Review: The Mercedes C300 is smarter, safer and more luxurious than anything in its price class

Review: The Mercedes C300 is smarter, safer and more luxurious than anything in its price class
The 2019 Mercedes C300 CNBC | Mack Hogan

Mercedes has a long history of offering class-leading engineering. It was an early adoptive parent of address fuel injection, crumble zones, seatbelt pre-tensioners, grip control, massaging seats, radar-guided cruise control, LED unhorse and more. These groundbreaking advancements — which all improved base hit, comfort or performance — typically existed at the top end of the Mercedes lineup. The 2019 Mercedes C300 CNBC | Mack Hogan That ‘s not in truth how it works anymore. As the C300 proves, Mercedes now offers harebrained levels of engineering and luxury from the baby A-Class to the exclusive S-Class. For this 2019 C300, the result is simpleton. It ‘s more epicurean and smarter than anything else in the class .

The good

At $ 63,525, the C300 is n’t the brassy entry-level choice it once was. The arrival of the CLA-Class and A-Class has allowed Mercedes to push the C-Class upmarket, but it ‘s a better vehicle as a consequence. It surely does n’t feel entry-level inside. The 2019 Mercedes C300 CNBC | Mack Hogan The cabin is blanketed in lovely brown leather, accented by gorgeous open-pore wood and alloy accents. The floating documentary screen has gotten even bigger, complimenting the digital gauge bunch. The C-Class now besides has the touchpads to control everything from the steering steering wheel, a flim-flam it borrows from the E-Class and S-Class. Between the massive focus on screen, the gauge bunch and the head-up display projected on the windshield, we found that any and all information you want while driving can be shown within your field of view. In many cases, we had more shield real number estate of the realm than things we needed to know about. The 2019 Mercedes C300 CNBC | Mack Hogan Mercedes besides does n’t skimp on the powertrain. The C300 is the least-potent C-Class, but it hush offers 255 horsepower from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The chemise logic of the Mercedes 9-speed automatic is besides fantastic, making the most of the engines low-end grunt. It ‘s not the sports car of the segment — leave that to Alfa Romeo and Cadillac — but it ‘s still quick. What it gives up in sportiness it surely gains is composure and lavishness. The C-Class is signally quiet and well damp. We ‘d credibly skip the AMG sports suspension that our examiner had, but even in its most aggressive guise, the C300 is a comfortable highway cabin cruiser. It ‘s not buoyant or bouncing, but it ‘s smooth and handles itself well over bumps. last, the C300 leads the carry in technical school. You can adjust the ambient LED unhorse between 64 different colors, use a 360-degree television camera to park or have the Benz park itself. It not entirely mechanically brakes to avoid a rear-end collision, but can besides detect crisscross traffic and stop you from T-boning another car. If it senses that you ‘re about to be hit, it can tense the seatbelts. If it thinks your brakes ca n’t stop you from hitting a pedestrian, it will steer around it. The 2019 Mercedes C300 CNBC | Mack Hogan It besides offers semi-autonomous drive that will assist drivers by holding the car in its lane and adjust speed based on traffic and rush limits. If you signal and there is no car in the manner, it will carry out a lane change under your supervision. If you signal in a zone where pass is n’t allowed — like a construction zone with solid white lines — the C300 will wait to change lanes until it is in a elapse zone. This thing is seriously ache .

The bad

sometimes, that can be overwhelm. If you want to control something on the main screen you can use the guide wheel touchpad, the even touchpad in the center, the traffic circle node below the touchpad, the refer screen or voice commands. That ‘s a fortune of ways to change the radio post. It ‘s a good matter you can avoid input signal methods you do n’t like — we never used the cardinal touchpad — but it can be a set to manage. We did n’t like the touchpads on the steering roulette wheel either, finding them a morsel finical and hard to operate. If you want to skip a song using the steering rack controls, you have to swipe down on the right pad and hope you ‘ve used precisely the justly accelerate and push of swipe.

The 2019 Mercedes C300 CNBC | Mack Hogan We should besides note that this is a decidedly unlike approach to technology than the Tesla Model 3, the other tech-focused choice in this class. While the Tesla is focused on minimalism, the C300 is more traditional in its approach to luxury. There are a batch of buttons to control core functionality, a bunch of ways to customize your screen door and more options that you ca n’t get on a Tesla. We prefer the lavish department of the interior and configurable technical school of the Benz, but if you want a childlike approach to technology the Model 3 may be better .

How we’d option it

A C300 starts at $ 41,400, but we ‘d recommend the $ 43,400 4Matic all-wheel-drive model for all-weather operation and better resale value. Unless you want flat black or flat white, budget $ 720 for premium paint. Skip the AMG packages, as you are n’t going to make this a sports car and you are going to ruin the ride. We ‘d add the $ 900 outside lighting package to get intelligent high beams and active deflection lights. The 2019 Mercedes C300 CNBC | Mack Hogan This necessitates the premium package, which we ‘d recommend anyhow. It brings passive introduction, keyless originate, a power luggage compartment and blind-spot monitoring. We ‘d besides spend $ 1,950 on genuine leather seats. Heated and ventilated front man seats, 64-color ambient light and a heated steer wheel total astir to $ 1,590. You decidedly want the $ 2,600 multimedia package to bring the bigger screen and better articulation control. Another $ 750 gets you the digital gauge bunch, $ 850 gets you the amazing Burmester sound system, $ 990 gets you a head-up expose and $ 1,000 gets you the bird’s-eye looking glass roof. The $ 2,250 driver aid package is a necessity, bringing a massive tilt of active agent guard features that make your life easier and driving safe. ultimately, we ‘d opt for the $ 1,090 parking aid box. While we do n’t need self-parking, a 360-degree television camera is highly helpful. Our full is $ 58,600 with address charges. The 2019 Mercedes C300 CNBC | Mack Hogan

Final thoughts

It takes a lot of optioning to get there, but a decked-out C-Class is a technical wonder. It ‘s smarter, safer and courteous inside than just about anything else in this price range. The C300 is n’t the cheapest choice, but it feels even more expensive than it is. We highly recommend it. exterior : 4 Interior : 4.5 Driving feel : 4 value : 3.5 overall : 4 Price as tested: $ 63,525 *Ratings out of 5 WATCH: Mercedes ‘ newest models designed for millennials

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