posted 2 years ago

Mercedes-Benz C Class Saloon Review

With prices starting from around £28k, the C-Class Saloon has its sights set for the top step of the podium.

Motoring.co.uk User Verdict
4
From £28,295
Pros
  • Comfy and refined
  • Smooth engines
  • Practical
Cons
  • Servicing costs
  • Air suspension is an optional extra
  • Not as good to drive as rivals

Introduction:

This is one of the most iconic Mercedes’ on its range, the C-Class Saloon is one of the most popular premium executive saloon cars on the market. In fact the C-Class Saloon is so important that it now shares technology that is largely reserved for the flagship S-Class.

Rivals include the BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4 to name but a few, can the Mercedes take the sector by storm? Read on to find out more. 

On the Road

Three engines were offered from the get-go – the C220 BlueTEC diesel, the C250 BlueTEC diesel and the C200 petrol while a hybrid diesel version, the C300 BlueTec Hybrid was also added.

Mercedes expects a huge 83 per cent of all sales to add the auto box as an option and we would agree, the auto is much smoother and nicer to drive than the manual.

Business drivers are expected to opt for the C220 and C250 engines, these models are powered by the 2.1-litre engine, with a low and high output.

The C220 is expected to be the cornerstone of the range as it produces 168bhp and 400Nm of torque. That means it will get 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds. An improved version of the 2.1 found in the old C-Class, there’s a marked improvement in refinement. while the C220 mated to the auto gearbox produces 202bhp and 500Nm of torque. It can complete the benchmark sprint in 6.6 seconds.

The C300 hybrid produces almost 230bhp from its combination of a four-cylinder diesel unit and electric motor combination. It’s quiet and refined making a good alternative.  

For the majority of C-Class Saloon drivers, the ride and handling of this model will be perfect, however, for those that are a little bit more on the enthusiast side then they will always want that little bit extra. Don’t get us wrong, this model is very comfortable on long motorway jaunts and it feels relatively nimble in the twisty stuff it just needs a little more phwoar. The steering is well balanced and is direct but there is not enough feedback, Audi and BMW are better on this front.

If you want to alter the saloon model to the way you drive then you can toggle with the driving characteristics, these modes include Comfort, Eco, Sport and Sport+ and also an individual setting. If you have ticked the box for the optional adaptive air suspension, select Sport or Sport+ mode and this will alter the car’s handling characteristics for optimum performance driving. 

Mercedes-Benz, top dog when it comes to refinement and this car is testament to that. Comfort levels are A1. From the supportive seats to the AIRMATIC air suspension system – it is like one imagines riding a magic carpet to work would be like. This is smooth, in fact this is super smooth, undulations in the road are soaked up and only the harshest of potholes can be felt. 

In the car

Three equipment levels are available from launch on the C-Class – SE, Sport and AMG Line – along with a long list of optional extras to further personalise your car.

Highlights on the SE trim includes 16-inch alloys, Artico leather upholstery, the Audio 20 multimedia system with a seven-inch screen, comfort suspension, halogen headlights, reversing camera, pre-wiring for the Map Pilot sat-nav, automatic windscreen wipers, cruise control, tyre pressure monitoring, a three-spoke steering wheel, digital radio and a storage package with front cup-holders.

Sport trim adds 17-inch alloys, aluminium interior trim and contrasting stitching, chrome detailing, satnav, heated sports seats, an interior lighting package, LED headlights, lowered comfort suspension, an autonomous parking system with parking sensors and split-folding rear seats.

The flagship AMG grade adds 18-inch alloys, AMG bodykit, AMG sports seats and steering wheel, a leather upper dashboard, sports steering and suspension.

Being longer, wider and with an extended wheelbase, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon practicality has improved over the previous version.

There’s more room in the back for passengers, and this translates to a deceptively large rear passenger compartment. Sitting behind a six-foot-high driver left more than ample headroom and knee room.

You get multiple storage options in the cabin including twin cup-holders up front, plus all C-Class Saloons come with a standard reversing camera too, which will make parking a lot easier.

The boot has expanded by five litres to a total of 480 litres, and as an optional extra you can get a motorised boot lid to further enhance the usability of the C-Class.

Ownership

Business drivers will favour one of the most frugal cars on the line-up, our pick is the C220 diesel mated to a manual gearbox returning a claimed 70.6mpg. 

The C-Class Saloon is one of the best performing Mercedes-Benz cars on its range when it comes to reliability. 

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon safety is top of the class. When Euro NCAP crash tested the car, it received the maximum five stars.

Safety highlights include seven airbags, Attention Assist, Collision Prevention Assist Plus, which can autonomously brake the vehicle while optional kit includes radar-guided cruise control, BAS Plus and lane-keeping assistance.