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Kelley Blue Book ® - 2001 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2001 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Overview

Try Not to Drool on the Leather

Mercedes set pen to paper this year, creating an entirely new small sedan. The arrival of the 2001 C-Class now sets the bar one notch higher for the rest of this segment. In a word (or two), the new C-Class for 2001 is drop-dead gorgeous. It looks like a baby S-Class just waiting to grow up. Ready to do battle with the likes of the Audi A4, BMW 3-series and the Lexus IS, the new C is more than just another pretty face, it has guts too.

The standard equipment list for the base C240 includes a 167-horsepower V6 with 6-speed manual transmission, dual climate controls, tilt-telescopic wheel and side-curtain airbags. The top of the line C320 steps up horsepower to a respectable 215, but oddly is not available with the 6-speed manual. A 5-speed electronic automatic with touch shift (a system which allows the driver to shift gears without the use of a clutch) is standard. With the bigger engine comes a bigger standard equipment list. Among the many luxuries found on the C320 are full-power memory front seats and a sophisticated Bose sound system.

Interiors are larger this year, with soft leathers and richly textured plastics, carefully color coordinated to produce a soothing yet unmistakable Teutonic interior. The seats have been improved; they are softer and offer more lateral support.

Underneath the C, Mercedes engineers have found the perfect balance between ride and handling. An improved multi-link rear suspension grips the road like no C-Class before it. Driving the C320 feels almost as if the car were an extension of yourself, carving out slices of twisting roads and recovering without so much as a wobble, bounce or shudder. It goes where you point it, turns when you tell it to and stops like a fly on pine tar. Traditional Mercedes safety features are all on board including inertia-reel safety belts, smart sensors that control airbag inflation and a BabySmart system that can detect when a child safety seat is strapped to the front seat. For 2001, both models are available only as 4-door sedans, but a hatchback coupe will join the line sometime next year.

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