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Without doubt, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is an excellent example of a compact and comfortable sedan. But are there alternatives to this vaunted luxury car? We think there are, and we’ve found three forgotten luxury cars that challenge the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

1. Volkswagen Arteon: The truly forgotten luxury car

The Volkswagen Arteon, which is a luxury car alternative to the C-Class
2023 Volkswagen Arteon | Volkswagen

While not from a luxury brand, looking at the features and creature comforts, the Volkswagen Arteon belongs in the luxury car conversation. Firstly, it sports a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine delivering 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. That’s 45 more ponies than the standard C-Class while offering identical torque. Even better, this C-Class alternative does the sprint to 60 mph a full second faster than the compact Mercedes.

Inside, the Arteon comes with more standard kit than the 2023 C-Class. With three-zone automatic climate control and heated rear seats, there is more comfort to be had in the midsize Volkswagen four-door. In addition, safety features like adaptive cruise and blind-spot monitoring are stock in the Arteon, but optional extras in the C-Class despite a similar starting price.

While the visual impression inside the C-Class puts it above the Arteon, what you get when you pull back that veneer makes the Volkswagen a head-turning alternative luxury car.

2. Volvo S60: Scandinavian style with a twist

The 2022 Volvo S60 luxury sedan in black
2022 Volvo S60 | Volvo

The Volvo S60 doesn’t get enough love, as its larger sibling and adjacent wagon models tend to get more attention. However, the Volvo S60 packs a lot of luxury and performance for just a shade over $41,000, according to MotorTrend. That makes it a cheaper alternative to the Mercedes C-Class, despite offering more features inside.

The S60 comes with a power-sliding panoramic moonroof as standard, plus similar contoured seats with memory as the Mercedes. But where the S60 really puts itself ahead of the C-Class is with safety tech.

In addition, the Volvo offers adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and rear-cross traffic alert as standard, all of which are optional extras in the current C-Class lineup.

3. Cadillac CT4-V: American muscle refined

White Cadillac CT4-V luxury sedan
2023 Cadillac CT4-V | Cadillac

Moving to the American luxury brand, the Cadillac CT4-V packs a big punch for about $47,000. That’s a few grand more than the C-Class, but this luxury car alternative comes out swinging.

A 2.7-liter twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder engine shoves 325 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque through the rear wheels of the CT4-V, and that’s just the beginning.

Magnetic Ride suspension makes the driving experience of this C-Class alternative sublime. Smooth over bumps, responsive in the corners, and adaptable with five different settings, the CT4-V has scant few gaps in its luxury car capabilities.

Furthermore, the baby Cadillac sedan comes with a Bose 14-speaker premium audio system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and contoured sport seats for a comfortable everyday drive.

Explore these C-Class alternatives and stand out from the crowd

It’s impossible to deny the excellence that is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but it isn’t the only compact luxury sedan out there. These three luxury car alternatives offer high-class experiences in a similar tax bracket to the C-Class. For those reasons, they may be worth taking a look at.

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