Used Mercedes C-Class (14-present) long-term review

Buying used puts a premium badge within reach – but is it worth it? Our two-year-old Mercedes-Benz C-Class will help us find out...

Used Mercedes C-Class (14-present) long-term review

Used Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The car: 2015 Mercedes-Benz C220 Bluetec Sport Premium Plus Saloon Run by: Alex Robbins, Used Cars Editor Why it’s here: It’s one of the best-selling used executive cars, so we want to find out what all the fuss is about – and whether buying a two-year-old example is a worthwhile alternative to a newer car from a less upmarket brand. Needs to: Cosset through city traffic jams and motorway snarl-ups during the week, and smooth away the miles on longer weekend trips.

Price when new £35,655 Price on arrival £24,270 Approx value now £20,000 Mileage on arrival 7998 Mileage now 18,718 Test fuel economy 55.6mpg Official fuel economy 68.9mpg

Prices based on a car with Premium Plus pack but no further optional extras

7 March 2018 – an alpine adventure

As you might remember from last month’s update, the C-Class had been away having one of Mercedes’ own roof boxes and a set of winter tyres fitted ahead of its big trip to Austria. The former was fitted because I suspected four peoples’ luggage for a ski holiday wouldn’t quite fit in the boot, and as we loaded the car early on a cold winter Saturday morning, I discovered I was right. In fact, I was surprised by how much we did manage to get in there, but in the end, two large hold-alls and a cool box of food were stashed overhead.

To read the full story of our journey, click the 'Next >' button above.

Mercedes C-Class in Hollersbach, Austria

The journey down through Belgium and Germany was unremarkable which, it must be said, is to the C-Class’s credit. It’s an eleven-hour schlep from Calais to the Austrian alps, even with the aid of the derestricted sections of the autobahn, and not all executive saloons can seat four adults in comfort for that amount of time. But the C proved it has plenty enough space in the rear seats to do just that, and nobody complained of back ache by the time we arrived.

Mercedes C-Class in Alpbach, Austria

Just as impressive was the fuel consumption, which turned out to be around 42mpg for our entire trip. Doesn’t sound like much, but consider the addition of the roof box, plus the weight of four adults and all our luggage, and of course the autobahn cruising speed of 100mph, and suddenly that seems very reasonable.

Mercedes C-Class in Mittersill, Austria

Good weather meant we didn’t have too much call to put the winter tyres to the test, except on the Friday morning, when I found myself with an hour’s drive to do across a 4000ft mountain pass after heavy snowfall. Even with the tyres, the Merc’s tail end felt a little on the loose side on the odd occasion – perhaps not quite as reassuring as a front-drive model, and especially not one with four-wheel drive. That said, the traction control did its job each time and the car never once felt out of control.

Mercedes C-Class in Alpbach, Austria

Other problems? Well, nothing new, to be fair. I still find the ride quality problematic – though as the C-Class seems to be more comfortable on motorways and was thoroughly weighed down for most of our miles, the pitch-and-roll of the standard Sport suspension became less of an issue. What’s more, all four of us found the infotainment system to be frustrating to use from time to time; that said, once set up, the sat nav did its job beautifully, while the Burmester audio upgrade sounded terrific, drowning out even the most vociferous of sing-alongs.

Mercedes C-Class in Kitzbuehel, Austria

On the whole, though, the C-Class proved to be an adept continent-crosser – and an inexpensive one at that. And it proved one important thing to me: that if you plan to drive out to the mountains regularly, you might not need that SUV you think you do; a set of winter tyres and a roof box is probably a cheaper option, and won’t lumber you with compromised fuel economy for the rest of the year.

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