Review: 2022 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4MATIC Sedan



Words: Calvin Chan

Photography: Calvin Chan

Published: November 24, 2022

 



While the majority of Mercedes products have grown softer over the years, we think the new 2022 C-Class has become sharper and better looking. It’s slightly longer and marginally wider than before but appears more mature and sports a tapered silhouette. We see a lot of Alfa Romeo Giulia in the rear end, and the hunkered down, pointier nose have us mistaking the front end for the CLS four-door coupe. It looks great suited up in black too, complemented by intricate little details like the flurry of chrome stars embedded into the front grill. We think it’s the best looking C-Class to date.

 

 

The heaps of praise go for the interior too. It may be screens galore and while it does lose some functionality and usability because of it, it’s a technical tour de force that makes an Alfa Romeo Giulia and Audi A4 appear naked and unequipped. And we love how all the tech always trickles downstream from the flagship. In this case, all the gizmos and gadgets from the S-Class have funneled down here into a more compact and less glitzy package.

 

 

The massive 12.3-inch driver’s screen is complemented by the 11.9-inch center screen, which is mounted in portrait-style much like in a Tesla Model S - we actually find that it’s better integrated into the center console than the Tesla. Not to mention, the camera view definition is ridiculously crisp and clear. We still find the center storage space with the push-out cover annoying and an ergonomic mess, but it now hides decent storage inside. Though, we rarely ever closed the cover because then, nothing fits underneath.

 

 

The steering wheel is pleasing to look at and interact with, housing haptic touch pads for all the buttons which work well but don’t feel as intuitive as real buttons, and we keep accidentally triggering them when driving quickly and rotating the wheel with vigour. And unfortunately, much of the criticism and drawbacks that we mentioned with the S-Class have also trickled down into here. The lack of grooves for these glossy black plastic button panels, like the memory seating, mean they are hard to press accurately, so we don’t know what we have pressed until it’s been activated. It’s a bit of a oversight as Mercedes generally nails down these ergonomic foibles. Still, the switchgear feels tremendously upscale and leather is excellent - nothing out of line with a halo product costing double.

 

 

The C-Class is currently only available in one spec, the C 300 4MATIC. It uses a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder paired with a 48-volt mild hybrid system, which helps in facilitating silky smooth starts, speedy gear shifts, and allowing for off-engine coasting under low power demands. It delivers a healthy 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque through a 9-speed automatic transmission, and will fire you off from 0-100 km/h in six seconds flat.

 

 

The turbo-four is smooth and polished overall, though it doesn’t exactly feel as powerful as the output suggests. There is some turbo lag and the gearbox is easily caught napping when summoned for thrust at cruising speeds, but the gearbox generally keeps up and shifts with decisiveness when left in automatic. Push the pedal harder and the turbo-four does feel punchy but it’s nothing to write home about. The engine doesn’t sound great either when revved up and is a bit rough around the acoustic edges, sometimes purring like a diesel on cold idle. We have a more engaging time leveraging the more muscular BMW 330i and Alfa Romeo Giulia’s turbo-four engines. The brakes are also difficult to modulate, resulting in less than smooth stops. They are strong but nonlinear with a bit of a dead zone in the initial 10% of the pedal. It’s enough to be noticeable, and did detract us away from an otherwise solid drive.

 

 

But it’s not just the powertrain that prefers a more lax endeavour. The softly tuned dampers and chassis means the C 300 still rides like a boat with oodles of body roll and a lack of front end grip when you push it around corners at high speed. It changes direction easily but not with the vigour and confidence that you want when tackling a backroad. It clearly wasn’t tuned for that kind of duty, and errs on the comfortable side of the dynamic spectrum, preferring to coddle occupants rather than apexes. On a canyon road, we would choose the others but on a long road trip or a commute after a stressful day at work, it’s Mercedes all the way.

 

 

But before we wrap this review up let’s talk about one of the most overlooked aspects of the automotive industry - the key fob. Many automakers don’t take this accessory very seriously, as it’s just a small (no pun intended) part of car ownership, but we believe it’s imperative to nail down an expensive and aesthetically pleasing key fob, especially when it serves as the gateway into a luxury vehicle. It’s the first point of interaction with a new purchase, and you want it to embody the ethos of the vehicle. Mercedes has always had some of the most stunning key fob designs. The previous generations of keys have been outstanding, offering beautifully design pieces of metal and plastic artwork that owners can keep in their pocket and proudly display their car brand ownership. BMW also does this well with a knife-shaped obelisk, and the same goes for Audi and Ferrari. Nissan, not so much. Take a look at the key fob for the R-35 GT-R, a $130,000 sports car that shares the same plastic mess as a $20,000 Micra. Way to make your six figures feel well spent.

 


Back to the C-Class though, because Mercedes seems to have taken a page from Maserati and used a metallic design for their key fob, making it feel heavy and substantial. It uses hard plastic in the black areas instead of the glossy kind you get in the E- and S-Class, but it hardly detracts from the sense of occasion it provides. We love that. Throw in stunning good looks, a snazzy upscale interior borrowed from the S-Class, and an efficient powertrain, and it’s safe to say that the C-Class now sets the new C-standard for compact luxury sedans.

 


Photo Gallery:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Specifications:

Model: 2022 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4MATIC Sedan

Paint Type: Black
Base Price: $56,700

Price as Tested: $68,750
Wheelbase(mm): 2,865
Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,751 / 1,890 / 1,438
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with mild hybrid system
Horsepower: 255 hp @ 5,800 rpm
Torque: 295 lb-ft @ 2,000 - 3,200 rpm
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD

Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway ) L/100km: 9.9 / 7.1
Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 9.6

Tires: Continental ProContact GX SSR; 245/40R18

 



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