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/TTAC.com]
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Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.
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