This week I was behind one of the most enjoyable vehicles that I have driven to date. Don’t let this low riding, compact car fool you, this C-Class sedan has so much to offer.
I truly enjoyed everything about the 2022 Mercedes C300. Even the key fob was an experience on to itself. It felt ergonomic with an indentation on their classic luxury logo, a push down unlocked the vehicle.
From the exterior it was obvious that this was one of the smaller cars I have test driven. Although, once seated within you readily notice how much ample space there actually is. You are not cramped within the cabin, but have everything within reaching distance, without the need to fully extend. Even a taller individual can fine tune the settings and have their ride be a more personalized and comfortable one. As I am use to driving fairly upright, it did take some time to adjust to how low the stance of the car is. How low the seat is to the ground and how far back my 45° incline needs to be, in order to be comfortably situated. If not, your head grazes the roof, the rearview mirror is fairly close to your face, and you can’t you don’t have enough clearance to extend your arms out. I was especially happy to learn that I was able to get in my daily car nap, in the back seat without issue. And was pleasantly surprised that you get a panoramic roof for such a small car.
The driver’s seat lumbar is firm and customizable, so that you can have it as perky as you desire. With the temperature-controlled seat quick to heat and even quicker to cook. The door handle is unique and one that I am first seeing here. It is backlit so that you can easily spot it. The design of it has you pulling a lever towards you to open and release. It is situated high on the door, making it a great arm rest. And built onto it are all the functions for the mirrors and windows at your fingertips. You are seated on soft, supple faux leather and the steering wheel is outfitted similarly to match. As much enjoyment you get on your rear, you feel on your hands with beveled grip. The wheel is a good size to get your hands around.
I am convinced that much of the 2022 Mercedes C300 setup is with the driver’s enjoyment in mind, little details and nuances you would not fully appreciate as the passenger or occasional occupant; like with all its light features.
I could not figure out how and when it activates, but occasionally on darker evenings, walking towards the driver’s side door I noted the projected Mercedes symbol at my feet. Much like the bat sign calling me forth to take a seat. Similarly, when you start the car, the headlights gives you a mini light show with strobing and cascading high beams. I liked this warm welcome that continued through to the customizable ambiance lighting in. A feature that is available in all Mercedes branded vehicles and most Mercedes fans are already familiar with. A piping of lights that you can choose the colour of, either in your favourite hue or a in a couple of shades set to themes that best reflect your current mood.
The vehicle is simple in its functions, but simplicity isn’t a bad thing. You have what you need and what you don’t takes away weight from the car. The result, one of the zippiest rides I have ever had. It is fast, it is fun, and it is enjoyable. The drive is so light, and the wheel is so responsive that you feel as if you are gliding on clouds or cruising on a wave mid swim. But the C300 is best when you have enough room to fully maneuver it, taking in wider turns on the performance wheels. It is very responsive and turns on a dime. Steering is at a hair’s trigger, and effortless. And that sure sensation is pretty much the same with all its button and toggles. Every click and connect is made with ease. You have the compulsion to spend the time going through all the knobs and dials to ensure that you are getting the best drive possible.
It is easy to overtake other cars within it, so you do a lot more offensive driving than defensive. Be warned, check your speed because the C300 accelerates faster than you’d expect, and you won’t necessarily feel the motion of it. Thankfully the modern connivence of having your speed and the road’s maximum are projected on the dash. A helpful reminder to keep you in check. You barely feel the car sway over potholes, it wasn’t rocky over speed bumps, and it only struggled a little going uphill given its size.
Not that you need the extra help when parking, given the ease that this smaller shell comes with. But the high-definition camera is clear, and you have plenty of notifications and reminders when you are getting too close to anything, on any of your corners or sides. The front camera broadcasts a visual on to the dash, coloured panels indicating which corner or surface would strike an obstruction if you were to proceed in that direction. The 2022 Mercedes C300 did give me a few false alarms, declaring that I was too close to another vehicle or a barrier in the road when I deemed myself in full clearance. When this happens a caution sign flashes, my music stops, and a high pitch noise sounds. Be warned, it can put you on edge the first time you hear it. And on couple of occasions, it felt like the alarm was anticipatory instead. That based on the speed I was travelling and the stop motion of the car in front of me, the alarm kicked in and I instinctively slowed to a stop. So I guess it works.
If there is one car that I have to spend longer periods of time in, on the road going back and forth for everyday life things, I want to be in the 2022 Mercedes C3000. To not only get where you need to go in style, but to actually enjoy get there as well. This is the kind of car you drive alone on a quiet dark night, listening to techno in. Powerful.