2019 Mercedes-Benz C300: Re-freshened with fluid design and added power and tech

By Mike Blake Carlisle Events
Thursday, January 10, 2019

Mercedes-Benz is on the move with new designs, enhanced interiors and exteriors. Going with creaseless, smooth architecture and luxurious cabins with infotainment centers, Mercedes-Benz is re-freshening this year. The manufacturer touts the tweaks as “combining emotion with intelligence.”

Among the refreshed lines is the 2019 C-Class Sedan also enhanced with increased power and extended driver assistance systems. Among the highlights are a redesigned front end, newly designed LED headlamps and taillamps, a new, more powerful, and efficient engine that increases output by 14 horsepower, and the extended suite of Intelligent Drive features shared with the Mercedes-Benz E.

Introduced in 1993 as a replacement for the M-B 190, the C-Class was the smallest (at the time) class in the Mercedes-Benz arsenal, and it is currently Mercedes-Benz's top-selling model.

Exterior changes for this year include redesigned front and rear bumpers, and the vehicle equipped with AMG-Line features, get a diamond radiator grille as standard. The front bumper presents a chrome-plated trim as part of the standard vehicle. The rear bumper on the Sedan has a new lower section – its geometry, trim and tailpipe trim vary according to the selected equipment. And you get power-folding side mirrors.

The design of the headlamps and taillamps is defined by clear-lined contours. Exquisitely crafted details add highlights and underscore the C’s modern character, and the C-Class is now equipped with LED headlamps and taillamps as standard. An LED Intelligent Light System with High Performance headlamps and ULTRA WIDE high beam is optionally available.

With steel unibody, aluminum outer sheet metal construction, the C300 measures 184.5 inches long, 71.3 inches wide and 55.3 inches high on a 111.8-inch wheelbase. Ground clearance is 3.5 inches, and we scraped a few times during tests.

The sporty interior is elegant, featuring flowing forms in a new interpretation of modern luxury. The center console is characterized by an elegant graceful trim, now available in Natural Grain Walnut Wood or Natural Grain Grey Oak Wood. The 3D real wood veneer in the center console combines a hand-crafted character with a modern feel. Magma Grey/Black upholstery is newly available for the interior, as is Saddle Brown and Silk Beige/Black for the AMG-Line Interior. The KEYLESS START function is standard and the start/stop button comes in a new turbine-look design. The vehicle key also features a new design.

Inside, C300 offers 44.0 inches of front legroom, but only 26.0 inches in row two. Shoulder room is 54.8 in front and 51.7 inches in row two, But those confines are packed with such standard items as power front seats with driver-seat memory, power tilt/sliding tinted glass sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats, SmartKey, analog gauges with high-resolution multifunction display, 7-inch high-resolution central display, 3-spoke steering wheel with Touch Control Buttons, central controller, Bluetooth audio streaming, dual USB audio ports, HD Radio receiver, FrontBass® system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Gaining 14hp over last year, the C300, C300 4MATIC both come with 255hp in-line 4-cylinder engines, and the 385hp V-6-powers AMG C43 trim. Torque estimates are 273 lb-ft for the 2.0-liter in-line 4 and 384 lb-ft for the 3.0-liter V-6.

My 2.0-liter was matched to a 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission and was rated at 22mpg/city, 31mpg/highway and 25mpg combined. My tests yielded an average of 24.6mpg.

Given a factory estimate of 5.9 seconds for a zero-to-60 sprint (the 3.0-liter V-6 is manufacturer-estimated at 4.5 seconds), inclement weather canceled track tests, but last year’s tests with the smaller-hp engine (241 hp) showed 6.8 seconds and a 15.2- quarter-mile, and this year’s more powerful (by 14hp) engine seemed quicker and accelerated smoothly. Power was always there when called upon.

From a safety perspective, C300 pays attention with front-impact airbags, side impact airbags, overhead airbags, knee airbags, seatbelt pretensioners , anti-whiplash head restraints, anti-lock brakes, stability control and a security system that has a means of anticipating and/or detecting unwanted vehicle intrusion. The vehicle is equipped with an ignition disable device that will prevent the engine from starting if the correct original manufacturer key is not used.

The 2019 Mercedes Benz C300 sedan bases at $41,400 in Black or Polar White – other colors will cost extra. My test ride was bathed in Selenite Metallic (dark gray) for an extra $720. AMG styling starts at $2000 extra, but mine was a base C300. The Exterior Lighting package adds Intelligent Light System with Ultra Wide Beam headlamps and Adaptive Highbeam Assist for $900. A rear spoiler added $300; cool LED logo light projectors added $200; Magma Grey leather upholstery in the Leather Seating Package with Memory for front passenger seat added $1950; Heated front seats were $580; Heated Steering Wheel was $250; the Multimedia Package with COMMAND navigation, touchpad controller, enhanced voice control, Car-to-X Communication and a 10.25-inch high-resolution center display added $2600; a panorama roof added $1000, inductive wireless charging and NFC pairing added $170, and the $2250 Driver Assistance Package added active distance, steering and evasive steering assist, brake and cross traffic assist, emergency stop, speed limit, blind spot and lane change assist, for a sticker-as-tested of $51,930.

> Visit www.CarlisleEvents.com for more on the automotive hobby.

Mike Blake, former editor of KIT CAR magazine, joined Carlisle Events as senior automotive journalist in 2004. He's been a "car guy" since the 1960s and has been writing professionally for about 30 years.

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