What to search for When Buying an Used Mercedes-Benz C Class

2018 C Class Cabriolet

If you are thinking of buying a concise executive automobile, the chances would be the Mercedes-Benz C-Class will figure pretty high on your selection of ones to think about. The C-Class has been in manufacturing since 1994 through four generations that Mercedes identifies whilst the W202, W203, W204 and W205. In this article, we’re planning to examine what you should try to find when purchasing a used Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

  • C-Class history
  • First-generation (W202) Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Second-generation (W203) Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Third-generation (W204) Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Fourth-generation (W205) Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Fifth-generation (W206) Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • How much should you purchase an used C-Class?
  • C-Class AMG models
  • What’s special in regards to the C-Class?
  • Known C-Class problems
  • The competition
  • Should you get an utilized Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

Mercedes-Benz C-Class history

In 1993 Mercedes-Benz had the perhaps not unsubstantial task of replacing the 190 series/W201, that was the relatively affordable gateway model that got people into the brand name that were most likely aspirational, but not always awash with money like many of those whom purchased the greater amount of expensive models the brand name ended up being recognized for. The old 190 models remain perfectly considered and good examples are extremely sought-after and may fetch good money, especially the AMG variations.

There has been many various human body styles in C-Class household since 1993, many aren’t since desirable as others. Sedans and wagons happen the mainstays of family over time and there were some very nice coupes and convertibles too. I need to state though; I never ever had been rather than are a fan of the 2001-2005 coupes with those stubby rear-ends that made them one of the most uninspiring coupe designs ever.

The C-Class is most likely something of an over-achiever for Mercedes in today’s market in which sedan sales are just about dying facing the public’s obsession with all things SUV. The C-Class stays a well known vehicle for people who want quality, luxury and a prestigious badge and never have to break your budget to cover it. Utilized models are possibly even very popular since they don’t have a tendency to age too badly, and so they enable much more budget-conscious consumers getting themselves when driving of their individual Mercedes-Benz the very first time.

First-generation (W202) Mercedes-Benz C-Class (1993-2000)

1999 Mercedes-Benz C 230

In 1993 Mercedes established the first-generation of its brand new C-Class compact administrator vehicle after a design process that got underway in 1987. If you’re acquainted with the 190 series/W201the C-Class had been introduced to displace, you’ll probably realize that the C-Class ended up beingn’t exactly a drastic departure from the 190 with regards to just how it looked. The W202 C-Class had been still a notably fresher and much more modern design, also it’s still a car that does not seem like a 30-year-old design even now.

With several additional inches of size throughout the 190 and more luxurious inside, the first-generation C-Class had been still running on inline-four engines that were the hallmark of its predecessor. The W202 got its worldwide first in 1993 with a 120 horsepower 1.8-liter inline-four as the base motor, and these models had been badged as the C180. Also popular were the 2.0-liter C200 and 2.2-liter C220, and there were additionally stronger 2.3-liter and 2.6-liter V-6 variants. Some C230 models additionally benefitted from a supercharger, which you can easily identify as they were badged as the C230 Kompressor.

a section wagon version of the C-Class had been additionally available, however for some reason, it had beenn’t provided easily obtainable in North America during the time. In reality, the C-Class was just ever offered easily obtainable in the united states in wagon form for a tremendously brief duration. The newest C-class quickly gained an enviable reputation for its quality and reliability, therefore really did provide its arch-rival, the BMW 3 Series, a run for its cash from day one.

Second-generation (W203) Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2000-2007)

2002 Mercedes-Benz C 240 Sedan

In 2003 we got the second-generation W203 form of the C-Class, however these redesigned models mainly stuck with the same engines employed by the last generation. Regrettably, this is how determining what’s under the hood of a C-Class got a bit more hard because Mercedes decided that the quantity designations would not reflect the displacement of this engine. If you’re looking to buy a W203 C200 you’d be wrong you may anticipate a 2.0-liter motor under the hood as it will actually be a 1.8. Likewise, a C240 is running on a 2.6-liter motor and not a 2.4-liter unit since you may expect from the badge.

For me personally, the styling associated with the W203 is not since timeless due to the fact W202 and when were shopping for a classic C-Class I’d be searching for a W202 in good condition. There are three body designs to be found inside W203 household, that are the sedan, a station wagon and that liftback/coupe thing I’ve already expressed my not enough admiration for.

If you do not are especially enamored with this specific C-Class design, I’d skip it and find somewhat supplemental income buying a third-generation model if you can find a decent one within your budget.

Third-generation (W204) Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2007-2015)

2013 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4MATIC Sedan

If the W203 had been a design that history may well not look back on with specific fondness, the third-generation W204 had been a go back to form the C-Class and also very early examples still look the part today. You may notice quite a positive change with models through the 2012 model 12 months as the W204 got a facelift then. The 2012 models onwards got new LED taillights, a revised dashboard and instrument group layout, nonetheless it’s the revised front side fascia and headlights that produce facelifted models stick out.

Even though W204 had been replaced by the latest W205 in 2014, the W204 proceeded in manufacturing into the 2015 model year in C-Class Coupe type only.

Fourth-generation (W205) Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2014-today)

2016 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4MATIC Sedan

The fourth-generation C-Class that’s nevertheless current is another model where it’s something of a casino game of two halves. The W205 fourth-gen models proceeded sale as a 2015 model in the us plus it ended up being 1st car to make use of the all-new Modular back Architecture (MRA) platform that’s now shared with greater and more expensive E-Class and S-Class models. In addition to a brand new, more sophisticated design, the W205 can be significantly lighter as a result of its considerable use of aluminum and high-strength metal.

Mercedes has definitely been doing your best with this latest form of the C-Class as you’ll find it in sedan, wagon, coupe and convertible human body styles and with many different machines in areas around the world.

In 2018 the W205 got a noticeable facelift plus the more recent models are pretty very easy to differentiate from earlier incarnations of fourth-generation C-Class, and there have been also new engines to choose the latest appearance.

Fifth-generation (W206) Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2022?)

An all-new, fifth-generation W206 C-Class is regarding near horizon, and present viewpoint implies it’s going to arrive in mid-2021 as a 2022 model year. There are many photographs of modestly-disguised test mules everywhere, plus it appears like the following C-Class can look more like a shrunken form of the newest S-Class.

Inside wake of Covid-19 delays which are impacting production all over the world, it is impossible to say exactly whenever this crucial new model for Mercedes-Benz will finally arrive.

Just how much in the event you buy an used Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

If you do not choose an entire junker, minimal you will probably pay for a Mercedes-Benz C-Class in the us might be around $2,300 for something such as a 1997 C 280 sedan with a few hundred thousand kilometers or more in the odometer. You could feasibly spend a little less for something newer, but that might be for one of the early coupe models particularly around $2,000 for a 2003 C 230 Coupe.

Below is a table that gives you a rough guide of everything could expect to buy an utilized C-Class.

Generation / Model Years Price Range Average Price
1st Generation 1993-2000 $2,000 – $5,500 $4,257*
2nd Generation 2000-2007 $2,300 – $13,000 $5,186*
3rd Generation 2007-2015 $4,300 – $34,000 $12,429*
4th Generation 2015-2020 $13,400 – $54,400 $33,325*

* I need to explain that in collating these figures I’ve avoided including AMG models, which are considerably more costly compared to most of C-Class models and deserve to be considered nearly as another model in their own right.

C-Class AMG models


If you wish to understand what automobile it was that inspired Cadillac to generate the fabulously unneeded CTS-V a couple of years ago you don’t must look further compared to Mercedes-Benz C-Class AMG models. Over time there were C 32, C 36, C 43, C 55 and C 63 AMG versions of the C-Class, that actually are very unique automobiles certainly.

It is possible to pay less than $10,000 for something such as a 2002 C 32 AMG with only over a hundred thousand miles on the clock, nevertheless could spend more for a W202 in good shape. Without exceeding the top on price an excessive amount of, I’d say value for money is something like a 2009 C 63 AMG sedan you could most likely get for about $21,500 with below-average kilometers.

What’s special in regards to the C-Class?

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is probably in a course in which it only has one rival of comparable stature, and that rival may be the BMW 3 show. Yes, there are lots of other compact luxury sedans you can buy from the loves of Audi, Lexus, Cadillac and others, but not one of them quite have actually the cache and attraction of Mercedes or BMW badges.

You can, naturally, spend a lot of cash for an used C-Class, but those aren’t the models many people think about regarding these exemplary compact luxury cars. For a lot of car purchasers all over the world, an used C-Class represents a means of having an extravagance automobile with a much more prestigious badge on hood that will aid them well for years in the future, but at an extremely attractive cost.

You will get both hands on an utilized 2009 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4MATIC Sedan with 42,000 miles regarding odometer for under $10,000, which can be just like you’d buy a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT with the same kilometers. Which may you favour, and which one will still be going strong an additional decade?

Understood C-Class issues to watch out for

Rust – Although it’s not a problem with later on models, very early examples do experience rust in many common places. Behind the permit dish is certainly one area in which rust likes to gain a foothold, nevertheless must also look in wheel wells, close to the bumpers, leading fenders as well as on the rear quarter panels. At the bottom of the doors is another area where rust may appear, but it’s rarely an inexpensive fix with a Mercedes anywhere you discover it.

Engine Mounts – to cut back the chances of engine vibrations being sent to the car’s cabin, Mercedes fills its motor mounts with oil. At around 100,000 kilometers these oil-filled engine mounts often start to fail and lose oil. Whenever this might be happening you’ll begin to notice extortionate vibration through seat and tyre together with option would be for the engine mounts replaced. Fortunately replacement mounts are fairly cheap to purchase online, nevertheless the bad news it will take between four and six man-hours for the garage to eliminate the old people and fit the new ones.

Suspension & Steering Components – inspite of the C-Class being a prestige car, components such as for instance ball bones, sway club links and control arm bushings have an undesirable tendency to put on down a lot quicker than you’d probably expect. Mercedes-Benz experts have explained that if you just take a Mercedes-Benz like a C-Class set for a state examination, if it is done 100,000 miles or maybe more there’s every opportunity it’s going to fail as a result of suspension issues.

Window Regulators – Electric windows are something we neglect nowadays, but if you are taking an instant to give some thought to them it’s hardly astonishing they’re prone to fail due to the fact years increasing and down get past. This might ben’t a fault that’s strange towards C-Class or even Mercedes-Benz in general, nevertheless the C-Class is fairly prone to faulty window regulators and it’s one thing you will need to start thinking about before purchasing a used C-Class. Changing a window regulator could possibly be a DIY job when you have the persistence, but a completely independent professional will charge between $350 and $500 doing the task and a Mercedes dealer will charge you a lot more than that.

Active Driving Sensors – this is certainly one of those revolutionary Mercedes features that help set the C-Class apart from its rivals and enables you to get the absolute most from every solitary mile you drive. However, these active driving sensors are known to fail in the C-Class sometimes and strong vibrations that will make your car or truck feel unstable whenever driving are the main symptom to look out for. In the event that you feel that form of vibration on a test drive also it does grow to be the active driving sensors, they’ll require changing to correct the problem.

Motor failure – While generally, nearly all machines used in the C- Class have became exceedingly durable and dependable, if you’re considering a C-Class manufactured between 2000 and 2009 you’ll should pay extra awareness of the engine. Engine failure in these models typically happens because of failing electrical connections within the engine system. These failed connections can result in the crankshaft sensors malfunctioning, which then causes the engine failing and you’ll be going no place fast. While you might expect, with a C-Class this is quite a pricey fix while the motor will have to be totally reset and electronic devices fixed.

Brakes (2010) – There isn’t a consistent theme of braking system failure aided by the C-Class by any means, but there was clearly a certain issue using the 2010 model 12 months. The issue arose as a result of a manufacturing mistake that saw incorrect discs set up on a large percentage of C-Class models develop this season. Consequently, if you’re enthusiastic about a 2010 used Mercedes C-Class it’s a good idea to make sure there’s some record in the solution history of new discs being fitted at some point. Otherwise, you’ll need certainly to factor the expense of changing them into your budget.

C-Class rivals

I’m tempted to state there’sn’t any serious rival on C-Class independent of the BMW 3 show, but that’s not strictly true, needless to say. Although the 3 show is undeniably the main fiercest rival of the Mercedes, there are other models you should consider that fall into the same class of compact luxury automobiles.

Well-known other German competitors are the Audi A4 while the Audi A5, you could also desire to think about the Jaguar XE, Cadillac ATS, Infiniti Q50 as well as the Lexus IS.

In case you purchase an used Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

2018 Mercedes C Class Coupe

I might stick my throat away far enough to express that when you’re in the market for a top-quality, luxurious and prestigious four-door sedan for a really reasonable sum of money, there is reallyn’t another car to take into account. The C-Class simply has one thing about it that perhaps the BMW 3 show can’t quite match.

First-generation C-Class models in good shape aren’t simply a great vehicle for their age, as well as for how little you can choose one up for, they’re likely to comprehend in value in the future as long as you care for them. There’s something about that three-pointed star regarding the hood which you don’t get along with other brands ­– not really BMW.

Like most automobile that’s been with us for way too long, you can find good ones and you will find bad ones. The trick does your research by reading articles like this in an attempt to determine an illustration that best suits you along with your budget.

Fourth-generation models most likely attract a different market than 2nd and third-generation examples. If you’ve constantly wanted getting and driving a Mercedes but there’s no chance you can pay for a new one or even a late-model utilized C-Class, a first, 2nd or third-gen C-Class is the way to go. In the event that you’ve got between $10,000 and $15,000 to spend on a quality utilized sedan you’ll have to help to locate a much better vehicle to pay your hard earned money on than a Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

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