Fifth Place: Mercedes-Benz C350 Sport
Wait, the only vehicle that is a pure-bred, rear-wheel drive car comes dead last? Blasphemy! Recount! Well, that just happened. Try as it may, the C-Class does not have many sporting bones in its body, until stepping up the awesome C63.
It starts under the hood. The 302 hp 3.5 L V6 engine is a good motor, but here it is up against some truly great engines. Same goes for the transmission. In isolation the 7-speed automatic is a decent unit that always provides smooth shifts. But push things, and the transmission becomes lazy. It takes a dramatic pause between upshifts and downshifts; as one tester put it, the Sistine Chapel may have been painted in less time than it takes the C 350 to change gears.
MORE LUXURY THAN SPORT
The soft theme continues with the chassis. The Mercedes has the softest ride and is best for luxurious cruising; not aggressive cornering. In a comparison all about ‘sport’ this is a poor trait to have. The chassis rivals the S60 for being the least balanced, but does trump the Volvo in comfort.
The C350 is cheapest vehicle of the group at just $46,665 and lacks some of the options found in competitors vehicles like paddle shifters or an adjustable suspension. The interior materials also feel the cheapest, but the C350 is the quietest of the bunch with exceptional NVH levels. The front seat also drew some flack as we did not find it all that comfortable.
See Also: 2012 Mercedes-Benz C 350 Review
We know this isn’t a sports car, but when stepping up to the more performance-orientated trims with higher powered engines, we were expecting a little more haste and response. When it comes to sport luxury, the C350 remains a good car within a field that features a few great ones.
- ENGINE: 3.5 L V6, 302 hp and 273 lb-ft
- TRANSMISSION: 7-speed automatic
- FUEL ECONOMY: 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway
- PRICE: Base price – $41,400. As tested price – $46,665