2022 Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC Sedan Review – Slick Sport at a Dear Price

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Fast Facts

2023 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4MATIC Sedan Fast Facts

2.0-liter four-cylinder with mild-hybrid (255 horsepower @ N/A RPM, 295 lb-ft of torque @ N/A RPM)
Transmission/Drive-Wheel Layout
Nine-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Fuel Economy, MPG
23 city / 33 highway / 27 combined (EPA Rating)
Fuel Economy, L/100km
9.9 city / 7.1 highway / 8.6 combined (NRCan Rating)
Base Price
$45,550 (U.S.) / $58,600 (Canada)
As-Tested Price
$60,870 (U.S.) / $75,690 (Canada)
Prices include $1,050 destination charge in the United States and N/A for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.
2022 mercedes benz c300 4matic sedan review slick sport at a dear price

I loved almost everything about the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C300 – except its price.

I guess you get what you pay for.

In this case, you get a slick-handling sports sedan that generates grins wherever you go.

Yes, the car I tested was a 2022 – there are no significant updates for 2023. There are still some 2022s kicking around press fleets – blame Covid, maybe – and since this Merc hasn’t been changed in a while, and since we haven’t reviewed one in a while, I figured it was still worth a write-up.

It starts with a rev-happy yet smooth 2.0-liter turbo-four with mild-hybrid assist that puts out 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque and extends to the car’s sporty and sharp handling – handling that never sacrifices ride. It’s on the stiff side, sure, but acceptable even on Chicago’s pockmarked streets.

The steering is a bit heavy and artificial in feel, especially on center (even in Sport and Sport+ modes) but the turn-in is precise and mid-corner corrections are generally not needed.

The only dynamic letdown is brakes that are a tad too soft and allow for a tad too much pedal travel before you feel them bite.

This Merc doesn’t make too many tradeoffs – for example, the engine is nice and quiet despite the car’s sporting character. I had to check to make sure it was running a couple of times when parked at idle.

That said, I did occasionally feel squeezed by a cramped interior. Cramped but attractive – Mercedes does digital screens and voice activation fairly well. Not perfectly – there’s still too much menu diving, and the haptic touch controls, while worlds better than what some of the competitors offer, can be persnickety. Please, automakers, can we not use haptic-touch slides for audio volume adjustments?

At least the digital gauges are easily customized to suit your taste.

On the other hand, Apple CarPlay decided to quit. Not quiet quit, just plain old quit. It worked well at first, both wired and wireless, but once it said bye-bye I couldn’t bring it back. Not even by deleting my phone from the Bluetooth and re-installing. Obviously, any problem we encounter in a test car has to be understood in the context of a sample size of one, but it’s still not a good look from a $60,000 car.

Yes, $60,000. Therein is my biggest beef with this Merc. I’m not necessarily expecting a value proposition here, especially not in a world in which the average transaction price is well north of $40K, but if this car was even five grand cheaper as-tested I’d not look at it askance.

To be fair to our German friends, the base price is a reasonable $45,550. But laden with options, the price balloons. What’s particularly annoying is that some of those pricey options, such as satellite radio, are standard on “mainstream” cars.

The base price gets you the turbo four, a 9-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive. Plus dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, 11.9-inch infotainment screen, 12.3-inch customizable digital instrument screen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated front seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, power tilt/slide sunroof, ambient lighting, attention assist, active-brake assist, blind-spot assist, LED lighting all around, and adaptive high beam assist.

So, you might ask, what caused the options list to be so hefty? Three letters: AMG.

AMG black and red leather interior trim cost $1,620. Nineteen-inch AMG wheels dinged the wallet for another 600 clams. Illuminated panels in the door sill? Sure, for $150. A panorama roof? That’s a g-note. Two-fifty gets you a heated steering wheel. Satellite radio will set you back another $350 and an advanced USB package is another 300 smackers. Acoustic glass adds $150, and enhanced ambient lighting is yet another $250, while inductive wireless charging puts another $200 in Mercedes’s pocket.

Digital projection headlamps cost $1,100. Want the navigation system with augmented video and a head-up display? That’s $1,700. The wonderful Burmester sound system is $650.

Now we get to the really big stuff. The AMG Line with Night Package adds a sport suspension, sport steering, front splitter, perforated brake discs, and a bunch of other appearance-related items for $3,050. A driver-assistance package that includes smart cruise control, active steering assist, lane-change assist, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot assist, evasive-steering assist, active emergency-stop assist, and more, is $1,950.

Finally, a parking assist/surround camera package is $950.

Whew. I am tired from typing that, and I left some stuff out just so your eyes don’t glaze over. All told the sticker was nearly $61K.

From a pure performance standpoint, it seems almost worth it. This Merc is a delight to drive when pushed and offers a lot of luxury when you’re just cruising. But I’m put off by tight interior dimensions, the needless complication of certain controls, and a high price that doesn’t include certain basic features as standard.

This is a very, very good small luxury performance sedan. The question is, is it worth the price?

[Images © 2023 Tim Healey/TTAC]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by  subscribing to our newsletter.

Join the conversation
3 of 57 comments
  • Alan Alan on Jul 14, 2023

    It is nice and overly expensive for what it offers, but its a Mercedes Benz, that's why its not good value.

    If you want performance buy a Kia Stinger. Offers much of what this can offer at a fraction of the price.

  • Stuki Moi Stuki Moi on Jul 15, 2023

    Small 4 cylinder, decent enough but not particularly distinguished in any way, cars for $60K; is what America getting poorer year in, year out for decades on end, ends up looking like in practice.

    • SPPPP SPPPP on Jul 17, 2023

      I'm not sure if America as a lump sum is getting poorer, but some of us certainly are. The new wealth is all at the top of the top end.

  • Alan I think this vehicle is aimed more at the dedicated offroad traveller. It costs around the same a 300 Series, so its quite an investment. It would be a waste to own as a daily driver, unless you want to be seen in a 'wank' vehicle like many Wrangler and Can Hardly Davidson types.The diesel would be the choice for off roading as its quite torquey down low and would return far superior mileage than a petrol vehicle.I would think this is more reliable than the Land Rovers, BMW make good engines. https://www.drive.com.au/reviews/2023-ineos-grenadier-review/
  • Lorenzo I'll go with Stellantis. Last into the folly, first to bail out. Their European business won't fly with the German market being squeezed on electricity. Anybody can see the loss of Russian natural gas and closing their nuclear plants means high cost electricity. They're now buying electrons from French nuclear plants, as are the British after shutting down their coal industry. As for the American market, the American grid isn't in great shape either, but the US has shale oil and natural gas. Stellantis has profits from ICE Ram trucks and Jeeps, and they won't give that up.
  • Inside Looking Out Chinese will take over EV market and Tesla will become the richest and largest car company in the world. Forget about Japanese.
  • Joe These guys are asking way to much.. 40% raise, Medical for retired workers, 4 day work week. - Go work a regular job like as an accountant, or Insurance agent and see what you get when you retire! Why do I have to put money in a 401K and these guys get a pension and medical for life. Cars are already to expensive! However at the same time GM is bragging that they are going to be making billions on subscription services in the coming years. If we could all stop being so greedy the world would be a better place
  • Tele Vision Let's not forget the massive used ICE car market that will exist - even after mandated EVs for all.