset to the body-colored arc of the roof above the doors, and the doors themselves have a high belt line that gives the car a muscular appearance. From the front, the modern Mercedes-Benz diamond-shaped grill has a bold look.
The 2017 C300 sedan and coupe trims use Mercedes-Benz’s turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, producing 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque low in the rev-band. The C450 AMG has its own biturbo V6 with a strong 384 lb-ft of torque and 362 hp. These are the entry-level Mercedes-Benz premium cars that offer either RWD or AWD--the entry-level CLA-Class is built atop a front-wheel-drive platform. Mercedes-Benz also produces C-Class sedans with a 4-cylinder diesel engine coupled with AWD, a hybrid 4-cylinder powerplant with a surprisingly strong 275 hp drivetrain, and two very special AMG C63 and AMG C63S biturbo V8 performance sedans targeted at enthusiasts. The king-of-the-mountain AMG C63 S will have over 500 hp.
Inside, the new 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupes have added room (mostly for the front passengers) thanks to a longer wheelbase. The simple but elegant dash features a central infotainment screen, round air vents situated below the screen, and vehicle controls below that. The front seat controls are on the upper door panel, where they are easy to access, and the seatbelt feeders move the seatbelts to more convenient positions closer to the front passengers.
Novel technology on board the 2017 C-Class includes navigation-linked heating and air conditioning, which will automatically close the cabin’s fresh air intake when entering a tunnel and open it upon exiting. The C-Class also features advanced standard driver-assist systems such as an automatic braking system (Brake Assist System Plus) that is linked to the forward-collision prevention system and works at speeds of up to 124 mph. The Distronic Plus active cruise control system can follow a car ahead through bumper-to-bumper traffic without using any lane markings. And in addition to detecting pedestrians and taking action to avoid striking them, the BAS Plus system can now also detect cross traffic and enhance braking if the driver does not apply enough force. The C-Class even has a rear impact-protection system that watches vehicles approaching from the rear and will flash the hazard lights if it thinks a vehicle is approaching too quickly.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has a wide price range to suit its broad lineup. Base C300 sedans and coupes will start at about $40K, and well-equipped C300 4Matic cars will be priced in the mid- to upper-$40K range. The C450 AMG will likely have a price point near $55K, and the exclusive AMG C63 S will be priced near $80K when outfitted with popular packages and options.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not yet completed testing on the 2016 C-Class. But the limited crash tests completed so far have yielded Good ratings, and the C-Class has the forward-collision prevention and automatic-braking technology required to earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating. The C-Class also offers some of the most advanced active safety systems in the marketplace.
The all-new 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe and updated C-Class sedans will appear in showrooms in the spring of 2016.
John Goreham is a life-long car nut and recovering engineer. In the early 1990s, he was part of a team that built a solar-electric race car from scratch. In addition to his work at CarGurus, John covers automotive news at Torque News and GM-trucks.com and is a contributor to CarTalk and BestRide. Aside from all things automotive, John loves fishing and hockey, preferably in the company of his two boys.
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