Mercedes-Benz C-Class Review 2024

Mercedes-Benz C-Class At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The latest Mercedes C-Class is clearly the most advanced and capable yet, with a vast array of technology, Impressive comfort and refinement and a range of petrol, diesel and hybrid engines. Some little irritations aside it's the most luxurious small saloon around.

+Real mini S-Class look and feel. Impressive technology and cabin ambience. Excellent ride and refinement.

-A BMW 3 Series is more fun to drive. Some fiddly cabin controls. A few cheap bits of the cabin let the side down.

New prices start from £44,895

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is small saloon elite, enjoying decades of success as a shrunken-down, more affordable sibling to the all-conquering Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The latest, fifth-generation version is the most high-tech yet, but is it the best? Our 2022 Mercedes C-Class review aims to find out. 

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class used to be one of the go-to small premium models, sharing that aspirational limelight with its closest rivals, the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. That appeal has lasted for decades, but times are changing. 

Compact saloons (even the most desirable ones) are losing out in the sales charts to SUVs that offer the same premium look and feel but with greater practicality and a lord-it-over driving position. The Tesla Model 3 saloon might be one of the best-selling electric cars, for example, but as soon as the taller, more rugged-looking Model Y arrived it played second fiddle. 

In some ways, then, the Mercedes C-Class's main rivals are the brand's own GLC and GLC Coupe, sharing much with them under-the-skin. But the C-Class clearly still matters to Mercedes-Benz, otherwise it wouldn't be the first of the trio to move to the latest generation. 

It's the freshest compact executive model on the block, making the seven year-old Audi A4 look more dated than a 70s sitcom. And behind that classy shrunken S-Class body are huge advances in technology, with all sorts of clever features and driver assists that you would've found only in the flagship saloon a few years ago.

Inside you get the similar elegant look and large, portrait-angled touchscreen as the S-Class, too. Of course it's not a luxury limo that lets you lie down with your legs out in the back, but the Mercedes C-Class is still pretty roomy for four adults and their luggage. 

On the road, comfort is clearly the priority, with the C-Class not quite offering the agile sports saloon feel of the 3 Series. But many buyers will be happier with its ability to waft along serenely, while powerful engines and still tidy handling won't put anyone off. 

Speaking off engines, the 2022 Mercedes C-Class offers something for every taste. There's a pair of petrols, a pair of diesels (unlike rivals such as the Volvo S60, diesel options remain) and the popular plug-in hybrid C300e. All have four-cylinder engines now, and even the AMG-tuned C43 and C63 models will too, which will raise some eyebrows. Keep reading to find out more. 

Ask Honest John

Can I tow a caravan with my hybrid?

"I have a Mercedes C200 mild hybrid. Can I tow a caravan with this make and model? "
The towing capacity for your Mercedes-Benz is 750kg unbraked and 1800kg braked, so as long as your caravan is within these criteria it is safe to tow with it.
Answered by David Ross

What PHEVs have the longest range?

"What is the best PHEV to buy with a 50+ mile range?"
You don't mention your budget, but understandably more expensive and larger PHEVs tend to have the longest battery-only range. The Mercedes-Benz C300e offers a range of 68 miles and the BMW X1 xDrive30e offers 55 miles, while slightly less expensive offerings like the BMW 225e Active Tourer and the Toyota RAV4 can manage close to 50 miles on electric-only. It's also worth remembering that these figures are based on the WLTP testing program, so your actual results in the real world will vary according to weather, driving style, traffic and so on.
Answered by David Ross

Can you recommend an Audi A4 Avant replacement?

"I have a 2016 Audi A4 TDI Ultra that has cover 103,000 miles. I'm now looking to replace it, what age/version of a newer A4 would I need to upgrade to in order for it to feel like a "worthwhile" change? My budget would be up to £25,000. I currently average 10,0000 miles a year, 12-mile daily commute. "
The current generation of A4 (which yours would be) was updated a couple of years ago, but it wasn't a very significant one. You might not find it feels like a substantial enough upgrade over your current car. We'd either suggest waiting for the next-gen A4 to come out (expect that to be revealed later this year) and for used models to appear in your budget, or consider looking at the latest BMW 3 Series or Mercedes C-Class. Both of those cars are a generation ahead of the A4 and feel it.
Answered by Lawrence Allan

Which car should I buy for motorway commuting?

"I am looking for a car for motorway commuting and I am spiralling down an endless rabbit hole of options! I drive around 500 miles a week - a mix of 80% double carriage/motorway and 20% single carriage/broads/town. Comfort and economy are important to me so ideally I'm thinking of a biggish car (though I'm not keen on SUVs). I do quite like my options too (i.e. adaptive cruise control, digital dashboard). My budget is around £30k and I'm considering the following: Mercedes-Benz C-Class or E-Class, BMW 3 Series or 5 Series, Skoda Octavia or Superb, Jaguar XE or XF, or Volkswagen Arteon. What do you recommend? "
The Skoda Superb estate scores well for user satisfaction and your budget will get you a post-facelift example with all the toys you mention. For ultimate comfort, the Mercedes C-Class is a good shout and it's just been replaced so there may be deals to be done on slightly older cars. The E-Class is even more comfortable and many of them will have been specified with air suspension that takes them to another level compared to the rivals you mention. The Jaguars offer a great balance between comfort and handling, particularly the XF, but they're feeling a little dated now. The BMW prioritises comfort at the slight expense of comfort, but both the 3 and 5 Series are still great cars to do lots of miles in.
Answered by Russell Campbell
More Questions

What does a Mercedes-Benz C-Class cost?