Unveiled in 1993, the C-Class quickly became one of the best sold models in Mercedes’ line-up. This impressive success is contributed to the car’s relatively cheap price - when compared to other Mercedes models - but also to its compact size.
The first generation stayed in production until 2000, and from 2000 to 2007 Mercedes sold the second generation C-Class. As of 2007, the model is in its third generation (W204), and that generation came with a completely new exterior design language, more compact dimensions that offer a generously sized interior, and an improved engine line-up. In 2011, the C-Class received a facelift that brought on a new front and rear design, more power from a new V6 engine, and improved fuel consumption. For the 2013 model year, the C-Class will continue its path of improvement with some small changes under the hood to make the C-Class even more powerful.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2007-2013 Mercedes C-Class.
The third generation C-Class measures in at 4,581 millimeters in length (55 mm longer than predecessor) and 1770 millimeters in width (42 mm more than the predecessor). The wheelbase was increased by 44 mm to a total of 2760 millimeters. Thanks to the increased dimensions, the new C-Class offers a generously sized interior, thereby adding more comfort.
One of the most impressive features of the new C-Class is its new radiator grille which is flush-fitted into the bonnet and bumper, almost completely filling the space between the headlamps. This element is a distinctive feature of the new C-Class and helps customers distinguish the three versions: Classic, Elegance and Avantgarde.
The headlamps are also new, while on the side, the car gets large wheel arches and prominent wings. The rear continues with a striking spoiler lip on the boot lid, which flows harmoniously into the wings and the character line, the boot handle, and the attractively integrated bumper lining.
2011 -2013 models
The 2011 facelift came with a redesigned front bumper, a new grille, LED daytime running lights at the bottom of the bumper, and a new aluminum hood. For the rear, the C-Class received a new bumper and revised LED tail lights.
Starting in 2013, the Mercedes C-Class has added a new AMG Sports Package Plus which includes:
- enhanced exhaust tuning
- special sport interior with contrasting seatbelts
- 18" 7-twin-spoke wheels
- revised front suspension
The interior was completely redesigned for the third generation C-Class. Mercedes opted to combine sporty elements with the highest level of luxury: silver-colored bezels, black dial faces, white markings and glowing orange combined with a two-tone dashboard and a new center console.
Mercedes also installed newly developed front seats which further benefited in terms of pressure distribution and lateral support. The seating position is higher by 7 millimeters thanks to the straight front edges of the B-pillars, the larger front door aperture, and the new shape of the seat cushions in the rear.
The new C-Class also received higher quality materials, while the boot capacity was increased by 20 liters to 475 liters.
2011 -2013 models
The only modifications the C-Class received on its interior in 2011 are some technology features. There was a new optional telematics system on board, while the navigation system has a three-dimensional representation of the city with plastic models and allows the driver to request a choice of five routes.
The third generation C-Class will be offered with a choice of four and six-cylinder engines with fuel economy increased by 13%. The four-cylinder line-up starts with an entry-level C 180 KOMPRESSOR that develops a total of 156 HP (up from the previous 143 HP) and a C 200 KOMPRESSOR with 184 HP. The V6 models include a choice of three petrol units developing 204 HP, 231 HP, and 272 HP. For customers with a special addiction to diesel engines, Mercedes is offering a 136 HP C 200 CDI and a 170 HP C 220 CDI. The top version gets a V6 diesel engine with 224 HP.
The only "big" change the C-Class received in 2011 was for the Mercedes C350 Blue Efficiency who received a new V6 gasoline engine that delivers a total of 306 HP. The fuel consumption was also lowered by 31% compared to the previous model.
More power for the 2013 model year
- C250 Coupe & Sport/Luxury Sedan: direct-injection 1.8-liter 4-cylinder turbo (201 hp, 229 lb.-ft.)
- C300 4MATIC Sport/Luxury Sedan: new direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 generating 248 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque (previously 228 hp/221 lb-ft) including new ECO Start/Stop and standard 4MATIC all-wheel drive.
- C350 Coupe & Sport Sedan: New ECO Start/Stop on direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 (302 hp, 273 lb.-ft.). Available 4MATIC all-wheel drive on coupe.
- C63 AMG Coupe & Sedan: features hand-built naturally-aspirated 6.3-liter V8 (451 hp, 443 lb-ft), AMG 7-speed MCT and 18-inch twin 5-spoke alloy wheels. Optional AMG Development Package yields 481 hp.
Prices for the 2013 model year haven’t been announced just yet, but on the US market the 2012 model ranges from $34,800 for the C250 version and go up to $40,575 for the C350 model.
The main competitors for the C-Class are the Audi A4 and the BMW 3-Series, but in the past few years, the Cadillac CTS has also become a pretty serious competitor on the American market. The 3-Series has the advantage of already entering its new generation, while the current C-Class won’t be on the market for another year. The new BMW 3-Series will be offered with a choice of four engines - two petrol and two diesel - with power ranging 184 Hp to 306 HP. The other German model, the A4, won’t enter its new generation until late in 2015, but it will get a facelift version sometime this year.
Cheaper when compared to other Mercedes models
Lots of versions to choose from
Improved over the years
Top version can get pretty expensive