The bigger and better-than-ever Mercedes-Benz C-Class is proof that you can have all the comfort and opulence of the automaker's flagship model without the cost. In fact, the two cars are so similar that you would be forgiven for mistaking them at first glance from a distance. The compact C-Class is sleek and refined, and even more so with the optional AMG Line package. However, there is no way to upgrade the turbo four-cylinder engine, which limits the sedan to just 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Luckily, the 9-speed automatic transmission ensures steady and reliable power delivery. This keeps the Mercedes C-Class in line with direct competitors from other German brands, like the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4, which have also turned towards pumped-up four-pots to get the job done efficiently.
Completely redesigned for the 2022 model year, the new 2023 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan carries over the bolder styling and modernized interior. There are no equipment changes made.
Though it is no longer considered the cheapest entry point to the automaker's luxury range, the price of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is reasonable. The base-level Mercedes-Benz C 300 Premium has a starting MSRP of $43,550, while the Exclusive Trim adds $2,250 to the price, and the Pinnacle Trim ups the base price with $3,950. The C 300 4Matic starts at $45,550 thanks to its standard all-wheel drivetrain, and it has all the same sub-trim configurations and price increases. These prices exclude the $1,050 destination charge in the USA.
See trim levels and configurations:
As with most cars from the brand, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz C-Class beautifully blends refined comfort with deceptively adroit handling. It does lean more towards a cushioned ride than spirited driving, though, so the restriction to a turbocharged four-cylinder engine isn't much of a problem. That doesn't mean it isn't fun to put it through its paces, and the new-gen models are distinctly sharper than before. Steering is well-weighted, too.
The suspension does a great job of soaking up bumps in the road, though rougher pavement does feed through to the cabin on occasion. Upgrading to the sport suspension and steering via the AMG Line Package also adds a sport brake system for those times you feel the need to push the limits. Still, the Mercedes C-Class is a comfortable and refined cruiser that has a hidden penchant for some sportiness, when the need arises.
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is no longer a simple entry-level model; it now boasts near S-Class levels of refinement of luxury, while its smaller size keeps it spry around town or when weaving through traffic on the highway. Its rear-wheel-drive platform helps it feel sporty enough to compete with rivals from BMW and Audi, while the option of AWD helps it retain appeal for a larger consumer base in cold weather regions.
The four-cylinder may lack some of the character of a six-cylinder engine, but it doesn't want for power, and the still accelerates quickly when the throttle is applied. Meanwhile, the cabin is plushly appointed, with high-quality materials and loads of modern features. These include an infotainment system borrowed from the pricier S-Class and a comprehensive driver-assistance suite. It remains true that the Merc is not necessarily as enjoyable to drive as some of its German brethren, but it's closer than ever, and it more than makes up for it in luxury comforts.
Both models in the C-Class range are virtually identical, so the only question you need to ask yourself is whether or not you need all-wheel drive. If you live in a colder state where snow or sleet is common, we'd recommend the extra traction of the C 300 4Matic, but if you want to save a few grand, the C 300 is more than sufficient. As for sub-trim, the midrange Exclusive offers great value for the slightly higher investment. The extra driver-assistance features like Parktronic parking assist and a surround-view camera are the highlights, but it also adds enhanced ambient lighting, illuminated door sills, and the 15-speaker Burmester sound system.
The most popular competitors of 2023 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan: