What's the used Mercedes C-Class coupe like?
You know how it goes. You want a sporty-looking car that's smart enough to impress passers-by, rather than some staid four-door saloon, but you still have the occasional need for four seats. You also want a car that’s good to drive and carries a premium badge.
Step forward the Mercedes C-Class Coupé. This handsome devil is more than just a two-door version of the C-Class executive saloon; great steps have been made to make its behaviour and driveability as good as its looks promise. It has a different front suspension set-up, for one, as well as a lower ride height and revised steering. It also offers air suspension – and seeing as this makes a difference to the car’s on-road behaviour, we’d strongly recommend seeking out a car that has it fitted.
The C-Class Coupé is available with a range of efficient petrol and diesel engines, and three high-performance AMG models are sold, too: the C43, C63 and C63 S.
The petrol units are 2.0-litre engines with 181bhp (the C200) and 241bhp (the C300). The diesels are 2.1-litre engines with 168bhp (the C220d) and 201bhp (the C250d). The range was refreshed in 2018, with a 1.6-litre 154bhp petrol added to the line-up (the C180) and the older diesel replaced by a new 2.0-litre engine with 191bhp (the C220d) or 242bhp (the C300d).
There are two trim levels on the C-Class Coupé. Sport is well equipped despite being the cheaper option; it gets you 17in alloys, automatic lights and wipers, parking sensors, a rear-view camera, cruise control, air conditioning and a 7.0in-screen infotainment system featuring sat-nav, a DAB radio, USB connection and Bluetooth. AMG Line adds mostly style upgrades, as well as uprated brakes and firmer suspension.
On the road, the C-Class Coupé is classy and composed. The most popular engines are the diesels, which offer plenty of mid-range grunt as well as reasonable economy. The older 2.1-litre engine in both C220d and C250d forms can sound a little gruff when cold and under hard acceleration, but it settles into a quieter rhythm at higher speeds. The later 2.0-litre engine is much more refined and feels effortlessly flexible on the road.
By contrast, the lower-powered petrol, the C200, is a little short of low-down shove, and the swift C300 always sounds a little coarse. The sporting AMG models are all quick and satisfying with it. The C43 is a twin-turbocharged V6 hoot, while the V8-engined C63 and 63 S are both tremendous fun, if a little bit of a handful on a wet road.
The C-Class Coupé rides well, too, although it's better on the optional air suspension, which transforms the driving experience. You can keep it soft or stiffen it up at the flick of a switch to reduce body lean in corners. The rival BMW 4 Series Coupé is sweeter-handling, but the C-Class Coupé still turns in to corners keenly, and its steering weights up predictably.
You’re unlikely to be disappointed with the interior, either. The sports seats are supportive and comfortable and include adjustable lumbar support as standard, while the dashboard looks smart, with a tactile blend of materials and finishes.
Some might not like the way the 7.0in infotainment screen looks tacked-on, rather than integrated, and the system takes some getting used to with its overly complex menus and controls, but the graphics are crisp and there's all the functionality you could want, including sat-nav, Bluetooth, a DAB radio and full connectivity for your smartphone or MP3 player.
There’s plenty of space for the driver and front passenger, but the two in the rear will be a little cramped if they’re tall. Some rival cars are fractionally roomier. Likewise, the C-Class Coupé's boot isn’t as big as some, but there’s enough for a couple of suitcases and some extras.
Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Mercedes C-Class coupe?
Check the bodywork for any scuffs or dents to the front or rear, as this car will have been used around town and rearward visibility is limited. Also check the large alloy wheels for any kerb damage.
Also make sure your phone works with the infotainment system, particularly on later models with the new system. It seems to have been optimised for Apple CarPlay because it fills the whole central screen and you can use the touchpad on the steering wheel to control it, whereas the Android Auto connection only uses part of the screen and you have to take your hand off the wheel and use the rotary dial to control it.
What are the most common problems with a used Mercedes C-Class coupe?
Owners of the C-Class Coupé tend to have the most trouble with interior trim, followed by engine and engine electric issues. So, check the operation of the electric seat adjustment and the infotainment system and make sure the car starts well. Gearboxes seem strong, though. If you do encounter issues, most problems appear to have been fixed within a week and under warranty.
The switches used in the seatbelt buckles of some examples made between 1 June 2018 and 31 October 2018 could be faulty. Check with a Mercedes dealer to find out if this applies to your car because they'll need to fit new buckles if it does.
Incorrect engine undertray
The wrong engine undertray was fitted to some C-Class' built between 1 March 2018 and 31 March 2018, but this can easily be rectified by a Mercedes dealer who will check and replace it if necessary.
Front seat frame
The welds on the seat frames of the front AMG performance seats fitted to cars manufactured from 8 June 2017 and 2 June 2018 could fail during a collision. Find out from a Mercedes dealer if your car is affected because they will need to inspect the seats and repair them if found to be faulty.
Emissions software update
A number of C200d models fitted with the Renault-sourced 1.6-litre diesel engine and were made from 1 August 2014 to 31 May 2018 will need to have a software update performed by a Mercedes dealer to improve exhaust emissions, and have a supplementary booklet added alongside the owner's manual.
A software issue could lead to the start/stop function being disabled and cause the engine to stall. This issue can be rectified with an update that can be performed by a Mercedes dealer.
A small number of vehicles built between 6 February 2019 and 12 February 2019 might have incorrectly fitted tie rods on the front suspension. If your car is affected, it will need to be checked over by a dealer, who'll rectify the issue for you.
Cracked lock nut
A lock nut used in the steering gear of some models made from 1 March 2015 and 31 October 2018 could be cracked, and will need to be inspected and replaced by a Mercedes dealer.
Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
A certain number of cars made from 1 June 2017 to 30 November 2018 have a software issue with the electronic stability program (ESP) that will need to be reprogrammed by a Mercedes dealer to ensure it works as intended.
The crankshaft fitted to a small number of engines installed in cars built from 1 February 2019 to 31 March 2019 could have surface damage that'll reduce its durability. Speak to a Mercedes dealer to find out if this applies to your car, because it will require a new engine if it does.
Engine wiring harness
A wiring harness in the engine bay might not have been installed correctly and any affected vehicles will need to have this checked out by a Mercedes dealer, who'll carry out any necessary repairs to prevent any future issues.
Front passenger airbag
There have been two recalls for the front passenger airbag. The first applies to C-Class models made between 1 August 2017 and 31 October 2018 regarding a software glitch that'll require an update at a dealer. The second is for a bad connector that could prevent the airbag from deploying in a collision on some pre-June 2018 cars.
This applies to the high-performance AMG models made between 1 June 2014 and 31 May 2016 where the rear axle mountings could break under extreme circumstances, such as full acceleration on a wet surface or when repeatedly breaking traction of the rear wheels. If your car is affected, it'll need to have some software updates applied by a Mercedes dealer to the ESP and electronic chassis control units to limit performance during such scenarios.
Mounting bolts of the turbocharger oil return line
A small number of cars made from 1 December 2018 and 31 January 2019 that need to have the bolts that hold the turbocharger oil return lines in place replaced, but a Mercedes dealer will be able to inform you if your example is affected.
There have been three recalls to the power steering of the C-Class. First is the motor itself that can fail on models built between 1 August 2014 and 31 December 2016 and will need to be replaced. Then there was a software problem on some cars built from 1 November 2017 and 30 April 2018 that require an update. Finally, there is a sensor issue in the system of examples manufactured between 1 July 2018 and 31 August 2018 that could fail. Speak to your Mercedes dealer who'll be able to say if any of these applies to your car.
There has been an issue found with the driver's airbag of some cars made from 1 January 2018 and 30 March 2018 where the bag itself won't perform as intended in a collision. Your dealer will be able to find out if this applies to your car.
Rear beltline trim
The rear beltline trim on the exterior of examples manufactured from 1 January 2016 and 30 November 2017 can come loose, and will need to be inspected at a Mercedes dealer to determine if it needs replacing.
Front seatbelt pre-tensioners
Both the left and right front seats of cars made between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017 have been found to be faulty, meaning that front seat occupants aren't restrained correctly in a collision. Find out from a dealer if yours is affected and have the pre-tensioners replaced.
Radar control unit
This software issue applies to cars made from 1 February 2017 and 31 July 2019 and affected cars will require an update to the radar control unit in order for all the various automatic safety systems to function correctly.
Is a used Mercedes C-Class coupe reliable?
In our most recent reliability survey, the diesel-engined Mercedes C-Class finished 23rd out of 26 cars in the executive car class. The petrol-engined models finished in 17th place.
Reliability rating 87.3%
What went wrong? Non-engine electrics 11%, exhaust 6%, fuel system 4%, battery 3%, bodywork 3%, infotainment/sat-nav 3%, brakes 2%, steering 2%, engine 1%, gearbox/clutch 1%, interior trim 1%
A third of C-Classes went wrong, according to owners, who reported a wide range of issues. Faults rendered more than a third of cars undriveable, and one in four was off the road for more than a week. Although 81% of cars were fixed for free, a small percentage of owners paid out more than £1500 in repair bills.
Owner’s view “This is the worst car I have ever bought. Faults haven’t been properly fixed and the service from the dealer has been poor”
Mercedes as a brand finished in a disappointing 23rd place out of 32 manufacturers in the same survey.
If you would like to see the full reliability survey, head to the What Car? Reliability Survey pages for more information.
What used Mercedes C-Class coupe will I get for my budget?
Around £14,000 is the starting price for a C-Class Coupé. This will buy you a 2016 model in excellent condition with an average mileage for the year and a full history, from either a trader of an independent dealer. Up the folding to between £18,000 and £20,000 and you should be able to get a 2017 model, with the same criteria. Revised models from mid-2018 onwards with the improved engine range and new infotainment system can be found from £20,000. Spend between £20,000 and £30,000 on 2019, 2020 and 2021 models. Expect to pay in excess of £24,000 for a six-cylinder C43 or £34,000 or more for an eight-cylinder C63 AMG.
Check the value of a used Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe with What Car? Valuations
How much does it cost to run a Mercedes C-Class coupe?
Choose a 220d in base Sport trim and the average claimed NEDC fuel consumption is an excellent 68.9mpg, with corresponding CO2 emissions of just 106g/km. The C250d can beat an average 60mpg too, while the petrols inevitably lag behind, with the super-quick AMG C63 S managing just 32.8mpg.
Road tax for the diesels will be cheap, especially for cars registered before the tax changes of April 2017. Cars registered after that date will all be charged at the flat rate, although cars that cost more than £40,000 when new will be subject to an additional yearly surcharge. The current rates are £180 a year for a petrol or diesel car and £170 a year for a hybrid. The luxury tax is £390 a year.
Insurance groups are on the high side for all C-Class Coupé models, while servicing costs can be pricey, too. However, Mercedes operates a number of pay-monthly serving plans, allowing you to budget for the cost of servicing for a year or more.
Which used Mercedes C-Class coupe should I buy?
For its decent performance and praiseworthy economy, we’d try and seek out a C220d. As far as trim goes, we’d also look for a cheaper Sport model, which will have most of the equipment you'll want.
Our favourite Mercedes C-Class Coupé: C220d Sport
What alternatives should I consider to a used Mercedes C-Class coupe?
The biggest rival the C-Class Coupé faces is the BMW 4 Series Coupé. In most specs, it rides and handles well, and it won’t cost a fortune to run. One or two of the diesel engines are a little gruff, however, and it’s traditional BMW interior isn’t as flamboyant as the C-Class Coupé’s.
The Audi A5 Coupé handles well, too, and if you seek out the 3.0 TDI diesel version, you’ll have a smooth and swift car that’s also surprisingly economical. It’s not as involving to drive as the Mercedes or BMW, but its interior is very classy.