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2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 12/11/2014 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2014

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class gains some minor revisions such as a standard split-folding rear seat and 18-inch wheels for C350 models. A limited-release C63 AMG Edition 507 variant is also added for the 2014 model year.

Vehicle Summary

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a compact luxury car sold in sedan or coupe body styles. It is available with four engine choices and in rear- or all-wheel-drive configurations. A redesigned C-Class sedan is on the way for the 2015 model year.

Overview

The 2014 C-Class is available with four engine options: a turbocharged 1.8-liter I-4 with 201 hp and 229 lb-ft of torque in the C250, a 3.0-liter V-6 making 248 hp and 251 lb-ft in the C300, a 3.5-liter V-6 producing 302 hp and 273 lb-ft in the C350, and a 6.2-liter V-8 that has between 451 to 507 hp and 443 to 450 lb-ft in the C63 AMG. All engines are mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission driving the rear or all four wheels. Fuel economy ranges from 13-22/19-31 mpg city/highway depending on the body style, engine, and drivetrain combination.

Driving dynamics are average for non-AMG models, which possess decent handling and a stable feel that make them ideal for long highway cruising. An optional sports package is also available for buyers looking to enhance the car's handling even more. While the turbocharged I-4 provides decent power, it's not as refined as the V-6, with a sound that is "less than enchanting" at cruising speed or around town. The V-6-powered C350 provides the best balance of sportiness and comfort among the non-AMG models in the C-Class range, combining good power and handling with a comfortable ride worthy of long drives. The C63 AMG is the high-performance variant of the C-Class sporting a hand-built V-8 with "massive low-end grunt." Revisions made from its chassis to the suspension made the C63 AMG a more engaging car to drive, "inviting you to join and experience the party." The Edition 507 model is the most potent version of the car with 507 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque, a 174-mph top speed, bigger brakes, and an aluminum hood.

Interior build quality is a 2014 C-Class strong suit with good materials and a well-designed dash with clear gauges. Passenger space on both coupe and sedan are adequate for four due to the lack of headroom in the rear seats. Available tech and safety features such as the COMAND infotainment system with navigation, blind spot assist, attention assist, and lane assist provide potential buyers with the ability get some of the driving aids previously available only on higher-end models in the Mercedes-Benz lineup.

The 2014 C-Class sedan has a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars), but the coupe has not been tested. In IIHS testing, the 2014 C-Class earned a good score on four of the five categories and a marginal rating in the small overlap front category (good is the highest possible rating).

What We Think

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class remains a competent compact luxury car with a good balance of ride and handling. However, in C63 AMG guise, it provides potent performance through a V-8. We noted in a 2014 Comparison Test against the Audi RS 5 it's an engine with "so much power everywhere." A well-built but conservatively designed cabin remains a strong suit of the C-Class with materials and tech features that "bring the car up to the level of larger, more expensive cars." In a 2012 comparison of sporty luxury sedans, we highlighted the fact that optioning it with more gadgets and conveniences "can easily push this car into $50,000 territory," detracting from its value proposition.

You'll Like

  • Powerful V-8 in the C63 AMG
  • Good balance of handling and comfort
  • Well-built cabin

You Won't Like

  • Unrefined I-4
  • Snug rear seats
  • Expensive options

Key Competitors

  • BMW 3 Series
  • Audi A4
  • Lexus IS
  • Cadillac ATS
  • Volvo S60

Rating

3 star

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