Though it has been built down to a price when compared with upper crust Mercedes models, the price trimming of the C-Class has been done intelligently and the interior has decent quality materials in stylish designs.
Mercedes C-Class is sold as a three-door coupe, a four-door sedan and five-door station wagon.
This is a rear-wheel-drive car with a north-south engine so the front seats are set relatively far back to make space for the engine. So those travelling in the back seats of sedans and wagons may find themselves a little cramped unless those in the front seats are willing to give up some space. This situation has improved over the years as the C-Class cars have become slightly larger. Naturally the back seats in the coupe are smaller, but that’s par for the course.
Boot space is good and the big bootlid in the sedans makes it easy to load. The wagon has a sloping tailgate that steals some capacity, but tall items may not fit. If you intend to carry such items it might be best to look at the cargo space as part of your vehicle selection checks.
Mercedes C-Class offers four, six and eight-cylinder engines are offered. Most are naturally aspirated, some use Kompressors (superchargers), others are turbocharged. In recent times the turbo units have become by far the more common.
Mercedes-Benzes with diesel engines have been sold for many years, long before they became common in other marques. The newer diesels are a huge advance on the older diesels in smoothness and refinement, and are even more economical.
Once the car is cruising at a steady speed we defy you to pick new generation them from petrol powerplants, but they can be surprisingly noisy at idle, especially when cold.
The hot Mercedes-AMG models have tremendous engine performance and stunning handling dynamics, but this comes at a cost in high fuel consumption and some may find the ride is rather firm. Try before you buy, preferably with all occupants who are likely to be travelling with you.
Spare parts, servicing and repairs are expensive. We’ve heard very few complaints about availability and there are Mercedes dealers in many country cities and towns.
Insurance costs are generally reasonable for a car in this class, but if you’re moving up from a more mundane car it makes sense to get quotes before deciding to buy a Merc.
A used Mercedes-Benz that’s been serviced throughout its life by an authorised dealer will cost more as a used car – many consider them a worthwhile investment. Check the service books are genuine and haven’t been rubber stamped by private mechanics, no matter how good they are.
Mercedes-Benz Australia offers a very good used-car scheme on cars up to five years of age. The length of the warranty varies according to the workshop’s assessment of the car.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Call an expert to carry out a full inspection no matter how good the Mercedes appears to be. Ideally use a mechanic trained on Mercedes, or at least a senior inspector from your motoring association.
Do a visual check of the Merc inside and out for signs of damage or serious wear and tear.
Scuffed bumper corners are a sign of poor parking skills. As are scrapes on the wheels, the front-left is usually the first one to suffer. Perhaps if the previous owner hasn’t been good at parking their driving skills have also been below par.
Be sure the steering is positive with no unnecessary free play in the straight-ahead position.
A noisy engine, or one that’s slow to start, may need expensive repairs or even a complete rebuild.
Expect to pay from $6000 to $10,000 for a 2007 Mercedes-Benz C180 sedan; $10,000 to $16,000 for a 2008 C230 coupe; $14,000 to $20,000 for a 2012 C200 Avangarde; $18,000 to $25,000 for a 2015 C180 Avantgarde; $22,000 to $30,000 for a 2014 C300 Elegance; $26,000 to $34,000 for a C250 Avantgarde; $31,000 to $40,000 for a 2017 C200; $37,000 to $49,000 for a 2016 C350 Avantgarde; $43,000 to $56,000 for a 2019 C220d; and $55,000 to $72,000 for a 2000 C300 coupe.
CAR BUYING TIP
If you spot owners of cars of the type you’re thinking of buying in carparks perhaps chat to them to see what their experiences have been.
RECALLS: To browse recalls on all vehicles go to the ACCC at: www.productsafety.gov.au/products/transport/cars/