Luxury is and will always be a part of the auto industry. The exact parameters of what “luxury” is, however, may change dramatically. It used to be power steering and AC, and is now automatic parking and entertainment systems. As everyone collectively tightens their financial belts, Mercedes offers the C300 as a reasonably sized and priced luxury sedan.
For 2009, two versions (Luxury and Sport) of the C300 are offered. While both rear-drive versions use a 228-hp 3.0-liter V6 only the Sport has an available manual transmission as an option to the standard 7-speed automatic.or automatic transmission. All other C-Class cars use a 7-speed automatic. Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel drive is also an available option to the Sport version. While a 7.1 second 0-60 time and 130 mph top speed is not earth shattering by Mercedes standards, the C300 is not slotted as a performance-oriented sedan anyway. If that is what you are looking for, head next door to AMG. Safety features include ABS, traction control, antiskid control, front side airbags, and curtain side airbags. Available features include a navigation system which includes a hard drive for storing digital music files, bi-xenon headlamps, and 60/40 split folding rear seat. Inside, things are laid out well, though by some’s standards, simply and perhaps blandly. Mercedes has never been one to go nuts with all of the newest gadgets, and although navigation and electronic controls are utilized, both interior materials and amenities are “Mercedes Conservative” in implementation. Also, as the smallest of the Mercedes sedans available in the U.S. market it is not as voluminous as other luxury cars, but for most, the 33.4 inch rear seat leg room is sufficient.
Realistically, without being completely stripped down, most potential buyers will be hard pressed to find a C300 at the bottom of the price scale for each of these versions. The Sport/Luxury/4Matic each begin at $33,775, $35,252, $37,075 and climb northward well into the mid $40-grand range depending on options. And really, if you are debating a Benz, you are most likely very interested in things like leather seats and a sunroof. In the end, while the C300 is not a speed demon it is definitely still a Mercedes.