Mercedes-Benz C-Class Review 2023
Mercedes-Benz C-Class At A Glance
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.