If the lease on your Mercedes-Benz C 350 4Matic sedan is coming due soon and you’re considering stepping into the all-new C 400 4Matic sedan, here’s what you can expect: gutsier acceleration, improved fuel economy, superior handling, upgraded interior quality, a roomier cabin, a fancier infotainment system, more safety features, and a new exterior design that takes obvious styling cues from the swanky, top-of-the-line S-Class sedan.

Oh, yes, and a higher price tag. The base MSRP of the 2015 C 400 is $51,400. $3,500 more than the base price of the C 350 sedan that it replaces. A fully loaded C 400 can go for over $65,000 before tax. That may seem high, but competitors like the BMW 335i xDrive and Audi S4 are similarly priced, properly equipped. And the C 400 is a lot more car than the C 350 was.

First of all, it’s bigger and roomier. It is 94 mm longer and 41 mm wider with a 76 mm increase in the wheelbase, the C 400 has a roomier cabin, particularly for rear seat passengers, and a larger trunk (481 L. For those who thought the previous C-Class sedan was too small and the current E-Class is too big, the new C-Class is an attractive compromise.

Though bigger, the new C-Class has lost about 100 kg due to the extensive use of aluminum in the body structure. That helps both performance and fuel economy. And as you might expect of a Mercedes, the body structure has been designed to meet the most stringent crash safety standards. However, as of this writing, neither the NHTSA nor IIHS have released crash results for the 2015 C-Class.

As mentioned, the design of the C 400 borrows styling themes from the S-Class sedan, but on a smaller scale. The front of the C 400 presents a somewhat aggressive face thanks to the large grille and prominent tri-star emblem, aggressive lower air dam and mesh grilles, and swept-back headlight covers with bright LED running lights. The body sides convey a more athletic message with a descending upper character line that emphasizes the hips over the rear wheels, giving the C 400 a “ready to pounce” look. This blends in nicely with the rounded tail, wrap-over taillights, and integrated lip spoiler in the trunk. Personally, my favourite view of the C 400 is from the rear three-quarter angle.

In Canada, the C 400 comes standard with the sportier AMG styling package that includes 18-inch low-profile tires and AMG five-spoke alloys, a lowered suspension, distinctive AMG mesh air intakes, side sill panels, rear bumper air outlets, and rear diffuser. You also get perforated front brake rotors with Mercedes-Benz logos on the calipers.

But what about those headlights? The C 400’s curved eye-brow LED daytime running lights are trendy in my opinion. My guess is that they will appear dated as newer headlight designs appear. But admittedly, Mercedes isn’t the only luxury manufacturer attempting to dazzle oncoming traffic with their LED running lights.

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