Is new 2015 Mercedes C-Class ready to take on the BMW 3 Series?
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is already making its dealer launch and creating excitement with buyers. C-Class for 2015 has been completely redone inside and out. But despite its styling and luxury, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class has not been considered a sports sedan and has long been considered less fun to drive compared to its potent rival, the BMW 3 Series. Will the new 2015 C-Class change that perception with driving enthusiasts?
C-Class now built in the U.S.
The 2015 C-Class made its debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show and is making its dealer launch in the U.S. now. C-Class is being assembled on Mercedes' production line in Alabama for the first time. Production of the newly designed C-Class started this summer, but the first step was getting the Tuscaloosa plant up to speed to build the more sophisticated sedan.
More luxury from the S-Class
In a story in The Street, Bart Herring, general manager of product management at Mercedes, said that "What you'll notice with the C-Class right away, looks-wise is the S-Class. We've added a lot of that same technology and when you get inside the C-Class, you'll notice right away the switch gear, whether it's the window switch or the door pulls, the control interface, all those things are taken directly from the S-Class and it really does raise the level of luxury.”
A new coupe and hatchback
Mercedes says a new 2015 C-Class Coupe will arrive in 2015 and sources from Edmunds say a hatchback model, aimed squarely at BMW's 3 Series GranTurismo, should make it to the U.S. This new hatch will be the sportiest of the lineup and could be competition for the BMW 3 Series. A new sporty C-Class hatchback could be just what Mercedes needs to draw in new buyers who would not consider the C-Class as a sports model. And of course AMG will do their magic soon on the C-Class. The new 2015 Mercedes C63 AMG will launch soon and it will get a new 4.0-liter Biturbo V8 that is based on the new 2015 Mercedes AMG GT sports car’s powerplant.
C-Class initially launches with two models
In the U.S., the new 2015 C-Class launches with the C300 4Matic and C400 4Matic models. The C300 will be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 235 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, while the C400 gets a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 generating 329 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission transferring power to a all four wheels via a permanent all-wheel-drive system.
C-Class grows and gets lighter and sportier
The new C-Class grows bigger, but gets 220 pounds lighter due to a chassis and body that is nearly 50 percent aluminum (compared with 10 percent for the outgoing model). Driving enthusiasts can order the new C-Class with sport suspension design that reduces ride height by 0.6 inches. For 2015 ,the C-Class also uses a new four-link front suspension design intended for improved grip and sharper turning. An optional self-leveling air suspension with driver-adjustable modes, a rarity in this class, is also available.
It looks like Mercedes-Benz has designs of giving buyers of the new C-Class more luxury than ever before, and also they are offering driving enthusiasts a C-Class that is sportier than previous generation models. Mercedes is offering more value in the C-Class and it gets a bump in price of about $1,000 over the outgoing model. In the interview with The Street, Mercedes Benz Chief Dieter Zetsche said, "We do not want to give away our vehicles but we do think these vehicles warrant a premium and that is expressed in our pricing. But of course, there has to be more value for that vehicle."
The all-new 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is hitting showrooms now and starts at $40,400. Can the new sportier C-Class compete with the BMW 3 Series? We’ll see when the new C-Class Coupe and sporty hatchback models arrive sometime next year.
Other 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class stories of interest.
How Mercedes ensures top quality in the global 2015 C-Class