Cars.com just named the redesigned Mercedes-Benz C-Class our Best of 2015 car. As we've done in recent years, we purchased one to put our money where our mouth is. Naturally, the process kicked off with a familiar question: Which C-Class would we get? Among the new 2015 C-Class sedans on Cars.com, we found more than 150 examples within 50 miles of our Chicago offices. We've already driven both the C300 and C400, and we deemed the C400's extra power unnecessary versus the already-punchy C300, particularly since it starts some $10,000 higher.
Related: Cars.com Names 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Best of 2015
We settled on the C300. Given the nature of Chicago weather, we opted for all-wheel drive, and so set our sights on a 2015 C300 4Matic sedan; that combination accounted for more than 80 percent of the 2015 C-Class sedans in dealer inventory near our offices at the time we were shopping. Including destination, the C300 4Matic starts at $41,325 but can spiral past $60,000 if you load up the options. Still, most examples on Cars.com near us were listed between $45,000 and $55,000.
We settled on a plan. We'd visit a Mercedes dealership near downtown Chicago to see what option groups were popular; then we'd email that dealership along with a few others when we had an idea of the equipment that we wanted. As always, we told salespeople we were looking to buy a company car, providing only our personal email addresses and mobile phone numbers. We revealed only after the price had been agreed to that we worked for Cars.com.