Road test |  Mercedes-Benz C-Class: a compact that thinks big

Road test | Mercedes-Benz C-Class: a compact that thinks big


The Mercedes-Benz C-Class certainly doesn’t have the bad reputation of the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series here which throws us a glove. The fact remains that the compact sedan was the most popular model of the Etoile brand during the 2010s. Its renewal, which comes to our land this year, is therefore of great importance, despite the difficult times for its type. We ran it to see how it looked to maintain its relevance.

Posted at 11:45 am

Charles Rene

Charles Rene
Media

Design

PHOTO PROVIDED BY MERCEDES-BENZ

The simple highlighted belt line of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class provides stability to the rear end for a big push with the S-Class.

For this fifth generation, the German does not offer a sweeping sweep in terms of its stylistic direction, an approach favored by German brands for durability and continuity. There is, however, a difference in terms of dimensions: it increases in length by 6.5 cm while expanding its tracks by 1.9 cm and 4.8 cm respectively in front and back. This is combined with a reduced profile of 9mm, which maintains a good balance. Its organic shapes frame the overhanging front that pushes the cabin towards the rear. A simple belt line provides stability to the rear end and a flat trunk lid. Yes, the exhaust pipes are simple concave pieces of plastic, but no one will see them.

On board

PHOTO PROVIDED BY MERCEDES-BENZ

The interior of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

We often discuss the phenomenon of democratization in the automotive industry based on various technologies and features, the benefit of economies of scale. The C-Class is a prime example. It is undoubtedly the most refined sedan of its time with styling that has been directly inspired by the larger S-Class sedan. It is true that the devices are not as elegant as those used by its older sister, but the ‘wow’ effect, as they say in advertising, is seen through the use of a large floating and vertical touch screen well placed on the center console. The driving position is completed by a second instrument screen that offers definition and black levels of exceptional quality. For space, it’s too big in the front, too little in the back.

Under the hood

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2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class engine compartment

The C-Class is powered by one technical option before moving up the ladder to the high-performance AMG versions. It is a 2L turbocharged four-cylinder supported by an alternator-starter that can produce about twenty horses to fill the gaps in the combustion engine. In fact, with a total of 255 hp and 295 lb-ft, the sedan is no natural athlete. The engine works normally, releasing most of its resources from 3000 rpm. Everything is delivered with rare smoothness for the four-cylinder and maintains very low sound levels. The nine-speed transmission isn’t the most pleasant teammate in manual mode. With 7.7 L/100 km, these mechanical devices nevertheless allow good storage.

Behind the wheel

PHOTO PROVIDED BY MERCEDES-BENZ

The sedan rides with a lot of confidence, whether you push a little in turns or not.

The comfort-oriented stance of the C-Class becomes evident from the first kilometers traveled. The steering is light and tries to isolate the driver from the vibrations resulting from changes in the surface and the behavior of the tires. Activation of the brake and accelerator pedals is also done without having to apply strong pressure. A silencer muffles it all, helping to ensure a quiet driving experience. Dirt also works wonders despite the fact that it’s irreversible. So the sedan rides with a lot of confidence, whether pushed a little in turns or not. Standard all-wheel drive maintains traction while maintaining a very smooth ride. He doesn’t get lost in promises he can’t keep, in short.

Embedded technologies

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2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 11.9 in. vertical screen

The C-Class gets the latest version of the MBUX system as standard, which of course updates the cabin, but which forces the driver to use it frequently. Therefore, whether it is to reduce or increase the brightness of the interior or the volume of the sound system, or even to select the temperature you want, it is always useful to go through the various menus. The system itself is well designed, it responds quickly, but this dependency caused by the absence of visible keys annoys the user. The steering wheel, with small BlackBerry-style touchpads, does not support navigation assistance. They are often caught unawares when turning the steering wheel. The sample tested also suffered a parallel failure in terms of active driving aids.

Judgment

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This 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class exudes an undeniable sense of luxury thanks to its exquisitely crafted interior.

At around $57,000 as an entry price (not including preparation costs), this fifth-generation C-Class is among the most expensive entries in its segment without having to argue for well-stocked standard equipment. However, it projects an unmistakable image of luxury thanks to its well-designed interior that offers refinement that few rivals will be able to match. Of course, we would still like to benefit from more physical controls to reduce distractions. The driving experience is far from par with the BMW 3 Series or Genesis G70 convertible to take on a more relaxed stance. It’s a great car, but will this generation go down in history? To ask a question is to answer it.

Notebook

Best Smart Lights

This C-Class can be equipped with optional smart headlights that are exceptionally powerful while avoiding blinding passing vehicles by directing the beams. The system is based on the image of a camera attached to the vehicle.

The light inside

Mercedes-Benz is in a class of its own to enhance the interior visually by means of diodes placed in strategic places. When the night comes, this C-Class bathes us in a very attractive atmosphere, which we can obviously adjust the size and color.

Restart the line

Like many cars, this Mercedes-Benz can cut off its hot engine when stationary. The difference in its case is its ultra-smooth way of doing thanks to the excellent cooperation of its starter-alternator.

Very disappointing sound system

Revealing its limits too early when the decibels are turned on, the C-Class’s standard audio system, the only one offered, is very disappointing. Many models from general manufacturers offer the best in the most affordable cars.

Wide trunk

With its 455 L and good opening equipment, the trunk of the sedan has a surprising capacity, which is hardly 9 L less than that of the larger S-Class.

Technical paper

Sample test

Mercedes-Benz C-Class 300 4Matic

Engine

L4 DOHC 2.0L Turbocharged Compact Hybrid

Powerful

255 hp at 5800 rpm

A couple

295 lb-ft from 2000 to 3200 rpm

Contagion

Nine-speed automatic and manual mode

Automotive design

Front longitudinal engine, all-wheel drive

Usage (EnerGuide)

8.6 L/100 km (first petrol)

Price (including options, transport and preparation)

$74,370 (starting price $59,870)

competitors

Audi A4, Acura TLX, Alfa Romeo Giulia, BMW 3 Series, Cadillac CT4, Genesis G70, Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS and Volvo S60

New 2022?

A new generation

To find out more