2016 Mercedes Benz C450 AMG

2016 Mercedes Benz C450 AMG

Episode 3535 , Episode 3549
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

With just about every brand’s ever expanding lineups and the multitude of vehicle categories emerging, these days, it’s all about finding a niche to exploit. That might explain this car, the Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG Sport. So, is this tweener worth a look, or is it just marketing gone overboard? 

So where does this 2016 Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG 4Matic sedan fit in the C-class hierarchy? Well, as you might guess from the elongated name; it attempts to bridge the gap between a luxury-minded C300 and the all-out performance insanity of an AMG C63.

It’s one of what Benz now calls the AMG Sports models. You know it’s a sports model if the AMG comes after the model designation, not before it. Got it? According to MB, it’s all about making AMG more attainable to more people, regardless of the confusion.  

But much like that AMG C63, the 450 AMG also boasts twin-turbo power, only with 2 fewer cylinders in play, and a whole lot less bark. Here it’s a 3.0-liter V6 that outputs 362-horsepower and 384 lb-ft. of torque. Not bad, considering that’s 33–horsepower and 30 lb-ft. more than last year’s C400. Even better, when you consider the BMW 340i, with its inline turbo-6, rates a distant second.

The 450 AMG’s transmission is a true 7-speed automatic, and there’s standard 4MATIC all-wheel-drive that has a 2/3s rear bias. 

The letters AMG usually also mean distinctive styling, and here the 450 gets an aggressive look, but one that’s not overdone. Very similar in fashion to full-on AMG editions of a generation or two ago.

Openings in the unique front fascia are enlarged; and for better or worse, the grille gets ‘Benz’s floating diamonds treatment. 

In addition, there are AMG logos to go along with the black trim, dual chrome exhaust tips, 18 or 19-inch AMG light alloy wheels, and a distinctive spoiler lip tacked on to the rear deck. 

Driving dynamics are of much more significance of course. And for that, the 450’s suspension is a variation of the top shelf C63’s, with adaptive 3-stage dampers, stiffened 4-link in front, and multi-link in rear. 

In Eco mode, there’s engine stop/start and a “sailing” function that disengages the transmission when you let of the gas. In Comfort mode, ride quality is quite good, with really no hint of the performance nastiness that’s available.

But things really wake up in Sport Plus mode, as steering and throttle become more responsive and the suspension stiffens up dramatically; becoming borderline too harsh for the street. 

So, hopefully you can find yourself a nice smooth race track like we did, our winter haunt of Roebling Road Raceway near Savannah. And around its fast turns, the 450 feels competent and well-settled, with nice and direct steering; accompanied by much better than average brakes. 

It’s no lightweight at 3,693-lbs., but like a traditional German sports sedan it wears it well; feeling quite capable in both transitions and powering through sweepers.

All-in-all, highly proficient for a car that we still feel is more at home backroad joy riding. 

Acceleration numbers fall right around where you’d expect, with a 4.5-second trip to 60 and a 12.9-second ¼-mile at 109 miles-per-hour. 

It feels plenty powerful off the line, and the all-wheel-drive grip makes good use of all that’s available. There’s just a hint of turbo lag before power comes on in full, and it sounds pretty sweet for not being an all-out performance sedan. Especially when you let off the throttle and get that neat V8-like crackle from the exhaust. 

Shifts from the 7-speed automatic are firm and quite prompt, with barely any drop-off in power between them. And in manual mode, surprise! The shifter only shifts when you tell it to. Not when a computer thinks it’s prudent.   

Inside, the mix of durable MB-Tex vinyl, color stitching, and aluminum accents “sportify” the space without looking fast or furious. Of course you can upgrade to real leather and add some carbon fiber if you choose. 

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 21-City, 29-Highway, and 24-Combined. Keeping the Energy Impact Score right around average with 13.7-barrels of oil burned and 6.1 tons of CO2 emitted yearly. 

When it comes to pricing, the C450 pendulum swings closer to a base C300 sedan, starting at $51,725. Yet when it comes to performance, that pendulum easily swings closer to the full-on AMG C63.

In truth, this very easy to look at 2016 Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG 4MATIC is in many ways simply a renaming of last year’s C400 with some AMG trickle down goodies thrown in for sport. And a good sport it is as you get most of the AMG C63 performance quotient for a fraction of the added price. And it’s one luxury sport sedan that still embraces the luxury aspects of the equation as well. All of that, makes this meaner tweener much more than just a clever marketing maneuver; rather, a ride more than worthy of your consideration.

Specifications

  • Engine: 3.0 liter V6
  • Horsepower: 362
  • Torque: 384 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 12.9 seconds @ 109 mph
  • EPA: 21 mpg city/ 29 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 13.7 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 6.1 tons/yr
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front

2024 Subaru Solterra

The Solterra Gets Subaru Into The EV Game

Episode 4339
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You could say that Subaru is one of the more conservative brands out there. So, it’s no surprise it took them a little longer than most to venture into pure EV territory. But now that they’ve staked a claim with this Solterra, it’s time for us to see if Subaru buyers should plug in.

The Subaru Solterra is indeed the brand’s first full battery-electric vehicle; and while it took partnering with Toyota to make it happen, as we’ve seen with the BRZ and GR86 sport coupes, that partnership can lead to some great things.

So, we’ll start there; the Solterra’s counterpart is the Toyota bZ4X, and they do share most powertrain elements, specs, and features; but Subaru has done a few things to establish some unique vibes for their brand. That starts with the drivetrain, as all-wheel drive is standard here as in most Subarus, and in similar tradition, power won’t overwhelm you, it’s more safe and familiar feeling than overpowering as some EVs can be. Called StarDrive, this Subaru’s dual-motor setup rates 215 horsepower and 249 lb-ft of torque. Subaru loves to tout that their drivers are second only to Jeep owners when it comes to venturing off pavement, so capability is a must.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front
2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem
2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel
2024 Subaru Solterra Profile
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail
2024 Subaru Solterra Badge
2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel2024 Subaru Solterra Profile2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail2024 Subaru Solterra Badge2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port

We did find Solterra as competent as every other Subaru. Their X-Mode has been programmed to work seamlessly with the electric motors, and its 8.3 inches of ground clearance is higher than the bZ4X; plus, you can use Grip Control to moderate speeds and maximize traction.

While most new EVs seem to be hovering around 300 miles of range, max here in the Solterra from its 72.8-kWh battery pack is 227 miles, 222 here in Touring trim. Our results were much less than that, on pace for just 172 miles in our driving loop. But that may be a fluke since we managed 210+ in our bZ4X test.

Only 100-kW max for DC fast charging. But even though it has only been on the market for a year, they’ve already cut down charging times for ‘24 models. An upgraded battery conditioning system, needs 35 minutes for an 80% charge. Subaru always seems to come out on the right side of being cool while remaining authentic, and the Solterra’s styling works, as does its beefier roof rack for ’24 which now holds up to 700 lbs. for tents and the like. Touring trim comes with some great looking 20-inch alloy wheels and there’s lots of body protection, but they did go a little overboard with all of the EV badges everywhere.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected.

In addition to being a good-looking small SUV, it’s a highly functional one too with plenty of room for 5, durable materials, and a bridge-type center console with lots of storage space underneath, though there is no traditional glove box. Subaru also claims it was designed to be dog-friendly, so that’s a plus too. It does have the roomy feel of an Outback, and rear cargo capacity is pretty close, too, at 29.0 cubic-feet.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected. It really shined in the handling course at our Mason-Dixon test track; the EV low center of gravity giving it a very planted feel through the cones. There was minimal body roll and great all-wheel-drive grip; though when it came to us getting a grip on the steering wheel. Well, it’s an oddly shaped steering wheel that took some getting used to. It’s another thing that separates it from the bZ4X, though it seems a little bit like just being different for the sake of being different.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard
2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster
2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display
2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk
2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk

On the other hand, while not insanely fast like some EVs, there was good punch off the line; enough to get us to 60 in 6.2 seconds. And rather than rolling back the power, the Solterra kept it consistent the whole way down the track. We finished the quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds at 93 mph. There wasn’t much feel coming through the brake pedal, but panic braking stops were fade-free with an average amount of nose dive; our stops from 60 averaged 120 feet.

Using 33-kWh of electricity per 100-miles, the Solterra earns a good efficiency rating. Pricing starts at $46,340 for the base Premium, and tops out with Touring at $53,340, with Limited in between.

Being the rugged and lovable outdoor types, Subaru owners have proven to be willing to sacrifice certain things for the good of the environment they spend so much time enjoying. Whether that will translate to them going all-in on the 2024 Solterra remains to be seen. It’s no surprise Subaru has finally gone all-electric, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise they’ve entered the EV game conservatively. Something tells us Subaru owners wouldn’t have it any other way.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Motor Setup: Dual Motor
  • Battery Size: 72.8-kWh
  • Horsepower: 215
  • Torque: 249 lb-ft
  • EPA Range: 222 miles
  • 0-60 mph: 6.2 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.8 seconds at 93 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 120 feet (avg)
  • MW Test Loop: 172 miles