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Auto Show:  2018 New York Auto Show

2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class: New York Auto Show

author photo by Colin Ryan March 2018

What Is It?

It's time for the whole 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class range to receive a mid-generation makeover. Following the introduction of the refreshed C-Class sedan at the Geneva show in early March, the revised 2-door variants make their world debuts at the 2018 New York auto show, along with the most-powerful sedan version.

The coupe and cabriolet (convertible) come in both regular and AMG guises. They have all received styling updates at the nose and tail, with LED head lamps now fitted as standard. The AMG cars receive a particularly cool grille design. New intelligent LED head lamps with Ultra Wide high beams have joined the options list.

The cabins sport new steering wheels with multifunction buttons that respond to horizontal and vertical swipe gestures, larger 10.2-inch displays and an optional 12.3-in digital instrument cluster. Many improvements are in the finer details, like the wireless charging stowage tray that's big enough to take an iPhone Plus, the voice-control facility for the heated seats and the greater range of adjustment for the optional head-up display. Cabriolet models now have Airscarf -- warm air vents set into the two front seats at neck level -- as standard.

The C 300 cars have a new turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine developing 255 horsepower. That's a bump of 14 hp over the 2018 version (maximum torque remains at 273 lb-ft). All-wheel drive (known as 4Matic) is optional in the C 300 and has a 45:55 torque split front to rear.

The AMG C 43 models go from 362 hp to 385 hp (again, no change in the 384 lb-ft of maximum torque) with their twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engines. All-wheel drive is standard with the C 43, which has more rearward bias for a sportier feel: 31:69 front to rear, compared with the C 300 4Matic's.

At the daunting end of the performance spectrum are the AMG C 63 versions of each body style. These use a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, linked to a new 9-speed automatic transmission (earlier C63 models had a 7-speed unit). Now every C-Class has a 9-speeder.

In the regular C 63, output is a thrusting 469 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. In the C 63 S, it's 503 hp and 516 lb-ft. All this muscle goes to the rear wheels only and there's an electronic limited-slip rear differential for more-precise cornering abilities. The C 63 S also has dynamic engine mounts; they're set to be more forgiving on steady cruises, but will stiffen up during stints of spirited driving.

If anyone is thinking of taking their C 63 to the track and exploiting its full potential, there's an optional data-logger feature and some famous circuits are stored in the memory. With the AMG Track Pace pack, the head-up display can even show a circuit graphic with braking points, bends and lap times. It's like having your own pit crew in the car with you.

Every new C-Class car may now receive some of the semiautonomous features that have trickled down from the company's larger sedans. For example, the optional adaptive cruise control is linked to the navigation and knows when a bend or an intersection is coming up, then it can reduce speed automatically.

How Much?

Pricing will be announced later this year, but for ballpark figures, the 2018 C 300 coupe starts at $44,195 and the equivalent C 300 cabriolet costs from $52,195.

When Can You Get It?

Most of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class range goes on sale by late 2018. But we'll have to wait until early 2019 for the C 63 models.

Add It to Your Shopping List Because …

These are some of the best premium compact cars around, with many of the high-class features for which Mercedes-Benz vehicles are renowned, but at more-affordable prices.

Other Cars to Consider

2018 Audi A4/S4/A5/S5 -- Wonderful sedans, coupes and cabriolets. Some more powerful than others, all with that particular Audi cachet.

2019 BMW 3 Series/4 Series -- Traditionally a top performer. A new generation of 3 Series is imminent, so the 2-door versions (the 4 Series) won't be far behind. The M versions are energetic, agile and luxurious.

2020 Lexus IS -- The current version is being left behind by all these fresher German models, but the IS should make up plenty of ground when a new generation debuts for the 2020 model year.

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class -- The current generation might be too new to have many certified pre-owned (CPO) cars available, but the previous generation (whose final model year was 2017) is still superb.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class: New York Auto Show - Autotrader