2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Will Ditch Hood Ornament to Attract Younger Drivers

You'll have to find a different way to tell the world how classy you are.

A Daimler AG Mercedes-Benz Dealership As Automaker Reports Record Sales Gain
David Paul Morris—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Having the dinner-plate-sized Mercedes-Benz three-point star placed in the middle of the grille has been standard on the front of the C-Class for a while now. However, starting for the 2018 model year, you can no longer get a C-Class with the classic, more subtle standing hood ornament that is synonymous with luxury.

For the 2017 model, you could get the $350 luxury package on the C300 and C350e sedans. It came with distinct front and rear fascias, an S-Class-style grille, comfort-tuned suspension, and the vertical hood ornament that announces how much richer and better you are than everyone who doesn’t have one. Sadly, the luxury package has been dropped for 2018.

Mercedes-Benz is making this move to give the C-Class a sportier look to attract a younger demographic. Youngsters seem to associate standing hood ornaments with an older class of drivers, and MB does not want to be perceived as an old man’s luxury car. Those of us with more refined tastes, like you and I, see the classic hood ornament for what it really is: a sign of elegance and discerning taste.

We can’t say we’re surprised by this, since vertical hood ornaments have been going out of style for quite some time. Aside from a few ultra-premium automakers like Rolls-Royce, nobody is really doing standing hood ornaments any more. Even brands with the most famous hood ornaments, like Cadillac and Jaguar, have done away with this styling element in a move to be more hip.

If you’re looking for a more classically styled European luxury car, you’ll have to upgrade to an E-Class or an S-Class. Luckily, the AMG S63 still rocks the standing hood ornament in a bold statement that you can have both performance and luxury in spades. For a price.