In-depth reviews

Mercedes C-Class saloon review

"The Mercedes C-Class is a desirable car with a fantastic interior that's now electrified to improve efficiency"

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.

Top 10 best company cars 2021

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

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 180, C 200 and C 300 with 168bhp, 201bhp and 254bhp respectively. Both the C 200 and C 300 can also be specified with four-wheel drive, although this makes them slightly less efficient. The C 300 is the fastest version, with a 0-62mph time of six seconds and a 155mph top speed. 

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 drive of a C 220 d. 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.

Next Steps

Which Is Best?

Cheapest

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

Most Economical

  • Name
    C220d Sport 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £39,820

Fastest

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

Recommended

New Genesis G70 Shooting Brake now on sale in the UK
2021 Genesis G70 Shooting Brake
Genesis
22 Nov 2021

New Genesis G70 Shooting Brake now on sale in the UK

Volvo S60 saloon review
Volvo S60 driving
Volvo S60
15 Nov 2021

Volvo S60 saloon review

New 2023 Audi A4 will not be electric
Audi A4 exclusive image
Audi A4
4 Nov 2021

New 2023 Audi A4 will not be electric

Top 10 best nearly new cars 2021
Renault Captur
Best cars
4 Oct 2021

Top 10 best nearly new cars 2021

Have You Considered

Genesis G70 saloon review
 Genesis G70 saloon
Genesis G70
24 Sep 2021

Genesis G70 saloon review

Mercedes C-Class saloon review (2014-2021)
Mercedes C-Class saloon review
Mercedes C-Class saloon
13 Jan 2021

Mercedes C-Class saloon review (2014-2021)

Most Popular

New Renault Austral SUV replaces Kadjar for 2022
2022 Renault Austral
Renault
6 Dec 2021

New Renault Austral SUV replaces Kadjar for 2022

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?
How much does it cost to charge an EV
Electric cars
3 Dec 2021

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

Top 10 best car battery chargers 2021
Top 10 best car battery chargers 2021
Tips and advice
25 Nov 2021

Top 10 best car battery chargers 2021

More on C-Class

Mercedes C350e hybrid (2017-2018)
Mercedes C-Class hybrid
2 Aug 2017

Mercedes C350e hybrid (2017-2018)

“The Mercedes C350e plug-in hybrid has all the excellent qualities of the C-Class, with big savings for company-car drivers”
Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet
Mercedes C63 AMG Cabriolet
22 Jun 2016

Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet

"With the sound and performance of a supercar but the civility of a four-seat convertible, the Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet is a great all-rounder"
New 2016 Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet revealed in full
Mercedes C-Class Coupe
10 Jun 2016

New 2016 Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet revealed in full

Orders have opened for the new drop top Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet
New Mercedes-AMG C 43 4MATIC Coupe revealed
Mercedes C-Class Coupe
24 Feb 2016

New Mercedes-AMG C 43 4MATIC Coupe revealed

New C 43 bridges the gap between regular C-Class Coupe and high-performance AMG version
Revised Mercedes SLK rebadged as SLC
Mercedes C-Class saloon
26 Jan 2016

Revised Mercedes SLK rebadged as SLC

Mercedes’ SLK roadster has received a mid-life facelift and a new name: the Mercedes SLC. Read on for full UK prices and specifications.
The week’s biggest car news: November 27, 2015
Mercedes C-Class Coupe
27 Nov 2015

The week’s biggest car news: November 27, 2015

The 10 things you need to know about the world of motoring over the last seven days
Watchdog: Mystery of the shattered sunroof on Merc C-Class
Mercedes C-Class saloon
3 Nov 2015

Watchdog: Mystery of the shattered sunroof on Merc C-Class

Owner perplexed at ‘exploding’ roof – and quick fix means it can’t be fully investigated
Full price list for Mercedes C-Class Coupe revealed
Mercedes C-Class saloon
7 Oct 2015

Full price list for Mercedes C-Class Coupe revealed

Stylish coupe rivals BMW 4 Series and Audi A5; on sale now priced from £30,955
Watchdog: Owner calls a halt over C-Class autobrake glitch
Mercedes C-Class saloon
11 Aug 2015

Watchdog: Owner calls a halt over C-Class autobrake glitch

Car rejected after Autonomous Emergency Braking set-up cuts in for no reason
New Audi A4 vs 3 Series, C-Class, XE and Giulia
Audi A4 saloon
30 Jun 2015

New Audi A4 vs 3 Series, C-Class, XE and Giulia

How do these five compact executive saloons stack up against each other?
Mercedes C-Class AMG Line
Mercedes-Benz C250, AMG Line, Avantgarde, Diamantsilber metallic, LederCranberryrot/Schwarz, Zierelemente Holz Esche schwarz offenporig,(W205),2013
Mercedes C-Class
14 May 2015

Mercedes C-Class AMG Line

"The C-Class AMG Line is Mercedes' way of breathing AMG life into its regular model line-up, and goes up against Audi's A4 S line and BMW 3 Series M S…
Mercedes-AMG C63 saloon
Mercedes C63 AMG saloon
15 Apr 2015

Mercedes-AMG C63 saloon

"The Mercedes-AMG C63 takes all that's good about the standard C-Class and adds a huge dose of extra performance"
Mercedes C-Class coupe (2011-2015)
Mercedes C-Class Coupe
26 Mar 2015

Mercedes C-Class coupe (2011-2015)

"The Mercedes C-Class Coupe is a sleeker, more stylish version of the C-Class saloon. It's luxurious, comfortable and has a great range of engines."
February's bestselling cars revealed
Ford Fiesta hatchback
5 Mar 2015

February's bestselling cars revealed

Ford Fiesta still UK's most popular car but Vauxhall has a positive month
Ford Fiesta is still Britain's best-selling car
Vauxhall Corsa hatchback
6 Feb 2015

Ford Fiesta is still Britain's best-selling car

The Ford Fiesta topped the sales charts in January, a month that was good new for new car sales
New Mercedes C-Class recalled
Mercedes C-Class saloon
14 Oct 2014

New Mercedes C-Class recalled

Over 8,000 new Mercedes C-Class models have been recalled for a potential steering issue
New Mercedes-AMG C 63 prices announced
Mercedes C-Class saloon
8 Oct 2014

New Mercedes-AMG C 63 prices announced

The fastest Mercedes C-Class models will start at £59,795
Revealed – Mercedes C-Class estate prices
Mercedes C-Class saloon
20 Jun 2014

Revealed – Mercedes C-Class estate prices

Mercedes has released prices and specs for the new C-Class estate
Euro NCAP awards Hyundai i10 four stars
Mercedes C-Class saloon
14 May 2014

Euro NCAP awards Hyundai i10 four stars

New Hyundai i10 falls short of five-star rating in recent safety test
New Mercedes C-Class 2014 price and specs
Mercedes C63 AMG saloon
8 Apr 2014

New Mercedes C-Class 2014 price and specs

We've got all the details on the new Mercedes C-Class on sale now
Mercedes C-Class saloon (2007-2014) review
Mercedes C63 AMG saloon
21 Mar 2014

Mercedes C-Class saloon (2007-2014) review

"The changes made to the C-Class have turned it into a real contender. Quality, efficiency and power have all been improved, making it a superb all-ro…
Mercedes C-Class estate (2008-2014)
Mercedes C-Class Estate
5 Feb 2014

Mercedes C-Class estate (2008-2014)

"The revised Mercedes C-Class estate marks a big step forward in quality, and the new engines offer a class-leading blend of performance and economy."
Mercedes C-Class AMG Sport Edition launched
Mercedes C63 AMG saloon
22 Jan 2014

Mercedes C-Class AMG Sport Edition launched

Fresh specification for current Mercedes C-Class, as new model is due later this year

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

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
Tips and advice
29 Sep 2021

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
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

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

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Ioniq 5
Best cars
1 Dec 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
27 Oct 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks