$25,376 - $57,832

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 8.6

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sets a high bar for interior quality. Its lavish cabin features premium materials over just about every surface, and the beautiful style is impossible to ignore. The C-Class has arguably the nicest interior in the class, and it's noticeably ahead of some competitors, like the Cadillac ATS and BMW 3 Series. One of the only spots in which the C-Class comes up short is trunk space, but even then, sedan models have larger trunks than some rivals (though coupe and cabriolet models have some of the smallest trunks in the class).

The posh interior also includes supportive front seats. The rear seats will largely be an opinion matter, however. They are comfortable, but whether or not they have enough space will depend on how you define "enough space" (and probably how tall you are). There are plenty of standard and available features as well. Safety-conscious drivers will love all of the driver assistance features, but it's possible that nobody will go crazy for the COMAND infotainment system, which can be difficult to use.

  • "The C300's chief selling point is its beautifully designed and richly appointed cabin. Passengers are spoiled with excellent seats, stylish trim, and top-drawer fit and finish." -- Car and Driver
  • "Lovely. Few other words suffice when it comes to describing the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan's interior, especially on the heels of the former generation, which had a cold, clinical demeanor." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "We'll let the photos do the talking here, but when you sit in the new C, whether up front or in back, you're sitting in the nicest cabin in this class. The still-pretty A4 has nothing on this; the 3 Series's best materials can't compare to the worst in this car. Wow." -- Road and Track (2015)

Seating

C-Class sedan models seat five, and coupe and cabriolet models seat four. All models come standard with leatherette upholstery and a power-adjustable driver's seat. Available features include leather upholstery, a power-adjustable passenger seat, sport seats, heated and ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel. Cabriolet models are also available with Mercedes' Airscarf system.

Whether you opt for the sedan or coupe body style, you'll find that the front seats are plenty comfortable and finding a nice driving position is pretty easy. As for the rear seats, there is some disagreement. Some reviewers find that the rear seats have an adequate amount of room for adults, even in coupe models, though they note that getting into and out of the back seat in the coupe is challenging. Others argue that an adult's knees will hit the seat in front of them and that coupe models have so little rear-seat headroom that adults may not be able to fit.

The rear seats feature two full sets of LATCH connectors in the outboard seats. The connection points are easy to find and identify, and it's fairly simple to hook a car seat to the connectors. The middle seat includes a tether anchor, but no lower anchors.

  • The sloping roofline won't accommodate adults in the rear, but as far as rear-seat space in two-door cars goes, the C-class coupe is quite generous." -- Car and Driver
  • Inside, Mercedes retained the sedan's swoopy dash with its big COMAND infotainment display taking up considerable real estate. The only real difference between the sedan and the coupe is that the two-door's front seats are more aggressively bolstered and accessing the rear passenger compartment is challenging. We did find good room for two adults back there, but coupe buyers should expect an ingress and egress compromise." -- Autoblog
  • Back seat room is on the cramped side but acceptable for the segment." -- Left Lane ­­-News (2015)

Interior Features

Standard features in the C-Class include push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, HD Radio, two USB ports, a 7-inch display screen, a touchpad controller, collision prevention assist, driver drowsiness monitoring, crosswind assist, and Mercedes' Pre-Safe, which detects vehicle instability during maneuvers and tightens seatbelts and takes other measures to ensure the safety of passengers. Mercedes' mbrace Connect, which lets you control certain vehicle functions from your smartphone, is also standard.

Available features include a panoramic sunroof, a cabin-air purification system, a 13-speaker Burmester audio system, satellite radio, an in-vehicle Wi-Fi hot spot, three additional mbrace packages, a rearview camera, a head-up display, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, cross traffic alert, pedestrian recognition, traffic sign recognition, active park assist, a surround-view camera system, Pre-Safe Plus, and the COMAND infotainment system with an 8.4-inch screen and navigation.

Like many luxury cars, the C-Class has a long list of standard and available features. However, unlike many class rivals, the C-Class comes standard with a plethora of driver assistance features. Collision prevention assist can help you avoid low-speed crashes, and Pre-Safe helps protect you if a collision is imminent. Driver drowsiness monitoring can alert you if the car detects that you might be nodding off while driving. The C-Class also features crosswind assist, which can detect strong gusts of wind and selectively apply the brakes in order to keep your car from drifting. There are several more, and only the Volvo S60 features a comparable number of standard active safety features.

There are standard entertainment features as well, such as HD Radio, but most of the better audio features are options. Satellite radio provides plenty of listening choices, and the available Burmester audio system delivers premium sound quality.

One available feature that you may not love is the COMAND infotainment system. It comes with navigation and an 8.4-inch display screen, but the interface is unwieldy, and the touchpad controller (which comes standard in the C-Class) doesn't always help matters. Navigating through the menus requires a combination of wheel clicks and directional pushes that are easily messed up, and the touchpad sometimes responds to unintentional taps, thus forcing you to backtrack. Though the touchpad controller's handwriting recognition feature is neat, on the whole, many rivals have better infotainment systems.

There's one feature that's only found in cabriolet models for obvious reasons: the convertible top. Whereas some convertibles don't let you raise or lower the top while in motion, the C-Class' top can be raised or lowered while moving at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. Unfortunately, instead of a one-touch button – like the one controlling the available power trunk lid – you're forced to hold down the switch while the top raises or lowers, which takes about 20 seconds.

See 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class specs and trims »

  • "Unfortunately, Mercedes' COMAND infotainment system threatens to spoil things, as it's more difficult to use than the competition's offerings. The click wheel requires cryptic combinations of nudges, presses, and scrolls to navigate the menus and the touchpad often registers unintentional taps. At this point, Mercedes-Benz would be wise to adopt the basic control and menu scheme that BMW's iDrive and Audi's MMI have established as the de facto industry standard." -- Car and Driver
  • And they all share the same convertible top, which open and close in 20 seconds at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. That's fairly quick, but instead of a one-touch button, you have to keep pressure on the switch the whole time, and press a second button to roll down all the windows." -- CNET
  • "Central to the de-cluttering is a simple rotary dial and touch pad that responds to gestural inputs, swipes and handwriting." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)

Cargo

The C-Class' trunk space varies with the body style you choose. Sedan models have the largest trunk, providing 12.6 cubic feet of space. That's just a hair below the class average, and it's still more space than you'll have in rivals like the Audi A5 or Acura ILX. Coupe models have 10.5 cubic feet of trunk space, and cabriolet models have the smallest trunks, providing just 8.8 cubic feet of space.

Split-folding rear seats are standard, so you do have some flexibility if you want to transport larger items. An available power trunk lid lets you open and close the trunk with the push of a button in the car or on the key fob, and there's an available hands-free trunk opener that works by waving your foot under the rear bumper.

The sedan's trunk is large enough to stow luggage for a short trip or carry a few golf bags. And though it has the smallest trunk of the bunch, the convertible still gives you enough space to carry a few things, even with the top down.

  • Cargo space in the Benz's actual trunk with the top up is 8.8 cubic feet, just below the Range Rover Evoque's 8.9 cubic feet, down from the 2016 Audi A5's 10.2 cubic feet, and up from the BMW 4 Series' 7.8 cubic feet." -- Motor Trend
  • Fortunately, the top doesn't take up too much space in the trunk when down, leaving enough room for two golf bags or a few soft-sided bags." -- CNET
  • Owing to the reshaped tail, trunk space is down about two cubic feet versus the sedan." -- Autoblog

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