Mercedes-Benz invited us to Seattle, Washington, to drive the all-new C 300 and C 400 mid-size luxury sedan. That’s right, mid-size; with the new CLA serving as Mercedes’ entry-level compact sedan (and the B-Class and upcoming GLA crossover as hatchback options at similar prices and content), the C-Class has grown to the point that it can legitimately be called mid-size. It has the quality, space, technology and features that make it an executive sedan of the highest order, rather than simply a stepping stone to enter the brand.
We set out from Seattle's Sea-Tac airport in a C 300 4Matic, which sees the return of a 2.0L four-cylinder turbo to the C-Class lineup in Canada, this generation making impressive hp and plenty of torque down low. Day two saw us doing a loop around the picturesque Mount Rainier and returning to Seattle during rush-hour traffic, the latter being exactly the kind of daily grind these cars will see most.
The C-Class is in tough in the luxury segment, competing against the iconic and sporty 3 Series, high-tech Audi A4, upstart American Cadillac ATS and value-laden Infiniti Q50 and Lexus IS.