After years of procrastinating, I finally stopped by Oakville Mercedes-Benz to see my friend Steve Jones and take him up on his offer to go out on a test drive in one of his cars. I have no idea why I took so long to get around to it, but after today’s trip – it won’t be long before I’m back at his door begging for another test drive!! I let Steve chose the car, because after all who would better know about them than a top salesman and AMG Specialist?
As a former race car driver, I’m not too proud to say he’d also do a better job of showing me what a car can really do. After checking the inventory and not having a lot of success finding the car he wanted to grab, he asked if I’d like to go out in a ‘sleeper’ car. Sure why not. Turns out the sleeper car really is a ‘sleeper.’ I’ll never look at the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C400 4MATIC the same way ever again!!
What Is It?
- Premium, mid-size luxury sports sedan
- All new 4-/6 cylinder turbocharged engines
- Larger in every dimension compared to outgoing C-Class
- Electromechanical Direct Steering with STEER CONTROL
- AGILITY SELECT switch with up to 5 driving modes
- Next generation infotainment systems with Touchpad, integrated Media Interface and M-B Apps
- COMAND ONLINE navigation with voice control
- Optional Sport Package available the includes AMG sport body styling, 18-inch AMG wheels and front sport brake system
- Available in four completely different versions:
- The C 300 4MATIC powered by a 2.0 L turbocharged direct-injection in-line four-cylinder engine (235 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque),
- The C 400 4MATIC ups the ante with a 3.0 L turbocharged direct-injection V6 producing 329 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque
- And Two AMG Versions…
- C 63 (469 hp/ 479 lb-ft) / 0-60 mph – 4.1 Seconds and
- C 63 S (503 hp / 516 lb-ft) / 0-60 mph – 4 Seconds
How Does It Look?
- It’s a good-looking mid-sized sedan that won’t draw undue attention, but still has the airworthy of an MB badge
- Doesn’t look like anything out of the ordinary, but try finding a faster car – any car that can go this fast for $50k
- I loved the interior – very classy, with expensive-looking switches
- Seats are extremely comfortable, and the driver’s position perfect. The sport seats adjust in 16 different ways to provide comfort to any driver
- Soft grain leather heated seats (surprisingly not cooled though) come standard in colder climates
- Everything is close at hand and easy to reach
- Real wood trim inlay – not plastic, wasn’t expecting that
- The optional heated steering wheel oscillates to 35 C
- The standard audio system – Audio 20 comes with a 7.0” full colour TFT display; 100W total output; Integrated Touchpad; 2 USB ports in centre console; Integrated Media Interface port; Internet capable with MB Apps; Bluetooth Connectivity including hands-free telephony, music and SMS display and sounds phenomenal
- Space front and rear is surprisingly generous for a car of this size
- Trunk space is also good at 480L / 17 cu-ft
- Storage space inside the cabin is quite good. There’s lots of space in the centre console as well as a good-sized storage under the armrest.
So How Quick Is It & How Does It Handle?
- 0-100 kph: 5.2 seconds / 0-60 mph: 4.7 Seconds (if that’s not fast enough get the AMG version)
- Top Speed (Electronically Limited): 210 kph / 136 mph
- With Steve driving he pushed this car waaaay beyond what 99.9% of all owners of this vehicle would even dream of doing and he insisted that wasn’t even at the car’s limits!
- This car corners like it’s on rails and 60 mph / 100 kph was reached in the blink of an eye – literally.
- Stopping? Let’s just say if you’re stupid enough not to be wearing a seatbelt your face will disintegrate against the windshield before you can say: “Oh..Sh”
- The beauty of the all-wheel drive is that it just goes! There’s no squirming about.
- The beast is powered by a 3.0L Biturbo V6 engine with all-wheel and 7G-TRONIC PLUS Automatic Transmission w/Paddle Shift
- Horsepower: 329 @ 5,250- 6,000 rpm / Torque: 354 lb-ft @ 1,600-4,000 rpm
What Does It Cost?
As tested: $51,400
+ PREMIUM PACKAGE – $4,500 (Integrated Garage Door Opener; COMAND Online Navigation w/ MB Apps; PARKTRONIC w / Active Parking Assist; Burmester® Surround Sound System; KEYLESS-GO; SIRIUS Satellite Radio
+ INTELLIGENT DRIVE PACKAGE – $2,700 (DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist; PRE-SAFE PLUS for rear-end collision; BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist; Active Blind Spot Assist; Active Lane Keeping Assist; PRE-SAFE Brake (Autonomous emergency braking)
+ Iridium Silver metallic: $890 720
+ Destination/Delivery: $2,000 (SERIOUSLY??!!!)
Total: $59,490 (plus government taxes and add-ons)
- Fuel economy is rated at: L/100 km – City: 11.1 // Hwy: 8.4 //Combined: 9.9
- Fuel economy is rated at: MPG – City: 21 // Hwy: 29
- ECO stop/start technology
As you’d expect from any Mercedes-Benz, the list of standard equipment is very long – as are the safety features. Because there are so many, we’ve decided to list them below – at the end of this review (along with some MB infographics).
BMW 3-series, Jaguar XE, Lincoln MKZ
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
- There are so many outstanding features in this car it’s hard to know when to stop highlighting them!! I’ve included a couple of additional ones at the end of this review for you to check out…
- The value built into the C 400 is nothing short of mind-blowing when you see what other cars and manufacturers DON’T include in their vehicles, or charge way more for and then charge a premium for the ‘packages” they put together.
- The bad part is I’ll never be able to afford one, but at the base price it’s not tooo far out of my reach at some point in the future… maybe
What’s The Verdict?
It’s hard to fathom any car that packs a wallop like the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C400 4MATIC that won’t cost you in excess of $70,000. The fact that this car really is a ‘sleeper’ car makes it all the more valuable from my perspective. It doesn’t draw peoples’ eyes the way the new #Corvette will, but you can have more fun and get away with a lot more on city streets without needing eyes in the back of your head to watch for a police car. On the highway, it’s civilized, very quiet and a very comfortable place to be. I’ve been test-driving cars for just over 10 years now and one thing that has always stood out: There is never a real need to spend more than $50k on a car. Any more than that and you’re throwing money away. The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C400 4MATIC proves that beyond a doubt. And yes –this is my new favourite car!
A big thanks to Steve Jones at Oakville Mercedes-Benz for taking me out and if you are in the market for any Mercedes-Benz – especially an AMG, contact him. You won’t find anyone around that knows more about the brand than he does – and it doesn’t matter where you live – he’ll get you a car. Hopefully, we can get together again in the near-future and drive something else…
Mercedes-Benz Oakville. 300 South Service Road, Oakville, Ontario. Phone: +1-855-625-4430
Copyright © 2015 by Iain Shankland. All rights reserved.
Text: Iain Shankland / Images: Mercedes-Benz
As you’d expect from any Mercedes-Benz, the list of standard equipment is very long – as are the safety features, whether standard or optional. Here’s some highlights (on the Canadian version). Check with your local dealer
C 400 4MATIC Standard Equipment Highlights:
Automatic Headlamp Activation
Power Adjustable Heated Exterior Mirrors
Power Windows w/Express Up &Down
ARTICO leather upholstery
THERMATIC automatic climate control;
16-way power adjustable front seats with memory + Driver’s Side Lumbar Support
Rain Sensing Windshield Wipers
Power Adjustable Passenger’s Seat
Auto Dimming Mirrors (Rear view & Driver’s Side)
Memory Package w/Power Steering Column
Split Folding Rear Seats