SEATTLE -- Bolder, bigger and more luxurious.
The new-generation C-class sedan moves up in price, size and features because it's no longer the entry car into the Mercedes-Benz lineup.
Styling is racier; the 2015 C class looks like a baby S-class sedan. The interior uses high-grade materials and softer leather and has a more upscale center console. The central display screen is either a standard 7 inches or 8.4 inches with the optional Comand infotainment system.
The wheelbase has been lengthened by 3 inches; the car is 4 inches longer and 1.5 inches wider than the current model. Those dimensions make it more than 2 inches longer than the entry CLA front-wheel-drive sedan and the BMW 3-series sedan, the chief rival to the C class.
To make this larger car agile and sporty, Mercedes gave it an aluminum hybrid body that is 154 pounds lighter than conventional steel. Lightweight construction shaved a total of 200 pounds off the 2015 model compared with the current car.
The C300 4Matic and C400 4Matic with all-wheel drive will go on sale next month followed by the base C300 with rear-wheel drive in the first quarter of 2015.