2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Click image to enlarge

Manufacturer’s web site
Mercedes-Benz Canada

Review and photos by Paul Williams

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2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Kennebunkport, Maine – At the recent launch of the all-new 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, the refreshed C-Class Sedan played something of a second fiddle to its sporty sibling. Granted, the Sedan isn’t “all-new” this year, but there are significant changes to report that enhance the model.

Enhancements aside, though, one thing you can get with the Sedan that’s not available to Coupe buyers is the 4Matic full-time all-wheel drive system. So if you want AWD and you want a C-Class, the Sedan will be your car.

Starting at $36,700 for the C 250 Sedan and $39,990 for the C 250 4Matic, this year’s C 250 designation now refers to a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque. It’s a 1.8-litre engine featuring direct-injection and turbocharging that maximizes both power and fuel economy (Premium fuel is required, however) from this small-displacement powerplant.

2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Click image to enlarge

Moving up to the V6, a new direct-injected 3.5-litre engine powers the $49,000 C 350 Sedan. It makes 302 hp and 273 lb.-ft. torque, and can be ordered with AWD for $50,800 as the C 350 4Matic.

A wrinkle here is that you can purchase an “entry” level V6 AWD sedan in the form of the C 300 4Matic for $45,200. This engine carries over from last year’s model and is also a 3.5-litre powerplant, although in the C 300 it is port-injected (rather than direct-injected) and makes 228 hp and 221 lb.-ft. torque. The rear-wheel drive C 300, by the way, is deleted for model year 2012.

The vehicles above feature one of two seven-speed automatic transmissions. The 7G-Tronic carries over from 2011 and is fitted to the C 250 4Matic and C 300 4Matic models. The revised 7G-Tronic Plus is fitted to the C 250, C 350 and C350 4Matic. It improves fuel economy, is quieter, more responsive and more durable than last year’s version, according to Mercedes-Benz Canada. The transmission uses new planetary gears, bearing and internal seals, a new low-viscosity transmission fluid, lower hydraulic pressure and enhanced software to produce a smoother-shifting gearbox.

2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class; photos courtesy Mercedes-Benz. Click image to enlarge

Finally, the “bad boy” of the line is the $65,000 C 63 AMG Sedan, which really is a different kind of car than the more family or executive-oriented C 250/300/350 versions. The C 63 AMG is powered by a 6.2-litre V8 engine that makes 451 hp and 443 lb.-ft. torque through a special “MCT Sports” dual-clutch seven-speed transmission.

This vehicle blasts from 0-100 km/h in 4.5 seconds in “stock” form, generating 90 per cent of its peak torque at a scant 2,000 rpm, but an additional AMG Performance Package includes a yet stiffer suspension, limited slip differential, red brake calipers, carbon-fibre rear spoiler and engine modifications including lightweight forged pistons, connecting rods and crankshaft with more aggressive engine management that combine to raise horsepower by 30 to 481 hp. The speed limiter on Performance Package models is increased from 250 to 280 km/h, should you have a chance to drive one on the German Autobahn, or maybe the Bonneville Salt Flats.

According to survey results generated by Mercedes-Benz, the exterior of the C-Class continues to be well received by owners. Consequently, the overall look of the 2012 C-Class Sedans is generally similar to the 2011 model, and exterior revisions are limited to new bumpers, front grille and headlights, an aluminum hood and daytime LED running lights and tail lights.

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