Despite the rise of SUVs, which has led to a decrease in passenger-car sales, Mercedes-Benz is not giving up on the luxury sedan.
For the first time in seven years, German automaker Daimler has invested money in the refurbishment of one of its iconic sedans, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, while many other car manufacturers are ditching vehicles.
On Tuesday, the automaker introduced the redesigned 2022 C-Class, showcasing a longer and wider body style with a new mild-hybrid powertrain with an electric motor to improve the 2-liter, 4-cylinder gas engine and automatic 9-speed transmission.
The C-Class was Mercedes-Benz’s second-most popular passenger car in the U.S. in 2020, trailing only the E-Class. But sales slumped 46.5% to 26,294 as the vehicle faced the same challenges that have led other automakers to discontinue sedans, namely the surge in popularity of SUVs.
The company has recently updated its most luxurious passenger vehicle, the S-Class sedan.
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“The trend in SUVs is very prominent, it is clear,” but sedans continue to maintain a loyal following globally, Britta Seeger, Daimler board member and Mercedes-Benz Marketing & Sales executive, said on a conference call.
In order to integrate into the C-Class, designers drew elements of the recently redesigned S-Class sedan’s interior, including a new digital dashboard.
The vehicle gets the remade Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system with voice assistant capability and 50% more processing power than its predecessor.
The center console is equipped with an 11.9-inch touchscreen, while the traditional analog instrument cluster is replaced by a 12.3-inch digital panel.
Safety features include an advanced version of adaptive cruise control that can stop the vehicle completely from speeds of up to 62 mph. The car also gets an active steering assistance system that will help keep the vehicle in its lane at speeds of up to 130 mph.
For the 2022 C-Class, which goes on sale in early 2022, Mercedes-Benz has not disclosed its pricing. According to car-research platform Edmunds, starting prices for the 2021 C-Class range from $46,425 to $77,250 depending on the level of trim.
The vehicle competes with the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Lexus IS, Volvo S60 and Cadillac CT5 luxury vehicles.