Used Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate 2000 - 2008 review

Category: Estate car

The Mercedes C-Class Estate is very satisfying to own and to drive, but not as roomy as its predecessor

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (00 - 08)
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (00 - 08)
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (00 - 08)
Used Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate 2000 - 2008 review
Star rating

What's the used Mercedes C-Class estate like?

The Mercedes C-Class Estate is more lifestyle than worker estate, but it's still extremely practical with a handy 470-litre luggage bay. Drop the rear bench and that stretches to 1384 litres - almost identical to the BMW 3 Series Touring's and roomier than the Audi A4 Avant's.

The range of petrol and diesel engines provide good mid-range pull, from the supercharged C180K petrol and C200 CDI diesel up to the C350 (or rare, expensive and hairy C55 AMG) petrols and C320 CDI diesels.


The Mercedes C-Class Estate is very satisfying to own and to drive, but not as roomy as its predecessor

  • Practical and stylish
  • Reliable
  • Great to drive and well equipped
  • It's expensive
  • Many dislike the foot-operated parking brake

All have a sensibly equipped cabin, with simple controls, a good driving position, plenty of storage areas and mostly good-quality materials. Two can sit in comfort in the back, but the raised transmission tunnel in the floor makes it cramped for three.

Drivers will like it, though. It's far crisper and more agile than the previous C-Class estate through the bends, but it's also excellent at smothering bumps, sealing out external noise and tackling long-distance drives.

Ownership cost

What used Mercedes C-Class estate will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Mercedes C-Class estate?

Prices for the C-Class estate aren't over-the-top by Mercedes' standards, but they're not cheap. The purchase price - even on older cars - will put a big dent in your bank balance.

However, you'll get a good proportion of that back once you resell it, because the C-Class holds its value very well. That makes the overall cost of ownership far lower than it may appear when you're buying it.

Servicing costs are high, but not outrageous - noticeably dearer than an A4 Avant, fractionally more than a 3 Series Touring. Leave the Mercedes dealer network, though, and you should slash the labour bill by almost half, according to Warranty Direct.

Fuel economy is reasonable: mid-30s to the gallon for the C180k and about 40mpg for the diesels. The C350s hit you for mid-20s, though.

Our recommendations

Which used Mercedes C-Class estate should I buy?

Cars with the manual gearbox will be significantly cheaper, but spend more to get an automatic if you can. They're smooth to drive (the manuals are notchy), make the foot-operated parking brake less of a hassle and will hold their value better.

We'd choose a C180K ('K' for Kompressor, meaning supercharged in German), with Classic or Classic SE trim. It offers the best value: enough performance for most needs, decent fuel economy, and it's the cheapest to buy.

The C200 CDI and C220 CDI turbodiesels are refined and frugal, but you'll need to stump up a fair bit more to get the keys.

The C200K, C230K and C240 petrols are strong, too, while the bigger-engined versions (C280, C320 and C350 petrols and C320 CDI diesel) are swift and sweet if you've got enough cash to run them. There's also the ultimate C-class, the high-performance C55 AMG: bruising in every sense.

Classic is the basic trim, rising through Elegance and Avantgarde to top-trim Sport. 'SE' denotes extra kit on each level.

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