The fifth-generation (W206) Mercedes-Benz C-Class made its global debut today in sedan and wagon configurations. Completely redesigned and improved, this best-selling compact luxury car should be able to widen the gap that its domestic rivals managed to close in the past couple of years.
Unsurprisingly, much of the design and technology are inspired by the larger S-Class, which received an overhaul of its own for 2021.
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Real Beauty is Found Inside
As expected, the exterior doesn’t change radically. Highlights include redesigned Performance LED headlights, new two-piece taillights, a slightly revised front grille and lower bumper openings, plus new character lines on the hood and body sides. There are some new body colours and wheel designs, too, the latter available in 18- or 19-inch sizes.
The interior of the C-Class is more spacious than before with increases of up to 35 millimetres in some places. However, the spectacular new layout is what we should focus on. From the pictures alone, you can feel the superior level of refinement—check out the large trim element that adorns the lower dashboard and flows into the centre console. Configurable ambient lighting comes standard, while the seats have been redesigned for more comfort and style.
Of course, the real star is the second-generation MBUX infotainment system derived from the S-Class. The wide, high-resolution display behind the steering wheel (10.25 or 12.3 inches, depending on the customer’s choice) boasts super-sharp and modern graphics, while the portrait-style HD touchscreen in the middle (11.9 inches) is readily accessible and slightly tilted towards the driver.
The look of the screens can be individualized with three display styles (Discreet, Sporty, Classic), and a fingerprint scanner allows users to access personal settings and data such as favourites, most recent destinations, behaviour-based predictions, business calendar entries or emails.
Meanwhile, the voice assistant "Hey Mercedes" becomes more interactive than ever. You can use it to control not only a host of vehicle functions, but also various connected devices at home. Furthermore, it will alert you about over-the-air software updates when they become available. And what about augmented-reality navigation? Welcome to the future, my friends.
Four Cylinders Only
The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class gets a newly developed, turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that is a result of cooperation between the automaker and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 team. It produces 255 horsepower (unchanged from the outgoing model) and 295 pound-feet of torque (up from 273), sending it to all four wheels via an optimally tuned nine-speed automatic transmission. An integrated 48V mild hybrid system allows functions such as gliding, boosting or energy recovery, while providing an additional 20 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque in certain situations.
Mercedes-Benz has not yet announced other versions including the performance-focused AMGs, but we know that neither the V6 nor the V8 will come back as they will be replaced by four-cylinder engines with varying degrees of electric assistance.
There’s a new, dynamically configured suspension with a four-link axle at the front and a multi-link axle at the rear, which should further improve ride quality. Also, the latest generation of the Intelligent Drive Package has additional and advanced functions. Adaptive cruise control, active steering assist and traffic sign assist are all systems that have been enhanced.
The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan will arrive in Canadian dealer showrooms in the first quarter of next year. In the meantime, the company will unveil the coupe and cabriolet variants.