• The C-Class offers a new AMG package, while the E-Class adds a hybrid model
  • The M-Class will get a rear-wheel-drive base model for the first time
  • Minor details make up the remainder of Mercedes' revisions to its 2013 models

Mercedes-Benz is updating most of its product range for the 2013 model year. While the compact C-Class, mid-size E-Class and M-Class SUV lineups will undergo the most drastic changes, several other models will also have minor updates when they go on sale next month.

Revisions to the 2013 C-Class are surprisingly exhaustive after the entry-level model's face lift for the 2012 model year. According to Mercedes, a newly available AMG Sport Package Plus headlines the changes. It includes 18-inch alloy wheels, a firmer suspension and exhaust modifications for a sportier engine note. The C-Class also features newly optional radar-based cruise control, while the sporty C350 Coupe is available for the first time with 4Matic all-wheel drive. Last among the model's 2013 updates is a fuel-saving engine start/stop system, which is now standard on the C300 4Matic sedan and the C350 sedan and coupe.

The mid-size E-Class also receives several major updates for the new model year. According to Mercedes, both sedan and coupe versions are adding a new electromechanical steering system, while E350 and E550 models add standard heated seats and larger standard wheels. A new addition to the E-Class range is the E400 Hybrid, which borrows its drivetrain from Mercedes' full-size S400 Hybrid luxury sedan.

The M-Class range has been heavily updated for 2013 on the heels of a full redesign for the 2012 model year. For the first time ever, the SUV lineup gets a rear-wheel-drive model in six-cylinder ML350 guise, slotting below the base ML350 4Matic. The SUV also gains a newly standard Collision Prevention Assist feature and an overdue multicolor instrument cluster display, while an off-road-ready two-speed transfer case is now included in a new On and Off Road package. The V8-powered ML550 will receive a fully upholstered dashboard as standard equipment.

Changes to the rest of the Mercedes range for 2013 include a newly standard Premium 2 package for the S-Class, a new Grand Edition option package for the luxurious CL-Class and revised turn signal stalk and cruise control switches in the compact SLK.

Most of Mercedes' newly updated 2013 models will arrive in dealerships during July, and the E400 Hybrid will make its debut later in the summer.

What it means to you: Car shoppers interested in a 2012 C-Class or E-Class may be wise to wait until an updated 2013 model is out -unless they can get a good deal on the current model.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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