2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Road Test Review – King Returns

India’s Numero Uno Premium car maker Mercedes-Benz has a knack to do things that helps it to dominate its position in all its segments. The regularly update and facelift their car models so that their entire line up looks sparklingly fresh and latest in tune to their global lineup. Their best selling sedan model the C-Class is all set for a complete overhaul with the 2022 version hitting our shores soon. We drive the gorgeous sedan from Germany that is termed as the Baby S-Class to get under its skin in our review right here that gets you all that you need and more on the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Food for Thought

Mercedes-Benz has been manufacturing the C-Class since 1993 with the W202 in its first generation. This sedan replaced the Mercedes 190E (W201). The C Class has been the German carmakers entry level premium executive sedan offering until the A-Class was born. It was called the Baby Benz then. Currently in its fifth generation the W206 was unveiled in Feb 2021 in China. The long wheelbase version the V206 was specifically made for the Chinese markets. There also is the All Terrain version of the C-Class the X206 which comes with body cladding, extra ground clearance and a 4Matic AWD system. In India the C-Class has been the biggest selling model for the car maker having sold in huge numbers so far. There also was a Diesel AMG model of the C-Class for some time. As well as being built in Bremen in Germany, the C-Class is also built in Brazil, India, South Africa, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the United States.

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Exteriors

Well one look at the 2022 C-Class and you fall in love with the gorgeously pretty sedan. The family Mercedes look is so very evident and it instantly reminds you of the S-Class and new generation Mercedes C-Class uses a heavily revised version of the previous model’s MRA architecture, called MRA2. This set-up also supports the new luxury S-Class, with the smaller compact executive benefitting from an overhauled suspension system and improved ride comfort that is more in line with its larger comfort-oriented sibling. The new fifth-generation C-Class is a bigger car overall than the model it replaces, increased in length by 65mm to 4751mm and 10mm extra in width to 1820mm, although it sits 7mm higher. The wheelbase has grown by 25mm too, which helps provide a more room in the cabin.

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The exterior design language is rounded and a lot fluidic with smooth character lines on the bonnet, the all new design bumper, flushed back mini S-Class design intelligent headlamp and the imposing large Mercedes AMG grille with its logo flaunting it. The wide air dam with the flowing design line running on its width adds to the dominating classy yet premium look of the sedan upfront.

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Coming to the sides the S-Class lineage is much more evident here with the soft character lines around the waistline, door section and the fender lip all reminding you of it. The sloping roof line along with the chrome garnish around the glass area make the sides look rich along with the door handles that get a hint of chrome on them. The AMG Line C-Class that we drove drives on 235/45 R18 spec Pirelli  tyres mounted on AMG dual-tone AMG Star design alloys adding to the magic  on the sides. The sides also get this special running board insert that makes the car more aerodynamic and also adds to its visual appeal. Wing mirrors get black housing along with the roof that’s also blacked out and sports dual pane electric sun roof.

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The rear profile of the C-Class also instantly reminds you of the S-Class with rounded bumper and blacked out lower section that houses the twin exhausts on either ends, triangular sharp edged LED tail lamps along with the sloping rear wind shield. The rear bumper also gets a pair of air dams on the edges that’s practical and also adds to the overall visual sporty appeal.

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The 2022 Mercedes C-Class comes with a boot capacity of 455 liters which is good enough for carrying your luggage that includes 2 large sized suitcases and one medium sized one.

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Interiors

The C-Class will be available with three interior colour options – Macchiato Beige, Sienna Brown and Black – paired with either open-pore wood trim with aluminium inserts or a metal weave trim, depending on the variant you choose.

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Step inside the 2022 C-Class and you can rest assured with your thoughts that this really is the miniature version of the S-Class. The cabin of the 2022 C-Class is super stylish. You get a very S-Class like dashboard with the key highlight here being the 11.9 inched touch screen AVN system that’s placed in portrait angle and tilted towards the driver. This latest generation display runs on the latest generation MBUX system and has all the connectivity options that one can think of. You get a all new digital architecture similar to the S-Class with 3D maps, Car to Xtech, biometric login, natural voice recognition and a mammoth 15-speaker surround hi-fi music system.

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The dash also gets the S-Class themed pinstripe finish insert that looks extra rich. Five AC vents in turbine design look and feel premium especially the satisfying click action that they have and the ambient light glow that runs around them that turn red as you increase the climate control temperature and blue as you lower it.  The three spoke leather wrapped premium feel steering comes with metal inserts and capacitive touch MFD control buttons.

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The instrument cluster on the C-Class is an all new 12.3 inches color LCD screen with three unique themes and high customization that reads out all the tell-tale information in super crisp fashion. The cabin uses the latest fiber optics for its ambient lighting which is a visual treat to the eyes. The centre console comes with faux carbon fiber finish under this closable console are the can holders, two USB C Type charge ports and the wireless mobile charging dock.

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The climate control unit on the C-Class is a four zone unit with two settings for the front and two in the rear.  You get individual climate control unit for the rear.

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The seats get leather upholstery with full electric adjusts on the front seats. Seats offer excellent support and comfort with good amount of padding in place. It is when you get into the rear seats that you notice that the extended dimensions of the C Class has added more space to the seating.

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Rear seats come with three adjustable headrests and a folding centre arm rest. Good comfort level with excellent knee, head and shoulder room for the occupant is the key USP on the new C-Class.

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Engine – Transmission – Drive

Powering the 2022 Mercedes C200 Petrol is a new 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit that produces 204hp and 300Nm of torque. This replaces the 2.0-litre unit from the outgoing model.

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The diesel engine is the familiar 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit that’s available in two specs of tune. In the diesel options the C220d, the engine produces 200hp and 440Nm of torque, while in the C300d, it produces 265hp and 550Nm of torque. All these three engines come mated to a 9-speed automatic gearbox as standard, and also get a 48V mild-hybrid tech with integrated started generator (ISG) system that provides an additional 20hp and up to 200Nm of torque. Mercedes claims a fuel economy of 16.9kpl for the C200 and 23kpl for the C220d.

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How is the New Mercedes C-Class to drive?

The 1.5L engine powering the C 200 is highly refined unit. At idle the car felt as silent as an EV and on the move it opens up its power gates in abundance. Power delivery is instant and highly responsive. You have the drive modes to play with Eco – Comfort – Sport and Individual to play with that alters the power, suspension, steering feedback and also the transmission ratios. The C-Class drives very maturely and it’s increased proportions helps it further.

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The steering feels lively at all speeds and the suspension is tuned very well making you think if it is an air suspension doing its job. Braking on the New C is pretty progressive and conference boosting. Key usp on the New C is its cabin comfort and its overall drive appeal. We loved it’s positive vibe on the twisted Hill roads of Mussoorie. The C-Class shines in all the departments offering a very premium and highly plush ride quality. You are never ever out of power on the 1.5L Petrol engine as it is aptly supported by the mild hybrid system that adds to the power output and torque figures not only on paper but also in actual drive conditions.

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Competition

The Mercedes C-Class continues to compete with the likes of the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, Jaguar XE and the Volvo S40 in its class and segment.

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Verdict

The New Mercedes C-Class shares a lot on the outside and inside plus it’s tech stuff with the big daddy Mercedes Sedan the S-Class. The C-Class has grown in dimension and now feels a lot more appealing in terms of rear seat comfort due to this. The car now feels few notches up as compared to the outgoing C-Class offering unmatched appeal, looks, and space and ride quality making it a perfect option for you if you are out there looking for a premium sedan in this class. Welcome into the Comfort Zone.

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Words – Ritesh Madhok
Video & Photography – Govind Gadekar
Location – Mussoorie Uttarakhand

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