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Used Mercedes-Benz C-Class review: 2001-2012

Few cars come with such a staggering range of engines as the Mercedes C-Class.
Looking for a used Mercedes-Benz?

Buy with confidence; all Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned vehicles come with a factory backed warranty, 100 point safety check, comprehensive service history and 24hr roadside assistance.

The small-medium Mercedes-Benz C-Class, while costing significantly more than many cars in its class, is becoming increasingly affordable by the standards of the prestige car market.

Though it has been built down to a price when compared with upper crust Mercedes models, the price trimming has been done intelligently and you still get a car that’s well built and uses good quality materials.

The C-Class is sold as a three-door coupe, a four-door sedan and five-door station wagon body. Coupes from 2008 to 2011 were called the CLC-Class in an attempt to give them a sportier image. That didn’t seem to work and with the new model of 2011 the C-Class coupe name was revised.

This is a rear-wheel-drive car so those travelling in the back seats of sedans and wagons will find themselves a little squeezed unless the front seats are moved forward a notch or two. This situation has improved over the years as the C-Class cars have become slightly larger, but it’s still smart to take the family along during your pre-purchase road test to make sure it suits them.

Boot space is good and the big bootlid in the sedans makes it easy to load. The wagon is of the stylish school, with a sloping tailgate that robs the load area of some cubic capacity.

Naturally the back seats and boots of the coupes are on the cramped side, but that’s par for the course.

Few cars come with such a staggering range of engines as the Mercedes C-Class. Four, six and eight-cylinder engines are offered. The latest petrol engines have direct petrol injection and are significantly better than the older units in terms of performance consumption and emissions. Look for the letters CGI in the car’s title, indicting the new-generation engines. The name Kompressor in the car’s title means it has a supercharged engine to provide extra torque. Later units use a turbocharger rather than a supercharger.

The hot AMG models use the V8s and have tremendous performance, but this comes at a cost in high fuel consumption.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class with turbo-diesel engines have been sold for many years, long before they became common in other European marques. They have either four or six cylinders. The newer diesels (look for CDI on the badge) are a big advance on the older diesel in smoothness and refinement and once the car is cruising at a steady speed we defy you to pick them from petrol powerplants.

The great majority of C-Class Mercedes-Benzes will have an automatic transmission, though you will find some four-cylinders cars have a five-speed manual gearbox, they may cause real hassles at resale time.

Luxury levels are Classic, Elegance, Avantgarde and Sport. The latter has firmer suspension for better road feel and will make a nice car for the enthusiastic driver.

Spare parts, servicing and repairs are all expensive for a car of this size, but certainly not for a machine with the high prestige rating the Benz affords you. Insurance costs are generally reasonable for a car in this class.

It pays to buy a used Mercedes-Benz which has been serviced throughout its life by an authorised dealer. Their mechanics are not only trained to high standards, but are in constant touch with the factory. A car with a full service history will almost invariably command a higher price but be sure the service books are genuine.

Mercedes-Benz Australia offers a good used-car scheme on cars up to five years of age. The length of the warranty varies according to the workshop’s assessment of the car.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Be sure the steering is positive with no unnecessary free play in the straight-ahead position. There were some problems with the early version of the Brake Assist System (BAS). These should have been rectified by a dealer after a recall. Contact the dealer or Mercedes’ head office to see if this work has been done.

Do a visual check of the car inside and out for signs of damage or worse-than-average wear. Pay particular attention to the bumper-bar corners for signs of paint scrapes. Also have a good look at the condition of the seats.

Always call an expert for the final say no matter how good the Mercedes appears to be after your own inspection. Either use a mechanic formally trained on Mercedes or a senior inspector from your motoring association. Noisy engines, or units that are slow to start may be about to rack up an expensive repair.

CAR BUYING TIP

If you’re considering getting an old prestige car rather than a new, but somewhat mundane, car make sure your budget is up to the task of supporting the higher running costs of the upmarket machine.
 

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2012 $14,600 $112,090
2011 $13,100 $59,510
2010 $13,300 $57,420
2009 $11,900 $52,250
2008 $7,900 $44,770
2007 $7,500 $23,870
2006 $7,100 $22,990
2005 $6,700 $22,990
2004 $6,500 $22,880
2003 $6,500 $21,560
2002 $6,400 $21,560
2001 $6,400 $21,560

View all Mercedes-Benz C-Class pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$13,980
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$6,400
Highest Price
$21,560

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
C180 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $6,400 – 9,900 2001 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 2001 C180 Pricing and Specs
C180 Evolution 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $7,000 – 10,780 2001 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 2001 C180 Evolution Pricing and Specs
C180 Evolution AMG 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $7,700 – 11,880 2001 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 2001 C180 Evolution AMG Pricing and Specs
C200 Kompressor 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $7,300 – 11,330 2001 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 2001 C200 Kompressor Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$6,700

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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