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MSRP Range: $31,600 - $36,900
Fuel Economy: 18 MPG city / 26 MPG highway

All-new, fourth-generation C-Class grows up.

The 2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class brings all-new versions of these entry-luxury sedans. Longer and wider than last year's models, they accommodate four or five occupants with much more interior room than before. They also offer improved performance and better fuel economy than last year's models.

The small family sedan that started out as the "baby Benz" in 1982 and morphed into the C-Class has matured through three generations into the company's most popular model worldwide, with more than 6 million units sold. This latest generation of the smallest Mercedes-Benz sedan marks a big step in its maturation.

The C-Class comes in two distinctive personalities: Sport and Luxury. Each gets its own exterior styling and interior design. The C300 and C350, which replace the previous C280 and C320, indicate their more powerful V6 engines. And 4MATIC all-wheel drive is available.

The 2008 C-Class is now much closer in size, looks, and behavior to the larger E-Class, yet with a lighter touch and feel all its own.

We found the 2008 Mercedes C350 Sport feels strong but light, zippy but substantial. Handling is crisper than with the previous models. It feels sportier, less plush than before. And these cars are quick. Mercedes says the C300 can accelerate from 0-60 mph in about 7.2 seconds, which is quite zippy, while the C350 can reach 60 from a standstill in just 6.2 seconds, which is quite quick.

We found the C350 Sport comfortable, with seats that were containing when cornering. The layout of the controls is very good, without a lot of learning labor involved in operating the car. And the available Harman Kardon stereo sounds fantastic.

Initially, the U.S. market will get only these two sedan models, and in due course, the U.S. model range will expand to include diesel-engine versions, 4Matic all-wheel-drive versions, and a high-performance AMG model with a V8 engine. No coupe version is planned, and there will be no station wagon version for the U.S. market.

An AMG Sport package of exterior and interior trim items, wheels and tires will be available as an option when the car reaches the U.S. market in August 2007.

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