Small, Stately

German sport sedans aren't a plus-sized group, and the C-Class is among the smallest. With a footprint roughly equal to that of a Nissan Sentra, the C-Class looks like a miniature version of Mercedes' S-Class flagship. Other than the tail's awkward forward-leaning stance, it's a well-proportioned look Ч and it's aging better than the prior-generation's portly curves.

C300 Luxury models have a traditional three-pointed star hood ornament. All others drape a larger emblem over the grille itself. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are standard on the C300 and C350, with 18-inchers optional. C300 Luxury models have unique bumpers and side sills, which make for a more formal Ч if less dynamic Ч look. The C63 AMG, conversely, has unique bodywork and standard 18-inch wheels. Xenon headlights are optional across all trims.

City drivers will appreciate the narrow 35.3-foot turning circle for C300 and C350 models, but tight alleys reveal limitations thanks to the folding side mirrors. (My garage opens to a tight alley, so it's become something of a pet peeve.) They don't fold completely in, or even close to it Ч and with integrated turn signals, heated surfaces and available motorized folding, knocking one off would mean a hefty repair bill.

    See also:

    Switching to MUSIC REGISTER
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    Turn signals
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    Switching the ZONE function on/off
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