The side exterior of a white Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Mercedes-Benz C-Class review

Offering a luxurious feel, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is the perfect medium-size executive car that's equally as good for the family.

Pros

  • Beautifully designed throughout
  • Comfortable even on long journeys
  • Range of engines to suit every need

Cons

  • Not the same performance levels as competitors
  • Some parts are more expensive than rivals
  • Infotainment system isn't the easiest to use

Summary

“The C-Class is easy to drive, comfortable and well equipped.”

With a great choice of engines, trims and a range of body styles, there’s a Mercedes-Benz C Class to suit every need. It's a luxurious car that promises excellent comfort and plenty of equipment.

The C-Class received thousands of updates in 2018, including engine upgrades and the option of a digital speedometer. The exterior design remained pretty much the same which is good news as it looks great.

Buying a used C-Class means you can own a luxurious Mercedes-Benz at prices that make it excellent value, especially when compared with new prices of less prestigious rivals.

The side exterior of a blue Mercedes-Benz C-Class

What's the interior like?

“It feels luxurious inside and has a good range of technology as well as a great driving position.”

The C-Class interior features high-quality materials, sumptuous upholstery and modern technology giving it a premium look and feel.

The standard equipment is fine even on the basic S trim, but it’s worth moving up to the SE Executive for the reverse camera. The Sport and AMG-Line models add 18-inch alloy wheels and aluminium interior trim.

The C-Class saloon has 480 litres of luggage space, which is big enough for several large suitcases. The estate has a little more at 490 which increases to 1,510 litres if you fold the seats down. That’s big enough to transport a bicycle and is more than both its rivals, the Audi A4 Avant and BMW 3 Series Touring. It’s worth noting that the boot space of the hybrid model drops to 335 litres to accommodate a battery.

As most new buyers add options, you should be able to find a C-Class with your ideal interior spec, whether that’s leather seats, a sunroof or a premium sound system. 

The interior of a Mercedes-Benz C-Class with steering wheel and dashboard in shot

What's it like to drive?

“The C-Class is more about ease of driving and comfort than performance.”

The C-Class is a fantastic long-distance cruiser. The vast majority of C-Class models have an automatic gearbox which makes driving in commuter traffic much less of a chore.

There are lots of engines to choose from and they all provide a great drive. The C220d is the best diesel option with its higher power and superb cruising ability. You can also go green with one of the hybrid models. Some engines did change with the 2018 upgrade and Mercedes-Benz’ EQ Boost mild-hybrid technology was introduced on certain models. This provides better acceleration and more fuel-efficient motorway cruising. 

The AMG models, the C63 and the C43 offer real performance for those who want it.

The rear exterior of a white Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“Depreciation from new and the fact owners add lots of options make it great value buying used.”

Prices are generally marginally less than rivals like the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series, while insurance and road tax are similar.

A full service is required every 15,500 miles and maintenance costs are generally much lower than the Audi A4 or BMW 3 Series, although components such as brakes, exhausts and electrical items can be more expensive.

The diesel engines provide great economy with fuel consumption figures as high as 70 mpg.

Rear seat shot of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class

How reliable and safe is it?

“Owners have reported a few electrical issues with the C-Class but most are fairly minor.”

When it comes to reliability, the C-Class generally does well. There have been some electrical problems but these are typical for all cars and they should have been dealt with during dealer servicing. Just make sure your potential purchase is up-to-date on safety recall campaigns. 

Euro NCAP has given the 2014 C-Class a full five stars in its safety review. All models come with essential safety features while some also have Distronic active cruise control and fatigue detection, which is very useful for those who spend lots of time on the motorway.

Engine shot of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - C200 BlueTEC saloon

Best for family - C220d AMG Line estate

Best for fun - C-Class C63 AMG

Aim for the AMG Line models which are the most popular and best looking. They’ll also put you in a better position if you decide to sell in the future.  

Ex-company cars are often the basic spec SE or slightly higher spec SE Executive which both offer good value with higher mileage.

If you plan to drive over 12,000 miles a year, the diesels will be best. The C220d diesel engine has excellent fuel efficiency of up to 64 mpg. The petrol engines are better if you plan to drive mostly in town and these offer up to 44 mpg.

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