With a complete redesign in store for the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-class, the entry-luxury car segment is in for a shakeup. The C-class has long served as the entry-point to the Mercedes-Benz lineup, but new additions to the brand in recent years such as the A-class sedan have allowed the C-class to move upmarket and better battle rivals such as the Audi A4, BMW 3-series, and Genesis G70. The all-new 2022 model will continue to be built on a rear-drive platform, will be powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and will offer all-wheel drive as an option. The cabin is where we see the most modernization, as the C-class inherits styling elements and technology from the newly-redesigned 2021 S-class sedan.
What's New for 2022?
In short: Everything. Even though the new C-class's styling isn't a huge departure from the 2021 model, the 2022 model year marks the start of a new generation with more luxury and a greater number of high-tech features. We expect to see the redesigned C-class in Mercedes dealerships by the end of 2022.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Rather than serve up options a la carte, as it did on the previous generation car, Mercedes-Benz will offer three distinct trim levels on the 2022 C-class: Premium, Exclusive, and Pinnacle. A breakdown of available features indicates that the mid-range Exclusive trim should satisfy the broadest swath of buyers, as it includes niceties such as a 360-degree exterior camera system, a self-parking feature, wireless smartphone charging, and a Burmester premium stereo system. Although we expect Mercedes will continue to offer the C-class in coupe and convertible body styles, only the sedan will be available at launch. All models come standard with a large infotainment display, a digital gauge display, heated front seats, automated high-beam headlamps, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a sunroof, and much more. Mercedes-Benz's 4Matic all-wheel drive system is optional, but we'll leave that up to you to decide if you need it.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2022 C-class will continue to be powered by a 255-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, but this time around it's enhanced by a 48-volt hybrid system that can temporarily provide up to 20 extra horsepower. All-wheel drive remains an option with rear-wheel drive being the standard setup; a nine-speed automatic is the only gearbox offered. We haven't had a chance to test the 2022 C-class at our test track, but Mercedes-Benz estimates that it will hit 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. We believe that number is fairly conservative, since the previous generation C-class managed a 5.4-second result.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA hasn't posted fuel efficiency estimates for the 2022 C-class yet, but the new car's ratings shouldn't deviate much from the current model, which is rated at 23 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. When we get a chance, we'll put the new C-class through our 75-mph highway fuel economy test and report its results here. For more information about the C-class's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The most dramatic change for the C-class comes in the form of a new high-tech cabin. All models come with a digital gauge display, touch-sensitive controls, and a host of amenities. The new model sports a steering wheel that looks similar to that of the redesigned S-class sedans, and Mercedes offers a generous list of standard luxury features such as heated front seats with memory settings, a sunroof, open-pore wood trim, and aluminum accents. Overall, the 2022 C-class is about 2.5-inches longer than the outgoing model and its wheelbase has been stretched by an inch. Mercedes-Benz says that results in more rear-seat legroom, but we won't know how noticeable the difference is real-life until we get a chance to test-drive the new model.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A large, 12.3-inch vertically oriented infotainment display similar to the one in the redesigned S-class sedan sweeps up from the center console and toward a trio of round air vents on the upper dashboard. The touchscreen is tilted slightly toward the driver for easier use while driving and runs the most up-to-date version of Mercedes's MBUX infotainment system— complete with the voice-activated digital assistant, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and online access via a Wi-Fi hotspot. All models also come with an 11.9-inch digital gauge display and a fingerprint sensor to authenticate the driver's unique profile for memory settings. A head-up display, a wireless smartphone charging pad, an ambient lighting system, and a Burmester surround sound stereo system are all optional extras.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Mercedes equips the C-clss with a host of standard driver-assistance features but unfortunately the car's coolest tech, which includes an adaptive cruise-control system that utilizes navigation data to adjust the vehicle's speed for upcoming curves and roundabouts, is still optional. For more information about the C-class's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features are likely to include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Although rivals such as BMW, Genesis, and Volvo offer three years of complimentary maintenance, Mercedes-Benz omits that benefit from its standard warranty offerings. Otherwise, all new Benz's come with an industry-standard plan that covers most things for up to four years or 50,000 miles.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance