ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION
For the last 20 years, Mercedes' entry-level C-Class has been a popular choice for shoppers interested in combining high-end Mercedes-Benz trimmings with an affordable price tag. This year, with the addition of a new base-level Mercedes sedan called the CLA, the C-Class moves upmarket, adding more power, more features, more luxury and a higher price tag. To help you understand exactly what's changed between the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class and last year's model, we've created a detailed comparison between both vehicles that covers several important areas.
In an age of subtle updates rather than full redesigns, there's nothing subtle about the styling change between the 2014 C-Class and the all-new 2015 model. Every surface is different, and the overall look has changed dramatically, from a boxy shape that clearly indicates the C-Class' smaller size to a new, rounder design that gives the car a more luxurious appearance. Everything is different, including taillights, headlights, wheels and the car's overall profile, and we suspect you'll have no trouble telling apart the new C-Class from the outgoing one, even if they aren't parked next to one another.
Changes to the new C-Class' interior are just as dramatic as updates to the sedan's exterior. Not only is there more room for front and rear passengers (a hallmark for practically every redesigned car), but the C-Class offers a totally new look with nicer materials than last year's model. The dashboard and center stack offer a sporty new style, there are fewer overall buttons, the navigation system uses a new stick-on style as opposed to an integrated unit and virtually every surface, including door armrests, the center console and the dashboard, seems to use an upgraded material.
Both the outgoing C-Class and the new C-Class offer two engines, but as is the case with styling updates, changes to these powertrains for the latest model year are significant.
Base-level versions of the outgoing C-Class, dubbed the C250, used a 1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 201 horsepower and 229 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy ratings topped out at 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. In the new base-level C300, that 1.8-liter is replaced by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, which makes 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy stands at an excellent 25 mpg city/34 mpg hwy.
In both new and old models, drivers looking for more power can also upgrade to an optional engine. In the 2014 C-Class, that was a 3.5-liter V6 found in the C350 model, a potent powerplant capable of 302 hp and 20 mpg city/29 mpg hwy. By comparison, the all-new 2015 C400 uses a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that makes 329 hp and returns 21 mpg city/29 mpg hwy. It's worth noting, however, that the C400 manages better fuel economy even with newly standard all-wheel drive.