The rear-wheel-drive C-Class is notably comfortable, competent, and costlyÑyou can easily drop $40,000 on a C280 by including just a few common options. Still, Mercedes' smallest sedan line is well built and provides a quiet driving experience. Handling is very capable, and the ride is taut but supple. The 2.8-liter V6 is smooth and powerful, and the five-speed automatic transmission is responsive. A supercharged 2.3-liter, 185-hp Four is the base engine in the C230; it's less refined than the V6-powered C280 but significantly less expensive. A major redesign for 2001 arrives this fall.