This generation of Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan enters its graceful middle age for the 2012 model year. The obligatory mid-cycle refresh brings a new nose that bears a family resemblance to newer siblings, a new dashboard and a few more safety features, such as Attention Assist. Under a new lightweight aluminum hood there’s a choice of three engines. The C300’s 228-hp 3.0-liter V6 stays the same, but is sandwiched by two newer units. The C250 gets a twin-turbo four-potter that makes 201 hp, while the C350 has a 3.5-liter V6 that is 34-hp more powerful than the engine it replaces, now packing 302 hp. The ’12 C-Class hits showrooms this October, but it’s not all posh and politeness: There’s talk of a wicked AMG Black Series version with 563 hp from a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8.

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