How We’d Spec It: The Pebble Beach–iest 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-class
In the wake of this year’s Pebble Beach luxury extravaganza, we’re feeling particularly rich. Good timing, then, that Mercedes-Benz’s online configurator for the 2015 C-class sedan is now up and running, allowing our minds to wander and ruminate on which C we’d buy, and how we would spec it. After all, now that the C-class is no longer saddled with entry-level duty—thanks, new CLA-class!—it has grown up and is now a fully fledged luxury ride as befits a silk suit–wearing Pebble-goer. Without further ado, this is our ideal 2015 C-class—now will someone please pass the caviar and foie gras?
Mercedes-Benz C400 4MATIC (base price: $49,515)
Currently, Mercedes is offering the new C-class sedan in just two flavors: the C300, which is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and the steroidal C400, which is powered by a 329-hp twin-turbo V-6. Both models, for now, come exclusively with Benz’s 4MATIC all-wheel drive. Having sampled both cars, we can say they’re excellent and oh-so-true to Benz form. That said, we’re a power-hungry bunch, so our foray into the C-class’s build sheet begins with the C400 4MATIC.
Opting for the burlier C ups the price of entry from $41,325 to $49,515—quite a jump for an additional 88 horsepower and 81 lb-ft of torque. Besides more oomph, the C400 also brings 18-inch AMG wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, automatic full-LED headlights, heated front seats, a Burmester sound system, SiriusXM, and a proximity-entry system. Standard features shared with the C300 include a 14-way power driver’s seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-folding door mirrors, a tilting/telescoping steering wheel, Benz’s new COMAND infotainment screen and touchpad controller, M-B Tex seat upholstery, Bluetooth audio streaming, a drive-mode selector, and brake-based torque-vectoring functionality.
Lunar Blue metallic ($720)
19-inch AMG multispoke aluminum wheels ($500)
Lighting package ($800)
Interior package ($2300)
Multimedia package ($2690)
Hands-Free Access package ($250)
Even though the C400 is fairly deluxe-looking in its default form, Pebble Beach’s manic car auctions had us adding options with the intensity of bids on a $38-million Ferrari. We dropped $720 on the car’s Lunar Blue paint—it’s among the most exciting colors offered; the rest of the spectrum is limited to Germanic grayscale and dark earth-tone hues. C-class curb appeal was enhanced by opting for the 19-inch AMG multispoke wheels, a steal at $500. To augment the C400’s standard LED headlights, we added the $800 Lighting package so they’d steer with the front wheels; this package also brings automatic high-beam control.
The 2015 C-class’s interior is among the classiest out there—at any price—but still Mercedes leaves room for improvement. To replace the standard (and convincing) M-B Tex faux leather with real hides, we selected the $2300 Interior package, which also adds a cooling function for the front seats, a power passenger seat with memory, illuminated doorsills, and multicolor LED ambient lighting. Because we dig strange but attractive interior color schemes, we specified red leather upholstery and the gorgeous Linden wood trim, both at no extra cost. Buyers can also choose from black or gray leather and aluminum, piano-black, or matte-black wood trim.
It seems a bit silly these days that things such as navigation or a backup camera are optional on $50K cars, but, alas, they are on the C-class. Getting both requires $2690 for the Multimedia package, which also brings voice control for the COMAND system, three years of SiriusXM, and 10-gigabytes of music storage. Finally, we splurged on the $250 Hands-Free Access package for the ability to close the trunk electronically. Yep, Pebble Beach really got to our heads, but we can’t afford a butler, so . . .
Speaking of servants, our C400’s price comes to roughly a year’s salary for a top-notch helper: $56,775. Okay, so maybe that’s the price for an excellent part-time butler. Either way, it’s on the high side of what you’ll pay for a sub-mid-size luxury vehicle, being more or less equivalent to an similarly equipped BMW 335i xDrive sedan. We really, really like the Mercedes-Benz’s panache, though, and its mini S-class looks mean it should fit right in with the Pebble Beach set.