2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class: First Drive

August 2, 2014

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class isn't just departure from what the C-Class has been. It feels like a clear break with the past; and that's a very good thing.

Too often, automakers are so locked into the mindset of designing a new car to replace a current one in their lineup that they lose sight of the mission -- to design a car that actually meets what the market demands.

That's not the case here. Mercedes-Benz has added to its model line, then rejiggered it where the C-Class is a better fit for today’s market. There’s the new coupe-like CLA sedan, and the upcoming GLA small crossover. That made more room for what’s not quite a radical remake, but a serious rethink for the C-Class -- and a result that will simply be a better fit for the U.S. market.

DON'T MISS: Yes, Shoppers Believe That GM Has Chnaged, But They're Still Unsure About Quality

People have grown taller, and established models that used to be in sync with the C-Class have inched up in size; and now the C does the same. The 2015 C-Class is no longer so small that it should really be classified as a subcompact by American standards; the automaker has bumped overall length up nearly four inches, to 184 inches, and the wheelbase is three inches longer than last year (and it’s nearly two inches wider) -- all while the new model is just a little lower. Trunk space is more vacation-friendly, too, at 17 cubic feet.

More style, space -- and a focused vision

Of course, size and packaging are only part of it; the new C-Class gets a serious boost in style -- and, at last, a personality of its own. Let’s face it: in this Millenium, the C-Class has been on the verge of a sort of identity crisis in the U.S. Last generation (W204), the C-Class was pulled into sport-sedan duty some of the time, traditional compact luxury duty some of the time, and value-leader duty the rest of the time. With this new generation the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class feels like one car: a luxury car, focused in the way that most luxury shoppers are going to love.

This sort of promotion, to a higher-up position in the lineup -- especially for the U.S. -- isn’t something to be taken lightly, and it seems that the automaker hasn’t fallen directly into some of the pigeonholes it has in the past. It’s not merely trying to provide a 7/8ths-scale version of the S-Class, as with the previous W203 C-Class of a decade ago, although thankfully it borrows plenty of technology from the flagship.

2017
The Car Connection
See the winners »
2017
The Car Connection
 
The Car Connection Daily Headlines
I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.
Thank you! Please check your email for confirmation.
Ratings and Reviews
Rate and review your car for The Car Connection
Review your car