Review: 2019 Mercedes C300 4Matic Coupe

A man walking past waved me to a stop as I backed out of my parking space at the radio station. Rolling the window down, I wondered if he needed directions, or had a question about the building.

No. He wanted to tell me: “Hey, I love your car. That’s my dream car.”

He seemed crestfallen when I told him I only had it for a few more days, as if a person would be crazy to part with a Mercedes C300.

I’ll say this: After driving it for a week, and admiring the solid alterations Mercedes made from the ’18 version, the guy made a pretty good choice for his dream car. The C300 is first-rate.

For 2019 the car did not receive a major redesign, but a thorough “refresh” has added some nice touches. And really, with its success as the top-selling model in the Mercedes stable, the C-class hasn’t been crying out for major changes.


The Basics

The 2019 C300 is available as a sedan, a coupe, or convertible configuration. Each comes with a standard 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine. Mercedes tweaked the performance for the ’19, adding some horsepower. It now clocks in at around 255 horses.

If you want added gusto, ask your dealer about the C43, which sports a 3.0-liter V6 that produces 385 horsepower.

The cars come with a 9-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive, although I drove the 4Matic coupe with its all-wheel drive. On the C43, all-wheel drive is standard.

The exterior of the C300 has also been adjusted, and I think it’s for the better. The diamond grill, which in the past was reserved for the AMG C43, is now transplanted onto the entire line. It adds a nice touch to an already gorgeous look of the car.

Headlights and taillights are now LED, and the bumpers all around have been modified to present a cleaner, sportier look.


The Inside

As usual, this is where a Mercedes will shine. Often described as elegant, the interior boasts real wood trim, a futuristic ventilation look, and rich, comfortable leather seats.

By positioning some of the controls on the doors, Mercedes keeps a tidy appearance to the center console.

The steering wheel is borrowed from the S-class, and with its switches allows you to control both the instrument screen and infotainment screen.

Room up front is good for a coupe, but the back seat is another story. It’s one of those back seats that works primarily as a place to hold groceries and your gym bag. You’ll want to check out the sedan if you’ll often haul extra passengers around.

Storage up front was surprisingly generous given the car’s size.

The Drive

The added power boost has only enhanced the C300’s already-solid performance. I loved the acceleration off the line, while the overall steering and handling were superb.

The 9-speed transmission is smooth and seamless, and the braking is solid, making the entire ride enjoyable from start to stop.

Some might opt to step up to the C43 for the jump in horsepower, but for the average driver the C300 will provide more than enough performance.

The Tech

This is where you’ll begin to notice things that either wow you or cause a slight frown.

First the good: The instruments in the C300 are easy to see and understand. My test car was upgraded with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, which I recommend.

The infotainment system is good, and my test car came with a 10.25-inch screen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard with this year, which is terrific.

Standard features include several driver/safety aids, including advanced air bag protection, active brake assist, and a rearview camera.

Each Mercedes comes with the capability of using the Mercedes me connection service app. One of the features that has many people excited is the ability to alert you if your car has been hit while it was parked somewhere.

It can even tell you where on the car the damage occurred, and Mercedes is working out the legal aspects of using the car’s camera system to show you who caused the damage. I have to believe we are closing in on the day when this may become standard equipment.

My only complaint – and it’s an ongoing one – is the mouse-control/touchpad system that so many luxury car makers employ. That interface is too clumsy and distracting. Climate control, however, is fairly basic and easy to use.


The Bottom Line

The Mercedes C300 competes in an entry-level segment that includes the Audi A4 and 3-series from BMW.

While each has its high-and-low points, the C300 continues to be a solid choice.

Pricing will ultimately make the decision for many entry-level buyers. The C300 coupe I drove, with its 4Matic all-wheel drive system, had a base price in the mid-40s. However, the bevy of options pushed that total up well past $60k. You’ll want to be judicious in your choices there.

But I found the car to be a fun, sporty ride. The styling is gorgeous, the ride quiet and comfortable, and the performance is exquisite. There’s a reason the C300 continues to be one of the brand’s biggest sellers, and with one test drive you’ll understand why.

The Details

2019 Mercedes C300 4Matic Coupe
2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder
9-speed automatic transmission
All-wheel drive (an option)
Fuel economy: 22/31/25 combined for the Coupe AWD
MSRP: $45,800
As tested: $63,675

Reviewed by Dom Testa
Vehicle provided by manufacturer

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