The new C‑Class not only looks good, it offers a driving experience equalling pure enjoyment. In combining the conflicting elements of sportiness and comfort, the engineers did not settle for a compromise but instead cultivated both characteristics with equal measure.
I don’t like compromises. They make it seem as though reason is reconciling elements which are irreconcilable, or prudence is uniting that which cannot be united or wisdom is finding solutions where conflicts are hidden. But in truth, a technical compromise is always a bridge which takes two strong and opposing characteristics and simply makes them into a heap of mediocrity. A technological bridge can be used when physics itself is a barrier and the conflict between two goals appear to make a compromise unavoidable.
For the C‑Class, the engineers at Mercedes‑Benz chose the best possible approach for combining the two distinctive characteristics of sportiness and comfort, without reducing one or the other to the lowest common denominator. Their method was reasonable and ingenious but did not require compromise. But so much for the deep philosophy of the new C‑Class. Now let’s shift to the everyday driving experience, which is much more exciting than borrowing from Immanuel Kant’s criticism of pure reason. That’s because the Mercedes‑Benz engineers have brilliantly mastered the real task at hand: combining the need for comfort on the one hand and the desire for sporty handling of the road and highly responsive dynamism for agility on the other, such that each of these attributes continues to shine through.
But instead of eliminating the contradiction, it has been brought to life. The result: the new C‑Class demonstrates both elements extremely well. It is agile but has no hint of discomfort. It is very comfortable but remains fully dynamic. In this automotive class, that is a novelty. This car glides so smoothly and comfortably over surface imperfections and bad roads, it feels as though its suspension were specially designed for this purpose. And when necessary, it moves with highly dynamic agility over curving terrain as if this were its sole purpose in the world.