In-depth reviews

Mercedes C-Class saloon review

"The Mercedes C-Class is a desirable car with a fantastic interior, plus with hybrid tech it’s supremely efficient too"

Carbuyer Rating

4.3 out of 5

Price
£37,780 - £51,120

Pros

  • Stunning interior
  • Comfortable
  • Electric range of plug-in hybrid

Cons

  • Small boot
  • Running costs
  • BMW 3 Series still better to drive

The arrival of a new Mercedes C-Class is always significant and Mercedes was arguably under more pressure than ever with this latest version thanks to the company-car market's rapid move away from diesel and petrol power.

In response, every C-Class now has some form of electrification, either with mild-hybrid assistance or a plug-in hybrid powertrain to help stave off electric rivals like the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2 - cars that didn't even exist a few years ago. Aside from what’s under the bonnet, there are still plenty of reasons to choose a C-Class, even ahead of the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4

Top 10 best company cars 2022

For a start, its subtly evolved exterior design and the three-pointed star badge hold plenty of appeal. It now looks more closely aligned with the Mercedes E-Class and S-Class, with a wide grille, angular LED headlights and sculpted bonnet. At the rear, there are widened LED lights and the whole car is purposeful without being too brash or ostentatious.

If the exterior draws you in, the interior is likely to fully win you over. The quality of materials is stunning, and the C-Class now looks cutting-edge thanks to its tablet-style displays for both the driving displays and infotainment. Attractive seats, sculpted oval air vents and fibre-optic interior lighting are all part of the eye candy, while an improved voice recognition system can understand more requests with greater speed to help minimise distractions.

The core engine range consists of mild-hybrid petrol and diesels, including the C 220 d and C 300 d, which return around 45mpg, offer plenty of performance and should suit high-mileage drivers. Both are rear-wheel drive and the C-Class comes with a nine-speed automatic gearbox as standard. 

Private buyers and some company-car drivers may also be tempted by one of the petrol engines, which are badged C 200, C 300 and C 43 with 201bhp, 254bhp and a muscular 402bhp respectively. The C 43 is the fastest version of the C-Class currently on sale, using a similar turbocharged four-cylinder setup to the one in the smaller Mercedes-AMG A 45 S hot hatchback. This allows the saloon to sprint from 0-62mph in just 4.6 seconds and onto a top speed of 164mph when fitted with the AMG Driver’s Package. An even more powerful C63 variant is on the way too, using a 671bhp plug-in hybrid six-cylinder powertrain.

It's the C 300 e plug-in hybrid that makes the most appealing company car. The latest version has a much bigger, 25.4kWh battery than the previous one, which sees electric range increase from around 30 to 64 miles, which should slash its emissions too. It also has a healthy 302bhp thanks to the combined efforts of its petrol engine and electric motor.

The C-Class still has a chassis tuned slightly more for comfort than the BMW 3 Series, which was evident in our test drives of a C 220 d and a C 300 e. Despite this slightly softer edge, improved steering and good body control means the Mercedes feels closer to its BMW rival than ever in the dynamics department.

It all adds up to a car that’s even more complete than before. While newcomers and traditional rivals alike can offer advantages in one area or another, few appeal to both the head and the heart as strongly as the C-Class.

How about a used Mercedes C-Class Mk4?

Mercedes C-Class saloon

Comfortable, brisk, economical and stylish, the C-Class Mk4 saloon is a popular pick on the used car market. And because it was hugely desirable as a company car when it was new, you’ll find a wide selection of them on Britain’s second hand car forecourts. It has a strong range of turbocharged diesel and petrol engines, plus also offers buyers a choice of mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. 

What’s its history?

The C-Class Mk4 made its UK showroom debut in February 2014 with a limited range of engines and three basic trim grades. Other turbocharged petrol and diesel engines soon joined the line-up, along with mild hybrids and plug-in hybrids: there were also some high performance AMG derivatives. In 2018 a revamp delivered some styling enhancements, interior design tweaks, equipment upgrades and a revised engine line-up. In July 2021 the fourth generation C-Class made way for the Mk5.

Read our full C-Class Mk4 review...

Used Mercedes C-Class Mk3 (2007-2014)

Mercedes C-Class mk3

Despite its high-powered AMG derivatives, the mainstream C-Class Mk3 range is oriented towards comfort and a relaxed driving experience. Its interiors are classy and there’s a good range of spirited and economical engines.

Read our full C-Class Mk3 review...

Used Mercedes C-Class Mk2 (2000-2007)

Good-looking but notoriously unreliable, the C-Class Mk2 is nevertheless popular with used buyers, which says something about its desirability. Its interiors are stylish, although rear seat space is a little  cramped.

Used Mercedes C-Class Mk1 (1993-2000)

Reliable and classy, the first-generation C-Class set the theme for subsequent models. Refined for its time, it established the acceptance of diesel engines for prestige executive cars. However, rust is a big issue for these early C-Class models, so check carefully before handing over any cash.

Next Steps

Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    C200 Sport 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £37,780

Most Economical

  • Name
    C300e AMG Line 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £44,100

Fastest

  • Name
    C300d AMG Line 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £44,920

Recommended

Top 10 most economical family cars 2022
Skoda Octavia hatchback
Best cars
13 Jul 2022

Top 10 most economical family cars 2022

Tesla Model 3 saloon review
Tesla Model 3 saloon fron 3/4 cornering
In-depth reviews
11 Jul 2022

Tesla Model 3 saloon review

Volkswagen ID. Aero to rival Tesla Model 3
Volkswagen ID. Aero - front 1
Electric cars
27 Jun 2022

Volkswagen ID. Aero to rival Tesla Model 3

New Mercedes-AMG C 63 is a 671bhp plug-in hybrid
2023 Mercedes-AMG C 63
Mercedes C-Class
24 Jun 2022

New Mercedes-AMG C 63 is a 671bhp plug-in hybrid

Have You Considered

Used Mercedes C-Class saloon review: 2014-2021 (Mk4)
Mercedes C-Class saloon review
Mercedes C-Class saloon
31 Mar 2022

Used Mercedes C-Class saloon review: 2014-2021 (Mk4)

Genesis G70 saloon review
 Genesis G70 saloon
Genesis G70
15 Dec 2021

Genesis G70 saloon review

Most Popular

Nissan Ariya vs Volvo XC40 vs Volkswagen ID.4 - which is best?
Hero image
News
11 Aug 2022

Nissan Ariya vs Volvo XC40 vs Volkswagen ID.4 - which is best?

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
MG HS
Deals
12 Aug 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

Top 10 best electric family cars 2022
MG ZS EV - front
Best cars
8 Aug 2022

Top 10 best electric family cars 2022

More on C-Class

Top 10 most economical family cars 2022
Skoda Octavia hatchback
Best cars
13 Jul 2022

Top 10 most economical family cars 2022

Choose one of our top ten most economical family cars and you'll save money while being able to carry passengers and their luggage.
Top 10 best used hybrid cars 2022
Corolla best hybrid cars
Best cars
29 Jun 2022

Top 10 best used hybrid cars 2022

Read our guide to see the best used hybrid cars available to buy right now.
New Mercedes-AMG C 63 is a 671bhp plug-in hybrid
2023 Mercedes-AMG C 63
Mercedes C-Class
24 Jun 2022

New Mercedes-AMG C 63 is a 671bhp plug-in hybrid

The 2022 Mercedes-AMG C 63 has made its UK debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed
Audi A4 vs BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Alfa Romeo Giulia: which should you buy?
Audi A4 vs BMW 3 Series vs Mercedes C-Class vs Alfa Romeo Giulia
Compact executive cars
24 Jun 2022

Audi A4 vs BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Alfa Romeo Giulia: which should you buy?

Which of these compact executive saloons is best for you? Find out here
Mercedes C-Class hybrid review
C 1
Mercedes C-Class hybrid
6 May 2022

Mercedes C-Class hybrid review

“The Mercedes C 300 e is the strongest version of the C-Class, and perhaps one of the best company cars you can buy today”
New Mercedes-AMG C43 saloon and estate revealed
2022 Mercedes-AMG C 43 driving
Mercedes C-Class
26 Apr 2022

New Mercedes-AMG C43 saloon and estate revealed

Mercedes’ family of sporty C-Class models get a punchy petrol engine and a handy performance boost
Used Mercedes C-Class saloon review: 2014-2021 (Mk4)
Mercedes C-Class saloon review
Mercedes C-Class saloon
31 Mar 2022

Used Mercedes C-Class saloon review: 2014-2021 (Mk4)

"Exceptionally classy, comfortable, solidly made and well equipped, the fourth generation Mercedes C-Class is excellent value on the used car market"
Top 3 used petrol estate cars for under £15,000
Top 3 used petrol estate
Tips and advice
24 Nov 2021

Top 3 used petrol estate cars for under £15,000

Dear Carbuyer, I need a petrol estate car with a good infotainment system. What can I get for £12,000?
Top 10 best nearly new cars 2022
Renault Captur
Best cars
4 Oct 2021

Top 10 best nearly new cars 2022

If you can’t justify buying a brand-new car but want all the latest features, a nearly new car will appeal. Here are the best
Mercedes C-Class: old vs new
Mercedes C-Class: old vs new
Mercedes C-Class
10 Sep 2021

Mercedes C-Class: old vs new

A new version of the Mercedes C-Class executive saloon arrived in 2021 but how does it compare to the old model?
Top 10 best self-parking cars 2022
DS 3 Crossback
Best cars
16 Jul 2021

Top 10 best self-parking cars 2022

We name the 10 best cars with self-parking technology, so read on to find out which cars take the stress out of parking
Mercedes C-Class Estate review
Mercedes C-Class Estate
Mercedes C-Class Estate
14 Jul 2021

Mercedes C-Class Estate review

"The Mercedes C-Class Estate is a comfortable and luxurious way to transport passengers and their luggage"
New Mercedes C-Class range breaks cover
2021 Mercedes C-Class driving
Mercedes C-Class
23 Feb 2021

New Mercedes C-Class range breaks cover

Latest Mercedes C-Class generation officially revealed; plug-in hybrid will manage 62-mile electric range
2021 Mercedes C-Class Estate in development
Spy shot of secretly tested future car
Mercedes C-Class
22 Jul 2020

2021 Mercedes C-Class Estate in development

Practical C-Class Estate due next year to rival BMW 3 Series Touring
Mercedes C-Class Estate review (2014-2021)
Mercedes C-Class Estate
Mercedes C-Class Estate
19 May 2020

Mercedes C-Class Estate review (2014-2021)

"The Mercedes C-Class Estate is a stylish, comfortable and practical family car"
Mercedes C-Class Coupe
Mercedes C-Class Coupe
30 Mar 2020

Mercedes C-Class Coupe

“The Mercedes C-Class Coupe is more attractive than ever and better to drive, but it’s expensive, too”
Top 3 practical used cars for £18,000: Peugeot 3008, Mercedes C-Class Estate, Skoda Superb Estate
Peugeot 3008
8 Nov 2018

Top 3 practical used cars for £18,000: Peugeot 3008, Mercedes C-Class Estate, Skoda Superb Estate

"I need a practical car for golf clubs and luggage now I've retired. What will £18,000 buy me?"
Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet review
hero
Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet
17 Aug 2018

Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet review

“If you’re after a refined, classy four-seat convertible, then the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet could well be for you”
Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe review
Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe
Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe
3 Aug 2018

Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe review

“Sharper handling means the Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe now has what it takes to rival the BMW M4”
Mercedes C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet: prices, specs, trims
Mercedes C-Class saloon
30 May 2018

Mercedes C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet: prices, specs, trims

Prices and specifications have been announced for the revised Mercedes C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet
Current Mercedes C-Class bows out with 'Nightfall Edition'
Mercedes C-Class
17 May 2018

Current Mercedes C-Class bows out with 'Nightfall Edition'

Sharp style and extra equipment for 'run-out' C-Class trim level
Tweaked Mercedes-AMG C 63 bares its teeth
Mercedes C-Class saloon
27 Mar 2018

Tweaked Mercedes-AMG C 63 bares its teeth

Sharper style, more gears and greater fun for updated C 63
Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate review (2015-2021)
Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate
In-depth reviews
20 Dec 2017

Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate review (2015-2021)

"The Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate offers the same muscular appeal as the saloon, but with more flexibility and, arguably, better looks"

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
20 Jun 2022

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
12 Jul 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
12 Jul 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
24 Jun 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022