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AROUND THE BLOCK: 2015 Mercedes-Benz C300W4 – Decidedly Upscale

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2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-ClassBrian Armstead

You’ve always aspired to Mercedes-Benz ownership. After all there’s something special about getting behind the wheel and gazing over YOUR hood with the three pointed star. Financially, you do well, but with a mortgage and the expense of raising a family, perhaps an S-Class or E-Class are out of the question. So you set your sights on an entry level C-Class Benz, only to visit your local dealer and discover the C-Class is no longer entry level, but is decidedly upscale.

You want a baby Benz with an MSRP below $30K? Try the CLA250 at $29,900. Price of entry for this week’s tester built in Vance, Alabama: $40,400, with options and a $925 Destination and Delivery charge pushing the final tally to $53,720. The E-Class now begins at $51,800 and the range topping S-Class $94,400.

So is the 2015 C-Class Benzo worth nearly $54 large? Here are pluses and minuses:

+ Go anywhere 4MATIC all-wheel drive is now the only available chassis option on the C-Class. This car handles like a sports car, and the adjustable air suspension (accessed through the “Agility” button) is a treat.

+ Styling is downright seductive, closely mimicking the sexy curves on big brother S-Class.

+ Fuel economy is excellent with a turbo four providing grunt and economy from a single package.

+ Did I say the car is gorgeous?

+ Standard safety gear is impressive, including Collision Prevention Assist Plus, and LED Daytime Running Lights.

+ SiriusXM with traffic and weather is free for three years.

+ Interior layout is way cool, with an optional 8.4-inch control screen for audio, HVAC and telematics in a standup configuration. Looks like an iPad Mini on the dash!

– There’s no standard rear-view camera. Given the content of Korean built cars, $40K should net a camera.

– The interior is surprisingly tight! The car looks much bigger than it actually is, again, mimicking the much larger S-Class.

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-ClassWhile driving on Interstate 495 in Maryland, I dozed off in the middle of the day. This happens to millions of drivers, sometimes with catastrophic results. I’m quite fortunate that my tester was equipped with Active Lane Keeping Assist, which uses a windshield mounted camera to determine if your lane drift is intentional to change lanes or the result of inattention due to drowsy driving. The C-Class braked and turned me back into my lane before the cars beside me could react to my inattention by blowing the horn or swerving. This amazing technology is part of a Driver Assistance safety package costing $2,800 that also includes Distronic Plus with Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Pre-Safe Brake with Pedestrian Recognition, Brake Assist Plus with Cross-Traffic Assist, and Pre-SafePlus with Rear End Collision Protection.

In the final analysis, I’m at the dealer signing the paperwork necessary to buy this car. You can save yourself nearly $5K by deleting the $2,690 Multimedia Package, and the $2,175 Sport Package, but don’t ever sell yourself short on safety.

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-ClassThank you Mercedes-Benz for the gift of life, and at the very least the gift of no injuries during my dozing moment.

2015 Mercedes-Benz C300W4

Price: $40,400

Price as Tested: $53,720

EPA Fuel Economy: 24 mpg city/31 highway

Powertrain: 2.0-liter turbocharged four

Specs: 241 hp/273 lb-ft of torque

 

More details at www.MBUSA.com

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