On paper, the C-Class’s pricing is on a par with that of the BMW 3 Series, making it more expensive than an Audi A3 Saloon or a Volvo S60. However, go for a manual gearbox and the Merc’s CO2 emissions are remarkably low by class standards, making it an appealing company car option. Even the more popular automatic models offer comparatively low company car tax bills, in fact.
Official fuel economy figures impress, and if you do buy the C-Class instead of leasing it, resale values will be relatively strong.
The range-topping AMG performance models' bigger, more powerful engines mean a larger thirst for fuel, while their insurance, tax and servicing costs are all higher, too.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class equipment
Even entry-level SE editions get alloy wheels, man-made leather seats, climate and cruise controls and a reversing camera.
We still think it’s worth stepping up to Sport trim, though, which adds larger alloys, sat-nav, full-LED headlights, flashier interior trim, heated front sports seats, and front and rear parking sensors.
You can pay even more by going for AMG Line trim, but we don’t think the extra (mainly cosmetic) kit is worth the extra cash.
The C 43 and extreme Mercedes-AMG C63 and C63 S get large alloy wheels as standard, plus a full AMG bodykit, AMG sports seats, a flat-bottomed performance steering wheel and nappa leather upholstery.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class reliability
This generation of Mercedes C-Class didn’t feature in our most recent customer satisfaction survey, but the previous model scored above-average marks for reliability. The car’s relatively elderly four-cylinder diesel engines help its cause here, too, because they’re well-honed motors that should have had their worst problems already ironed out.
The car comes with a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty and three years of breakdown cover, which is similar to what most rivals get.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class safety & security
All Mercedes C-Class models get a collision prevention system that can automatically apply the brakes to help stop you running into the back of the vehicle in front. There’s also a tyre pressure-monitoring system to alert you early if you have a slow puncture. All editions get seven airbags and a system that can detect if you’re getting drowsy on a long journey, too.
This all helped the C-Class score impressive marks in its Euro NCAP crash test in 2014. It was awarded the maximum five-star overall rating, along with scores of 92% for adult protection, 84% for child protection and 77% for pedestrian protection.
An alarm and engine immobiliser are standard on all versions, while security experts Thatcham awarded the C-Class five out of five for resisting theft, and four out of five for resisting being broken into.
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The C-Class’s entry-level trim still has a lot of kit, including 16in alloy wheels, artificial leather upholstery, climate and cruise controls, a reversing camera, rain-sensing wipers and a DAB radio. It’s certainly worth a look if your budget can’t quite stretch to a Sport model.
Our pick Sport
Sport trim is our pick of the range because it adds a lot of useful equipment over SE versions for a modest increase in price. You get 17in alloys, heated front sports seats, LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, lower suspension and flashier interior trim. This version also gets sat-nav – but it’s the slightly clunky Garmin system instead of Mercedes’ in-house Comand set-up.
This trim level brings AMG styling touches, including a bodykit and even larger alloy wheels, plus a sports steering wheel. If these cosmetic touches appeal, then AMG Line will seem like a price worth paying; to us, there’s little useful here to warrant the extra cash over a Sport model.
The C 43 and extreme Mercedes-AMG C63 and C63 S get large alloy wheels as standard, plus a full AMG bodykit, AMG sports seats, a flat-bottomed performance steering wheel and nappa leather upholstery. Of course, these performance versions also get a whole host of mechanical upgrades over cheaper C-Classes.