2011 Mercedes-Benz C Class Styling

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Styling
While there's only a single sedan body style available in the C-Class, it's anything but a one-trick pony. C300 and C350 models are both offered in both Sport and Luxury guise, and there's quite the aesthetic difference between them. The Luxury models carry the familiar Mercedes-Benz grille and a three-pointed star as a hood ornament, along with trim and wheels that give you that austere classic Benz look, if that's what you're in to. Sport models forgo the ornamentation for a flat badge on the grille, as well as a different, less glitzy front-end look—and, for 2011, get new LED running lamps (in bi-xenon-equipped models) instead of fog lamps. Both have the same somewhat busy exterior shape, with an arc rising from the front end and tapering to the rear. 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.

The differences between Sport and Luxury models carries through to the interior as well. 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. Overall, the C-Class has the more angular, less flowing look that's been introduced in many of the brand's recent models, with a well-organized cabin with large and clear gauges, plus distinctive-looking door panels and, unfortunately an audio-system interface that's just a little too overwrought with identical black buttons. Somewhat awkwardly, the audio and navigation display is tucked behind a hinged dash panel that sits up while the screen's in use; it works in some vehicles (like the Cadillac CTS family), but it feels cobbled on here.

Also part of the C-Class family is the high-performance C63 AMG. Building on the cues of the C-Class Sport models, the C63 is hard to mistake from the outside, as it looks far more aggressive, with wide performance tires on huge AMG wheels, along with unique AMG spoilers and trim throughout, inside and out. And if it's not enough, the raspy AMG exhaust system comes with twin chrome tailpipes.

Two completely different styling themes, over a pleasant design inside and out, gives either luxury or sport buyers something to be happy about.

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