Can the Mercedes-Benz C300 Outrun Its Competitors?

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Entry-level Mercedes-Benz C-Class takes on its rivals from Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Jaguar, and Lexus at a dragstrip. Will it come out on top?

There may be no replacement for displacement, but there’s also no discounting the value of acceleration, even in base model luxury sedans. Just because the Mercedes-Benz C300 is at the bottom of the performance ladder in the C-Class lineup, that doesn’t mean its 0-60 mph and quarter mile times are irrelevant.

Acceleration isn’t just for bragging rights or impressing the opposite sex or getting better lap times. It’s also useful for getting up to speed with or out of the way of traffic. Cars.com knows its value and tests entry-lux cars for their forward-moving abilities at a dragstrip in the video above.

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Mercedes-Benz C300

As the results show, not all turbocharged fours are created equal. 0-60 mph times range from a low of 5.2 seconds to a high of 7.6 seconds. There’s a 1.8-second gap between the fastest quarter mile time of 13.7 seconds and the slowest of 15.5 seconds. Some of the vehicles tested have all-wheel drive, such as the Alfa Romeo Giulia and the C300.

Unfortunately, that’s where the similarities between the Italian sedan and the German four-door end. The 280-horsepower/306-lb-ft Giulia lights up the strip, putting down the fastest 0-60 mph (5.2 seconds) and 1,320 ft times (13.7 seconds). The C300 4MATIC runs behind it in terms of specs and tics; its 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft limit its 60 mph dash to 6.3 seconds and its quarter mile blast to 14.5 seconds. Those times not only put the C behind the Alfa, but also behind the Audi A4 (5.4 and 13.9 seconds)…and the BMW 330i (6.1 and 14.3 seconds)…and the Cadillac ATS (6.2 and 14.3 seconds). On the plus side, the Mercedes is ahead of the Jaguar XE (6.9 and 15.1 seconds) and nothing but tail lights in the windshield of the last-place Lexus IS 200t (7.6 and 15.5 seconds).

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Derek Shiekhi contributes to a variety of Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including J-K Forum , Jaguar Forums, and 5 Series. He's also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association.

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