2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Release Date: Early 2022
Estimated Price: Starting at $45,000 (estimated)
  • Fully redesigned with sleek new styling
  • Mild hybrid technology promises better performance and reduced fuel consumption
  • Plenty of tech features, including a massive central touchscreen
  • Kicks off the fifth C-Class generation for 2022
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Review
C Is the New S
What is the C-Class?

The C-Class was historically Mercedes-Benz's entry-level model until the more affordable CLA debuted in 2014. Since then, the C-Class has assumed the role of a legitimate luxury vehicle, bringing the features and styling cues of the large S-Class sedan to a more palatable price point. The C-Class is fully redesigned for 2022, offering elegant new styling, cutting-edge technology, and elevated levels of comfort and refinement.

The 2022 C-Class is influenced by its newest sedan siblings, inside and out. With a trapezoidal grille and LED headlights wrapping around the front corners, the front end strongly resembles the A-Class and the CLA. The previous generation's sharply creased side body panels have given way to a smoother, sculpted look that is reminiscent of the new S-Class.

With all of the potential surrounding the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, we wouldn't be surprised if it took the top spot among other small luxury sedans. Current top-tier rivals include the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Genesis G70 and Volvo S60.

What's under the C-Class' hood?

Initially, the C-Class will launch in the base C 300 trim level. Power primarily comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (255 horsepower, 295 lb-ft of torque). It is augmented by a 48-volt hybrid system that contributes up to an additional 20 hp and 148 lb-ft for short bursts of acceleration. It can also turn the engine off while coasting, which should result in reduced fuel consumption compared to last year's model. A nine-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels, with Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive available as an option.

We have no doubt that we'll see more powerful engine choices from Mercedes' AMG performance arm in the coming years. We also expect a more eco-friendly alternative, possibly in the form of a plug-in hybrid variant.

How's the C-Class' interior?

In many ways, the new C-Class interior has a lot in common with the new S-Class. A large vertically oriented 11.9-inch touchscreen dominates the center of the dash and is canted 6 degrees toward the driver for easier operation. The instrument panel remains fully digital, though the display is no longer inset, reducing the visual height of the dashboard. The previous C-Class boasted superb-quality materials and excellent fit and finish, and preliminary photos suggest the new version will be similarly praiseworthy.

The cabin is slightly roomier than its predecessor, but we'll have to wait to see the new C-Class in person before we can judge whether the rear bench is truly suitable for adults.

How's the C-Class's tech?

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C 300 will come standard with the latest iteration of the class-leading MBUX infotainment system, which benefits from a 50% increase in processing power over the current MBUX system. We expect responses to commands to be even quicker as a result. Other standard features include a fingerprint scanner to activate individual driver profiles and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. A suite of advanced safety features — such as forward collision mitigation and blind-spot monitoring — is also included, along with a damage detection feature that notifies you if the vehicle was bumped when parked.

Optional features include an augmented reality overlay for navigation prompts, a head-up display, a wireless charging pad, a surround-view camera system, an automated parking system and an integrated dashcam. Available driver assistants include lane centering assist and adaptive cruise control, which can now perform route-based speed adjustments that will slow the vehicle when entering curves. Numerous systems will be kept current thanks to over-the-air software updates.

What are the C-Class's trim levels?

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan will initially be sold in two trim levels: C 300 and C 300 4Matic. The C 300 and C 300 4Matic share the same level of equipment — the only difference is that the C 300 is rear-wheel-drive, while the C 300 4Matic is all-wheel-drive.

Unlike previous iterations of the C-Class — and indeed, other Mercedes models — the C 300 will be available in traditional trim levels rather than a base model with many packages and individual options. The trim levels are known as Premium, Exclusive and Pinnacle.

The base C 300 Premium comes standard with:

  • Turbocharged four-cylinder engine (255 hp, 295 lb-ft of torque)
  • Nine-speed automatic transmission
  • 18-inch wheels
  • Sunroof
  • Hands-free trunk opener
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Digital instrument panel
  • Heated front seats
  • 11.9-inch touchscreen
  • Voice command system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration (with wireless connectivity)
  • Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
  • Blind-spot monitor (alerts you if a vehicle in the next lane over is in your blind spot)

The next-level Exclusive trim adds:

  • Burmester premium audio system
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Automated parking system
  • 360-degree camera system (gives you a top-down view of the C-Class and its surroundings for tight parking situations)

The most generously equipped C-Class is the Pinnacle. It comes with the features from the Exclusive trim level plus:

  • Integrated navigation system
  • Augmented reality overlay for navigation prompts
  • Head-up display (displays important information in your sight line onto the windshield)

You can further add features to these trim levels through a wide selection of options. Highlights include:

  • Driver Assistance package
    • Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the Mercedes-Benz and the car in front)
    • Lane departure mitigation (warns you of a lane departure when a turn signal isn't used and can automatically steer to maintain lane position)
    • Lane keeping system (makes minor steering corrections to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane)
    • Cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle in front of or behind you is about to cross your vehicle's path)
    • Automated parking system (steers into a parking spot with little or no driver intervention)
    • 360-degree camera system (gives you a top-down view of the C-Class and its surroundings for tight parking situations)
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Leather upholstery
  • Additional USB ports
  • Adaptive headlights (swivel as you turn the steering wheel for better illumination in curves)
  • Satellite radio
  • Dashcam (records video of what's happening in front of you; Pinnacle only)

EdmundsEdmunds says

The redesigned 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class seeks to amplify everything we liked about the previous model. If Mercedes can deliver the goods, we might have a new favorite small luxury sedan before long.

Consumer reviews

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