Shopping for Used: 2015-2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

“Oh Lord, received’t you purchase me a Mercedes-Benz?” sang the late, incomparable Janis Joplin. Was anybody anticipating a prayer for a Fiat?

The three-pointed star that graces each Mercedes-Benz telegraphs the model’s lofty standing, luxurious luxurious and reputed high quality. But as aspirational and modern because the automaker is – having invented the security cell, antilock brakes, traction management, airbags and extra – the reliability of its automobiles and sport utilities hasn’t all the time matched consumers’ expectations.

Within the final dependability research performed by J.D. Energy in Germany and the UK, the vaunted model completed beneath the business common and 19th from the highest in each markets. Within the 2022 U.S. research, Mercedes ranked just under the business common and 18th total, eclipsed by the likes of Toyota, Kia and Buick.

206 Mercedes Benz C- Class

2016 C-Class Wagon

For Mercedes leasees, reliability is a minor concern since they return their automobiles earlier than the guarantee expires. However for used-car customers, it’s unsettling information that may play havoc with family budgets. We’ll delve into the issues shortly.

There was a time not way back when the C-Class was Mercedes’ most inexpensive providing in North America. As we speak, there are at least six MB fashions which can be priced beneath the entry-level C-Class sedan, which migrated upmarket lately.

The fourth-generation C, all-new for 2015, borrowed a few of the styling cues of the S-Class with its lengthy, sculpted hood, pronounced fascia and distinctive C-pillar and rear deck. The C-Class couldn’t assist however develop in key dimensions, with the wheelbase increasing by virtually eight centimetres, total size by 9 cm and width rising by 4 cm.

Regardless of ballooning in measurement, the sedan shed 100 kg with a physique and chassis composed of almost 50 per cent aluminum. Using on the brand new super-rigid Modular Rear Structure platform, the suspension incorporates 4 hyperlinks up entrance and 5 on the rear axle to reinforce dealing with. There’s an elective self-leveling air suspension system out there to offer unmatched journey consolation in a compact sedan.

Inside, the C-Class delivers appreciable visible élan. Whether or not upholstered in normal MB-Tex artificial leather-based or the real article, the contemporary-look cabin options distinctive supplies and meeting. The product of Mercedes’ Italian design studio, the cabin blends wooden, soft-touch surfaces and metallic accents to nice impact.

2017 Mercedes Benz C Class

2017 C-Class Coupe

Featured entrance and centre is an up to date infotainment and navigation interface with a regular 7-inch or elective 8.4-inch tablet-like show affixed atop the centre vents. A brand new touchpad interface is now a part of the COMAND infotainment system in an try and maintain fingerprints off the display. Some drivers did discover the ergonomics of the brand new C-Class a bit of off-putting, although.

“Should you barely contact or bump the spherical knob on the console, you possibly can unintentionally change the radio station, or the navigation or the telephone settings. Additionally, the flip indicators and windshield wipers are on the identical lever deal with. Typically you by accident flip the wiper on once you wished to show left,” one C-Class proprietor griped on-line.

Mercedes simplified the C-Class powertrain lineup with simply two engine decisions on the outset in 2015. The C300 is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The C400 comes with a 3.0-litre turbo V6 rated at 329 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed computerized transmission and 4Matic all-wheel-drive come normal on each, as does fuel-saving computerized engine stop-start.

In U.S. authorities testing, the C-Class sedan acquired 5 out of 5 stars for total crash safety, with 4 stars for complete frontal safety and 5 stars for aspect safety. Every automobile got here normal with antilock brakes, stability and traction management, entrance aspect airbags, entrance pelvic airbags (which deploy decrease than the aspect airbags), a driver knee airbag and full aspect curtain airbags. Additionally normal are Collision Prevention Help Plus and PreSafe – two options that may autonomously apply the automobile’s brakes to keep away from a collision.

For 2016, the C400 was changed by the same C450 AMG with a 3.0-litre turbo V6 rated at 362 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. A completely redesigned coupe and convertible C-Class joined the sedan for 2017, whereas the AMG C43 earned a brand new badge and a nine-speed computerized transmission. That nine-speed autobox migrated to the bottom sedan in 2018, together with some recent choices, together with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

As of 2019, the C300 4Matic’s turbo four-cylinder now makes 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, whereas the AMG C43’s turbo V6 makes 385 hp and 384 lb-ft of grunt. Visible updates included restyled headlights and taillights, whereas CarPlay and Android Auto grew to become normal equipment. After that, the C-Class largely coasted on its laurels by 2021, the final 12 months for the fourth-gen fashions.

Competing with the venerable BMW 3-Sequence and Audi A4 required Mercedes to up its recreation with the C-Class, and for essentially the most half it succeeds. Energy from the diminutive 2.0-L turbo 4 is completely satisfactory for getting as much as freeway velocity – taking 6.1 seconds from a standstill – whereas the V6 compresses the time-space continuum in simply 4.7 seconds.

2018 Mercedes Benz C Class

La Classe C sous son meilleur jour

The C’s suspension provides predictable dealing with and responsive steering, though the journey high quality is a bit more stiff than seasoned Mercedes consumers may like. Once more, the elective air suspension is meant for individuals who require a extra pillowy journey. Braking efficiency is great and suitably engineered to maintain motorists out of significant hassle.

Direct-injected turbo four-bangers are all the craze, however they not often sound nice, and that’s the case right here. The engine noise at idle is extra agricultural than turbine-smooth – however that’s the worth of effectivity: drivers can simply high eight litres/100 km in combined driving whereas exercising the turbo energy. The V6 is significantly thirstier, however not exceedingly so. Keep in mind each engines demand premium gasoline.


True to the marque, the C-Class emulates an government jet with its beautiful cabin and creature comforts, gliding at supra-highway speeds with little noise to ruffle the expertise. House owners extol the automobile’s premium seating, high-tech gear, vault-like development and unmistakable presence on the street. Sufficient S-Class DNA has trickled down right here to fulfill nearly anybody. Lows are restricted to a slipshod touchpad interface, small trunk and tight quarters within the again seat of the coupe and convertible.

As famous on the high, mechanical reliability has been lower than ideally suited. At first, the C’s 2.0-litre turbo 4 is a problematic engine based on various homeowners who’ve skilled catastrophic failures.

“Apparently, the piston rod let unfastened and crashed into the highest of the manifold, crushing the spark plug. I received quotes of $15,000 to $17,000 to interchange the engine. I simply really feel {that a} Mercedes engine ought to final greater than 69,000 km,” wrote a luckless proprietor on-line. Discussions revolve round a recognized frailty the place the piston rod attaches to the camshaft in 2015 and 2016 C300s.

Past the engine, C-Class homeowners have reported issues with the panoramic sunroof, whose panels could misalign, and even fly off the automobile at velocity. The U.S. Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration investigated allegations of roof panel detachments. The entrance polycarbonate roof panel may detach because of improper use of adhesive throughout set up. Mercedes instituted a recall to deal with the problem.

Within the occasion that the engine can not flip over, the beginning present limiter could overheat from repeated makes an attempt by the starter motor to begin the car, introducing a fireplace threat. Mercedes recall 2017080002 addresses this downside in 2015-2017 fashions. There’s a recall of 2015 fashions to deal with a lack of electrical energy steering help because of an error within the energy steering management unit software program.

A extra widespread frustration includes the run-flat tires that grace C-Class automobiles. Run-flats can’t be repaired, so a nail puncture sometimes prices virtually $500 for a brand new tire on the dealership. The tires additionally journey roughly and put on out rapidly. It’s no shock some motorists swap out the run-flats for standard tires which can be extra inexpensive and last more.

Different caveats embrace gasoline leaks that may introduce fumes within the cabin, fussy infotainment shows, overly delicate sensors that mysteriously activate the brakes, and “jerky” nine-speed transmissions.

Total, this Mercedes-Benz doesn’t fairly dwell as much as the hype. The C300’s four-cylinder engine is problematic in 2015 to 2017 fashions and must be averted. German automobiles require very costly German components that may take weeks to reach. Should you’re shopping for a used C-Class, having a second car in reserve is a good suggestion.

2015-2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

BODY STYLE: 5-passenger compact sedan, coupe and convertible

DRIVE METHOD: Entrance-engine, all-wheel drive; seven- and nine-speed computerized transmission

ENGINE: 2.0-litre turbo 4 (241 hp, 273 lb-ft or 255 hp, 273 lb-ft); 3.0-litre turbo V6 (329 hp, 354 lb-ft or 362 hp, 383 lb-ft)

FUEL ECONOMY: (Premium) 10.1/7.1/8.9 L/100 km metropolis/freeway/mixed

CARGO VOLUME: 455 litres (16 cu-ft)


PRICE: $26,000 (2015); $55,000 (2020)


The car was offered to the author by the automaker. Content material and car evaluations weren’t topic to approval.