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In-depth reviews

Mercedes C-Class saloon - Reliability & safety

Cutting-edge safety equipment should make the C-Class very safe

Carbuyer Rating

4.3 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Reliability & safety Rating

4.0 out of 5

​​Mercedes has an excellent reputation for safety and the C-Class is bursting at the seams with technology to both mitigate collisions and help protect occupants should an accident occur. Its reputation is backed up by the C-Class gaining the maximum five-star score when it was crash-tested by independent body Euro NCAP.

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The C-Class scored 93% and 89% for adult and child protection respectively, which are both excellent results. Its lowest section score was 80%, showing just how seriously Mercedes takes the safety of both its occupants and other road users.

The German brand may have more work to do when it comes to customer satisfaction, however. It placed relatively low on our Driver Power survey, with rival manufacturers such as Lexus placing considerably higher. It also faces new challenges from brands like Genesis, which aims to win over buyers with a concierge service and free pickups for maintenance.

Mercedes C-Class reliability

Reliability may be less of a reason to buy a C-Class; although the latest model is too new to feature on our 2022 survey, the outgoing one ranked 71st out of 75 models in 2021. It scored poorly for reliability and build quality, while owners also told us it was expensive to insure. Mercedes also came a disappointing 23rd out of 29 manufacturers overall in 2022, with just over 27% of respondents reporting one or more faults within the first 12 months. Audi was only one place higher, though.

The latest C-Class is based on a heavily revised version of the underpinnings from the outgoing model, so Mercedes will hopefully have optimised the new car to fix known weak points. The arrival of a new infotainment setup and more extensive over-the-air software updates should hopefully resolve some technical issues without requiring a visit to the dealership.

Safety

Mercedes is one of the biggest technological innovators, including in the areas of safety and assistance. This can be seen in features like a head-up display that projects an image that appears to be the size of a large TV but floating 4.5 metres ahead of the car. This can provide more accurate information and directions while using the sat nav, as well as showing you information so you don’t have to look away from the road.

There are also advances for the latest generation of Mercedes' Driving Assistance Package. This suite of semi-autonomous driving aids can help the driver stay in lane, with a greater ability to centre the car between the white lines and deal with bends.

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Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    C200 AMG Line 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £45,080

Most Economical

  • Name
    C300e Urban Edition 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £50,195

Fastest

  • Name
    C300d AMG Line Premium [Pan Roof] 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £54,165
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