The latest Mercedes Benz C-Class has definitely been inspired by her big sister, the S-Class. She shares similar tech, interior layout and dashboard architecture too. The fifth iteration of the C-Class is bigger than the previous incarnation despite sharing the earlier model’s underpinnings.

Released in the summer of 2021, the updated C-Class became available to UK drivers earlier this year. The latest C-Class marks a new era for luxury and tech. There are three trim levels – Premium, Exclusive and Pinnacle. The 11.9-inch touch display is standard across all and there are plenty of features to get excited about, even in the entry-level Premium trim.

There’s some stiff competition in this executive class, too. This mostly comes from Audi with their A4, BMW’s 3 Series, and of course Tesla and Volvo. Still, the Mercedes Benz C-Class stands up well against these and is worthy of a closer look. Particularly if you spend a lot of time on the road.

Mercedes Benz C-Class technical specs

At launch, there were 4 choices of engines on offer. The C200 and C330 petrols, plus the C220d and C300d which, of course, are the diesel choices. Since then, plug-in hybrids have been added for the petrol, a diesel plug-in is scheduled for later this year.

This C300e is, unsurprisingly, the most economical of the range and the best pick for a balance of power and economy. It takes 2 hours to fully charge the battery and will achieve a real-world range of around 60 miles before it needs another charge.

The petrol and diesel engines have 48-volt mild-hybrid technology included. The C200 generates 201bhp, while the C300 has a little more oomph with 254bhp. The diesel options are both 2.0-litre engines and offer 161bhp and 255bhp respectively.

Petrol engines accelerate from 0-62mph in just under eight seconds. The diesels are a little quicker, going from 0-62mph in just six seconds.

All come with a nine-speed automatic gearbox and the higher-powered Mercedes Benz C-Class models in other parts of the world also have the option of 4Matic all-wheel drive. We’re still waiting for this to become available in the UK.

The plug-in hybrid technology is available in both the saloon and estate models. If you fancy a cabriolet or 2-door coupe, from the C-class range, you’ll have to stick with petrol or diesel engine choices.

Performance

Mercedes is synonymous with style and comfort and the latest Mercedes Benz C-Class is no different. Many are referring to her as a mini S-class because there is so much similarity between the two models.

The mild hybrid options make her an economical car around town and you’ll find her capable on the motorway too. Handling is impressive and she’s whisper quiet and refined in the cabin too. As with other Mercedes, the C-Class’s focus is on comfort, but she still handles twists and turns competently.

You will notice bumps and potholes at lower speeds and sharper obstacles can create a bit of a thump. At low speeds, the pick-up can feel a little sluggish, particularly in circumstances such as roundabouts.

The plug-in hybrids are a little quicker off the mark, thanks to the powerful electric motor taking the lead while the engine gets up to pace.

Interior & exterior

Mercedes Benz C-Class interior

Inside the Mercedes Benz C-Class feels very much like the S-Class, albeit smaller. The dash is dominated by the 11.9-inch touchscreen display. It’s mounted in portrait style on the centre console. Driving information is conveyed through the 12.9-inch instrument display for the driver.

Despite the commanding looks, it’s easy to use and Mercedes voice-command technology is almost as good as Alexa. All of the controls feel solid and the overall look is less restrained than rivals in this space.

Even so, some elements feel a little flimsy, like the indicator stalks. Some materials just feel a little cheap for the C-Class, like the hard plastics lower down that look cheap and shiny.

That said, the interior still looks fairly flash. Seating comfort is top-class with plenty of adjustment possible. It’s clearly been designed around the driver and you’ll really appreciate that when you slide into the front seat.

There’s a reasonable amount of legroom in the back, but not enough to confuse it with the larger and statelier E-Class.

Mercedes Benz C-Class accessories

Mercedes Benz C-Class technology is fairly feature-rich and they live up to their tagline promise to “Never stop improving” with over-the-air updates that will ensure the system gets better with age.

The portrait display touchscreen is a godsend for the sat nav. The positioning is spot on and provides an excellent view of the route ahead. The infotainment system pairs easily with Apple Car Play and Andriod Auto too.

The touch-sensitive steering wheel controls can be a little too sensitive and might have you feeling “all thumbs” when trying to scroll through options as you drive. After a little getting used to, you should be fine.

Wireless phone charging is neatly tucked away to remove any temptation of checking your phone while you’re on the move and there is the usual allowance of driving tech. Expect adaptive cruise control, steering assist, self-parking and autonomous safety systems to take the stress out of getting from A to B.

Practicality

Drivers will find there is plenty of room up front in a Mercedes Benz C-Class. You won’t be nudging your passenger’s elbows and there’s a good amount of space in the door bins, glove box and centre cubby spaces too.

Mercedes Benz C-Class rear view

It’s a different story in the back. You will fit taller adults, but they’ll feel a little cramped. That’s more down to headroom than legroom. If you’ve got kids to accommodate, they’ll find the rear seats roomy enough. You’ll easily get two kids’ car seats and find Isofix points on either side of the rear seat.

The boot has a reasonable 455 litres of space, but it’s nothing to write home about. Even so, it’s enough to fit a buggy and a weekly shop. With the seats down, boot space expands to 1,375 litres. The estate model has 490 litres of boot space with seats up, 1510-litres with them down.

OWO Verdict

The Mercedes Benz C-Class is a comfortable executive car, noticeably quieter and offering a softer ride than the BMW 3 Series or Audi A4. However, if it’s space you’re looking for, you’ll find both of these have a little more wriggle room to enjoy.

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