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STYLING | 8 out of 10
longer wheelbase and body give the car a substantial road presence
Kelley Blue Book
a look that says Mercedes in any language
Car and Driver
Cabin can come off as a little austere and a bit bland
The 2010 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is the company's smallest sedan, one of a trio of German four-doors that comes in an almost bewildering array of powertrains and body styles-at least, overseas. Here in the United States, the C-Class comes just as a sedan and in two primary performance versions, with the wild Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG in a whole other realm (and reviewed separately by TheCarConnection.com).
A single body style has two subtly different flavors in the 2010 C-Class. Car and Driver says the C-Class has "a look that says Mercedes in any language, conferring undeniable status on its owner." The theme is more dramatic and edgier than the former C-Class, and it's a larger car that looks more expressive and imposing when it's on the road. Kelley Blue Book describes it as "eye-catching" and "cutting edge," while noting "the longer wheelbase and body give the car a substantial road presence." There's a Luxury version, with the familiar Mercedes-Benz grille and a three-pointed star for a hood ornament. Cars.com finds the Mercedes-Benz C-Class has a "cleaner, more jagged appearance," one that "looks much like the redesigned S-Class." The Sport model forgoes the ornamentation for a flat badge on the grille, which is styled differently as well. Both have a somewhat busy exterior shape, with an arc rising from the front end and tapering to the rear. Aside from the wholly different front ends, MotherProof points out "more subtle differences in styling include unique side molding and wheels for each model."
Inside, the C-Class has a well-organized cabin with large and clear gauges, distinctive-looking door panels, and an audio system that's a little too overwrought with identical black buttons. Cars.com loves the "simple, purposeful and uncluttered" cabin design, which is complemented by either wood or aluminum accents, "both of which enhance the interior." Somewhat awkwardly, the audio and navigation display is tucked behind a hinged dash panel that sits up while the screen's in use. Kelley Blue Book points out other foibles: "a few oddities stand out, namely the awkward placement of the manual lumbar control," along with somewhat confusing, "less-than-intuitive steering-wheel controls." The Sport wears a three-spoke steering wheel and either matte aluminum, burled walnut, or black maple dash trim in sparing amounts, and it has more drab plastic than the Luxury, which dons burled walnut, chrome, and a four-spoke wheel. Edmunds deems the interior "well-crafted," but it can "come off as a little austere and a bit bland."
The 2010 Mercedes-Benz C-Class goes for more of a styling edge, and tweaks its look for luxury and sport buyers-successfully, according to experts.