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Mercedes C-Class (2007-2014) Buying Guide

Mercedes C-Class (2007-2014)
Mercedes C-Class (2007-2014)Mercedes C-Class (2007-2014)Mercedes C-Class (2007-2014)Mercedes C-Class (2007-2014)Mercedes C-Class (2007-2014)Mercedes C-Class (2007-2014)Mercedes C-Class (2007-2014)Mercedes C-Class (2007-2014)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

Unless you can afford to buy something seriously costly, you'll struggle to find a car that says you've arrived quite like a Mercedes does. These saloons and estates may be towards the lower end of the Mercedes price lists, but those classy looks and that three-pointed star above the classic Mercedes grille will still impress a lot of people. The reputation is deserved too, because while you pay for the privilege, the C-Class is good to drive, superbly built and incredibly usable thanks to the spacious cabin. If you want economy there are frugal petrol and diesel engines, or if your focus is on performance the 457bhp C63 AMG should fit the bill - with plenty of choice in between. So while the C-Class isn't the cheapest used car option, think of it as being reassuringly expensive.

We LikeWe Don't Like
Classy image
Build quality
Equipment levels
Wide model range
Strong engines
Safety levels
Firm ride
High prices
Not that exclusive
Foot-operated parking brake
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Key Dates 
4/07The C-Class Mk3 saloon arrives with supercharged 1.8 (C180K, C200K), 2.5 (C230), 3.0 (C280) or 3.5-litre (C350) petrol engines, along with 2.2 (C200 CDi) and 3.0-litre (C320 CDi) turbodiesels.
12/07The C-Class estate debuts with the same engine options as the saloon.
1/08The C63 AMG appears in saloon and estate forms.
9/08The C180K Blue Efficiency joins the range, with a supercharged 1.6-litre petrol engine.
5/09A 1.8 petrol C250 CGI debuts alongside the 2145cc C220 CDI and the C350 CDi replaces the C320 CDi.
3/11A more efficient C-Class is launched, with styling tweaks and extra driver assistance systems.
9/12A facelift means the SE, Elegance and Sport are replaced by Executive SE, AMG Sport and AMG Sport Plus trims.
  • Standard cars are stiffly sprung; Sport editions have even firmer suspension.
  • Make sure you get the spare keys. Without them you'll pay plenty to get new ones programmed if you need to.
  • There are two types of leather for the interior: imitation and the real thing. It's all durable, but the former isn't as comfortable as the latter.
  • The instrumentation can be unreliable as the backlighting and LEDs fail, leading to odd displays.
  • Manual and auto gearboxes are loved and hated equally. So whatever you're thinking of buying, test it thoroughly so you know you can live with it.
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