2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class vs 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
$54,250MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
$43,550MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
$54,250MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
$43,550MSRP
Overview
Overview
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CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is 8.3 out of 10, while the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class scores 7.8 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the recommended choice. Its superior interior quality, diverse performance options, advanced safety features, and higher overall rating make it the more compelling purchase.

Overview

MSRP

$54,250

MSRP

$43,550

Average price

$43,074

Average price

$38,831

Listings

555

Listings

252
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

8.3 out of 10

Expert reviews

7.8 out of 10
Pros
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Great ride quality
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Great ride quality
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Irritating transmission
  • Sluggish performance

2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Reviews Summary

When money is but a mild concern, a brand-new Mercedes-Benz is a reasonable purchase. The E-Class is the company's most practical and versatile car, as high-quality and necessary in a nice garage as a Kitchen-Aid mixer is in a baker's kitchen. It offers four body styles, four engines, and dozens of color schemes. Fast or efficient? Loud or library quiet? Modest or rich as hell? The E-Class is all of those things, depending on which of the 13 models you order and how deep into the options list you dive. For 2021, the E-Class receives a mid-cycle update for the infotainment system, engines, and exterior styling. We tested the AMG E53 that features a mild-hybrid inline-six powertrain.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reviews Summary

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was the automaker’s entry-level model, but it needed a new role. Mercedes now has a line of compact cars serving as lower-priced entryways to the brand, so it’s moving the C-Class upmarket. The redesigned 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan borrows design elements from the automaker’s flagship S-Class to entice new car buyers on a budget who still want the most Mercedes for their money.

The C-Class competes against a formidable array of small sports sedans. Like the Mercedes, the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Lexus IS, and Volvo S60 are fixtures in this segment, with nameplates that date back at least two decades. The Acura TLX, Cadillac CT4, and Infiniti Q50 are newer names that build on their respective brands’ experience in the segment. The Genesis G70 is a relative newcomer from a recently launched brand that’s already managed to impress.

The all-new C-Class launches in C300 sedan form with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD), optional 4Matic all-wheel drive (AWD), and Premium, Exclusive, and Pinnacle trim levels. Our test car was a C300 4Matic in the top Pinnacle trim. An AMG C43 performance model is also on the way, but it’s not expected to hit showrooms until after the C300, which arrives at dealerships later this spring.

No video found
Popular Features & Specs

Engine

2.0L 255 hp I4

Engine

Drive Train

RWD

Drive Train

Seating Capacity

5

Seating Capacity

5

Horsepower

255 hp @ 5800 rpm

Horsepower

MPG City

22

MPG City

MPG Highway

31

MPG Highway

2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
$54,250MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
$43,550MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
$54,250MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
$43,550MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is 8.3 out of 10, while the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class scores 7.8 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the recommended choice. Its superior interior quality, diverse performance options, advanced safety features, and higher overall rating make it the more compelling purchase.

Overview
MSRP
$54,250
$43,550
Average price
$43,074
$38,831
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.5
4.8
Expert reviews

8.3 out of 10

Read full review

7.8 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Great ride quality
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Great ride quality
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Irritating transmission
  • Sluggish performance
Summary
When money is but a mild concern, a brand-new Mercedes-Benz is a reasonable purchase. The E-Class is the company's most practical and versatile car, as high-quality and necessary in a nice garage as a Kitchen-Aid mixer is in a baker's kitchen. It offers four body styles, four engines, and dozens of color schemes. Fast or efficient? Loud or library quiet? Modest or rich as hell? The E-Class is all of those things, depending on which of the 13 models you order and how deep into the options list you dive. For 2021, the E-Class receives a mid-cycle update for the infotainment system, engines, and exterior styling. We tested the AMG E53 that features a mild-hybrid inline-six powertrain.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was the automaker’s entry-level model, but it needed a new role. Mercedes now has a line of compact cars serving as lower-priced entryways to the brand, so it’s moving the C-Class upmarket. The redesigned 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan borrows design elements from the automaker’s flagship S-Class to entice new car buyers on a budget who still want the most Mercedes for their money.

The C-Class competes against a formidable array of small sports sedans. Like the Mercedes, the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Lexus IS, and Volvo S60 are fixtures in this segment, with nameplates that date back at least two decades. The Acura TLX, Cadillac CT4, and Infiniti Q50 are newer names that build on their respective brands’ experience in the segment. The Genesis G70 is a relative newcomer from a recently launched brand that’s already managed to impress.

The all-new C-Class launches in C300 sedan form with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD), optional 4Matic all-wheel drive (AWD), and Premium, Exclusive, and Pinnacle trim levels. Our test car was a C300 4Matic in the top Pinnacle trim. An AMG C43 performance model is also on the way, but it’s not expected to hit showrooms until after the C300, which arrives at dealerships later this spring.

Video
No video found
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
2.0L 255 hp I4
Drive Train
RWD
Seating Capacity
5
5
Horsepower
255 hp @ 5800 rpm
MPG City
22
MPG Highway
31
Look and feel
2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
9/10
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
9/10
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, part of the W213-generation introduced in 2017, brought a significant stylistic shift from its predecessor, the W212. The design transitioned from sharper, boxier angles to more fluid and curvaceous forms, following the "sensual purity" theme introduced by Mercedes chief designer Gorden Wagener. The refreshed 2021 E-Class featured a slightly edgier front—thanks to squinted headlights and an inverted trapezoid grille—while the rear borrows elements from the W212’s horizontal taillights cutting into the trunk lid. New bumpers with larger air intakes, updated exhaust tips, and fresh wheel designs complemented these changes. Noteworthy is the absence of the standing hood ornament on the sedans and wagons. Previously included in the Luxury package along with smaller wheels and a softer-riding suspension, this classic Mercedes emblem was swapped for a prominent star in the grille due to the popularity of the sportier design. In AMG models, the large star emblem looked appropriate, balanced by vertical grille slats and powerful performance. Overall, despite any gaudy elements (like the backlit star), the exterior remained elegant, attractive, and reserved from the outside, true to the E-Class's conservative roots. The interior of the E-Class was a display of opulence and style. Rich woods, either polished, matte, or intricately inlaid, dominate the space, complemented by aluminum, carbon fiber, and finely detailed metal speaker grilles. Exquisite ambient lighting interacted with the car’s climate and mood settings, enhancing the luxurious atmosphere. Two large 12-inch screens—newly introduced for the instrument panel in 2021—brought crisp detail and vibrant color. The new steering wheels, sometimes featuring up to six spokes with touch-sensitive controls, added a futuristic touch. Despite the updates over five years, the E-Class’s decadent interior remained unmatched at its price point. The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class drew elements from various Mercedes models to forge a cohesive and stylish design. The front end adopted a droop reminiscent of the CLA-Class, while the squared-off rear and sleek taillights took cues from the S-Class. Instead of appearing a mishmash, these elements resulted in a sedan easily recognizable as a Mercedes from any angle. The massive three-pointed star logo on the grille, encircled by smaller versions, further reinforced this identity. The C-Class featured cab-rearward proportions, highlighting its rear-wheel-drive platform with a long hood and short rear deck. This design set it apart from the CLA-Class and A-Class, which shared front-wheel-drive platforms, leading to different proportions. Standard LED headlights and taillights could be upgraded to Mercedes’ Digital Light system, which adjusted to curves and projected warning icons to improve safety. Inside, the C-Class strived to emulate the flagship S-Class. The cabin boasted prominent air vents, detailed speaker grilles for the optional Burmester audio system, and vibrant ambient lighting available in 64 colors. Despite luxury marketing, only MBTex synthetic leather upholstery came standard, although Nappa leather was available on higher trims. These elements created an inviting and luxurious interior environment for the C-Class, reinforcing its position as a desirable luxury sedan rather than a mainstream brand vehicle.
Performance
2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
8/10
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
7/10
The 2021 E-Class saw a substantial change with the introduction of hybrid inline-six powertrains, replacing the conventional V6 engines. The E450 incorporated a mild-hybrid system, leveraging a 48-volt electrical system to support a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine. This setup provided an additional 21 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque in short bursts, enabling smoother engine shutdowns and starts, including at highway speeds. This complex system aimed to save fuel and reduce emissions while maintaining the engine's traditional performance outputs of 362 hp and 369 lb-ft. Despite the technological advancements, the hybrid I6 didn’t feel distinctly faster or smoother than the outgoing V6. The base E350’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, producing less power, offered sufficient performance but lacked the vigor expected in a $60,000 luxury car. For enhanced performance, the AMG E53 variant upped the ante with a twin-turbocharged (one being an electric supercharger) version of the E450’s engine. This configuration delivered 429 hp and 384 lb-ft, enabling brisk acceleration with minimal turbo lag. The AMG performance exhaust added a throaty sound, enhancement over previous years’ quieter models. The top-tier AMG E63 S featured a hand-built 4.0-liter V8 engine, producing 603 hp and 627 lb-ft, transforming the E-Class into a performance powerhouse. The E63 S boasted capabilities rivaling supercars, with its Race mode and advanced suspension system. However, it retained the E-Class’s trademark comfort despite its performance-oriented design. Fuel economy varied across models, with the E53 achieving 25 mpg combined and the E63 falling to 18 mpg combined. The more common E450 4Matic and E350 4Matic sedans offered better fuel economy at 26 mpg and 25 mpg combined, respectively. The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C300 housed a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, producing 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, coupled with a nine-speed automatic transmission and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. The hybrid system provided temporary boosts of up to 20 hp and 148 lb-ft, contributing to a respectable 0-60 mph time of 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph. For sportier performance, the AMG C43 variant featured a more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged engine sourced from the SL-Class, delivering 402 hp and 369 lb-ft, cutting the 0-60 mph time to 4.6 seconds. Top speeds reached 155 mph, or up to 165 mph with optional larger wheels. While the C300 felt adequately powerful, turbo lag was still noticeable, and the transmission occasionally delivered rough shifts. Ride quality, however, was generally impressive, balancing luxury and sportiness, despite lacking sophisticated air suspension systems typical of larger Mercedes models. The C300 showed decent handling on twisty roads, though it required a deliberate driving approach for spirited driving, contrasting with the innately agile performance of the E-Class.
Form and function
2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
8/10
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
7/10
The 2021 E-Class's revamped touchscreen and infotainment system streamlined user interactions, though the reshaped touchpads on the steering wheel slightly impeded menu navigation. The system included separate climate controls, various drive mode switches, touchpad, and door-mounted seat controls for easier adjustments—distinguishing Mercedes’s thoughtful design. As a spacious sedan, the E-Class comfortably accommodated four adults, providing ample headroom, legroom, and supportive cushions. However, luxury features like rear USB ports, separate climate zones, soft-close doors, or heated rear seats were absent in the expensive E53 model. The coupe's rear seats were also passable, unlike the convertible's, which sacrificed space for the soft top. The E-class wagon offered an impressive 35 cubic feet (64 with seats folded) cargo space, and the sedan featured 13 cubic feet, while the coupes and convertibles had 10 cubic feet. No coupe or convertible variants were available for the 2022 C-Class. The redesigned sedan, being longer and wider, offered slightly increased interior space compared to its predecessor. Headroom increased by 0.1 inch in front and 0.4 inches in back, with rear legroom gaining 0.8 inches. The C-Class led its competitive set in front-seat headroom and rear-seat legroom but fell short in front legroom. Comfortable seats with adequate bolstering, good forward visibility, though disrupted by thick rear pillars, characterized the C-Class interior. The large 17.9 cubic feet trunk space exceeded rivals, with a wide opening facilitating easy loading. A 40/20/40 split-folding rear bench added versatility, although cargo-space figures with seats folded were not disclosed.
Technology
2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
10/10
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
9/10
The E-Class was equipped with the latest MBUX infotainment system, introducing touch functionality, better-organized menus, and natural voice processing akin to Siri or Alexa. Gesture controls enhanced user interaction, while features like live-feed overlays on the navigation screen during turns and automatic camera activation improved driving convenience. Optional features included massage seats and seat kinetics to prevent discomfort. Despite advancements, the system didn’t support over-the-air updates, and the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were not wireless. Numerous driver assists were optionally available, allowing semi-autonomous driving under certain conditions. The multitude of customizable displays on the instrument cluster added a modern, high-tech feel, enhancing the driving experience. The C-Class featured an infotainment setup akin to the S-Class, with a freestanding digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch cluster alongside an 11.9-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen. Standard features included wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Higher trims introduced a Burmester 3D surround-sound system, a head-up display, and augmented-reality navigation system. The MBUX system included the “Zero Layer” setup borrowed from the EQS, allowing multiple function displays without scrolling through menus. Voice recognition was notably effective, and steering wheel touch controls were intuitive, grouped logically by function. The augmented-reality navigation provided clear visual cues during navigation, enhancing user experience.
Safety
2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
10/10
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
7/10
The E-Class ranked high in safety ratings, with the sedan and wagon scoring a five-star overall rating from NHTSA. The IIHS awarded the 2020 E-Class sedan a "Top Safety Pick+" designation, recognizing its crash-test performance, headlights, and collision-avoidance systems. Innovations like Pre-Safe Sound and side bolster inflations in collisions underscored Mercedes’s safety commitment. Standard safety features included forward automatic emergency braking, driver-attention monitor, and blind-spot monitoring, while advanced driver-assists were available as options. Crash-test ratings for the 2022 C-Class were unavailable at the time of publication. However, the 2021 model held an IIHS “Top Safety Pick+” title. The new C-Class included several standard advanced driver-assist features, such as automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring with safe exit assist, a driver-attention monitor, and the Pre-Safe system. Optional features expanded to lane-keep assist, evasive steering assist, 360-degree camera system, and two levels of Distronic adaptive cruise control.
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