New 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Is a Standout, With a Few Drawbacks

We’ve enjoyed this small, sporty, driver-focused sedan so far—but we wish we’d skipped the optional AMG sport suspension

2022 Mercedes-Benz C300 front, on the CR track Photo: John Powers/Consumer Reports

After seven years without a major update, Mercedes-Benz gave the C-Class a significant revamp for 2022.

With its swept-back, low-slung design, the new C300 looks aggressive—like a precision tool for going fast. But in our short time with it so far, it has demonstrated a broad range of abilities that make it equal parts lap dog and show dog.

Stuck in traffic? It’ll comfort you with a plush interior and the latest technology, and even take away some of the stress of driving with a few advanced driving assistance features. Got a stretch of twisty road? It transforms into a compact sports sedan to be reckoned with—although a few unfortunate quirks keep it from truly shining.

The C-Class sits above the CLA and A-Class but below the E-Class in the Mercedes lineup, and has historically gone head-to-head with the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series/4 Series. Other competitors include the Acura TLX, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Cadillac CT5, Genesis G70, Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS, and Volvo S60.

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Inside, the C-Class features an interior design that echoes the new S-Class and EQS sedans, along with the latest version of Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system. It’s a step forward from the latest crop of new Benzes we tested a few years ago, including the A-Class, CLA, GLA, and GLB.

Mercedes will also offer redesigned coupe and convertible versions of the C-Class, but the ones on sale today are from the last generation. Every C-Class sedan gets the same engine and transmission: a turbocharged four-cylinder matched with a nine-speed automatic. 

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class starts at $43,550. We purchased a C300 4Matic in top-shelf Pinnacle trim. It has a few more features than the average C-Class you’ll find on dealer lots, but we wanted to make sure we got a chance to evaluate the new, optional technology that Mercedes offers—including advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that can change lanes automatically, navigation systems that add augmented reality, and headlights that can project information onto the pavement.

Many of these features are only available if you pay extra, which is how our C-Class ended up costing just under $60,000.

If you’re a Consumer Reports member, our initial expert assessment of the 2022 C300 is available to you below.

After we log 2,000 initial break-in miles, we’ll send it through more than 50 tests at the CR Auto Test Center, including those that evaluate acceleration, braking, fuel economy, handling, car-seat fit, and controls. CR members will get access to the full road-test results as soon as they’re available.

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What we bought: 2022 Mercedes-Benz C300 4Matic Sedan, Pinnacle trim
Powertrain: 255-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine; nine-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
MSRP: $45,550
Major options: AMG Sienna brown/black leather, $1,620; panorama sunroof, $1,000; driver assistance package, $1,700; parking assistance package, $1,000; multimedia package, including navigation, $1,700; digital light package, $1,100; AMG Line with Night package, including 18-inch wheels and sport suspension/steering, $3,050
Destination fee: $1,050
Total cost: $59,770

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