(2004 model shown)
For 2006, Mercedes-Benz's compact C-Class is reduced to an all-sedan line, dropping the station-wagon versions at least for the time being. The new model comes powered by a choice of three new four-valve, twin-cam V-6 engines. The C230 is powered by a 2.5-liter version that generates 201 horsepower, while the C280 gets a 3.0-liter V-6 that nets 228-horsepower, and the top C350 is fitted with a 3.5-liter powerplant that delivers a substantial 268 horsepower. Active front head restraints that are designed to help reduce whiplash injuries are also newly standard for 2006. As before, four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist, Automatic Slip Control, Electronic Stability Program, and front-side and side-curtain airbags all come standard. Options include a navigation system, premium Harmon Kardon audio array, xenon high-intensity headlamps, and an interface that allows an Apple iPod MP3 player to integrate with the car's audio system. The player is operated via steering-wheel controls and the multifunction display in the car's instrument cluster.