Interior quality looks and feels good, and the front of the cabin is dominated by the central screen, which measures 7 inches on the S, but 10.25 inches on all other versions. It looks like a tablet attached to the dashboard, unlike the more integrated screens of rival models.
It can be controlled either through the central rotary controller between the front seats or, in what is an innovative approach, via a small touchpad on the steering wheel.
There are two pads on the wheel – one to control the dashboard and one for the central screen. It takes a little getting used to, especially as there are a lot of buttons on the wheel already, making it tricky to pick out the one you want at a glance; happily, there’s still a rotary dial in the centre of the car which is usually easier and less fiddly to use.
The C63 has a bespoke steering wheel with yet more controls for scrolling through various driving modes and engaging various driving systems. However, these controls are really well designed and are a doddle to use considering the wide variety of functions they operate.
Interior space is pretty good compared with rivals, especially in the rear where it’s possible to house a couple of large adults comfortably. A narrow central seat means seating three in the back will be cosy, but that is the case for all cars in this sector. The boot
, meanwhile, is a good few litres shy of its best rivals, but still big enough for most saloon car buyers. Cabin stowage space for phones, wallets and other bits and bobs is pretty good, too, with a covered large central bin and door pockets capable of taking larger water bottles.
The suspension you get on your C-Class depends on which version you pick. The S and SE have the standard setup, while the Sport Edition is lowered and the AMG Line versions are both lowered and stiffened. While the AMG Line setup is firmer, it’s actually more comfortable than the softer Sport suspension, which can get bouncy and jostle you over rougher roads.
Whichever you choose, the C-Class is more comfort-orientated than sporty, prioritising the ability to cover long distances in a relaxed manner, but it’s still sure-footed and composed enough to be entertaining on a quiet back-road run. The top two trims can also be upgraded to air suspension as an optional extra, which tailors the suspension set-up according to which of the five driver modes – from Comfort to Sport+ – you select. It works really well, filtering out even the worst bumps and potholes, while providing a marked improvement in agility.
We’ve also had a shot in the high-performance C63 version, which doesn’t have full-on air suspension, but does have an adaptive system that can also vary its behaviour according to which mode is selected. The range of different modes is rather dizzying, with six main ones, another four for the torque-vectoring system that distributes drive across the rear wheels, plus no fewer than nine modes for the clever traction control system that allows varying degrees of slip on the back end. Using the various profiles isn’t as complicated as it sounds, though, and the technology means that the C63 can play a variety of roles with impressive polish. It can be a civilised and comfortable cruiser, an agile and alert sports car or, if you turn everything up to eleven, an absolute foamy-mouthed, tail-sliding lunatic.