Please join me in congratulating myself. The new Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC is the first car I have reviewed since being awarded runner-up status as the Auto Journalists Association of Canada’s 2014 Automobile Journalist of the Year. Another reviewer of this car recently wrote in another publication that while most dimensions have expanded for a better ride, the 2015 doesn’t offer quite the headroom its predecessor did. Thankfully despite a fairly low ground clearance and overall height of just 1,442 mm, I could still easily fit my Journalist of the Year’s [Runner up, Steven, settle down… –Ed.] head in.
And while this is the first review I’ve done since being awarded, it’s also quite possibly the last I’ll do for a long time too. I’m moving to Italy in less than a month to live in central Milan with my wife. So let’s make this one count.
It’s a great car.
Okay, so maybe we’re off to a tepid start. But there’s no debating the C300’s quality.
Still, you are continually reminded that this is not the upper level Mercedes-Benzes. Of course, given the S-, M- and especially B-Classes, we can’t expect that C means déclassé or lousy marks, but we’ll explore a few of the little things that regularly remind you that you’re not with the law school kids. Mind, these are minor complaints: it really is a great car!
Outside, she’s as sleek and sexy as a posse of Berlin club-goers strutting the streets after midnight. The low, yet long downward sloping snout also spreads languidly on either side – with its mirrors out, like some angry big cat, the C300 measures over two metres wide – providing plenty of room for inhalation through the grille, into… we’ll talk about the engine later. The flanks sweep smoothly up and back down, like some GTA drumlin formed patiently over thousands of years, tapering to a very pretty derrière you’ll continually catch yourself glancing back at after you’ve parked.
2015 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4MATIC, dashboard. Click image to enlarge
The daytime running LED lights look fierce while the LED headlights shine your way forward at night. (Because this may be my last Canadian review, you can have the following for free. LED actually stands for light-emitting diode.) Those headlights are static, so yes, they only shine forward, eschewing the more expensive technology that turns with your steering wheel and lights where you’re turning.
More LEDs box the taillights and, closing things off, even more flash decoratively as indicators embedded in stripes encompassing the mirrors. The mirrors are heated, an example of how Mercedes-Benz may not dole out the bling to C-Class drivers with excessive generosity but there is zero compromise to your safety. Another example? When I returned the backseats to their upright position, I was remiss, not locking them properly. “Rear Right Back Rest Not Latched” flashed on the dial. So when it comes to safety, every Mercedes-Benz driver is first class.