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Mercedes C-Class (2000-2006) Buying Guide

Mercedes C-Class (2000-2006)
Mercedes C-Class (2000-2006)Mercedes C-Class (2000-2006)Mercedes C-Class (2000-2006)Mercedes C-Class (2000-2006)Mercedes C-Class (2000-2006)Mercedes C-Class (2000-2006)Mercedes C-Class (2000-2006)Mercedes C-Class (2000-2006)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

While the C-Class has always sat in the shadow of the 3-Series and A4, it's a great car with some brilliant engines and is surprisingly well equipped. However, early cars weren't as well made as you'd expect, although post-2004 cars are much better. Whether you buy petrol or diesel, you'll love driving a C-Class.

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We LikeWe Don't Like
Mercedes image
Great to drive
Very refined
Well equipped
Flimsy plastics inside
Cramped rear seats
Key Dates 
9/00C-Class launched in saloon form.
4/01C270 CDi arrives.
5/01Estates come on stream, along with Sport Coupé.
8/01C32 AMG joins range.
6/02Panoramic glass roof now available on Sport Coupé.
6/03Range is bolstered by C200 CDi.
2/04V8-powered C55 AMG appears. Range is also facelifted with revised nose and tail along with improved heating and ventilation.
  • Front tyres can wear at different rates relative to each other.
  • Six-speed manual gearbox is usually rather notchy; you'll have to live with it.
  • Wind noise around the doors is caused by poorly fitted seals.
  • Check for clouds of black smoke under acceleration with diesels; turbo seals fail readily.
  • Heated rear window packs up.
  • Battery goes flat surprisingly quickly, if left for a few days.
  • Diesel engine glowplugs can fail after just three years.
  • Paint is sometimes poorly applied, especially with solid colours.
  • Check all electrics work as they should - they often don't.

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