2023 Mercedes-Benz C300 Evaluation: Dropping Its Approach

Mercedes-Benz trickled S-Class know-how right down to the C-Class, and it introduced a lot of the identical points right here because it did in that automobile — plus some new ones. You’ll discover most of these issues within the 11.9-inch tablet-style touchscreen, which can be the place a lot of the controls are positioned (the primary downside). Fewer bodily controls in or across the middle console of a automobile may be mitigated by steering-wheel controls, however the C300’s steering wheel has touch-sensitive controls, together with an particularly aggravating quantity slider.

We referred to as out the S-Class for the pointless problems in its MBUX multimedia system, and most of that carries over to the C-Class. I can forgive the C-Class a bit given its goal purchaser is probably going extra conversant in fashionable know-how (millennials don’t often area tech-support calls from different millennials), but it surely’s nonetheless needlessly advanced. Our bodies of water within the (optionally available) navigation map shimmer, and buildings are lit up at evening. It’s distracting. Much more distracting is the augmented actuality navigation show within the central touchscreen. In dearer Mercedes, the AR navigation seems within the head-up show, but it surely’s relegated to the touchscreen right here and distracts greater than it helps. A digicam system shows the view forward of the automobile on the display screen and locations digital navigation icons over the picture. Holding this within the driver’s line of sight through the head-up show isn’t excellent and takes some getting used to, however trying down and to the appropriate to see them on a touchscreen is far worse.

What this all seems like is an try to compete with the Tesla Mannequin 3. Options like AR navigation seem to exist just because they’ll, not as a result of they enhance the driving expertise. The shortage of bodily buttons feels extra futuristic, but it surely’s laborious to argue it’s luxurious; a scarcity of bodily controls likewise makes the S-Class really feel much less luxurious.

One piece of tech that does really feel like a spotlight within the C-Class is the digital instrument panel. It’s simply configurable, clear and straightforward to learn. There’s nothing to set it other than a wide range of digital instrument panels in additional and fewer inexpensive mainstream and luxurious autos — BMWs, Toyotas, Fords and the like — however not less than it really works nicely. The identical goes for the voice command function, which is activated with a easy “Hey, Mercedes.”

Inside Points

One other downside with the C300 is that its inside simply isn’t a really comfy place to be. Different editors and I had points discovering a snug driving place, and the backseat felt cramped. A big middle ground hump cuts into foot room again there, and head- and legroom are additionally on the smaller facet. This isn’t uncommon for the category, however that doesn’t make it any much less aggravating.

Inside supplies high quality was additionally combined. Not one in all our editors believed the upholstery on the seats was all actual leather-based regardless of the “Energy Pink/black leather-based” line merchandise on our check automobile’s window sticker.

On the optimistic facet, there may be some potential to  personalize the inside to the driving force’s style due to a configurable instrument panel and adjustable ambient lighting. It’s one of many first instances I’ve truly loved adjusting the ambient lighting in a check automobile.

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The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is an Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security 2022 High Security Decide+, the group’s highest designation. To earn that ranking, a automobile should ace a wide range of crash assessments, all trim ranges should provide headlights that earn a ranking of not less than acceptable, and the automobile’s vehicle-to-vehicle and daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian entrance crash prevention methods should be rated not less than superior. The C-Class’ customary Energetic Brake Help and optionally available Energetic Brake Help with Cross-Visitors Perform each meet the entrance crash prevention requirements. Mercedes-Benz is thought for its a la carte choices construction — once more, our check automobile’s choices added nearly $15,000 — and whereas some security options are customary, the extra superior methods stay added-cost choices. Some luxurious manufacturers (Genesis and Lexus, for instance) make many of those options customary.

Falling Additional Behind

5 years in the past, a C300 got here in third in our comparability of seven luxurious sports activities sedans. Since then, its rivals have improved whereas Mercedes appears to have misplaced its manner.

What the C300 presents house owners now could be a irritating, tech-laden package deal with a three-pointed star on the grille. There simply aren’t sufficient gratifying driving qualities to make the C300 price a advice over its rivals; Alfa Romeo, BMW and Genesis all make automobiles which might be extra enjoyable to drive, and if you happen to’re merely seeking to exhibit all of the cool techy issues your automobile can (however most likely shouldn’t) do, get a Tesla Mannequin 3 and shell out for Full Self Driving.

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