Mercedes has a long history of offering class-leading technology. It was an early adopter of direct fuel injection, crumple zones, seatbelt pre-tensioners, traction control, massaging seats, radar-guided cruise control, LED lighting and more.
These groundbreaking advancements — which all improved safety, comfort or performance — typically existed at the top end of the Mercedes lineup.
That’s not really how it works anymore. As the C300 proves, Mercedes now offers insane levels of technology and luxury from the baby A-Class to the exclusive S-Class. For this 2019 C300, the result is simple. It’s more luxurious and smarter than anything else in the class.
The cabin is blanketed in lovely brown leather, accented by gorgeous open-pore wood and metal accents. The floating infotainment screen has gotten even bigger, complementing the digital gauge cluster. The C-Class now also has the touchpads to control everything from the steering wheel, a trick it borrows from the E-Class and S-Class.
Between the massive center screen, the gauge cluster and the head-up display projected on the windshield, we found that any and all information you want while driving can be shown within your field of view. In many cases, we had more screen real estate than things we needed to know about.
Mercedes also doesn’t skimp on the powertrain.
What it gives up in sportiness it certainly gains is composure and luxury. The C-Class is remarkably quiet and well damped. We’d probably skip the AMG sports suspension that our tester had, but even in its most aggressive guise, the C300 is a comfortable highway cruiser. It’s not floaty or bouncy, but it’s smooth and handles itself well over bumps.
Finally, the C300 leads the pack in tech. You can adjust the ambient LED lighting between 64 different colors, use a 360-degree camera to park or have the Benz park itself. It not only automatically brakes to avoid a rear-end collision, but can also detect cross traffic and stop you from T-boning another car. If it senses that you’re about to be hit, it can tense the seatbelts. If it thinks your brakes can’t stop you from hitting a pedestrian, it will steer around it.
It takes a lot of optioning to get there, but a decked-out C-Class is a technological wonder. It’s smarter, safer and nicer inside than just about anything else in this price range. The C300 isn’t the cheapest option, but it feels even more expensive than it is. We highly recommend it.