Drive Notes: 2022 Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC AWD

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
drive notes 2022 mercedes benz c300 4matic awd

Today's drive notes centers around a car I won't review because this loan is short -- just a couple of days, since I am traveling. It's too bad I am not getting a full week with this 2022 Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC, but I am enjoying this car. Well, mostly.

I'm usually indifferent to the C-Class, mostly because I came of age with the BMW 3-Series as the king of this compact sport luxury class, and then the Lexus IS came along to challenge. But this car has me paying more attention. The 2.0-liter turbo four with a mild-hybrid setup puts out 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, and a nine-speed automatic transmission gets that power to the wheels.

Here are my notes:

  • I haven't had too much of a chance to drive aggressively, but the little bit I have done shows that the car is willing to play, even in Comfort mode. Turn-in is sharp and smooth, with little need to adjust the steering mid-corner.
  • There's plenty of power on tap.
  • MBux infotainment is easier to use than BMW's iDrive or Audi's MMI., and it looks good, but it's not perfect. Like many of these systems, it can require a bit too much menu-diving.
  • The haptic touch system is better than Volkswagen's or Jaguar Land Rover's, but I still miss knobs. I hate using a slider to adjust radio volume, and it's easy to mute the sound by accident. It also takes a bit of a learning curve to figure out which set of "buttons" on the steering wheel works which menu. I do like the customizable digital gauge screen.
  • Apple CarPlay worked seamlessly, both wirelessly and plugged in, at first. Now, however, it has quit. Disconnecting my phone from Bluetooth and reinstalling did not solve the issue. Nor did turning the engine on and off.
  • The brakes are a bit soft, and there's a bit more pedal travel than I'd like before they bite.
  • The steering offers nice weight and accuracy as you turn into a corner but its on-center feel is a bit too light and artificial, even in Sport and Sport+ mode.
  • The interior does feel a bit cramped -- or maybe it's just that I couldn't quite get the seating position right.
  • The mild-hybrid system is so quiet upon startup that I have to check the tach to make sure the engine is running.
  • The car will remind you that you "forgot your phone" if you haven't unplugged it yet when the car is turned off.
  • I really was digging this car til I saw the Monroney. The $45K base price wasn't objectionable, but the $60K as-tested price was. At that price, I'd want to move a size-class up.

That's all I've got. This C-Class is a pretty dang good car, but the price makes the eyes pop.

[Image © Tim Healey/]

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3 of 12 comments
  • Sckid213 Sckid213 on Dec 02, 2022

    I actually do agree that most Nissans are ultimately junk. (I also think many BMWs are also). I was talking challenging the 3 in terms of driving dynamics. Agree all were failures in sales.

    • Bobby D'Oppo Bobby D'Oppo on Dec 03, 2022

      Based on the types of people I've seen managing to keep G35's running long past their use-by date, I suspect they are significantly better built than BMW three-er's of that era (which by today's standards are very flaky).

      I think in that class of car there's two magnetic poles, one being "sensible transport" and the other "exotic toys". Lexus is a sensible pick that's lacking emotional appeal, BMW is performance-focused, maintenance intensive, mildly exotic, and Infiniti falls in the middle ground between the two.

      Nissan has serious pedigree when it comes to sports cars and often seem to take those products more seriously than their volume models. I'm a big fan despite choosing BMW for my own driveway.

  • SPPPP SPPPP on Dec 04, 2022

    I drove a similar model as a rental and I slightly liked it. It's nice-ish, and the dynamics and controls are decent, but a bit too floaty for my taste. Also not quite what I call luxurious, either. Maybe not the kind of car you really get attached to, but it is nice.

  • Jeff S The Cybertruck is one of the most hyped vehicles in decades.
  • Nrd515 This is all I could think of seeing this. I saw it in the theater with my dad about 59 years or so ago:
  • Art Vandelay I have no illusions tha my Challenger was going to be a car I wanted to own 10 seconds out of warranty. Fun, sure. Fun in 8 years? Hard pass based on the 2 years I had it
  • ToolGuy Weren't some of the most powerful engines in the M4 Sherman air-cooled? (And supercharged.)
  • ToolGuy "I installed oil temp and cylinder head temp gauges on various vehicles I was driving, so I could monitor how the engine was doing. I switched from my normal 20W50 and dropped to 15W40 oil and put down thousands of miles. Within that time, I saw a noticeable decrease in oil temps and even cylinder head temps while driving in different situations."ToolGuy has great admiration for your use of the scientific method in conducting original research.