Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (93 - 01) Owner reviews

No longer on sale

I recently took delivery of my C220 AMG Line estate, with optional 19" multi-spoke alloys, privacy glass and cranberry red leather interior. The cabin finish is top-notch and far better than the 3-series Touring which I've also owned. Getting comfy in the heated seats with electrical adjustment is easy, and the dashboard is very tidy and uncluttered, with smart materials everywhere . I'm still getting to grips with the infotainment system, but I've found the sat nav can take you on a bit of an odd route, and I'm yet to find some of the route options you might find on a TomTom. The boot is a good size, with a low lip and folding down the rear seats is easy. Having owned a 3-series and more recently a Golf GT, the ride and handling is not as good as either but in a straight line, the ride is smooth. Fast B-roads show the car's handling to be less inspiring and fast dashes across roundabouts can result in understeer. That said, I've had no complaints from passengers, who have been full of praise for the car. On concrete motorways, road noise is an issue, but that's more to do with the optional alloys. Fuel economy on the first tank has been good - 60 litres took me just under 600 miles, but over time I expect this will improve. This has been achieved using the car's 'Comfort' setting, but Sport and Sport+ settings will not doubt see this fall. Overall, I'm enjoying ownership and the fact that at the moment the car is a lot less common than a 3-series Touring is a bo

Andrew Barber, Suffolk, December 15th 2014

0 BlueTEC AMG Line 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG48 mpg

I recently bought a C220 CDI Exec Estate Auto with Premium package. Having owned an E class for the last 5 years, I was concerned that I may be disappointed with the smaller and possibly less refined car. I have to say that I'm delighted with my choice and totally recommend a C class. The drive is excellent and the build quality what you expect from Mercedes. I'm puzzled why What Car only give 2 stars for their rating. This is my 3rd Mercedes. I did test drive a 3 series but it didn't impress me as I'd expected. If you're considering a C class then I advise paying extra for Command (navigation, heated seats and reversing camera are included in the Premium package).

Jonathan Carlton-Gray, West Midlands, March 24th 2014

0 CDI Executive SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG45 mpg

I recently bought a C220 CDI Exec Estate Auto with Premium package. Having owned an E class for the last 5 years, I was concerned that I may be disappointed with the smaller and possibly less refined car. I have to say that I'm delighted with my choice and totally recommend a C class. The drive is excellent and the build quality what you expect from Mercedes. I'm puzzled why What Car only give 2 stars for their rating. This is my 3rd Mercedes. I did test drive a 3 series but it didn't impress me as I'd expected. If you're considering a C class then I advise paying extra for Command (navigation, heated seats and reversing camera are included in the Premium package).

Jonathan Carlton-Gray, West Midlands, March 24th 2014

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Executive SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG45 mpg

I disagree with the overall negative tone of this review, and I'm wondering if we're talking about the same car. I have a 2011 C180 estate since June 2013 and I love it. It's a pleasure to drive, with decent power and response. I find it comfortable, and after suffering an Audi A4 2.0T for two years, it's nice to have an automatic gearbox that works! It's a stunning car to look at, and with two kids under 4 years old, it makes life easy for long and short trips. Great car.

Mark McCullagh, March 14th 2014

0 Executive SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG35 mpg

I disagree with the overall negative tone of this review, and I'm wondering if we're talking about the same car. I have a 2011 C180 estate since June 2013 and I love it. It's a pleasure to drive, with decent power and response. I find it comfortable, and after suffering an Audi A4 2.0T for two years, it's nice to have an automatic gearbox that works! It's a stunning car to look at, and with two kids under 4 years old, it makes life easy for long and short trips. Great car.

Mark McCullagh, March 14th 2014

0 BlueEFFICIENCY Executive SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG35 mpg

I have traded from the left field choice of an Infiniti M diesel. As such I didn't want to lose performance or too much specification. So far I am very impressed and as a previous CLS owner I have experiencing bigger Benzes. I would agree with previous comments in that the infotainment system is not an issue with a little familiarity and time spent with the single column stalk makes you wonder why everyone doesn't do the same thing. The 3l engine has monstrous torque with effortless performance and yes my other car is a Porsche - albeit an old bog standard Boxster! The ride is firm but not overly so and interior quality is good in my opinion. If you want a quick, reliable - so far! - stylish and practical estate this may well be the car for you and with a new model on the horizon deals can be done even with the blue chip Mercedes dealers. Go on, worry the Labrador.

mark davies, February 20th 2014

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG34 mpg

I have traded from the left field choice of an Infiniti M diesel. As such I didn't want to lose performance or too much specification. So far I am very impressed and as a previous CLS owner I have experiencing bigger Benzes. I would agree with previous comments in that the infotainment system is not an issue with a little familiarity and time spent with the single column stalk makes you wonder why everyone doesn't do the same thing. The 3l engine has monstrous torque with effortless performance and yes my other car is a Porsche - albeit an old bog standard Boxster! The ride is firm but not overly so and interior quality is good in my opinion. If you want a quick, reliable - so far! - stylish and practical estate this may well be the car for you and with a new model on the horizon deals can be done even with the blue chip Mercedes dealers. Go on, worry the Labrador.

mark davies, February 20th 2014

0 CDI AMG Sport 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG34 mpg

Totally disagree with your review. The Amg sport plus is a great car. I've just traded down from a 525d 5-series. Sure refinement is not quite as good. However the ride is much better. The car is lighter, more agile, sportier and faster!!! At idle the engine is motionless. I'd say the bmw has more vibration from its 3.0 straight six. The merc has a growl to it - fantastic. Fed up of quiet, boring, methodical cars for really boring people. This car is for people with soul - it's beautiful to look at, to drive and to live in. A real drivers car. Lovely.

Gerry Arcari, June 12th 2013

0 BlueEFFICIENCY SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG40 mpg

I have to disagree with What Car on many points about the C Class. The interior is classy, much nicer than the stark BMW 3 series or the plastic Volvo V60.The controls are practical and the info / entertainment / sat nav system is easy to use once you get used to it. The offset pedals are not an issue for me, I didn't even notice they were offset until I read a review! I only have the C200cdi but performance is quite adequate and there is sufficient punch for sensible overtaking in safety. The engine is a bit grumbly low down but once up and running on the motorway (where I spend a lot of my time) is virtually inaudible. Ride is firm but not jarring, as I stayed with the standard 16" wheels and 55 section tyres. Certainly the ride deteriorates noticeably with the 18" wheels and low profile rubber. The manual gearbox is ok albeit not a slick as my previous Honda. The main criticism I have is that the reverse spring is too strong. The clutch is light and hill starts are fine even with the Mercedes parking brake. If this is a problem then there is a "brake hold" function which works perfectly for hill starts (push the brake pedal twice when stopped). Even the 'base' spec SE Exec comes with climate, cruise, park sensors, rain sensing wipers, electric tailgate, USB/MP3/IPOD connection and bluetooth. Mine also has integrated Becker sat nav which is pretty good.

Tony Ennis, February 8th 2013

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY SE 5dr [Map Pilot]

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG55 mpg

I have to disagree with What Car on many points about the C Class. The interior is classy, much nicer than the stark BMW 3 series or the plastic Volvo V60.The controls are practical and the info / entertainment / sat nav system is easy to use once you get used to it. The offset pedals are not an issue for me, I didn't even notice they were offset until I read a review! I only have the C200cdi but performance is quite adequate and there is sufficient punch for sensible overtaking in safety. The engine is a bit grumbly low down but once up and running on the motorway (where I spend a lot of my time) is virtually inaudible. Ride is firm but not jarring, as I stayed with the standard 16" wheels and 55 section tyres. Certainly the ride deteriorates noticeably with the 18" wheels and low profile rubber. The manual gearbox is ok albeit not a slick as my previous Honda. The main criticism I have is that the reverse spring is too strong. The clutch is light and hill starts are fine even with the Mercedes parking brake. If this is a problem then there is a "brake hold" function which works perfectly for hill starts (push the brake pedal twice when stopped). Even the 'base' spec SE Exec comes with climate, cruise, park sensors, rain sensing wipers, electric tailgate, USB/MP3/IPOD connection and bluetooth. Mine also has integrated Becker sat nav which is pretty good.

Tony Ennis, February 8th 2013

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG55 mpg

I've had this car for 6 months and so far it has been reliable, practical and a pleasure to drive. I went for the 350CDi because it sounded better than the 4 cylinder models and the power/torque was exactly what I wanted. Fuel economy is of course no where near what the manufacturer claims but I still getting an average of 38mpg across a mixture of motorway, B roads and town use so overall I think it's pretty good especially as I'm not what you would call light-footed. Handling and comfort is very good, better than you would think for a fairly bulky car and with the recent bad weather I've never felt unsafe when driving at speed. Obviously being an estate it is fairly practical but also very comfortable, it has all the equipment you need in Sport spec which I supplemented with a Becker Map Pilot as I though the Comand system by comparison was just too expensive to justify. The quality of the cabin is also very good, materials have a quality feel and instrumentation is logical and easy to understand. This is my third C class over the last 9 years interspersed with various BMWs and I think build quality on this one is markedly better compared to the others so overall I'm pleased with decision I made to buy it. Lets hope this continues into the future.

a g, Berks, December 31st 2012

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG38 mpg

I've had this car for 6 months and so far it has been reliable, practical and a pleasure to drive. I went for the 350CDi because it sounded better than the 4 cylinder models and the power/torque was exactly what I wanted. Fuel economy is of course no where near what the manufacturer claims but I still getting an average of 38mpg across a mixture of motorway, B roads and town use so overall I think it's pretty good especially as I'm not what you would call light-footed. Handling and comfort is very good, better than you would think for a fairly bulky car and with the recent bad weather I've never felt unsafe when driving at speed. Obviously being an estate it is fairly practical but also very comfortable, it has all the equipment you need in Sport spec which I supplemented with a Becker Map Pilot as I though the Comand system by comparison was just too expensive to justify. The quality of the cabin is also very good, materials have a quality feel and instrumentation is logical and easy to understand. This is my third C class over the last 9 years interspersed with various BMWs and I think build quality on this one is markedly better compared to the others so overall I'm pleased with decision I made to buy it. Lets hope this continues into the future.

a g, Berks, December 31st 2012

0 CDI AMG Sport 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG38 mpg

I have the AMG Sport Edition 125 C250CDI Estate, with 17 inch 5 spoke alloys (a no cost option) with COMMAND in Iridium Silver with black leather. The car looks good in my opinion in this colour combination. To date, I have covered c10K miles. Fit and finish is very good and everything feels very solid. On the road, the performance of the 2143cc engine and 204 bhp is brisk, with 0 - 60 mph coming up in 7.4 seconds and a top speed of 147 mph according to the manufacturer. It certainly feels quick enough for every situation that I imagine I am likely to experience, and acceleration is smooth and powerful enough for overtaking. Economy is good and still improving, achieving around 37 mpg in London driving. On the motorway it's easy to the get the car's computer up to 60 mpg. So overall, then the blend of performance and economy is excellent. Now to the ride quality. To be fair to Mercedes, the roads in parts of London (I can't comment on other parts of the UK as my driving is principally limited to within the M25) are very poor, with ironically the only intact surfaces being the ubiquitous speed humps. Over these broken surfaces the ride becomes unsettled and pretty much every bump is felt. The suggestion from the motoring press is the suspension settings, but I do find that driving along I am weaving to avoid even manhole covers to ensure the smoothest ride. To summarise, an excellent car with a great blend of performance and economy and highly recommended.

Michael Foreman, November 26th 2012

0 CDI AMG Sport 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG37 mpg

I have the AMG Sport Edition 125 C250CDI Estate, with 17 inch 5 spoke alloys (a no cost option) with COMMAND in Iridium Silver with black leather. The car looks good in my opinion in this colour combination. To date, I have covered c10K miles. Fit and finish is very good and everything feels very solid. On the road, the performance of the 2143cc engine and 204 bhp is brisk, with 0 - 60 mph coming up in 7.4 seconds and a top speed of 147 mph according to the manufacturer. It certainly feels quick enough for every situation that I imagine I am likely to experience, and acceleration is smooth and powerful enough for overtaking. Economy is good and still improving, achieving around 37 mpg in London driving. On the motorway it's easy to the get the car's computer up to 60 mpg. So overall, then the blend of performance and economy is excellent. Now to the ride quality. To be fair to Mercedes, the roads in parts of London (I can't comment on other parts of the UK as my driving is principally limited to within the M25) are very poor, with ironically the only intact surfaces being the ubiquitous speed humps. Over these broken surfaces the ride becomes unsettled and pretty much every bump is felt. The suggestion from the motoring press is the suspension settings, but I do find that driving along I am weaving to avoid even manhole covers to ensure the smoothest ride. To summarise, an excellent car with a great blend of performance and economy and highly recommended.

Michael Foreman, November 26th 2012

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG37 mpg

After driving a 2009 C220 estate, I had a good look at the competition before deciding on another. Rejected the Audi due to continued reports of poor seat comfort and rejected the BMW as it is so common, although a nice enough car. Delivered on time in September, and found to be better inside than the previous model. This is only a manual and to be honest would prefer the auto, but don't find the manual gearbox bad at all apart from an over strong spring across to reverse. Hill starts no issue at all. The distractions - sorry - "driver aids" in the binnacle such as the parking advice and the eco display are simply an irritation but the large digital speedo selection is very good. The engine feels a lot more gruff than the previous model but with only 2000 miles covered it is still a bit tight. I can live with it anyway. The car feels very well build indeed, like a traditional mercedes from the past and I have no doubt that this car will give me three years of very reliable service before I get something else. I like it and would recommend it. Fuel economy on 2/3 dual carriagway and 1/3 urban roads based on real consumption (not the trip) is very good, at an average of 54MPG

David Springett, essex, November 9th 2012

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Executive SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG54.2 mpg

After driving a 2009 C220 estate, I had a good look at the competition before deciding on another. Rejected the Audi due to continued reports of poor seat comfort and rejected the BMW as it is so common, although a nice enough car. Delivered on time in September, and found to be better inside than the previous model. This is only a manual and to be honest would prefer the auto, but don't find the manual gearbox bad at all apart from an over strong spring across to reverse. Hill starts no issue at all. The distractions - sorry - "driver aids" in the binnacle such as the parking advice and the eco display are simply an irritation but the large digital speedo selection is very good. The engine feels a lot more gruff than the previous model but with only 2000 miles covered it is still a bit tight. I can live with it anyway. The car feels very well build indeed, like a traditional mercedes from the past and I have no doubt that this car will give me three years of very reliable service before I get something else. I like it and would recommend it. Fuel economy on 2/3 dual carriagway and 1/3 urban roads based on real consumption (not the trip) is very good, at an average of 54MPG

David Springett, essex, November 9th 2012

0 CDI Executive SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG54.2 mpg

I've just traded down from a CLS350CDi yet, in many ways, the C350CDi Sport Plus estate is a better car. I love the intelligent lighting system and the bluetooth audio function, through which the car stereo plays music stored in my phone. The new 3L diesel engine is more efficient and more refined than the older version in the CLS. The stop/start feature seems to help with fuel consumption, but I haven't been able to work out why it doesn't kick in every time I stop the car? Although I found them fiddly at first, the audio/sat-nav controls are actually much simpler and easier to use than the older system in the CLS, although the dealer forgot to supply the map pilot I had purchased so I haven't been able to use the sat-nav. The sports suspension is very stiff, and I feel every bump at low speeds. Fortunately, it isn't really noticeable at higher speeds...and the car definitely likes higher speeds. Lools wise, it may lack the cache of the CLS, but it's actually a better looking car. Mine is palladium silver, which looks great alongside the bi-colour alloys, twin exhausts, and privacy glass. I'd recommend this car to anyone.

Brian Butler, October 7th 2012

0 CDI AMG Sport Plus 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG40 mpg

I've just traded down from a CLS350CDi yet, in many ways, the C350CDi Sport Plus estate is a better car. I love the intelligent lighting system and the bluetooth audio function, through which the car stereo plays music stored in my phone. The new 3L diesel engine is more efficient and more refined than the older version in the CLS. The stop/start feature seems to help with fuel consumption, but I haven't been able to work out why it doesn't kick in every time I stop the car? Although I found them fiddly at first, the audio/sat-nav controls are actually much simpler and easier to use than the older system in the CLS, although the dealer forgot to supply the map pilot I had purchased so I haven't been able to use the sat-nav. The sports suspension is very stiff, and I feel every bump at low speeds. Fortunately, it isn't really noticeable at higher speeds...and the car definitely likes higher speeds. Lools wise, it may lack the cache of the CLS, but it's actually a better looking car. Mine is palladium silver, which looks great alongside the bi-colour alloys, twin exhausts, and privacy glass. I'd recommend this car to anyone.

Brian Butler, October 7th 2012

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport Plus 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG40 mpg

Filtered company car shortlist to suit my needs: BMW 320/325 D Touring, Audi A4 2.0D SE Avant, or C250 Sport Est. Explored the what-car "default" option - BMW - found Car/Dealer VERY over-rated and underwhelming, the Audi was a boring base model. I loved (and ordered) the classy Merc straight away despite poor reviews. Glad I ignored as this is not the poor car described by What-Car? Mine has been excellent! The car looks superb in white with AMG Sport Spec - it attracts compliments at petrol station, etc. It is special to own and drive in. The interior isn't as pretty as Audis but is functional and certainly not "a mess". The car feels superbly built to last -it's done 55K trouble free miles and still cleans up like new. The Merc exudes greater presence than a 3 series or Audi, which are far too ubiquitous to be "special". Dealer experience special too. The 250 powerplant is immense - a tourque monster which catches out your 2.0TDi bunch and hot hatches alike - acceleration through 4th and 5th is astonishing. I strongly disagree with comments of clattery harshness - its no worse than my colleagues' (unreliable)BMW 3 and 5 series. It tows my 1.5 ton caravan like it wasn't there! Good predictable handling but care is required with 500Nm tourque/RWD! Electric boot a super touch - a surprising practical car Negatives - 40MPG realistic - not 56! Rear passenger space not great. A handful on wet/icy roads. Hard sports suspension, but not as hard as wifes Mini Clubman

Anthony Hall, Derbyshire, September 20th 2012

0 BlueEFFICIENCY SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG40 mpg

Catastrophically bad car. Had a C250 estate for 13 yerars that was a reasonably good car - apart from rust issues and 50k life glowplugs and one or two other niggles like hopeless air-con (gave up on this in the end. It returned 38mpg against an official combined of 35.6. So, with the new one reportedly doing 55.4, with like use I expected at least 55. What do I actually get? 44, and that's trying hard to drive economically. Merc. have checked it and say that is accceptable. Acceptable to whom? certainly not to me. I have friends with BMW and Audi diesels, which perform near to how they claim, yet this car is laughably far away. Blueefficiency? Ha! On the credit side, the thing looks good, but is best left parked. The steering is vague, and off-centre, the ride barely adequate and there is a load of wind-noise from the driver's door. The elctrics are suspect, with the bonnet sensors unreliable, and frankly I have no confidence I this vehicle at all. Joined the RAC as if Mobilo is as useless as the rest of the Merc systems, I'll need it sooner not later... Also worth noting that the Audio 20 system is neither DAB nor DAB adaptable, so anyone with one of these post 2015 will no longer have a radio. Badly planned. I have been turned from a Merc enthusiast, to a Merc-hater. This is a car to avoid at all costs. As soon as the latest 3-series estate is available, I'll be getting rid of this dog, and can STRONGLY advise anyone to avoid such like the plague.

Edward Hughes, DEVON, November 18th 2011

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Executive SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG44 mpg