C-class 2023 interior

Africa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darussalam, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), French Guiana, Germany, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Ukraine, Venezuela, Virgin Islands (U.S.)

Africa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darussalam, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), French Guiana, Germany, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Ukraine, Venezuela, Virgin Islands (U.S.)

Mercedes is simplifying its lineup by replacing the old C-Class and current E-Class Coupes with one two-door model that will wear the CLE badge and offer sleeker styling for Benz buyers who want something a little different from an ordinary sedan. But it looks like the differences don’t extend to the interior.

Our spy photographers snapped the still-disguised CLE out testing in Germany again, but this time they also managed to grab some shots of the interior. And those photos suggest that from the driver’s seat there’ll be little to distinguish the coupe from the sedan.

The dashboard, twin digital screen setup, and air vents appear to have been carried straight across without significant changes. That might be slightly disappointing if the C-Class sedan’s interior wasn’t so stylish. Unlike rival BMW’s latest dashboards, which merge the digital instrument cluster with the main console touchscreen to create one huge rectangular digital display, Merc’s design team opted to keep the two separate.

And rather than mount the touchscreen high up on the dash, they located it lower down on the console below the central air vents so that the virtual buttons for functions would be in the same place physical buttons used to be.

Driven: The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4Matic Offers S-Class Charisma For A Fraction Of The Price

C-class 2023 interior

The CLE’s chassis and powertrains will also mirror those of the sedan, and, depending on the market, could range from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine developing 255 hp (190 kW / 258 PS) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque in base versions to 402 hp (300 kW / 408 PS) and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) for the C43 with its electric-turbo four-cylinder engine. There’ll also be a C63 that’ll use the same powertrain as the C63 sedan Mercedes is currently teasing ahead of this week’s launch. But don’t go getting your hopes up for a V8: even the C63 has downsized to a 2.0-liter turbo four for this generation.

Where the CLE will differ from the C-Class sedan is, of course, in the way it looks on the outside. The CLE coupe pictured here, and the CLE cabriolet will feature two doors with frameless glass and a lower roofline than the sedan. And judging from these spy shots they’ll also get a set of door mirrors that makes it look like someone has rammed an inverted golf club through each doorskin.

Do you think Mercedes should have tried harder to differentiate the interior of the CLE from the C-Class sedan? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

more photos...

Image Credits: CarPix for CarScoops

C-class 2023 interior

Will Sabel Courtney

Like many a carmaker these days, Mercedes-Benz is largely pursuing a strategy of offering the same flavor of automobile in different sizes. The new all-electric EQE and EQS look almost identical, and you can bet their future SUV siblings will as well; the GT and GT 4-Door could be confused for one another from the front if you didn't have them side-by-side for reference. It's even present in their naming strategy; there's a reason Mercedes rebranded the GLK-, ML- and GL-Class SUVs as GLC, GLE and GLS, and it ain't because their badge supplier was offering a deal on the letters G and L.

But there's precedent for this move at Mercedes — and it's the C-Class. Even more than the E-Class, which often has a bit of its own distinct design flavor (remember the quad-headlight era of the 1990s?), the compact C has long been a shrunken-down version of the range-topping S-Class in looks and vibe.

So, with an all-new C-Class hitting the streets this spring for the 2023 model year, we took it for a spin in upstate New York to see if it still manages to serve up S-Class vibes at a Ford Mustang GT price.

What makes the 2023 C-Class special?

Well, all the things that generally make a Mercedes-Benz special: elegant design, a supple ride, solid construction, loads of technology, etc. The C-Class is certainly built to a price point in a way the more expensive E and S aren't; the doors feels a bit less substantial, the trim a bit cheaper in places. Still, it exudes the sort of Germanic stolidity and substance that has long characterized the brand's cars.

For another, it's likely going to be one of the last all-new Mercedes products to launch with gasoline power under the hood. Starting in 2025, every all-new car with a three-pointed star will be electric, according to the brand's current plan; given the brand's usual refresh cadence, that means that, after this new C-Class, we'll likely see one more new E-Class, a new batch of GLC / GLE / GLS SUVs, and then...nothing but EVs from here until the sun goes dark.

What's the new Mercedes C-Class like to drive?

Luxurious and comfortable more than sporty — at least, in the form of the C300 that I test-drove and that will make up the entry point for the C-Class line in America. Don't be fooled by the first word in the AMG Line package; the suspension is no more sporty, just 15 mm lower, the turbocharged inline-four makes the same raspy note under hard acceleration as in other new C-Classes, and the brake pedal feels soft as whipped cream for the first half of its travel.

That said, the C300 surprisingly enjoyable to hustle down a back road. The suspension may be soft, but the body roll makes it feel quicker than it is (and thus more fun); more importantly, the steering is accurate and direct, the body feels solid and and the car's reactions predictable right up to the moment when understeer starts to rear its head. The C300 helps bolster the case for the axiom that it's more fun to drive a slow car fast than it is to drive a fast car slow.

It bodes well for the forthcoming C43 and C63 AMG models, both of which, like the C300, will use turbo-four power, but with outputs ranging from the remarkable (402 hp in the C43) to the ridiculous (somewhere between 500–600 horses from a hybridized, amped-up four-pot in the C63).

But like most non-AMG Mercs, the C300 is most at home on the wide-open highway, leveraging its torque and power to zip up to autobahn-worthy cruising speeds and then hanging out there in stability and tranquility. Even at 80 miles per hour, it feels as composed as it does sitting at a traffic light.

What's the Mercedes-Benz C-Class like inside?

As with the exterior, it's very much like the S-Class. The details may differ, but the key points of the inside you observe at first glance and spend the most time interacting with — the gorgeous reconfigurable all-digital instrument panel, the giant 11.9-inch tablet-style infotainment touchscreen, the occasionally-frustrating-but-generally-handy touchpads on the steering wheel — are all ported over from the bigger Benz.

Work your way up the simplified options list — instead of picking everything á la carte, buyers now choose from Premium, Exclusive or Pinnacle trims, then from a smattering of other picks — and even more high-end features filter in. Once you reach Exclusive, you score the same sort of elegant multi-tone LED mood lighting found in fancier Benzes; opt for the top Pinnacle trim, for example, and there's a widescreen full-color head-up display that packs nearly as much information as Iron Man's HUD.

Once you adjust the driver's seat through its myriad moves to find the ideal arrangement, it's a delightful place to knock off a few hours of driving. The seats are well-bolstered to hold you in place in turns, but don't overdo their swaddling the way some super-sporty thrones do. (Note to automakers: just because a car is meant to be driven fast doesn't mean people want race car seats.)

The C-Class's only real issue lies in the rear seat

The biggest difference versus the S-Class is the back seat, however. That's no surprise — the S is 21.2 inches longer and has a 13.4-inch-longer wheelbase — but the C's second row winds up being tight enough as to be almost unusable for grown humans. With the driver's seat pushed back to a comfortable, but not extreme, position for my six-foot-four frame, there wasn't even enough room behind me to slip my midsize backpack between the back of my seat and the back bench cushion; legs would be pretty much impossible.

Granted, this won't be a problem for everyone; if you're not of great stature, or if you use your back seat primarily for carrying groceries, luggage and / or pets, the C-Class will work quite well for you. But if your driving plans involve conveying three or more people of above-average height, you'll probably want to seek another mode of transport.

What does the 2023 C-Class compete against?

The compact luxury sedan category may not be the hotbed of excitement it once was — as with many things, you can blame the rise of SUVs for that — but there are still plenty of comparable options for this size and price. The BMW 3 Series, of course, is first and foremost; Audi would love to show potential C-Class buyers something in an A4; Cadillac offers both the CT4 and CT5, depending on whether you value space or price more; Volvo has the S60, Genesis has the G70, Infiniti has the Q50, Acura has the TLX, Lexus has the ES and the IS. And of course, there's the Tesla Model 3, which offers an electric take on the same basic idea of a not-too-large luxury sedan.

Still, while each of those offers benefits distinct unto themselves, none of them has a three-pointed star on the nose. That would likely be enough to move plenty of units no matter how good the new C-Class is; luckily for buyers, though, Mercedes made sure the new version remains very much worthy of that badge.

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C300

Base Price: $44,600

Powertrain: 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four; nine-speed automatic; rear- or all-wheel-drive

Horsepower: 255

Torque: 295 lb-ft

EPA Fuel Economy: Not yet rated

Seats: "Five"

LEARN MORE

The Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 Excels As Both Electric Vehicle and Luxury Car

The S-Class of electric cars proves every bit worthy of sitting atop the Mercedes lineup.

READ THE STORY

Is there a new C

What's New for 2022? In short: Everything. Even though the new C-class's styling isn't a huge departure from the 2021 model, the 2022 model year marks the start of a new generation with more luxury and a greater number of high-tech features.

Is 2022 C

The new C-Class is ever-so-slightly wider than the previous model, benefitting shoulder room and elbow space. And the new sedan is 2.5 inches longer than its predecessor, with an inch-longer wheelbase that translates into nearly an inch greater legroom for rear-seat passengers.

Is 2022 C Mercedes new shape?

The 2022 Mercedes C-class is redesigned inside and out and features a more efficient turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The exterior design is more aggressive, while the interior swaps out many of its physical buttons in favor of an 11.9-inch touchscreen housing the latest version of MBUX software.

Is Mercedes discontinuing C

The luxury brand this year confirmed it will stop selling the entry-level A-Class sedan in the U.S after 2022. It is also dropping the S-Class coupe. At its national dealer meeting late last month, Mercedes said it will replace the C-Class and E-Class coupes with a new two-door CLE nameplate.