Mercedes Benz has been a reputed luxury car brand in the United States for many years. In 1993, its mark to the market as a competitive manufacturer of quality cars has been again imprinted with the introduction of a compact unit also labeled as the Baby Benz. A combination of a sports car and a luxury sedan—that was what the Mercedes Benz C230 was all about. Its good consumer reception was a proof that everything in it, from the distinctive front fascia to the powertrain assemblies, is a true-blooded Mercedes family model.
1993 – 2000: First generation (options for engine and fuel capacity)
Marketed as a replacement for the Mercedes 190 units sold between 1982 and 1993, these models breathed with either a four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine, yielding a power between 148-hp and 194-hp. A standard automatic transmission was used, but customers could opt for a manual if desired. Also, the models sported the technology called 4G-TRONIC, which was a four-speed transmission; this was later replaced by a five-speed automatic gearbox named as 5G-TRONIC. Fuel capacity successively improved through the years, which started out with a 2.2-liter, then an upgrade to a 2.3-liter and next to a 2.3-liter supercharged unit.
Safety and performance were two things distinguishable about Mercedes, so with the first-generation models, the units were equipped with an ABS, side airbags, side-impact protection, and brake assist. Performance units were also manufactured; these AMG-tweaked models had an inline 6-cylinder engine that could yield 268-hp. In 1998, an improved AMG version powered by a 4.3-liter V8 engine could produce 306-hp and 302-lb-ft at 5850-rpm. With this power, these cars could cruise through roads at 155.5-mph or 168-mph, respectively, with and without electronic speed limitation.
2001 – 2006: Second generation (changes to the body styles and interiors)
The second-generation models started out with V6 petrol engines of either inline-four or inline-five cylinders. Using six-speed manual gearboxes, the model variants included a sedan, a two-door hatchback coupe, and a station wagon. The old 2.3-liter engine was replaced with a 1.8-liter one that made the units run smoother and more efficient with a little compromise for power. The interiors of the three body styles were revised in 2004. The new facelift included a set of analog gauges, an iPod connection kit, and a restyled center console and audio system. Following the facelifts was a shift to a six-cylinder engine that tamed down carbon emissions and improved power by 24 percent compared with the older engines.
2007 – present: Third generation (improvements in body, style, and performance)
Newer versions of the C230 had an extended wheelbase and a stronger bodyshell. The models were available in different trims that were characterized by their powertrain. Generally, these models were equipped with a standard seven-speed automatic transmission and a rear-wheel drive. The standard units operated at 201-hp, while the AMG models run at 450-hp to 480-hp. When it comes to interior design, the cars looked very appealing with a colored LCD screen that displayed secondary vehicle functions. The models also had restyled side mirrors and turn signals as well as LED lights for the bumper fog lights. Overall, the new models were easier to drive because of the added agility control, which could be used to adjust the settings for suspension and damper according to the driving habits and road conditions. Even more, an upgrade option could be had by choosing an advanced agility control package that included a sport mode button.