Last year, Mercedes-Benz opened up the C Class models to a more competitive position in the compact sport-sedan class, thanks to the introduction of a base four-cylinder engine in the C250.
It's now more of a direct rival to the likes of the Audi A4, as well as the BMW 3-Series, which is now offered in turbo four-cylinder guise as the 328i.
Standard equipment is much the same in the C Class models, compared to the A3 or 3-Series, though the A4 offers quattro all-wheel drive though more of the lineup and its interior design is arguably still a step ahead.
The A4 is perhaps a rung lower in actual luxury image or prestige next to the C Class.
For handling, BMW's 3-Series continues to be the champ, and the richly appointed interior of the new models and improved ride no longer make it feel as compromised.
The current Lexus IS models feel a step behind the rest at this point; they lack the luxury sheen and desirability of most of this group, as well as the performance in base IS 250 form, yet their prices are nearly the same.
For less money, the Acura TSX might be worth considering, especially if getting a rear-wheel-drive sport sedan isn't your main reason for looking at the C Class.
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|2013 Mercedes-Benz C ClassBrowse Used Listings||2013 Acura TSXBrowse Used Listings||2013 Audi A4Browse Used Listings||2013 BMW 3-SeriesBrowse Used Listings||2013 INFINITI G37 SedanBrowse Used Listings||2013 Lexus IS 350Browse Used Listings|
|15 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||19 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy||19 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy|
|Turbocharged Gas I4||Gas I4||Turbocharged Gas I4||Turbocharged Gas I4||Gas V6||Gas V6|
|Compact||Compact||Compact Cars||Compact Cars||Midsize Cars||Sub-Compact|
|4-Door Sedan C 250 Sport RWD||4-Door Sedan I4 Automatic||4-Door Sedan CVT FrontTrak 2.0T Prestige||4-Door Sedan 320i RWD South Africa||4-Door Journey RWD||350 4-Door Sedan RWD|
|Rear Wheel Drive||Front-Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear-Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive|
|4 Door Sedan||Sedan||Sedan||Sedan||4 Door Sedan||Sedan|
|Automatic||Automatic w/Manual Shift||Continuously Variable Ratio||Automatic w/Manual Shift||Automatic w/OD||Automatic w/Manual Shift|