2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Review: Understated Luxury at its Finest
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class review highlights:
- 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class ($43,550 – $47,500)
- “World Car of the Year 2015”
- Pros: The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was redesigned for the 2022 model year and is blessed with tech from the S-Class.
- Cons: There’s no plug-in hybrid version for it to be a future competitor.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has been a formidable competitor in the luxury compact segment for decades. Its main rivals are the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series, but nowadays, it also has to deal with the likes of the Genesis G70 and the Lexus IS. However, its new updates bring about a more modern interior than before, in addition to some styling elements from the S-Class sedan.
We spent a week driving the 2022 C-Class and were impressed with everything it had to offer. Given its handsome interior and well-mannered driving dynamics, the Mercedes C-Class exudes unstated luxury at a very fair price.
What’s new for 2022?
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was completely revised for 2022. This includes three trim levels, a new interior, and an enhanced engine with a mild-hybrid system.
Which 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class trim level should you choose?
The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class now comes in three different trim levels:
- C-Class Premium: $43,550
- C-Class Exclusive: $45,800
- C-Class Pinnacle: $47,500
Although we loved the 2022 Mercedes C-Class 4Matic Pinnacle tester we had for the week, we have to recommend the Exclusive trim level as it should appeal to most buyers. The mid-tier level comes with amenities like a 360-degree camera, a self-parking feature, a wireless phone charger, and a premium Burmester sound system. The Pinnacle trim level mainly adds a navigation system and maps.
Is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class comfortable?
Yes, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class has the type of luxury that you would expect from a prestigious German automobile that’s been around for 40 years. Our top-trim test car had soft leather seats with soft-touch materials on the dash and door panels, which add to the car’s lavishness. At night, the ambient lighting makes you feel like you’re in a sci-fi movie. Overall, the C-Class’ interior design is simplistic and elegant, like something you would see in a coffee table book automotive design.
As for space, there’s plenty of room up front for the driver and passenger. The power-adjustable seats are well-bolstered and comfortable, and the rear-seat occupants taller than six feet should have no issues. There’s even a climate control unit for the rear seat area in addition to heated outboard seats.
Is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class fast?
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is fast enough to pass slower cars on the freeway and gets up to highway speeds quickly. Under the hood of every C-Class trim is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. That torque number is up from the 273 lb-ft rating on the outgoing model, thanks to a new mild-hybrid system.
Don’t get too excited; this hybrid system isn’t like the one you will find in a Prius. Instead, it’s a 48-volt motor that sits between the engine and the nine-speed transmission to provide electric assist during initial start-ups and acceleration. Unfortunately, it can’t power the car solely on electric propulsion.
However, the hybrid system does add 20 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque to the power equation, so its assistance is still well-used. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but buyers can select a 4Matic AWD configuration for an extra $2,000.
According to Car and Driver’s testing, the C 300 4Matic was able to get to 60 mph from a standstill in 5.3 seconds. That’s on par with the BMW 3 Series time of 5.2 seconds but a little slower than the Genesis G70’s time of 4.7 seconds.
How’s the tech in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class?
For 2022, Mercedes-Benz trickled down some of the tech features from the S-Class into the C-Class. For example, the 11.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system is from the C 300’s bigger brother, as is the steering wheel. Other standard tech features include a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, Keyless-Go entry, the MBUX system with the “Hey Mercedes” voice-activated controls, and 64-color ambient lighting.
Upgrading to the Exclusive trim level adds a little more to the tech list. Some of the most notable features include enhanced ambient lighting, illuminated door sills, a wireless phone charger, and a Burmester 3D sound system.
Stepping up to the Pinnacle trim level mainly adds an onboard navigation system and maps.
How does the Mercedes-Benz C-Class drive?
Over the course of the week we spent with the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C 300, we were impressed by its undeniable comfort and serenity. The cabin is quiet at nearly every speed and the suspension, although not adjustable, soaks up bumps and road imperfections well. There are different drive modes, which mainly adjust the car’s throttle responsiveness and steering effort.
Our favorite was the Sport mode, which made the C 300 feel a little more responsive in the tight canyon turns we threw it into. But in normal driving situations, the C 300 feels so smooth that you won’t be sore or fatigued after a long road trip. We only wish it had seat massagers, but we wouldn’t be surprised to find those in a C-Class in the future.
In terms of acceleration, the mild-hybrid system attributes to the car’s snappiness, but it doesn’t interfere with its normal operation. Once the car gets going, there’s plenty of torque for driving around town, and passing other cars is not a chore, thanks to the turbocharger strapped to the engine. We even detected a little whine from the turbocharger, which sounds cool when the windows are rolled down.
As for fuel economy, the EPA estimates that the C 300 can achieve up to 23 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. In our real-world testing in mixed driving situations, we averaged around 26 mpg, which is on par with the EPA’s 27 mpg combined estimate.
Is the C-Class safe?
Yes, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is very safe. It comes standard with blind-spot monitoring, a driver drowsiness sensor, and Pre Safe, which tightens the seat belts and closes the window if the car detects an impending crash.
Other safety features come in the form of the Driver Assistance package, which includes features like adaptive cruise control, active cross-traffic braking, emergency braking, and Pre Safe Impulse side, which activate the side impact airbags.
Is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class reliable?
The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class scored 81 out of 100 on J.D. Power’s reliability scale. For reference, a score between 91 and 100 is the best, while 81 to 90 is considered to be great. So it’s safe to say that the C 300 is reliable.
You can also expect the C-Class to last around 200,000 miles with the proper care and maintenance. However, your mileage may vary.
In terms of repairs, Edmunds estimates that C-Class owners will pay around $2,887 over the course of five years. For maintenance, owners could pay an average of $1,579 per year for the first five years.
The MotorBiscuit editors give the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class a score of 8.2 out of 10
The editors at MotorBiscuit award the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class an overall score of 8.2 out of 10. Mercedes-Benz has upped the ante with this new generation of the C-Class.
Although the car remains an entry-level sedan that costs less than $45,000, it feels more upscale than ever before. Other rivals like the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 can’t really compare as the C-Class puts up a good fight with its new tech and comfort features.
If you’re looking to get into the luxury car segment without having to take a second mortgage on your house, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a good car to start with.