Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2007 - 2014)
Last updated 13 February 2015
Jerks from 7G automatic transmission in C-Class may be curable by a dealer software update.
Image goes a long way when it comes to selling cars. Just ask Mercedes-Benz. The famous three-pointed star still holds immense stature among the public and remains one of the most desirable brands to own. Stature doesn't last forever though and in the 1990s Mercedes-Benz was in danger of losing its reputation for build quality and solid engineering with various rust problems and electric issues.
All credit to Mercedes-Benz though because the firm identified the problems and has come back brighter and better. And most crucially, it's image hasn't been seriously damaged, although that said, there are still plenty of former Mercedes-Benz owners who won't be buying another one. Which is a shame because as the C-Class shows, the brand has gone back to its roots and is once again producing cars that are well built and robust.
The styling has improved too and the new Mercedes-Benz design has a far stronger identity to it than previously with sharp lines and neat angles. The same goes for the interior with a robust and solid touch to everything plus a logical layout, although it's perhaps not as appealing as other executive models like the Audi A4. But it does feel it could go 500,000 miles in 10 years without anything going wrong.
Where the C-Class doesn't quite live up to expectations is the handling and steering. For all the Mercedes-Benz talk of dynamics and agility, it's not as sharp as a you'd expect and the steering is too light and artificial. But when it comes to ride quality, the C-Class is incredibly accomplished and refined. And it's these two words which really sum up this high quality saloon beautifully.
In March 2011 the C-Class was facelifted with a sharper look on the outside plus interior upgrades. However the biggest changes came under the bonnet with turbochargers replacing superchargers on the petrol engines, improvements of up to 31 per cent in fuel economy and the addition of an ECO start/stop function as standard. The most economical model - the C220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY - was made even more frugal and now averages a claimed 58.9mpg with CO2 emissions of 117g/km.
PUNCHYOn 11 February 2015
Super German EngineeringOn 22 November 2014
Mechanically robust, engine with DPF very demanding, a lot minor but very annoying problems (cracks on artificial leather seats, problems with rear lights, unrefined manual transmission)On 28 August 2014