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 By Ketan Patel View Comments

Image Copyright: Mercedes


The 2009 Mercedes Benz C-Class has many key attributes that make it a competitive, entry-level luxury performance sedan.




MONTVALE , NJ – The new-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class wowed the U.S. market with its debut last year, and now the highly successful four-door is getting a number of enhancements for the 2009 model year.  The C-Class line features three V6-powered models – the C350 Sport, the C300 Luxury and the C300 Sport – and the high-performance V8-powered C63 AMG.


New Pelvic Air Bags


For 2009, the C300 and C350 models come with new pelvic air bags that work in conjunction with the curtain and side air bags to provide additional protection for front passengers in side impact collisions.  With the pelvic air bags, C-Class sedans now boast eight supplemental restraints.


Comfort Suspension Technology for the C300 Luxury


The C300 Luxury model for 2009 comes with Comfort Suspension, which provides the benefits of both soft and stiff shock absorbers.  Each shock absorber is fitted with a hydraulic by-pass piston that acts like a very soft shock absorber to effectively dampen road noise and tire vibration.  However, over bumpy or uneven roads, the by-pass piston is out of the picture, which preserves the outstanding steering and handling response of a stiffer shock absorber.


            A driver's 10-way memory seat and power steering column are now standard on the C350 and optional on C300 models, while the C350 and C63 AMG get a compass in the inside mirror.  New options for 2009 include a 40-gigabyte hard drive, with six gigabytes reserved for music and a Zagat restaurant guide.


Distinctive Sport Models

The look of the mid-size C-Class reveals the latest Mercedes design idiom that's characterized by an edgy interplay of taut lines and wide, rounded surfaces.  State-of-the-art suspension and steering help make the C-Class impressively agile.


While Luxury models wear the iconic three-pointed star on the front hood, the C-Class Sport models can be identified by a bold star in the front grille – a design cue usually reserved for its coupes and convertibles.  C-Class Sport models also come with AMG cladding – deeper front and rear aprons as well as under-door rocker panels.


The Sport models feature twin-spoke 17-inch wheels of staggered width, sport shocks, springs and stabilizer bars that provide a crisper ride and more than a half-inch lower ride height.  Instead of the Luxury model's traditional four-spoke wheel and burl walnut trim, Sport models come with three-spoke steering wheels and either aluminum (C300) or black Birdseye maple (C350) interior trim, and the C300 Sport model features a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission.  New options for 2009 Sport sedans include Grey / Black and Burl Walnut trim.


Optional 4MATIC Four-Wheel Drive

As modern all-wheel-drive systems become even more refined, they are becoming increasingly popular, especially in the luxury car market.  With negligible weight and fuel-efficiency tradeoffs, full-time four-wheel-drive systems provide year-round traction and stability benefits on both wet and dry roads. 

After making its debut last year on the new S-Class sedan, the latest version of the Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system is optionally available on the C300 Sport and the C300 Luxury models.  The 4MATIC system features a full-time all-wheel-drive system that's cleanly integrated into the seven-speed automatic transmission.  The system fits right into the standard body and utilizes the existing front suspension – gone are the special suspension parts and wider transmission tunnel that were necessary on earlier 4MATICs.

The extra gears and shafts that drive the front wheels now weigh only 145 pounds more than the rear-wheel-drive model.  Fuel efficiency has been improved, due to a number of innovative measures that minimize the energy needed to turn the extra hardware.


A High-Performance Instrument Cluster

 C-Class standard equipment includes a power sunroof, eight-way power front seats with lumbar support, two-zone automatic climate control, 17-inch wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and a central controller with a five-inch display screen.


For 2009, the Sport instrument cluster is similar to the C63 AMG, with three deeply recessed analog gauges that show engine speed, road speed, fuel level and coolant temperature.  In addition, a display in the center of the speedometer is linked to a 12-button multi-function steering wheel that can call up a variety of helpful information.  The display can show oil level, phone and audio system information such as radio station, CD track or iPod playlist and – new for 2009 – range and gas mileage.  If the car has the optional navigation system, the display will also show next-turn directions. 


Electronic Controller Replaces Scores of Buttons

Similar to the popular system launched on the S-Class sedan, an electronic controller on the console works like a computer mouse to provide easy, quick operation of many functions that used to require scores of separate buttons and switches.  By turning and pressing the aluminum controller, menus and sub-menus on the center-console display are displayed and selected for the audio system as well as the optional navigation system and integrated phone.  The controller is also linked to the rocker switches on the multifunction steering wheel.


A Choice of Audio Systems


The C-Class COMAND system operates a standard-equipment eight-speaker, 100-watt audio system.  For 2009, the system includes an “aux” connector for iPod-type devices and a Bluetooth interface that allows a phone still in a pocket or purse to be operated through the audio system.  The optional Multimedia Package can play tracks stored on a data CD, DVD or memory card, and the audio system can be fitted with an optional six-disc, in-dash CD changer.   Also optionally available is a 450-watt harman/kardon LOGIC7 audio system featuring Dolby Digital/DTS 5.1 surround sound, with 12 speakers, including two surround-sound speakers and a sub-woofer.


The C-Class includes a MusicRegister feature, which enables CD "ripping" (saving) to a six-gigabyte hard drive that can store up to 1,500 tracks from an audio CD.  A Gracenote database automatically identifies each track with its title, artist, album name and other information. 


No Need to Ask for Directions with COMAND Navigation

A color display screen nestled under a flip-up cover at the top of the center console is standard equipment on the C-Class.  When the car is equipped with the optional COMAND navigation system, a power-operated seven-inch display screen slides out and up when the flip-up cover is raised.  The navigation system uses a hard drive with maps for all of North America .  In addition to the map display at the top of the center console, next-turn navigation instructions can also be shown in the instrument cluster central display.


Renowned Mercedes-Benz Safety


The 2009 C-Class comes with all the safety features that people have come to expect from Mercedes-Benz – from four-wheel independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes to six air bags, ABS anti-lock, traction control and ESP stability control.  In addition, a ctive front head restraints move forward nearly two inches and upward by about an inch in the event of a severe rear collision, helping to support the head and reduce the likelihood of whiplash injuries.




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