Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Mercedes-Benz C-Class 2023 review: C200

The new Mercedes-Benz C200 is a sedan that combines family features in a sporty package.

When it comes to choosing a family car, sedans are often overlooked for their long-legged wagon or beefy SUV cousins.

They're a bit of a forgotten hero but they'll always hold a piece of my heart for their practicality and (often) sexier kerb-side appeal.

If you can get used to your body cracking like a glow stick when you get in and out of them, the sedan may make a comeback!

The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, in entry-level C200 form, has definitely tempted my family to consider a sedan in the future – it looks stately and refined but the driving experience also makes it fun.

Let's see what else it did right and if there was anything that could be improved.

Did I mention, I'm fond of sedans... ?

ShowHide all sections

Design – Is there anything interesting about its design?

The C200 is a sleek and elegant steed.

Initially, you may think this is just a standard Merc showcase. There's the nice big badge on the pronounced nose. Beautiful sleek lines in the body... but it's the attention to detail that make this feel special.

  • The new Mercedes-Benz C200 is a sedan that combines family features in a sporty package. (image: Glen Sullivan) The new Mercedes-Benz C200 is a sedan that combines family features in a sporty package. (image: Glen Sullivan)
  • The C200 is a sleek and elegant steed. (image: Glen Sullivan) The C200 is a sleek and elegant steed. (image: Glen Sullivan)
  • Beautiful sleek lines in the body… but it’s the attention to detail that make this feel special. (image: Glen Sullivan) Beautiful sleek lines in the body… but it’s the attention to detail that make this feel special. (image: Glen Sullivan)
  • There’s a repeated badge motif in the grille and a cute cursive Mercedes logo tucked into the corner of the windscreen. (image: Glen Sullivan) There’s a repeated badge motif in the grille and a cute cursive Mercedes logo tucked into the corner of the windscreen. (image: Glen Sullivan)

There's a repeated badge motif in the grille and a cute cursive Mercedes logo tucked into the corner of the windscreen. The puddle lights on the doors project the badge at night time and you can often spot a badge etched into the LED lights.

However, it's the interior that's the highlight for me and I feel like it's a big step up from previous models I've been in.

It’s the interior that’s the highlight for me and I feel like it’s a big step up from previous models I’ve been in. (image: Glen Sullivan) It’s the interior that’s the highlight for me and I feel like it’s a big step up from previous models I’ve been in. (image: Glen Sullivan)

Our model has the grey 'Artico' synthetic leather trim (says grey but it's really white) and a lovely mix of piano black and shiny chrome inserts that are set against soft touchpoints throughout.

The quality of the build oozes through every stitch and join. Don't even get me started on the cool customisable ambient lighting system inside, which makes this feel like you're on the set of Tron and really elevates the interior.

It's quite fun to build one of these in Mercedes' online configurator. You can customise your trims to make it feel like your own and their blue paintwork options are great (I do love a blue car).

Our model has the grey 'Artico' synthetic leather trim (says grey but it’s really white). (image: Glen Sullivan) Our model has the grey 'Artico' synthetic leather trim (says grey but it’s really white). (image: Glen Sullivan)

Under the bonnet – What are the key stats for its engine and transmission?

The C200 has a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine with an integrated starter-generator. 

What's that, you ask? So, glad you did. It's basically an electric battery that also acts as your starter... or alternator.

It smooths out vibrations from the engine and generates some power from braking. Making this a very mild hybrid. Note the 'mild'.

Is it powerful? Surprisingly, yeah. It has a maximum output of 165kW and 300Nm of torque. (image: Glen Sullivan) Is it powerful? Surprisingly, yeah. It has a maximum output of 165kW and 300Nm of torque. (image: Glen Sullivan)

Is it powerful? Surprisingly, yeah. It has a maximum output of 165kW and 300Nm of torque. Combine that with the starter-generator and we have a powerful little engine that can push the C200 from 0-100km in 7.3 seconds, while still feeling like there's power in reserve.

The nine-speed auto transmission is damn smooth and there's no clunky gear changing at any speed. It's got great pick-up, too, for when you need to overtake or zip across traffic.

Driving – What's it like to drive?

The steering feels solid and concise. The tyres seem like they're glued to the road, making winding roads downright fun to tackle. Oh, and the sharp 11 metre turning circle is wonderful.

The handling makes this your best friend in a car park. The lower ground clearance did elicit some unladylike grunts when I parked on a hill, but otherwise the wide door apertures makes it easy to get in and out of.

The only thing I would note is the low-profile ground clearance. Just be aware of your speed and angle when you handle car park ramps or road bumps in this. They are not your friends.

Practicality – How practical is its space and tech inside?

I'm not going to lie – there are sedans out there that have an almost limo-like space inside but the C200 isn't one of them.

It's not small by any means and all occupants enjoy the comforts of decent legroom and headroom but it's not cavernous considering the specs (1437mm high/1820mm wide/4751mm long).

The optional panoramic sunroof does cut into the headroom for back seat passengers, which is something to consider if your family is very tall.

The storage is maybe a tad leaner-than-average for a car of this size. The glove box and middle console aren't massive but will suffice.

The cupholders up front can be removed if you need extra storage space for larger items and back seat passengers enjoy retractable cupholders in the armrest.

  • The optional panoramic sunroof does cut into the headroom for back seat passengers, which is something to consider if your family is very tall. (image: Glen Sullivan) The optional panoramic sunroof does cut into the headroom for back seat passengers, which is something to consider if your family is very tall. (image: Glen Sullivan)
  • There are ISOFIX child seat mounts on the outboard rear seats and three top tether anchor points. (image: Glen Sullivan) There are ISOFIX child seat mounts on the outboard rear seats and three top tether anchor points. (image: Glen Sullivan)

The way the front doors curve out creates a larger than normal storage bin and drink bottle holder – which help make up the difference. There is a dedicated phone pocket, to tuck it out of the way.

The boot space is 455 litres (VDA), which isn't as large as some others on the market but it was plenty big enough for my family's needs.

There's a handy under-floor storage pocket for smaller items, like the puncture repair kit, because you don't get a spare tyre in this.

When it comes to ease of use, my six-year-old loved not needing my help to get into his seat and he still enjoyed a decent view out of the wide back window.

The amenities in each row are good but not class-defining. Still, creature comforts have be well-thought through.

Front occupants enjoy heated seats and fantastic lumbar and under thigh support. Dual-zone climate control sorts out the temp, and the cool circular air vents that make loud audible 'clicks' when manoeuvred give the interior a jet cockpit vibe.

The boot space is 455 litres (VDA), which isn’t as large as some others on the market but it was plenty big enough for my family’s needs. (image: Glen Sullivan) The boot space is 455 litres (VDA), which isn’t as large as some others on the market but it was plenty big enough for my family’s needs. (image: Glen Sullivan)

While I've never had an issue opening or closing a sedan boot, the powered lid was a nice feature to have this week.

The tech throughout is great and intuitive to use. The massive 11.9-inch touchscreen multimedia system is cool and is easy to use once you become acclimatised to Mercedes system.

The customisable digital instrument panel makes the driving experiences feel individualised.

The interior is a chilled out space with gentle scrolling touchpads taking the place of most 'push' buttons and dials.

Think of each surface as being a bit like a touchscreen tablet in how you operate it. I was a little worried the touchpads would be laggy but they're very responsive.

There’s the nice big badge on the pronounced nose. (image: Glen Sullivan) There’s the nice big badge on the pronounced nose. (image: Glen Sullivan)

There's only one USB port in the whole car, which limits charging for other passengers but I did enjoy the easy connectivity of the wireless Apple CarPlay.

The electric heated front seats are a nice touch but I was amused by the 'kinetic' function on both. It's what you might call a 'massage' function on another car but here they don't really work. It's best to think of them as a way to do some (very) gentle stretching on a long trip.

The 360-degree camera view is super clear and crisp but the dynamic guidelines (which tilt the camera angle) are a bit too dynamic for my liking and I relied mostly on the bird's eye view to park.

As I've mentioned, the ambient lighting system creates a stellar atmosphere inside. I've often wondered why other car manufacturers haven't jumped on that bandwagon because it's a relatively cheap way of creating wow factor. And it generates massive wow factor in here.

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What is its safety rating?

The safety sheet is well-stocked and has the usual suspects you want in a family car, like: AEB with car, pedestrian, cyclist and junction turning assist (effective speed 7.0-90km/h); forward and back-over collision warning, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning and emergency lane keeping assist, as well as, blind-spot monitoring.

I quite like the 'Active Distance Assist' which helps to automatically slow your vehicle speed to keep a set distance to the car in front in stop-start traffic.

Perfect for those busy city commutes. And if you're not confident on parking, this also has a 'Park Assist' feature.

  • The 360-degree camera view is super clear and crisp but the dynamic guidelines (which tilt the camera angle) are a bit too dynamic for my liking. (image: Glen Sullivan) The 360-degree camera view is super clear and crisp but the dynamic guidelines (which tilt the camera angle) are a bit too dynamic for my liking. (image: Glen Sullivan)
  • I relied mostly on the bird’s eye view to park. (image: Glen Sullivan) I relied mostly on the bird’s eye view to park. (image: Glen Sullivan)

It's nice to see that this has nine airbags, which include a driver's knee airbag and the newer front centre airbag.

This has a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating which is nice and new from testing done in 2022.

There are ISOFIX child seat mounts on the outboard rear seats and three top tether anchor points but because of the narrower rear seat, you'll only comfortably fit two side-by-side.

It was super easy to fit my seats and there's a good amount of room for front passengers when a 0-4 rearward facing child seat is installed.

Price and features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

Herein lies the rub. There are four models for the C-Class sedan and ours is at the bottom of the pack.

But don't let its position fool you in thinking it'll be cheap because this model starts at $78,900... and that's before you start adding the option packs. 

Our model is fitted with the 'Vision Package' which adds a host of features – like a panoramic sunroof, head-up display and heated front seats, to name just a few. This adds about $3000 to the price tag.

This also has the optional 'Sport Package' which adds 19-inch AMG alloy wheels. (image: Glen Sullivan) This also has the optional 'Sport Package' which adds 19-inch AMG alloy wheels. (image: Glen Sullivan)

This also has the optional 'Sport Package' which adds 19-inch AMG alloy wheels and rear privacy glass, among other things, for an extra $1300.

Unfortunately, even without all of those options, this is still one of the most expensive 'entry-level' sedans in the luxury class!

Efficiency – What is its fuel consumption? What is its driving range?

The official combined cycle fuel figure is 6.9L/100km. Real world testing saw my figure at 7.2L, which was awesome for the heavy driving I did this week on a combo of urban and open-roads.

The light regen braking probably helps this coast comfortably into being a very efficient sedan for its size.

Minimum fuel requirement is 95 RON premium unleaded and you'll need 66 litres of it to fill the tank.

Driving range using the official consumption figure is around 950km, and 915km using our real-world number.

Ownership – What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs?

The C200 comes with a five-year/unlimited km warranty, which is standard for the market.

There are multiple servicing options and on the five-year plan, the services average $1090 annually, which is quite expensive.

Servicing intervals are pretty good at every 12 months or a longer than usual 25,000km, whichever comes first.

The C200 comes with a five-year/unlimited km warranty, which is standard for the market. (image: Glen Sullivan) The C200 comes with a five-year/unlimited km warranty, which is standard for the market. (image: Glen Sullivan)


The Wrap

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class C200 is such a stylish sedan and I would totally have one. The driving performance, luxurious features and practical size made it a winning combo for my family. The price point is definitely up there but you do get a high-end build for the cash. I've seen bigger boots in other sedans and not being able to fit a third child seat will limit some families, but this still easily earns an 8.5/10 from me.

My son really loved this one. The ambient lighting was the highlight for him and he thought it looked like a "space car" inside. He gave it a 9/10.

Likes

Luxurious finishes
Upmarket and intuitive tech
Precise handling

Dislikes

On the compact side for size
Low-ground clearance may grind the teeth
Dynamic guidelines are trippy

Scores

Emily:

4

The Kids:

4.5

$69,800 - $116,800

Based on 78 car listings in the last 6 months

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.