If you picture a Mercedes-Benz owner, you probably imagine someone with graying temples, have a chauffeur and place themselves at the back seats rather than the front. A Mercedes-Benz is, after all, a luxury car that has shuttled CEOs, heads of state, diplomats, and other big wigs.

But the thing is, a Mercedes-Benz is also a car that's meant to be driven. AMG models aside, if there's one car that defines that statement, that would be the C-Class.

Why the C-Class, you ask? Well, it's got a long and colorful history for a start, and it's the car that was meant to bring Mercedes-Benz owners straight to the driver's seat.

It all started with the 190E and its diesel derivative, the 190D. The original Baby Benz had that very purpose in mind and established that even further with the sporty 2.3-16. An icon in its own right, the 190's DNA was then passed on to the C-Class.

Why the Mercedes-Benz C-Class was always meant to be driven image

The C-Class took that mantle in 1994 and, since then, it was branded by road testers as a luxury car that can also be a joy for enthusiasts. Whether it had four, six, or even eight, cylinders, the C-Class has always been one of those cars that can do double duty as a sporty, dynamic sedan or a practical daily runabout. It's accomplished on the racetrack, too. In fact, each generation of the C-Class has a championship title, winning the German Touring Car championship seven times.

But it's not just on the racetrack where the C-Class shows off its talents. The beauty of the C-Class is you get to experience that expertise and knowhow from engineers on and off the track from behind the wheel. It's all culminated in the current-generation model, and it's just in time too.

Why the Mercedes-Benz C-Class was always meant to be driven image

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, in C180 form, comes out swinging with a new updated design, rebooted software, and even upgraded hardware. On its 25th birthday, the C-Class continues its tradition of offering more cutting-edge technologies, as well as a dynamic drive, all in one luxurious package.

New this year are its LED headlights, giving you a clearer view of the road ahead. Also helping you be seen are its redesigned taillights, now with a new LED pattern. Bumpers have been contoured in a way that it will help aerodynamics and, in return, fuel efficiency, but it retains the elegant curves the C-Class has always been known for. Of course, those aero-focused looks also give the car a more athletic-looking, and sleeker stance.

Why the Mercedes-Benz C-Class was always meant to be driven image

There are more comfort and convenience inside thanks to the addition of power seats with memory for up to three drivers. That means you don't have to fiddle around and adjust it every time you take it out for a spin. The infotainment system also gets an upgrade, now with new software that makes it even easier to use for first time users. Also, the new graphics give the screen an even cleaner, more contemporary look. And if you love tech, you'll love that car's Apple CarPlay and Android Auto system, a feature that young, upwardly-mobile professionals of this day and age will greatly appreciate.

Why the Mercedes-Benz C-Class was always meant to be driven image

But you may be thinking, a Mercedes-Benz is just for cruising or sitting in the back seat. Just because it rides like a cloud (which the C-Class does), it doesn't mean that you can't have fun in the corners. We're looking at a new era of Mercedes-Benz here with cars that can deliver the joy of driving and still deliver the ride one expects from the three-pointed star. It comes with what's called Agility Control, which sharpens up the engine response, steering, and transmission reaction times.

Why the Mercedes-Benz C-Class was always meant to be driven image

The result is a sportier, more involving drive that is guaranteed to give you a smile on your face. The Mercedes-Benz C-class can go from cruiser to sport sedan with just the push of a button. Judging by their motorsports history, Mercedes-Benz definitely knows a thing or two about making something sporty. It's a car you definitely must drive, and not just ride. Think of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class as an athlete in a tailored suit. Suave and elegant on the outside, but agile and nimble when asked to perform.

Why the Mercedes-Benz C-Class was always meant to be driven image

The best part is, you can make the C-Class drive exactly the way you want it. There's Eco for those who prioritize fuel economy above everything else, Comfort for those who like a nice-relaxed ride, Sport for a more dynamic drive, and Sport+ for the driving enthusiast. There's even an Individual mode that allows you to change how the steering feels, how the engine responds, and how the transmission will shift.

Why the Mercedes-Benz C-Class was always meant to be driven image

But not only that, the C-Class of today is safer than ever. You get multiple airbags, traction and stability control, run-flat tires, and tire pressure monitoring, just to name a few. It's even friendly to pedestrians too, as the Active Bonnet pops up when needed.

Why the Mercedes-Benz C-Class was always meant to be driven image

And now, the piece de resistance, the engine: A smooth, refined, and compact turbocharged engine. Powering the 2019 C180 is a 1.6-liter mill that produces the same power as a 2.0-liter engine. It makes 156 PS and 250 Nm of torque. If fuel economy is your concern, you need not worry in the C180, as it can deliver as much as 16.1 kilometers per liter. Thanks to its nine-speed automatic transmission, your drive will be hushed, relaxed, yet engaging; just as you expect in a Mercedes-Benz.

Why the Mercedes-Benz C-Class was always meant to be driven image

For all the tech, performance, comfort, and luxury you're getting, you might be thinking that the new C-Class will break the bank. Even with all the updates and upgrades, the price of the C180 stays at Php 3,290,000. Gone are the days of entry-level luxury sedans being bare. In the 2019 C-Class, you're not just paying for the badge, you're paying for the quality, engineering, and performance that Mercedes-Benz is renowned for. You're getting yourself a car from the people who believe in the simple yet powerful words, The Best, or Nothing.