• Redesigned model is lighter, yet more spacious
  • C300 and C400 launch exclusively with all-wheel drive
  • Rear-drive version arrives early next year

Mercedes-Benz announced pricing for its redesigned C-Class, the luxury automaker's best-selling model worldwide. With a starting price of $38,400, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is pricier than its predecessor, but it's also more spacious, and according to Mercedes, more efficient, too. The C300 4MATIC and C400 4MATIC, both with all-wheel drive, arrive later this month. Early next year, the more affordable C300 with rear-wheel drive arrives in Mercedes-Benz showrooms.

Official fuel economy estimates have not yet been published, but Mercedes says that its new C-Class is more efficient than its predecessor, thanks to new, more efficient engines, improved aerodynamics, and around 200 pounds of weight savings achieved largely through the more extensive use of aluminum.

Lower weight is especially impressive considering the size of the 2015 C-Class, which sits on a longer wheelbase than the previous version. Overall, the new sedan is nearly four inches longer, creating more trunk space and more legroom for rear-seat passengers.

The $38,400 C300 and the all-wheel-drive C300 4MATIC, priced at $40,400, are powered by a 241-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Priced at $48,590, the C400 4MATIC boasts 329 hp from its twin-turbo V6. Both sedans use a standard 7-speed automatic transmission.

With the smaller CLA now occupying the entry point of the Mercedes-Benz sedan lineup, the 2015 C-Class moves up the market with more standard and available features. Safety features include a collision-prevention system with automatic braking and a driver attention monitor. Buyers can also choose LED headlights, an adaptive suspension, radar-based cruise control and a head-up display.

The base version of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is pricier than luxury competitors such as the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. The 2015 3 Series starts at $37,400, while the 2014 A4 starts at just $33,800, but when shoppers add desirable features and equipment to any of the three models, pricing becomes more closely aligned.

In the luxury-car market, price isn't everything. Brand appeal has heavy weight in the decision-making process, and Mercedes-Benz certainly draws customers with a rich history of high-tech engineering matched with attractive styling.

What it means to you: The latest C-Class is larger, yet lighter, than its predecessor and comes with a choice of powerful and efficient engines. Only all-wheel-drive versions are available at launch, although a rear-drive version will arrive early next year.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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