We’ve always liked the C Class here at DriveLife; It’s a Goldilocks model, being just the right size, it has that same Mercedes-Benz build quality we admire, and a great chassis. 

For this latest generation, Mercedes-Benz has dropped a 1.5-litre engine into the C Class and called it good. At 1,722Kg, is 1,500cc enough to hustle the C200 along? Our test will include a return trip to Taupo with three passengers and gear, so that should be enough weight to find out if the engine in this model is enough to keep it worthy of its badge.

We Like and Dislike About The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C200

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Performance
Engine/transmission combo
Smoothness
Lack of NVH
Engine sounds
Chassis – handling, ride quality
Build quality
Centre screen resolution and UI
Seat comfort
Route-based adaptive cruise
Haptic steering wheel controls
Pricey in comparison
Very dark inside
Rear seat egress can be awkward

What’s In The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C Class Range?

In New Zealand, we get to pick from two models; the C200 and the C300. The difference is in the engine, with the C200 having a 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, and the C300 has a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine – but it also has more interior features. Both engines require 98 octane fuel.

That little 1.5-litre motor manages an excellent (for its size) 150kW of power and an astounding 300Nm of torque at a low 1,800rpm. The 2.0-litre motor puts out 190kW of power and 400Nm of torque at 2,000rpm. While the C200 takes 7.3 seconds to get to 100km/h,  the C300 does it in 6.0 seconds.

Fuel consumption on the combined run is 6.9L/100Km for the 1.5, and 7.3 for the 2.0-litre. The transmission is the same in both models, a 9-speed automatic, and both are rear-wheel-drive. The C200 runs 18” alloy wheels, while the C300s are 19”.

C200: $86,000

C300: $102,900

2022 Mercedes-Benz C200 Standard Equipment Highlights

  • AMG Line interior
  • Folding rear seat backrests
  • AMG floor mats
  • Illuminated front-door sill panels with “Mercedes-Benz” lettering
  • Ambient lighting
  • Interior Light package
  • Metal-weave trim with centre console in high-gloss black 
  • Keyless start function
  • ARTICO upholstery with Roof liner in black 
  • Multifunction sports steering wheel in nappa leather
  • Automatically dimming rear-view mirror 
  • Sports seats
  • Dashboard upper & beltlines in black ARTICO 
  • Stowage Space package including Double cup holder
  • Electrically adjustable front seats with 4-way lumbar support 
  • THERMATIC dual-zone climate control
  • Keyless entry and start with automatic boot closing
  • Ambient Lighting with projection of brand logo
  • Adaptive Highbeam Assist
  • AMG Line Exterior
  • Electric adjustable, heated and folding exterior mirrors
  • LED Headlamps with Headlamp Assist
  • MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) Infotainment, incl. LINGUATRONIC, touchscreen & pad Mercedes-Me Connect
  • MBUX Navigation Premium
  • Advanced Connectivity Plus Package
  • Central display with 11.9” screen diagonal
  • Navigation – Live traffic, parked vehicle locator, predictive navigation and on & off-street parking
  • DAB+ Digital Radio Tuner
  • Safety and Service – vehicle tracking, emergency call, maintenance management and tele-diagnostics
  • Driver display, 12.3″ LCD colour display with a resolution of 2,400 x 900 pixels
  • Comfort – Vehicle status, remote door locking/unlocking, geofencing, speed-fencing, valet parking
  • Digital owners’ manual
  • Infotainment – Global search, voice assistance integration
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Smartphone integration Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • 360° camera
  • Central locking with interior switch and crash sensor
  • Airbags (10) – front, combined pelvic / thorax bags for driver and front passenger, centre front
  • Electronic immobiliser
  • Sidebags for rear occupants, window bags and kneebag for driver
  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with acceleration skid control
  • Active bonnet
  • Lane Tracking package comprising Active Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist
  • Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC
  • Locking verification (visual and acoustic)
  • Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC ultrasonic sensors (front and rear)
  • MOExtended run-flat tyres
  • ADAPTIVE BRAKE with HOLD function, brake drying function and Hill Start Assist (ABR)
  • Rear belt status indication in the instrument display
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Brake Assist System (BAS)
  • Safety vest for driver
  • ASSYST maintenance interval indicator Speed Limit Assist
  • ATTENTION ASSIST Tyre pressure loss warning system
  • Braking system with larger brake discs on the front axle
  • Windscreen wipers with rain sensor and 1-touch wipe function

2022 Mercedes-Benz C300 Additional Equipment Highlights

  • Leather Upholstery
  • 19” AMG Multi-Spoke Alloy Wheels
  • Privacy Glass from B Pillar rearwards
  • TIREFIT with electric pump in lieu of MOExtended run-flat tyres
  • Driving Assistance package Plus (P20) comprising:
    • Active Blind Spot Assist
    • Active Brake Assist with Cross-traffic function
    • Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC
    • Active Emergency Stop Assist
    • Active Lane Change Assist
    • Active Lane Keeping Assist
    • Active Steering Assist
    • Active Stop-and-Go Assist
    • Evasive Steering Assist
    • Extended automatic restart function on motorways
    • Route-based speed adaptation & Traffic Sign Assist

Our Review Vehicle’s Optional Equipment

  • SPORT Package; $1,700
  • Metallic Paint; $1,600
  • Anthracite Lime Wood Trim; $700

The SPORT Package includes 19” AMG MultiSpoke alloy wheels, TIREFIT with electric pump in lieu of run-flat tyres, and privacy glass from the B pillar rearwards.

Including $4,000 in optional equipment, our review car’s retail price is $90,000.

There’s a great range of 9 options for your interior colours and trims, with a nice selection including red/black leather, Brown ARTICO, Beige ARTICO, and others. Our test car’s interior had Black ARTICO (a.k.a. Artificial Cow).

You get to pick from ten colour options, with any colour other than white attracting an additional charge.

  • Polar White Non-Metallic NC
  • Obsidian Black Metallic $1,600
  • Graphite Grey Metallic $1,600
  • Mojave Silver Metallic $1,600
  • Cavansite Blue Metallic $1,600
  • High-Tech Silver Metallic $1,600
  • Spectral Blue Metallic $1,600
  • Selenite Grey Metallic $1,600
  • MANUFAKTUR Opalite White BRIGHT Metallic $3,100
  • MANUFAKTUR Hyacinth Red Metallic $2,400

For a full list of specs and options available for the Mercedes-Benz C200, jump on over to the Mercedes-Benz New Zealand website.

How Does The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C200 Compare To Its Competition?

Make/ ModelEnginePower/
Torque
kW/Nm
SeatsFuel
L/100km
Boot
Space
litres
Price
Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce2.0-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-petrol206/40056.1480$89,990
Mercedes-Benz C2001.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-petrol150/30056.9455$86,000
Audi A4 40 TFSI S Line Sedan2.0-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-petrol140/32057.0460$81,490
BMW 320i2.0-litre, 4-cylinder  turbo-petrol135/27056.3480$81,400
Lexus ES 300h2.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol-hybrid160/22155.1454$78,100
Volvo S60 AWD2.0-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-petrol mild-hybrid183/35057.2NA$77,900

First Impressions of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C200 

Sigh, another grey euro car. There’s nothing wrong with the design of the previous C Class or the new one, but I’ve seen them in much brighter colours and they look amazing. Still, it’s a Mercedes-Benz so grey or silver is the order of the day.

The new gen of C Class isn’t a massive departure from the old model and for me, that’s fine. It’s already a stately, classy looking car and didn’t need a massive redesign. The changes to the front bring it in line with Mercedes-Benz’s current look, and it’s certainly sharpened up the front end.

Our test car had upgraded rims and regardless of being a simple design, they totally suit the car’s overall look.

The rear end is nicely updated too, and again it looks exactly the same as the new S Class. The taillights look quite stunning at night time, but it’s a shame that the exhaust tips stick out so prominently, and yet are fake. 

Every time I see the new C Class, all I can think is “Mini S Class”. We tested the S450 not so long ago, in the same colour, and they could be father and son. 

What’s The Interior Like On A 2022 Mercedes-Benz C200?

While there are a good number of options of interior colours, our test car was finished in black. While the interior is relatively spacious, the blackness everywhere can give the car a bit of a tomb-like feeling at times.

Our test car was fitted with Anthracite Lime Wood Trim, and this did lift the interior a bit, even if it was a dark grey colour. It feels nice too, and was a great upgrade from the standard finish. The wood trim extended across the dash, but wasn’t on the centre console or doors. For some reason, Mercedes-Benz has finished the trim around the door handle/lock area with piano black, and as you can imagine it didn’t take long for fingerprints to appear. While some might think this is a minor point, fingerprints on piano black show up at all times.

Still on the doors, Mercedes-Benz has redesigned the armrests/door pulls, and they are a work of art on their own. Stylish, functional, and cool. All my passengers commented on their design.

The steering wheel has been changed to have haptic controls, as all Mercedes-Benz models seem to be moving to. It’s a two-spoke design with a space between the spokes, again, same as the S Class and E Class.

The centre screen is portrait, large, and of high resolution. It has the standard Mercedes-Benz user interface, and there is minimal lag between screens. Under this is a Qi wireless charging pad that goes right up under the screen, and admittedly is a little awkward to use at times. More than once my phone grabbed a hold of the rubber pad that sits of the charging pad and moved it along, stopping my phone from charging.

Next to this is a single USB-C port. There is a 12-volt socket for your dash cam that’s tucked up under the passenger’s side of the centre console. The centre cubby isn’t huge but it’s still usable, and there are two more USB-C ports in there. On the left side of the car is a double-layer glovebox, not massive but again a usable size.

The front seats have some massive side bolsters, and also headrests that slide forward and backwards. We found these pretty good, as it meant you could move the headrest forward just the right amount to, well, rest your head on it.

Rear seat passengers have a good amount of leg and headroom. The headroom is achieved by having heavily sloped cushions, and this did make it awkward getting out of the car. With a low cushion and high wheel arches, getting out was not as easy as it could be.

Pulling down the centre armrest, there are some cupholders that slide out from the front of the armrest. This is a great idea, as it means that passengers can rest their arms without hitting any cupholders on top, as is normally the case. Unfortunately, the cup holders on our test car would not slide out for some reason. There are no USB ports in the back of the car at all.

As you’d expect from a Mercedes-Benz, the finish inside is excellent, with perfect panel gaps and perfect stitching. The whole interior reeks of quality, even if this is the ‘base’ model.

The boot is a spacious 455 litres, and very deep. It has a false floor with some more storage space, along with a tyre pump (there’s no spare) and the standard Mercedes-Benz fold-out plastic crate.

What’s The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C200 Like To Drive?

When it was announced the C200 would be fitted with a 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder engine, I think there were a lot of doubters. Sure, modern engines are good, but this is an 1,800Kg car with a 1,500cc engine? Surely that will mean sluggish performance.

Part of our review included a trip from Wellington to Tirau and return, over a weekend. As a proper test for a medium-sized car with a small motor, it wouldn’t just be the driver; we’d have two to three passengers and a boot load of tools. More on this trip later.

Enormous engine cover for such a small capacity motor

Being the ‘base’ model, there are no heated or cooled seats, the seats don’t massage and there are no seat memories. You’ll have to go to the C300 for those items. Yet it was nice to get a base model with few options for a change. Often, the cars we get sent to review have been loaded up with additional cost options – check out our review of the BMW iX, with $18,000 in extra options. For this review, we’d be reviewing the car instead of being wowed by fancy extra-cost tech and goodies.

It might be a ‘base’ C200 but you still get those two amazing screens. The driver can select from some options for the dashboard; Navigation, Driver Assist, Sport, or Simple. Both screens are extremely high resolution, and Mercedes-Benz standard UI is used and works very well. One of the screen options for the dashboard includes an Eco display, where you get a rolling ball moving back and forth, depending on your acceleration. Foot down, and the ball turns an angry red. Naturally, easy acceleration will see it go green. It’s a gimmick, but sort of fun all the same. The competitive side of me wanted it to stay green as long as possible and I expect that is exactly what the Mercedes-Benz engineers were going for.

While you get adaptive cruise control, as standard the C200 has no steering assist, which was a first for me for the 3-pointed star. Still, I managed to steer the car just fine on my own, but it was a surprising omission on a car touching $90K.

The adaptive cruise control itself works as well as ever, nicely smooth. It’d be a lot easier to use if the C200 had Mercedes-Benz’s old steering wheel, but the wheel in this model has moved to haptic controls like we saw in the S450. Oh how we all wish they hadn’t done that. The controls sort of work most of the time, but even after almost 2,000Km travel in the car I still managed to change some things inadvertently when sliding my fingers across the steering wheel. I’d love Mercedes-Benz to offer their old (perfect) steering wheel as an alternative, but I think the haptic system is here to stay.

On the plus side of things, the C200 has the latest iteration of route-based adaptation, where – if using adaptive cruise control – the car will slow down before a corner if needed. Other cars simply maintain their speed around a corner when using cruise control, which can freak some drivers out. We’ve struck this system before in other Mercedes-Benz tests and while we appreciate the thought, it was always a bit too cautious with its speed around corners. I’m happy to say Mercedes-Benz has listened, and the C200 did much better than previous models.

That sporty little engine makes use of some drive modes you can pick from, that include Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Individual (custom settings). There isn’t adjustable suspension in this model, so any drive mode changes will only affect the transmission, steering, ESP and engine response. 

While other manufacturers are now doing the same thing, the C200 can set its adaptive cruise to the speed limit simply by double-tapping the Resume button, and this is a feature I sorely miss on cars that do not have it. So simple to use, it helps keep those flashing blue and red lights away.

As mentioned, a trip to Taupo on a Friday followed by a trip to Tirau on the Saturday would be a good test for this small-engined car. We’d have three of us in the car from Wellington to Taupo – as well as a boot load of tools and gear – and then four of us and gear on the Saturday. Hand on heart, I don’t recall the car’s performance being affected greatly by the extra weight. Often with cars we test they are sprightly, then you load them up with people and understandably performance drops quite a bit. 

Not so in the C200 with its puny 1,500cc engine. It took every hill in its stride without raising a sweat, and passing slower traffic was no stress at all. A brilliant engine for a long trip. Around town too, it’s a pleasure to drive and that 9-speed automatic is an excellent match. Both engine and transmission are perfectly smooth, and when you wind the car out to pass other traffic, it makes a sporty, throaty, rorty noise that can only be described as delicious. 

Seat comfort on that long trip was excellent, and I didn’t miss the massage function at all. Well, maybe just a little. Wind noise is extremely well subdued, and other than hard acceleration, the engine is very quiet. On the motorway it’s barely audible. The same can’t be said for tyre noise, with those ContiSportContact 5P tyres very noisy on coarse chip seal, and only quietening down on the smoothest of asphalt.

The trip home at night showed that the headlights – while not being adaptive – are excellent, with good depth and spread of light. They are self-levelling, so they will do that cool movement up and down when you start the car. Okay, I’m easily amused and for some reason, only guys find this cool.

We managed to cover 2,000Km in the C200, as DriveLife motoring journalist Rob Clubley took the car after me to see what he thought of it. Overall fuel economy came in at 7.5L/100Km. Mercedes-Benz claims 6.9 for the combined run and yet most of our travel was on the open road. Still, it’s a reasonable result with the amount of extra weight in the car but not as low as it could be for a 1.5-litre engine.

ROB’S POINT OF VIEW

I have owned a 2011 C200 wagon for two years, which I like very much. I was interested to see how things had moved on in the last 11+ years. Quite a bit, it turns out, though I would say that the C200 still retains the same essential character – that of a good-sized, comfortable, easy-to-live-with car.

The 1.5-litre turbo makes more power than my car’s 1.8t but still has that easy feeling, whilst giving enough punch to overtake or have a bit of fun when you fancy it. The seats are excellent, and the technology is very impressive. Those screens make my car look like it’s from the digital stone age, and there are so many lights everywhere!

I particularly liked the camera system with its multiple views, clever camera switching when close to objects, and helpful guidelines. My usual car park is tight with a narrow ramp and this system took away the worries about scratched bumpers.

Most of my driving was around Wellington city, which has some pretty dodgy surfaces in places, but the C200 soaked them up with ease, delivering a smooth and quiet ride. 

This is a car that I would love to own as my daily driver. Maybe an upgrade is needed!


Many thanks to Miramar Golf Club for the use of their location for photos for this car review.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C200 – Specifications

Vehicle Type4-door, rear-wheel-drive Sedan
Starting Price$86,000
Price as Tested$90,000
Engine1.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-petrol with EQ Boost
Power, Torque
kW/Nm
150/300
Transmission9-speed Automatic
Spare WheelRun-flat tyres
Kerb Weight, Kg1,722
Length x Width x Height
mm
4751x2033x1437
Boot Space / Cargo Capacity,
Litres
(seats up/seats down)
455
Fuel tank capacity,
litres
66
Fuel Economy,
L/100km
Advertised Spec – Combined – 6.9
Real-World Test – Combined – 7.5
Low Usage: 0-6 / Medium Usage 6-12 / High Usage 12+
Towing Capacity
Kg, unbraked/braked
NA
Turning circle
metres
11.07
Small: 6-10m / Medium 10-12m / Large 12m+
Warranty3 Years Unlimited Kilometres
Safety informationANCAP Rating – 5 stars – Link
Rightcar.govt.nz – 5 Stars – MBNZ6

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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Driver Tech
8
Economy
7
Handling
8
Infotainment
9
Interior
9
Performance
8
Ride
8
Safety
8
Styling
7
Value
7
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How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on www.usa2nz.co.nz. We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm also an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.
2022-mercedes-benz-c200-car-review<!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>I was one of those doubters when it was announced the C200 would be fitted with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine. Sure, modern petrol engines are very efficient, but in a <em>C Class</em>? After driving 2,000km, doubts have vanished, as the C200 proved itself to me over a long trip with a reasonable amount of weight on board. </p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Not only does it perform well regardless of the engine size, but it also rides well too, there’s plenty of room (who needs an SUV?), build quality is top-notch, and comfort levels are high. </p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Only that haptic steering wheel would make me think twice about buying the C200 but I think I could <em>almost </em>live with it, the rest of the car is so good.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>For me, it comes down to this; don’t buy the C300, get the C200 instead and upspec it to the same level as the C300. It’s a great car and proves you don’t need a 2-litre.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph -->

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