Tag Archives: #Mercedes-Benz

2022 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4Matic Sedan

Restyled and sporty C class may again spur sedan sales …

The compact C Class sedan has been a hot seller for Mercedes-Benz for years, but its popularity has waned like yesterday’s boy band the last couple years and one has to wonder how much of that is because it hadn’t been redesigned in seven years.

That and the fact crossovers and SUVs are eating all sedans lunch these days in the U.S. market where bigger is always better.

Well, Mercedes will get its answer soon enough as it launched a restyled C Class for 2022. It’s sporty and touts an interior that you’ll either love, or strongly dislike. Hate is such a loaded word.

My tester was a black C 300 4Matic sedan, but be aware a coupe and convertible also are available, yet look more like the previous generation C Class as they have yet to be restyled.

Mercedes stretched the car two inches and lengthened its wheelbase an inch while widening it just a bit. The philosophy is old-school, longer, wider, lower. That formula has worked for various brands through the years.

I enjoyed how the C 300 drives. Its 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged I4 is perky with just slight turbo lag, even in Sport and Sport+ drive modes. This is no dragster, but there’s some kick and the engine sounds throaty and fun at high revs, albeit a bit tinny at idle.

Pressing the 255-horse turbo and Mercedes’ 9-speed automatic into service on the freeway was both smooth and speedy. The German automaker claims a 0-60 mph time of 5.9 seconds and the C quickly galloped to 90 mph on a highway entry ramp, with more power still available. The C 300 can be pushed a bit and easily slips in and out of freeway traffic.

Plus the four-link front suspension and multi-link rear are finely tuned for crumbling Midwest roads so that even on the crumbliest of streets the ride was pleasant and well controlled. If only more crossovers and SUVs were this competent.

View Mark’s video: 2022 Mercedes Benz C 300 4Matic Sedan review by Mark Savage and Paul Daniel – YouTube

Handling is lightly weighted and nicely sharp if not sports sedan precise. This doesn’t feel like a BMW because it’s a Mercedes, so leans more toward luxury. Press the Dynamic button on the center stack’s base and either Sport or Sport+ mode will significantly firm steering effort, but never to a tiresome level. To me, Sport seems the best mode as it quickens acceleration, while firming the steering enough to feel more, well, sporty.

Add in the 4Matic AWD system and the 19-inch tires for excellent grip. We had some snow and sleet to contend with during my test. The car handles tight twisties well even with slop under its treads.

Note that the test car added the 19-inch tires and fancy blacked out spoked AMG style wheels. Those wheels add just $600 to the bottom line, quite reasonable for a spiffed look. But beware, there are viele extras here that push the C 300 to near upper-level luxury pricing.

Speaking of which, before we get to the spiffy interior, Mercedes has priced the C 300 at $46,600 for the 4Matic model, while a rear-driver starts at $44,600, so a $2 grand premium for AWD. At that price the car is at the upper edge of low-end luxury models. For instance, a Genesis G70, a lovely car, starts at about $39,000.

But Mercedes likes to sell its vehicles with ala carte options and the test car’s 16 add-ons could make one woozy. They propelled this one to $60,870. Ach du lieber! Choices are plentiful between the base and $60+ grand, including Volvo’s S60, BMW’s 3 Series, the Audi A4, Cadillac CT5 and Lexus IS.

Pricing be damned though if you love this interior.

The layout is bold and brassy and ladles on the digital finery with the best of them. But the impressive (or some say no) look starts with a $1,620 black and red leather package. Seats and doors reflect both colors and then there’s the glammy spray of metal-weave trim across the dash’s face and on the expansive center console. Other trim, such as door armrests and five oval-shaped air ducts is a satin chrome. Add in stylish aluminum speaker covers in the doors and the interior sparkles like a jeweled timepiece.

I like the two-tone look, although some may think it comes on too strong like a guy wearing an overabundance of Versace cologne. But compared with Mercedes’ all-black interiors of the past this is a breath of fresh air. Tan and cream would look smart too, but be less dramatic.

Beyond looks Mercedes updates the digital screens, a 12+ inch display for the driver’s instruments and separate nearly 12-inch info touchscreen angled toward the driver at mid center stack. They are high-def and the driver’s can be adjusted to reflect the dial structure and colors a person desires, including one allowing the nav map to appear mid-gauges. I like digitals, but sometimes there are too many choices and many look pretty flat.

The touchscreen was easy enough to use, but there are haptic touchable controls, so you swipe a button on the steering wheel to boost radio sound, or lower it. Also one can swipe a finger along the trough in the roof control panel to open or shut the dual panoramic sun roofs ($1,000 extra). That one was OK, but adjusting the radio sound took a lot of tiny swipes to reach a proper sound level. Dials my friends, dials work.

Rear seat passengers also were concerned that their sunroof shade closed in synch with the front roof’s. They wanted a separate control so they could leave theirs open when the driver had closed the main roof’s shade.

I can’t say enough good things about the power heated seats and their supportive side and back bolsters. Wow, these were terrific, just a scrunch less snug than Aunt Hilda’s hug at the holidays.

There are three memory settings along with power seat controls on the door panels, but I found them a bit clunky to operate, sometimes not responding with the angle I was hoping to adjust. Again, simplicity may be a better solution. Good news though, the heated seat button is on the door and is simple to push. It also turns on the heated steering wheel ($250 extra), a must in our climate. Oddly no cooled seats in this luxury sedan.

Rear seats are comfy enough, but headroom is a bit tight for taller riders. Still, we got three adults in the back seat and only the middle rider complained of the big transmission hump at the floor’s center.

No one complained about noise inside the Benz, thanks to acoustic glass, a $150 option. This interior is quiet enough for easy conversation, even at highway speeds.

Cargo room is good too as the Benz has a deep trunk (with a power lid). I think it’ll hold more than the 12.6 cubic foot rating Mercedes places on it. Below the floor is a lot of hidden cargo space too, something you won’t find in any hybrid or electric sedans. Speaking of which, neither is available in the C Series yet, although there’s a mild hybrid system here like some other akes are using.

The hybrid battery smooths the Stop/Start function, plus the electric motor between the engine and transmission (Integral Starter Generator in Mercedes terms), allows the sedan to cruise without using gas at highway speeds. That extends gas mileage. The EPA rates this at 33 mpg highway and 23 city. I managed 26.0 in a fairly even mix and the C 300 prefers premium petrol.

A few other points to ponder, Mercedes adds a wireless charger, but it costs $200 extra and it’s tucked deep inside the center console, so not easy to see or simply use. Good news though, the car warns you if you’ve left your phone once the ignition is turned off.

I also confused the gear shift stalk on the steering column’s right (very old school) with a wiper stalk. That’s on the left combined with the light function. Took a few days to remember not to tap the gear shift when I wanted to clear the windshield though.

Maybe I should have first used the Ask Mercedes (like Siri) function. It talks to you whenever you want. Just ask it questions although it often says it can’t help. You can, however, tell it to do things like adjust the heat, radio, and maybe I could have sought wiper assistance.

Standard safety equipment here is a bit slim too, including blind-spot assist, attention assist (kept saying the camera wasn’t working), and a rearview camera (standard on all vehicles now). But much of the rest is included in two pricey packages. The driver assistance option costing $1,950 includes active assists for distance, steering, lane change, lane keeping, evasive steering, emergency stop, speed limit and cross-traffic, along with route-based speed adaptation. Similar items are often standard on even lower cost vehicles. I’m thinking Toyota, Honda and Hyundai/Kia.

Another $950 package adds parking pilot with a cool surround view camera and the Parktronic parking sensor system.

A Burmester surround sound system adds $650, which as these things go isn’t a bad price. Cost for premium sound in other makes can run up to $3,500 extra.

Finally a $3,050 AMG Line with Night package adds blacked out body trim, sport pedals, fake leather dash, but also tunes the suspension and steering to contribute to this model’s sporty feel. The package also drills holes in the disc brakes for faster cooling in case you’ll be racing on weekends. Likewise it also adds a lower nose splitter and rear diffuser.

All those add-ons are nice, but sadly they pushed the C 300 to beyond $60 grand. If you can keep this shy of $50,000 it’s in the correct pricing segment for entry-level luxury.

FAST STATS: 2022 Mercedes Benz C 300 4Matic Sedan

Hits: Sporty feel, quiet and gorgeous interior, composed ride and AWD grip. Panoramic sunroofs, heated seats and wheel, cool dash with large info screen, wireless charger, super comfy supportive seats, power trunk lid and multiple drive modes.

Misses: Cost, haptic touch controls and touchscreen do not respond to a gloved hand, wireless charger awkward to access, no cooled seats, seat controls a bit funky to adjust, no separate control for rear sunroof, shifter stalk can be confused for a wiper adjustment initially.

Made in: Bremen, Germany, & South Africa

Engine: 2.0-liter turbo I4, 255 hp/295 torque

Transmission: 9speed automatic

Weight: 4,044 lbs.*

Wheelbase: 112.8 in.

Length: 187 in.

Cargo: 12.6 cu.ft.

MPG: 23/33

MPG (tested): 26.0

Base Price: $46,600 (includes delivery)

Invoice: N.A.

Major Options:

AMG Power Red/Black leather interior, $1,620

19-inch AMG multi-spoke wheels w/black accents, $600

Illuminated door sills, $150

Panoramic roof, $1000

Heated steering wheel, $250

Satellite radio w/free trial, $350

Advanced USB package, $300

Acoustic glass, $150

Enhanced ambient lighting, $250

Inductive wireless charging, $200

Digital lighting pkg. (projection headlights), $1,100

Multimedia pkg. (nav., augmented video for nav., head-up display), $1,700

Sound pkg. (Burmester 3D surround sound, online music streaming, Sounds personalization), $650

AMG Line w/Night pkg. (AMG body styling, brushed alum. sport pedals, MB-Tex dash, AMG floormats, sport suspension, sport steering, perforated front disc brakes w/MB calipers, high-gloss black elements including front splitter, grille trim, rear diffuser, side mirrors & window trim), $3,050

Driver assistance pkg. (active assists of distance, steering, lane change, lane keeping, evasive steering, emergency stop, speed limit and cross-traffic + route-based speed adaptation), $1,950

DA3 pkg. (parking pilot w/surround view, Parktronic w/active park assist surround view system), $950

Test vehicle: $60,870

Sources: Mercedes-Benz, www.kbb.com

Photos: Mark Savage

*Car and Driver

#Mercedes-Benz

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQB300 4Matic

EV puts a spark in new electric EQB wagon, er, crossover …

Automakers are doing buyers no favors with their insistence on introducing nonsensical alphabet soup when “naming” their vehicles.

German automakers are among the leaders in blending alphanumerics and the latest electric-powered wagon, er crossover, is a prime example, the Mercedes-Benz EQB300. Rolls right off the tongue, no?

To understand this is an electric vehicle one must know that Mercedes is now labeling its EVs as EQs, got it? So this is an electric B series, as in the GLB, which is the gas-powered wagon of the same design. Danke Herr Mercedes.

Know too that for 2023 Mercedes offers three EQBs, the 250, the 300, and 350. At least those ascending numbers are easy to figure in that each signifies more standard features and power that the one below it. The upper two also feature AWD, known to Mercedes as 4Matic, as standard. The base EQB250 is front-drive with just 188 horsepower from its single electric motor.

The 300 and 350 each pack dual electrics to power the front and rear wheels.

The 300 boasts 225 horsepower, while the 350 delivers 288 horses and, according to Mercedes, they will do 0 to 60 mph in 7 and 6 seconds, respectively.

I can attest that the EQB300 is a hoot that’ll scoot. Power delivered via the single-speed transmission is silky smooth and instantaneous. There was even a bit of chirp to the 18-inch tires, and secure traction once we got a little slop on the roads thanks to that AWD. But I can’t emphasize enough the fun of tromping the accelerator and being pushed back into the well-shaped black suede and leather seats, neatly trimmed in red stitching.

The car feels light too, despite its 4,718 pounds, but some of that is due to the low center of gravity it possesses with its heavy battery load cradled in the chassis. Handling is quick and precise. I liken the feel to that of a MINI.

Ride too is well-controlled and comfy as the Benz rides on a 111.3-inch wheelbase and uses McPherson struts and a wishbone arrangement for the front suspension and multi-link in back. Eyeballing the EQB’s petite countenance I expected a harsher ride, but this was pleasant if not plush.

Watch Mark’s video: 2022 Mercedes EQB Suv review by Mark Savage – YouTube

On the practical front there’s a 243-mile range if fully charged and I got 60 miles of range in an overnight charge on my ancient 110/120-volt garage outlet. Bravo! For plug-in hybrids it’s usually just 25-30 miles on such a charge. The Benz is a winner on fast charging and reportedly will do a 10% to 80% charge in 31 minutes on a fast charging system, when you can find one.

To my mind this one is practical for city and moderate travel, say to Madison and back.

For the record the higher powered EQB350 offers just 227 miles of full charge range. Electric range, as with gas engines’ mpg, is reduced substantially the more power their powerplants deliver.

The EQB300 is rated at 104 MPGe in city driving and 98 on the highway, again, you’re expending more power at higher speeds.

But this short wagon is smartly arranged and will haul four people in comfort or two and a load of cargo. In fact, even with the rear seat in place it’ll carry 22 cubic feet of goods, which is more than most mid-size sedans. Power up the hatch and drop those rear seats and that grows to 62 cu.ft., plus loading is easy as this vehicle isn’t a high rider, sort of like a MINI Countryman. Mercedes offers an optional third row, but no, please don’t.

A third-row seat is optional, but please don’t! Good cargo space without it!

As boxy and utilitarian as the exterior is, EQB’s interior is unexpectedly snazzy. There are those previously mentioned sharp seats, and they are well contoured and heated ($500 extra). But the dash is downright flashy with three round brushed metal air vents mid-dash and two more, one on each end of the dash for great looks, and air flow.

The dash and doors feature a diamond-patterned metallic trim and the door pulls and releases are a brushed metal. A fine red lighted piping frames the console, door panels and dash trim too. Sharp, and it complements the red stitching on the seats, dash and steering wheel, which wisely features a flat bottom, just $360 extra.

Overhead are dual sunroofs ($1,500 option), the front being larger than the rear. Seat power controls are located on the door panels too, so easy to reach and adjust.

The digital instrument panel blends into the info screen mid-dash, both just a smidge over 10 inches. And that touchscreen is easy to use and understand, although there’s still a touchpad on the console if you prefer that method. I don’t. It’s redundant.

I do though like that the climate controls are all toggles under the touchscreen, so are easy to adjust on the fly, as are the heated seat buttons mounted by the power seat control panels on the doors. Smart!

In case the default Comfort drive setting is not sufficient for the driver, three other modes are offered, Eco, Snow and Sport. In Sport the EQB nearly takes flight as the acceleration is so frenetic. I liked it, and that too is a toggle, which is simple to use even when wearing gloves. Hey, it’s Wisconsin!

Handsome door panels and easy seat adjustments here!

Naturally the safety systems are standard and prolific, including active brake assist, park assist, high-beam assist, driver attention assist (not touchy at all), blind-spot assist, stability control, and a rearview camera.

What’s missing? No wireless charger, heated steering wheel or cooled seats, and I’d lose that touchpad on the console.

Price is a bit steep too considering the vehicle size and middling looks. The base EQB250 starts at $53,400, the 300 at $57,545, and the 350 model at $61,200. Again those are all 2023 prices with delivery. The test EQB was a 2022, so slightly less, listing at $55,550 with delivery.

Add in the options and it hit $61,650, and that included $800 in unspecified credits. Maybe Mercedes felt bad it was adding $250 for the charging cable and $750 for the gray paint. I mean how else does one charge the vehicle without a cable? And sorry, gray paint is extra?.

The big add-on was the AMG night package that includes an AMG diamond black grille, and high-gloss black elements on the grille, window trim, and outside mirrors. Cost is a strong $2,890. Never mind!

But if smooth power, sporty handling and comfy ride are high on the shopping list for your first EV, you’ll do well to consider an EQB.

FAST STATS: 2022 Mercedes Benz EQB 300 4Matic

Hits: Super quick, excellent handling, controlled ride and AWD. Dual sunroofs, heated seats, cool dash and seat styling, climate control toggles, seat controls on door, quick overnight charging on 110/120 line, easy touchscreen and 4 drive modes.

Misses: Price, overall range, no wireless charger, no cooled seats or heated wheel. Touchpad on console is unnecessary backup system.

Aero-style wheels with star spokes and an MB emblem!

Made in: Hungary

Motors: Dual electric, 225 hp/288 torque

Transmission: Single-speed automatic

Range: 243 miles

Weight: 4,718 lbs.

Wheelbase: 111.3 in.

Length: 184.4 in.

Cargo: 22-62.0 cu.ft.

MPGe: 104/98

Base Price: $55,550 (includes delivery)

Invoice: N.A.

Major Options:

Mountain gray metallic paint, $750

Charging cable, $250

AMG sport steering wheel, $360

Augmented video, $350

Panoramic roof, $1,500

Speed limit assist, $300

Heated front seats, $500

AMG night pkg. (AMG body styling, AMG diamond black grille, high-gloss black elements on grille, window trim and exterior mirrors), $2,890

Credits: -$800

Test vehicle: $61,650

Sources: Mercedes-Benz, www.kbb.com

Photos: Mark Savage

#Mercedes-Benz