By on October 9, 2018

Perusing the responses to Matthew Guy’s QOTD post about the ideal $40,000 vehicle, three sedans kept surfacing in the comments. All three were compact, all of them had engines of identical displacement, and all of them were restrained by a price ceiling — meaning no optional extras.

Today we’ll narrow the $40,000 field to these three, and see which one you’d buy with your own bank’s money.

(Read More…)

By on September 17, 2018

2000 Mercedes-Benz C230 in Colorado wrecking yard, RH front view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

During my junkyard travels, I see plenty of highzoot European luxury sedans, as once the owner of one of these complex masterpieces of technology stops getting every problem fixed, they depreciate down to hooptie-Sentra price levels in a hurry.

Today’s Junkyard Find is a fairly clean 21st-century C-Class with some rough edges, discarded because it’s not worth spending $2,500 for some minor mechanical repair on a car that’s worth $1,800. (Read More…)

By on August 16, 2018

German cars in North America are not immediately associated with base, no-option models or economical motoring. But that didn’t stop Adam Tonge from suggesting today’s trio. Which vehicle gets the Buy when you’re shopping at the bottom of the German luxury barrel in 2002?

Ladies and gentlemen, select your strippers.

(Read More…)

By on March 21, 2018

Image: Daimler AG

Mercedes-Benz’s C-Class line maintains a steady stream of customers by being attainably aspirational. A dignified, confident car, the C-Class doesn’t feel the need to be something it’s not. Watch a realtor pull up in one, and a feeling of quiet assurance falls over the would-be home buyer — certainly, not the same feeling you’d get after seeing them pull up in a CLA.

In a bid to maintain this respectful relationship, Mercedes-Benz has a host of changes in store for the refreshed 2019 C-Class sedan. These niceties are now bound for the coupe and convertible variants, too.

Isn’t it nice to talk about an honest-to-goodness sedan, coupe, and convertible, each carrying the same model name? (Read More…)

By on February 14, 2018

Image: Daimler AG

There’s significant changes in store for the freshened 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, though you wouldn’t know it from a casual glance. German automakers aren’t known for messing around too much with something that works — even full redesigns, at least as of late, remain on the cautious side.

The 2019 C-Class’ exterior changes very little, adding standard LED headlamps and taillamps, larger lower air vents, and a sparkly grille you’ll recognize from the C-Class coupe. Inside the compact rear-drive sedan, however, lies the bigger story. (Read More…)

By on February 12, 2018

2003 Mercedes-Benz W203 Coupe in Colorado wrecking yard, RH rear view - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
European luxury cars depreciate quickly once they leave the hands of careful first and second owners and start being treated like throwaway rusty Chevy Malibus or Daewoo Leganzas. For this reason, I see more S-Classes than C-Classes in big self-service wrecking yards, and the coupe version of the W203 is an especially unusual Junkyard Find.

Here’s one that crashed hard and now ends its days in a Denver-area junkyard. (Read More…)

By on September 26, 2017

2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 4Matic Wagon - Image: Mercedes-Benz CanadaIt took some doing.

Mercedes-Benz Canada first showed the wagon version of the fourth-generation C-Class 20 months ago at 2016’s Montreal Auto Show. All-wheel drive, a 2.1-liter diesel with 369 lb-ft of torque, and a profile deserving of all our praise was destined for Canadian showrooms despite Mercedes-Benz USA’s rejection of the wagon.

But there were hiccups. 13 months ago, we asked Mercedes-Benz about the C-Class Wagon’s arrival on this side of the Atlantic and received the following response: “We’re still waiting for certification.”

Mercedes-Benz never got the certification it desired, and diesel engines have disappeared from the automaker’s North American lineup. But by April 2017, we knew Mercedes-Benz had a new plan: the all-wheel drive would remain, but in place of the 2.1-liter diesel there’d be a 2.0-liter turbo C300 with 241 horsepower.

It’s finally here. And it’s still bound for America. (Read More…)

By on August 29, 2017

2017 Mercedes-Benz C350e luxury grille - Image: Mercedes-BenzThrough the 2017 model year, Americans in search of a traditional entry luxury sedan could spend $350 to swap the Mercedes-Benz C-Class’s badge-emblazoned grille for an old classic.

Three horizontal bars, one vertical support, no badge.

The “Luxury” grille was also accompanied by unique bumper treatment and softer suspension.

But how were you to advertise the fact that you were, in fact, driving a Mercedes-Benz? There was a three-pointed star perched on top, a hood ornament in automotive parlance.

Unfortunately, the C-Class hood ornament that harkened back to a more elegant era has gone the way of crank windows.  (Read More…)

By on February 21, 2017

2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Sedan at Sebring, Image: © 2017 Jack Baruth

When Mercedes-Benz brought the W201 platform here as the somewhat oddly named 190E 2.3, it was immediately nicknamed the “baby Benz.” The successor to that car, yclept “C-Class” to fit precisely within Daimler-Benz’s new idiot-compatible nomenclature, became known as the “Cheap-Class” at Mercedes-Benz dealerships.

The car you see above, piloted by Danger Girl at Sebring International Raceway in what was not a violation of the Hertz Dream Cars rental agreement, is no longer baby-sized. Nor is it particularly cheap at the as-tested price of just over $74,000. So what is it, exactly?

Well, it’s absurdly powerful; the Pep-Boys-style block “S” at the end of the C63 badge indicates a full 503 horsepower from a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8. It’s remarkably well-equipped, although there are a few omissions about which one could gripe and I’ll discuss those below. It’s as competent as you’d expect, being the top-spec sedan version of a car that is surprisingly decent even in its poverty-spec, MB-Tex-equipped four-cylinder form.

Most of all, however, the 2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 S is a sharp reminder that AMG isn’t what it used to be, for better or for worse.

(Read More…)

By on January 14, 2016

C 250 diamantsilber cranberryrot/schwarz AMG

* But not the U.S. — at least, not yet.

Add the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Wagon to the list of vehicles available in Canada and not the United States. Mercedes-Benz Canada announced Thursday it would begin selling the long-roof version of the C-Class this year. To add insult to injury, it will be a diesel with all-wheel drive — and that’s it.

Mercedes did not disclose what shades of brown will be available.

The previous-generation C-Class wagon was not available in Canada or the United States.

(Read More…)

By on November 12, 2014

2015 Mercedes-Benz C400 frontWe use a lot of terminology in our quest to classify automobiles which actively pursue thicker portions of your pocketbook.

No matter how many E-Class Benzes ply their trade as German taxicabs, we still allow the S-Class’s high-class image to rub off on the CLA in order to call the entry-level Mercedes sedan an “entry-luxury” car. A 3-Series without leather, lacking a six-cylinder, can still be called a luxury sports sedan. Lexus’s CT200h uses a Prius powertrain, but hey, it’s a Lexus, so it must be “premium” right?

Upscale. High-end. Executive. Premium. Luxury. The words, commandeered by the manufacturers themselves, have lost so much of their meaning because we have lost our ability to place any faith in words which too often turn out to be nothing more than marketing catch-phrases.

But words don’t matter. Forget the words. Ignore the words. Discard the words. Do whatever you have to render the traditional classifying terms null and void.

Doing so will help you accept the truthful message that the new W205 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, tested here in C400 4Matic form, is an honest-to-goodness, legitimate luxury car. Not because it wears a three-pointed star on its key fob, steering wheel, trunk lid, grille, and bonnet, but because it positions you in “the state of great comfort and extravagant living.” (Read More…)

By on August 25, 2014

550x365x2015-Mercedes-Benz-C-Class-550x365.jpg.pagespeed.ic.snBz3nrGww

Just as BMW launched their “M Sport” line of mass-produced vehicles bearing the M Badge (think 335i M Sport and the Euro-spec M550d diesel performance sedan), Mercedes-Benz is about to get in on the action with AMG-badged versions of more pedestrian models.

(Read More…)

By on April 29, 2013

A new four-cylinder diesel set to debut on the GLK crossover will make its way to both the Mercedes C-Class and E-Class starting this year.

(Read More…)

By on April 15, 2013

The next-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class, due in 2015, will be getting a full lineup of variants to help it better compete against the BMW 3-Series.

(Read More…)

By on July 23, 2012

Smaller grille than CTS, but clearly a Cadillac.

Size and weight are a big part of GM’s DNA. They beat Ford not with a frontal assault on the Model T but by offering a larger, heavier, flashier car. They thought they could do the same to BMW. But, even as the Bavarians packed on the inches and pounds, car buyers “in the know” saw the additional size and weight of Cadillacs as a sign that the General either lacked technical competence or just didn’t “get it.” Well, maybe the “new GM” really is different. With the 2013 Cadillac ATS, the company has pulled out all the stops to directly challenge the BMW 3-Series with a rear-wheel-drive car that is—surprise—a few tenths of an inch smaller and a few pounds lighter. Could the people who tried to sell us the Cimmaron have gotten this one right?

(Read More…)

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