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2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class FlexFuel

2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class FlexFuel

Chevy Impala FlexFuel

Mercedes-Benz C-Class FlexFuel

Chevy Malibu Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz E320 BLUETEC

Chrysler Town & Country

Mercury Grand Marquis

Honda Civic Hybrid

Nissan Altima Hybrid

Lexus GS 450h Hybrid

Toyota Camry Hybrid


With the introduction of its all-new, next generation C-Class sedans for 2008, Mercedes-Benz C-Class FlexFuel is slightly larger than the previous generation. What a nice way to counter that smidgen of extra overall size by adding a flexible fuel capability.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Interior
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Interior

While the entry level luxury 2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class comes in six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission versions, it's the automatics that have the flexible fuel capability. With an E85 Ethanol station nearby, the vehicle can fuel up on a mix of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline and produce lower emissions than with straight gasoline. If there's no flex-fuel station out in the boonies, a fill-up or top-off with premium will do just as well. Adding flex fuel is in keeping with M-B's numerous updates of the C-Class. Seven-speed automatics that smooth acceleration enhance fuel economy.

The new C-Class comes in four versions, C300 Luxury and C300 Sport powered by a 228-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6, the C350 Sport with a 268-HP, 3.5-liter V-6, and the highly-tuned performance C63 AMG, with a 457-horsepower V-8 designed to burn from 0 to 60 in a blazing 4.3 seconds. EPA numbers are 18 mpg city and 25 hwy, 18/26 mpg and 17/25 mpg respectively for the first three. (We'll dismiss the AMG for fuel economy purposes at this point since its 12/19 mpg rating goes against the nature of this review.)

The aspirational C-Class is at the modest end of the M-B offerings, far from stratospheric pricing of top models. Instead, its base clocks in at modest $31,975 before goodies are added. But buying a Mercedes-Benz can be seductive, with such tempting options as 450-watt harman/kardon surround sound and "MusicRegister" with four-gig music storage hard drive that can add to the cost.

The C-Class also was designed to enhance the joy of driving, with taut sporty lines with the look of speed. Giving into the thrill of driving one can be seductive as well. It also might counter some of the benefits of that flexible fuel capability.