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STYLING | 8 out of 10
Reminiscent of a 5/8 scale version of the new S-Class
Cabin can come off as a little austere and a bit bland
Undeniably handsome in any crowd
Car and Driver
Bigger than the model it replaces in nearly every dimension
At Mercedes-Benz, 2008 brings an all-new C-Class that is characterized by two distinct looks: Sport and Luxury.
Cars.com finds the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class has a "cleaner, more jagged appearance," one that "looks much like the redesigned S-Class." Kelley Blue Book describes the exterior of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class as "eye-catching" and "cutting edge," while noting "the longer wheelbase and body give the car a substantial road presence." Overall, reviews read by TheCarConnection.com agree that the new Mercedes-Benz's 2008 redesign of the C-Class is a resounding stylistic success. Perhaps the biggest affirmation of this sentiment comes from Car and Driver, where reviewers feel that the 2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class maintains "a look that says Mercedes in any language, conferring undeniable status on its owner."
Two trims are offered: Sport and Luxury. The Luxury follows tradition with the familiar chrome grille and three-pointed-star hood ornament; the Sport takes a new tack, with no hood ornament but rather a body-color, straked grille, and a large emblem in the middle of the grille. ForbesAutos writes that the distinctions between the two include "slightly racier exterior styling" on the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sport, "as well as a big, three-pointed Mercedes-Benz star in the grille, in place of the traditional, stand-up hood ornament." Aside from the wholly different front ends, Mother Proof points out "more subtle differences in styling include unique side molding and wheels for each model."
Inside, the two models have different trim (chrome and burl walnut wood for the Luxury, matte-aluminum or maple wood on the Sport), although the plastics used in the base Sport look somewhat drab. In both cases, reviewers greeted the new C-Class with decidedly less enthusiasm than the exterior. Edmunds finds that although the interior is "well-crafted," it also can "come off as a little austere and a bit bland." Kelley Blue Book contributes minor criticisms, remarking that "a few oddities stand out, namely the awkward placement of the manual lumbar control," along with somewhat confusing, "less-than-intuitive steering-wheel controls." On the positive side, reviewers at Cars.com love the "simple, purposeful and uncluttered" cabin design, which is complemented by either wood or aluminum accents, "both of which enhance the interior."
Handsome on the outside, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is less universally pleasing inside.