Two body styles and four trims are offered for 2012: C250, C350 and C63 AMG coupes and C250, C300 and C63 AMG in Sport or Luxury sedan. Both coupes and convertibles are available in rear-wheel drive as well as Mercedes-Benz' 4MATIC all-wheel drive. A new 7-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters is the only transmission available.
C250 models are powered by a 1.8L direct-injected 4-cylinder engine that makes 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque. The C350 models get a 3.5L V6 engine that makes 268 horsepower and 258 lb-feet of torque. The C300 gets a 3.0L V6 producing 228 horsepower and 221 lb-feet of torque. The high-performance, limited-production C63 AMG is powered by a monster 6.3L V8 engine that produces 451 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque.
All C-Class coupes come with a panoramic sunroof, LED tail lights, power-heated mirrors and rain-sensing wipers. The standard stereo has a USB port, HD radio and Bluetooth built-in. The seats are MB-Tex fabric and are 8-way power-adjustable. It comes with a leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone climate control and a SmartKey vehicle remote that can open the sunroof, trunk, fuel-filler door and power windows from a distance. The C350 upgrades the engine, but also the front seats, adds steering wheel memory and additional wood trim inside.
Through options, an iPod interface can be added to the stereo, or it can be upgraded entirely to a harman/kardon surround system. Heated leather seats are available, as is a COMAND navigation system with 7-inch display. A lane-tracking system, several wheel options and a choice of woodgrain interiors are also available.
The base-level Sport sedan is equipped similarly to the base coupe. The Luxury sedan adds a comfort-tuned suspension, vented brake rotors and burl walnut trim inside. Both trims are available with the 1.8L 4-cylinder engine. The 4MATIC all-wheel drive comes with a 3.0L V6. A C350 sedan comes in Sport trim and rear-wheel drive only.
The C63 AMG is the ultimate in performance for the C-Class. It's the only coupe to come in 4MATIC all-wheel drive form. It comes with AMG-tuned suspension, brakes and steering systems. 18-inch aluminum wheels, a special AMG spoiler, bi-xenon HID headlamps, special heated seats, floor mats and steering wheel. A limited-slip differential is also available.
Safety is where Mercedes-Benz shines the most--dual 2-stage front air bags, side curtain air bags, side-impact bolsters and a driver's knee airbag are all standard. A new "Attention Assist" drowsiness monitor comes standard as well.
The C-Class gets a pretty thorough update for 2012. Exterior design changes are mild, but the inside gets a pretty good going-over.
A new engine option has been added to the lineup-- a 1.8L turbo 4-cylinder, available on both the coupe and sedan. It makes 201 horsepower and 229 lb-feet of torque. The best part is the fuel economy numbers-- 31 mpg on the highway. A new 7-speed automatic transmission comes standard across the lineup. With it, steering-wheel shifter paddles are standard.
However, the biggest news is that a new C-Class coupe arrives. It comes in C250, C350 and C63 AMG styles. They have about the same dimensions as their sedan siblings, but with 2 doors and a higher belt line. Standard equipment includes a panoramic sunroof, LED taillights and rain-sensing wipers.
New safety features across the lineup include a new attention-assist drowsiness monitor and pelvic airbags.