By KBB.com Editors
The C-Class offers young drivers a way to join the exclusive Mercedes-Benz family without spending an arm and a leg. Although priced slightly higher than similarly equipped models from Audi, Infiniti, Saab, Cadillac and Lexus, the C-Class can certainly match these vehicles in the areas of luxury, performance and value. The availability of a slick-shifting six-speed manual with the C230 and C350 Sport trims is a must for the driving enthusiast and is offered as a no-charge alternative to the seven-speed automatic. Those not concerned by such matters will find much to like in the C-Class, including a number of desirable features such as the 4MATIC all-wheel drive and a new Flex-Fuel V6 capable of running on E85 or gasoline.
If you're looking for the quality and prestige that comes from the Mercedes-Benz brand at a price comparable to some top-of-the-line family sedans, the C230, C280 and C350 are the way to get it.
Prestige has its price. The C-Class is tight on rear-seat legroom and can cost thousands more than comparably equipped European, American and Japanese rivals.
The C230 receives a new E85-compliant engine, while the C280 and C350 Luxury models gain power front seats and a power-adjustable steering column with memory settings for up to three drivers. C230 and C350 Sport models receive new 17-inch wheels, an AMG rear deck spoiler and dual AMG exhaust pipes.
Driving Impressions The top-of-the-line C350 definitely feels tighter and more in touch with the road than most of its luxury counterparts. Yes, the ride is a bit firm and can even be...rough over broken pavement and untended expansion joints, but it's a small price to pay for the benefits a taut suspension yields.
Panoramic Glass Sunroof
The C-Class's panoramic glass sunroof covers the entire interior and includes an electric sunshade for both the front and rear panels.
The C230, C280 and C350 models offer a Mercedes-quality interior at a surprisingly affordable price.
Inside you'll find a comfortable set of sport bucket seats complete with fore and aft adjustable headrest and controls for the seat-bottom angle and seat height adjustment. From the driver's seat, you'll find a logically appointed instrument panel, devoid of overly complicated touch-screen menus and confusing switchgear. The instrument cluster features a digital trip computer neatly tucked between the speedometer and tachometer. Steering wheel-mounted controls regulate the audio and information screens.Exterior
The C-Class is a Mercedes-Benz product through and through. With overtones of E- and S-Class clearly visible in the design, the C-Class fits right into the Mercedes family and should more than satisfy any entry-level buyer. The Sport models offer a more distinct look than their Luxury counterparts, with sporty six-spoke alloy wheels and numerous details borrowed from Mercedes-Benz's AMG performance division.
The C230 Sport features a six-speed manual transmission, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), front and rear fog lights, dual heated power mirrors with turn signals, AM/FM/CD stereo, front and rear side-impact and head-curtain airbags, stability control, cruise control, sport suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels and heated windshield wipers. The C280 and C350 Luxury models add more powerful V6 engines, 16-inch wheels and more standard equipment plus the choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.
Popular C-Class options, which are typically grouped into packages, include a panoramic glass sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, in-dash six-disc CD changer, audio upgrades, COMAND navigation system, heated front seats and a power rear sunshade.
The C230's new 2.5-liter powerplant is a definite improvement over the old supercharged four-cylinder and its Flex-Fuel versatility makes it ideal for areas that supply E85. The more powerful V6s found in the C280 and C350 suit this car's image, but buyers will pay a price, first at the dealership and then at the gas pump.
201 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
181 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2700-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/18 (E85), 19/25 (Gasoline)
228 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
221 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2700-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/28 (RWD), 19/26 (AWD),
268 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2400-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 (RWD manual), 20/29 (RWD automatic), 19/24 (AWD automatic)
By Niklas on Saturday, November 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "You get that Mercedes prestige"
Cons: "You'd do better buying a Ford"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I purchased this car from a private dealer on an 'as is' sale 16 months ago and have had problems from Day 1. I would highly recommend only buying this car from a dealer with an extended warranty. Most issues I list below have been confirmed by other owners on the MB Blog. Drive train has been fine, performance acceptable but it is prone to 'parasitic battery drain' (yes, there is even a term for it!) that will leave the battery dead in a matter of hours. The air system is temperamental, the sensors over-sensor, the seat modules blew, the auto intermittent wipers don't work, now the wipers don't work at all unless the car is going more than 6 mph, the wiper-washer reservoir leaks and just the labor to replace is nearly $400... the exterior paint is sub-par and there is rust in the rear passenger door (this car came from a southern climate) and there is much more I cannot remember off the top of my head... in most circles this car would be called LEMON!"
7 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By C180K on Sunday, November 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 186,750overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fuel economy, fun to drive, manual 6 speed trans"
Cons: "Flip out cup holder is useless and in the way"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is a great entry level car. I previously had a 1998 BMW 528i (Manual 5 Speed) and the Benz is very comparable. Though smaller and the doesn't handle as "balanced" as the E39 BMW, its a great little runner. Not very fast off the line (6 speed manual) but its a heck of a freeway car. Easily runs at 125 mph all day long. Mine is the C230 Kompressor Sport, 1.8ltr (yep 1.8 4 cylinder) with a factory supercharger. Great pull, awesome gas mileage too. I bought her used, one owner with about 90,000 miles. Bright red with the leatherette interior. Build quality is awesome, body and interior still look like new. My only complaint is the front end chips easily (normal wear & tear), but with almost 200,000 miles I have no squeaks, rattles or issues with the build. Mechanically, I've only had two issues. The MAF sensor went out causing the idle to rev up and down ($750 repair) and the voltage regulator IS going out causing the headlights to blink off and on until the car is hot ($47.00 part, I'm doing the install). Otherwise, its Mercedes luxury at a Honda price! Only changes have been 19 inch staggered TSW wheels, upgraded Pioneer Double-din DVD system with Bluetooth and integrated phone connection. Car still has the original clutch at almost 200,000 miles!"
11 people out of 19 found this review helpful
By Mom on Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 102,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "We'll engineered advanced features for production"
Cons: "Have found none"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"First mercedes ever owned-would drive no other brand of car. Advanced features for product year. Absolutely reliable. Superbly engineered. Seat warmers are fabulous. Air conditioner the best."
14 people out of 21 found this review helpful
By madie on Monday, September 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive, good price"
Cons: "78000 miles moon roof"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"makes noises when air is turned off or car is turned off. makes cranking noise when making a turn. clean, low mileage, 2 owners. new tires and oil change"
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By 3-point star on Wednesday, August 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great Price, Fun to drive, Quick, Comfortable"
Cons: "Small car, Outdated look"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have had my Mercedes c280 since 32k miles. It now has almost 100k. Absolutely love the car and had no problems with it. The only things I have done is change the tires, oil, and breaks. I also have a 2007 E350 if I could get the feel of the C280 while driving the E350 I would be very happy! Pros: Very comfortable car Very quick Soft quiet ride Great MPG (on the free I get close to 32mpg, city about 24mpg) Fairly cheap to maintain Auto lights Auto dimming mirrors Auto wipers Cons: Its a bit small Now an outdated look"
7 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By SMOKIN "67" GTO on Tuesday, July 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 81,535overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "SUPER FUN TO DRIVE ON THE TWIST BACKROADS"
Cons: "HVAC CONTROLS"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"HVAC CONTROLS ARE VERY ANNOYING, AS TO BEING OVERALL COMPLEX, WITH RED & BLUE BUTTONS TO PUSH TO ADJUST TEMP, WHEN A DIAL WOULD BE MUCH EASIER & SAFER TO USE, ESPECIALLY AT SPEED(AS CAR WAS DESIGNED & BUILT TO BE DRIVEN), NOT USING A "MULTI-DISC CD PLAYER OR AN INTEGRATED PHONE!!! DEALERS GEN. SALES .MGR. ADVISED AGAINST ORDERING THIS CAR WITH THESE TWO OPTIONS. HE STATED THAT SINCE THIS WAS A EUROPEAN DELIVERY, WE WOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS SERIOUS DRIVERS WITH THESE "RIDICULOUS ITEMS" ORDERED. OVERALL CAR IS A PLEASURE TO DRIVE AND PERFORMANCE IS EXCELLENT, EXCEPT SEATS AFTER 2-3 HOURS GET TO BE UNCOMFORTABLE, HOWEVER THEY ADJUST EVERY WHERE , JUST NEED MORE PADDING IN SEAT CUSHIONS. HIGHWAY MILEAGE ON TRIPS WITH A/C ON WITH CRUISE AT 70-75 MPH HAS CONSISTENTLY BEEN 28/29MPG, AROUND TOWN WITH SOME SPIRITED USE OF THE MANUAL LEFT/RIGHT UP/DOWN SHIFTING, MILEAGE CAN DROP TO 18MPG. PREM GAS RECOMMENDED, HOWEVER I HAVE USED REGULAR GAS WITH NO NOTICEABLE ADVERSE EFFECT ON OCASSION. MINOR COMPLAINT I MISS NOT HAVING A DIPSTICK AND TRUSTING THE COMPUTER TO ANALYZE THE OIL UMPTEEN TIMES A MINUTE!! SUPER ENGINE, ALWAYS USED MOBIL 5W20 SYNT. FIRST OIL CHANGE WAS AT 18000 MILES PER THE COMPUTER. MBZ SERVICE MANAGER STATED THEY HAVE DISASSEMBLED AN ENGINE WITH 70,000 MILES AND IT WAS PRISTINE. MY QUESTION WAS HOW ABOUT AT 250,000 MILES??? OIL CHANGES AFTER THE FIRST ONE NORMALLY ARE ABOUT 8-10,000 MILES. PEOPLE COMPLEMENT LOOK/STYLING ON CAR QUITE OFTEN, CONSIDERING CAR IS 13 YEARS OLD. VERY SATISFIED WITH THE BUILD QUALITY AND BEAUTIFUL ALL LEATHER INTERIOR.. ENJOY IT IMMENSELY IF PURCHASING A WELL MAINTANED AND DOCUMENTED VEHICLE."
10 people out of 13 found this review helpful