- Car model: Mercedes-Benz
- Producing country: Germany
- Year of issue: 1993
- Body Type: Sedan, Coupe, Universal, Convertible
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a family of rear- or all-wheel-drive mid-size luxury cars that appeared in 1993. They are produced by the German company in four body styles: a 4-door sedan, a 5-door station wagon, a 2-door coupe, and a convertible with a folding soft top.
The car has an elegant design, luxurious interior, modern technical “stuffing” and a rich list of equipment. Four generations have been produced. The last family was introduced in January 2014. The whole model range is Mercedes-Benz.
- Car History
- Generation I
- Exterior styling
- Technical part
- II generation (2000-2007)
- The technical part
- III generation (2007-2014)
- III Generation Exterior
- III Generation Interior
- Technical part
- Generation IV (2014-present)
- Running gear
- Price and packages
- Comparison with competitors
- Owners reviews
- Pros and cons
- Summing up
- Mercedes-Benz C-Class photos
- Video review
In 1993 the Germans presented a new Mercedes-Benz C-class, which received the factory index W202. The novelty replaced the car Mercedes-Benz 190 (with the factory index W201) on assembly line. In the beginning there were only two types of body – 3-volume and cargo-passenger.
The Mercedes C-class coupe only appeared in 2000, and the open-top model only in 2016. Today this model is the best-selling Mercedes car in the world. Every year it is bought by about 400,000 lucky people.
The debut generation of the medium-sized “Merino” was presented in 1993. The car received the indices W202 (sedan), S202 (three-wheelers). The model had a large variety of modifications. With the advent of 1997, the car was slightly modernized. It improved in terms of appearance, new equipment, as well as the engine part.
The exterior of the car was more massive than its predecessor. At that time it had a pleasant appearance, smooth lines and good build quality. The front end was equipped with small optics, between which there was a traditional radiator grille with horizontal lines. Above it flaunted the branded 3-bar badge of the German company. The rear has an unusual compact lights. Ground clearance height is 150 millimeters.
The interior of the “Merino” smacks of the nineties, but the German car boasts excellent trim materials: plastic, fabric or leather, as well as wood. If the interior has been looked after, even today it will be in excellent condition. In front of the driver is a 4-spoke steering wheel, fully analog “dashboard”, as well as a small equipment of the central console. Functionality is at a minimum.
The interior of the first generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class has air conditioning, power windows, folding rear headrests and other things. In the sedan body, the car got a trunk volume of 430 liters. The rare Mercedes-Benz C-Class wagon has 465 liters. But if you fold down the sofa, this figure will increase to the value of 1,045 liters of usable space.
Mercedes-Benz W202 has petrol and diesel “engines”. The list of gasoline engines has inline 4-cylinder and V-shaped 6-cylinder engines, which have received a distributed fuel supply. They have a working volume from 1.8 to 2.8 liters and generate 122-197 horsepower (170-280 Nm).
In addition, the Germans offered diesel engines with 4- and 5-cylinder layout and turbocharger. Their working volume is 2.0-2.5 liters, and they develop 75-150 “horses” (135-280 Nm). All engines have 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. All the torque is transmitted to the rear wheels.
As the basis for the Mercedes C-Class W202, the Germans decided to use a rear-wheel drive “bogie” with a fully independent chassis. The front is equipped with double wishbones and the rear with a multilever architecture at the rear.
Steering the 1st generation Mercedes-Benz C-class is easy with hydraulic power steering. The braking system boasts effective four-wheel disc brakes (vented at the front) as well as ABS support.
II generation (2000-2007)
With the advent of spring 2000, the German company officially presented the 2nd generation of Mercedes-Benz C-class with the W203 body. The model has already familiar “looked” like an Esca (220). In this family for the first time was applied Common Rail technology for gasoline CGI.
Not everyone knows that they began to design W203 back in 1994, and a year later the company’s management was shown a ready-for-series production concept. However, at that time the sales of the first generation was breaking all records, so the company decided to postpone the production of the new model.
In 1998-1999 the car went through minor revisions and was ready for production again. Now the company decided that the time had come for the production. Initially, the sedan version (W203) came out. In the fall of the same year, a 3-door liftback (CL203) was shown. Already the following year, the management showed the Mercedes-Benz C-Class station wagon (S203). Later, the Mercedes C-Class coupe moved to an independent “niche” CLC-Class. It happened in 2008.
The W203’s exterior is very similar to that of the W220, thanks to the W210-style twin headlights. Understandably, the design team collaborated with the engineering team to ensure the novelty had a better drag coefficient. As a result, it was 0.26 Cx. Thanks to this, it was possible to reduce the lift at high speed by almost 57 percent.
This improved handling and stability on the roadway. As for the austere note of sportiness of the body shape, it looks stylish even today. The body lines offered several, slightly different bumpers. Speaking of plastic bumpers, it was weak, so today you can very often see cars with cracks on the bumpers. The height of the ground clearance of the sedan was an average 150 millimeters.
The way the interior was designed in the second generation of Mercedes-Benz C-class, undoubtedly pleased fans of the company. The car even today looks great. Of course, the interior of the “German” has quality materials, perfect assembly. Soft, rounded forms dominate inside, contrasting with the traditional use of strict lines. It is noticeable also due to the multifunction steering wheel, which can be easily adjusted to one’s own needs.
Ergonomics and interior space have increased, if compared to the first generation. Mercedes-Benz W203 can boast a central display, on-board diagnostic system (works with gasoline engines), autonomous heater (in diesel versions), automatic switch on dipped beam and others. All this is already included in the basic package.
As a separate option, it is possible to install a navigation system, which will display the current traffic situation, automatic climate control Thematic and Thetmotronic with activated carbon filter, “music” COMAND, equipped with a tape recorder, radio and CD-player. There is also voice control of the radio and phone Linguatronic, and a sliding sunroof with memory function.
In addition, the car has a Tele-Aid system, which in case of an accident automatically sends an SOS signal to the nearest rescue service station, as well as the TeleDiagnose system, which sends all the information needed to repair the damage to the Mercedes Customer Support Center.
The technical part
The second family has a much larger list of engines, working on gasoline and diesel. Gasoline engine list starts with the four-cylinder 2.0-liter power plant M 111 E 20 EVO, which generates 127 horsepower (190 Nm). There were modifications where this engine replaced the 1.8 liter version with a compressor, which produces 143 hp (220 Nm).
In second place was a modification C200, equipped with a 1.8-liter turbocharged engine line M271, which produced 163 horsepower (230 Nm). The C200 CGI version already had 170 horsepower (250 Nm). The third version could boast a 6-cylinder 2.5-liter gasoline M272 engine, which produced already 204 “horses”.
The diesel versions were C200 CDI and C220 CDI with a 2.15-liter four-cylinder engine with Common Rail system. Their power was 102-150 hp, depending on the turbine settings (a total of five variants). This was followed by a more powerful 2.7 liter 5-cylinder 170 hp (273 Nm) engine for the C270 CDI version. As the top Diesel engine Germans have installed a 6-cylinder 3.0-liter version, giving 224 “horses”.
All modifications had a manual six-speed gearbox “in base”. Only the diesel 3.0-liter variant C320 had a 5-band automatic. It is also interesting that already the C-Class allowed as a separate option to install all-wheel drive system 4MATIC (instead of the traditional rear-wheel drive). At that time it was considered a breakthrough and a solid advantage on the market.
However, we should also make a reservation that 4MATIC went only in the top versions of the C240 and C320. As for the suspension of Mercedes W203, it was completely redesigned to increase the level of comfort while driving, improve handling and stability on the road. Instead of double wishbone system McPherson struts were installed, and 5-lever rear independent design was assembled almost from scratch.
III generation (2007-2014)
The next 3rd generation of the popular Mercedes-Benz C-class W204 was shown in 2007. Already in 2011, the Germans have modernized its car, improving its appearance, making a little work on the interior, as well as changing the technical part. It is interesting that the 3rd generation of Mercedes C-class was one of the first cars of German company that was completely designed and tested using a computer.
For this purpose they created a virtual model, the volume of which was 2.1 terabytes. It was subjected to various “virtual tests”, which can include computer crash-tests. Only after that (in 2004) engineers began to collect the debut concept model for the real factory tests. With this approach it was possible to avoid unnecessary costs for development of the car. Today, the Germans use similar technology to create and design new cars.
III Generation Exterior
The appearance of the new items seriously differed from the previous generation. The car increased in size because of the change of “carriage”, and also looks more strict. As for the headlights, which have the shape of a large petal, in 2009, it was equipped with optional xenon ILS, where there was a place for diode elements of daytime running lights. After the restyling in 2011, the car began to look more attractive and aggressive.
The main changes have affected the front end. If you look at the elevated hood line, it became smaller. It encircles the grille after the restyling, the appearance of which has also changed slightly. It can even be selected. Overall, the new look arises because of the L-shaped optics that have a swivel system, as well as LED daytime running lights Mercedes-Benz W204 2011.
The German specialists decided to change the bumpers – there were large air intakes and convex lines that encircled them. The side has stylish exterior mirrors. At the back, the car also got a modified bumper. The height of ground clearance remained unchanged – 150 millimeters.
It is important to note that after the update in 2011, the company began producing a three-door Mercedes C-Class coupe.
III Generation Interior
Inside, it is a pleasure to be inside. The interior of the 3rd generation Mercedes-Benz W204 boasts noble metals, different kinds of leather, wood inserts, as well as polished aluminum parts. The plastic is pleasant, soft. The updated Mercedes-Benz W204 has a COMAND Online multimedia center display, which supports navigation and Internet access.
Added more active “cruise” Distronic Plus system, as well as a system that analyzes driver fatigue Attention Assist. The front seats are comfortable and have electric adjustments. With the spring-loaded seats, the comfort level is increased, and it is a pleasure to operate the convenient joystick washer and voice control system (the Russian language is supported).
There is not much free space, as this is the junior sedan of the German company. There is room for three passengers on the second row, but the person sitting in the center will be traditionally hindered by the floor tunnel. The volume of the luggage compartment is 485 liters, but if you remove the back row, this figure will grow to the value of 1,500 liters of usable space.
Like the last generation, the novelty has received a large list of engines, working on gasoline and diesel fuel. Gasoline list starts with a four-cylinder turbocharged 1.8-liter power plant, which generates 156 horsepower (C180 modification). Then the same 16-valve M271 engine is showed, which develops 184 “horsepower” (C200 modification).
It is equipped with a 6-cylinder V-shaped power unit, which has a working volume of 2.5 liters and develops 204 horsepower. The penultimate line is occupied by the C280 version, which has a 6-cylinder 3.0-liter engine producing 231 hp. Germans offer 3.5-liter 292-horsepower engine from the BlueEfficiency line (C350 CGI modification) as a flagship petrol engine.
The diesel list doesn’t look as long. The basic version is equipped with a four-cylinder 2.1-liter motor OM6100, which after the update was replaced by OM651 BlueEfficiency. It generates about 136 “horses” (modification C200 CDI). If that’s not enough, the same version of the engine is available, which has been boosted to 170 horsepower (comes in the C220 CDI version).
The C250 CDI BlueEfficiency Edition has two turbochargers, which boosts power to 204 horsepower. The flagship is the C320 CDI with a 6-cylinder 3.0-liter OM642 engine, developing 224 horsepower.
Also German company has equipped W204 with a hybrid version C300 Bluetec Hybrid, which appeared in 2007. It has a 4-cylinder gasoline engine. Total power is 221 hp. (up to 560 Nm).
The lion’s share of the Mercedes C-Class family has a six-speed manual transmission by default. However, the C250 CGI BlueEfficiency versions come with the 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic transmission (which replaced the previous 5G-Tronic in 2011). The new gearbox is optionally available for other versions. Provided rear-wheel drive, as well as all-wheel drive proprietary system 4MATIC.
Mercedes C-Class body W204 was equipped with a new suspension, because the past design has caused a lot of negative feedback. Now the Germans have installed an independent multilever design of the new type in front and rear, which had a positive effect on the quality of the suspension and its characteristics.
Generation IV (2014-present)
The three-volume version of the W205-bodied 4 family was officially introduced in January 2014, and already in March 2018 it underwent a planned restyling. The company also released an updated version of the Estate station wagon, coupe and Mercedes Benz convertible. The car has an elegant exterior, a luxurious interior, modern technology, as well as a wide range of engines and a “driving character”.
The new model was also presented in two body styles – a coupe and a sedan. The work that was done by specialists to improve the appearance of the car, it is easy to see even from the photos. The novelty has huge air intake systems, new accurate relief, chrome trim of some elements and other, which makes the appearance of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class 2020 fresher and brighter.
The longest part is the front end. The Germans put it very low and positioned at a great slope to the roadway. It starts with a large hood lid, which is topped with a lot of stepped relief. The more powerful modifications will have small slots to improve under-hood cooling. Next, you can notice the signature radiator grille, which has received an oval shape, which both inside and outside is decorated with strips of chrome.
On the sides of the air intake there is room for stylish drop-shaped headlights, which illuminate the road thanks to the xenon filling. The lower part of the bumper is almost completely devoted to air intakes. There are three of them in total. One trapezoidal shape in the center and two square on the sides. They are equipped with a fine mesh, and the side ones can have fog lights or wicked decorative strips arranged horizontally.
The basic package has High Performance LED optics, but optional MULTIBEAM optics with Intelligent Light System, Ultra Range headlights and 84 diodes on each headlight can be installed. The side of the sedan looks laconic. There is almost no chrome, and the main decoration is the stepped and wavy relief, the lion’s share of which is placed on the doors.
Thanks to the completely redesigned side exterior mirrors and enlarged wheel arches, the overall exterior of the car is improved. The stern looks aggressive in any variant. It has a very short boot lid, at the end of which an aerodynamic ledge is installed, triangular quite massive optics and plenty of relief.
Not without a wicked bodykit with air intake slots to cool the braking system. The rear end is adorned by side spaced exhaust pipes and a beautiful diffuser. The ground clearance is 130 millimeters.
The interior, as before, is trimmed with quality leather. Many decorative inserts of winged metal or wood look beautiful. After updating the Mercedes Benz 4 generation, the steering wheel, multimedia system screen and dashboard have changed. In the past, the “dashboard” had two analog gauges in the pads and a “trip computer” in the middle.
Now this place is equipped with a 12.3-inch display, which imitates arrow indicators and trip computer. In reality, this screen can even show navigation information. In addition, the engineering team has equipped the car with a projection display with data on the current speed mode and short navigation information.
The new 3-spoke steering wheel has leather trim and a round airbag cover. “The steering wheel is equipped with chrome Touch Control buttons. The driver’s seat has leather upholstery, impressive side support and electric adjustments with 3 memory modes.
The center console of the updated 4th generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class has a 10.25-inch entertainment and navigation center display, which supports LINGUATRONIC voice control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Below the 3 round deflectors placed a line of joysticks to adjust the separate “climate”.
Below them there is a place for an analog clock and a niche under the lid. The recess itself has cup holders, 12V socket, USB port, as well as a platform for wireless charging of a smartphone. As for the control unit of the entertainment center with puck and touchpad, it has kept its appearance. Around the circle, you can notice the keys to control some of the W205’s safety systems and ride modes. Various wood or aluminum is used on the center tunnel and door cards.
As a separate option, you can install a contour lighting system with 64 backlighting options. If you activate the ENERGIZING function, the system can analyse the ambience around you as well as the music, adjusting the volume level and the lighting to create overall harmony. You won’t get any roomier in the second row. As a separate option, the car can also be equipped with a heater on the 2nd row.
Adding to the practicality are retractable cup holders. The trunk has a lid with electric drive (as a separate option). Its volume in a sedan body is a solid 480 liters. Rear row can be removed in three sections in the proportion 40/20/40, which forms a completely flat floor. The underbelly of the updated Mercedes-Benz C-Class W205 2020 boasts tools and a dock.
The restyled W205 comes in five versions. Gasoline modifications C200/C200 4Matic received 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine of M264 family, which has in-line configuration, turbocharging, direct “feed” system, 16-valve gas distribution mechanism and variable valve timing. As a result, it develops 184 “horses” (280 Nm).
The basic versions are already equipped with a hybrid EQ Boost system, which is equipped with a starter-generator (produces 14 horsepower and 160 Nm), which received a belt drive. It is powered by a 48-volt battery. This motor assists with starting, and can shut down and quickly start the main engine while driving.
Next is the C300 variant equipped with a four-cylinder 2.0-liter 258 hp (370 Nm) M264 engine, which has a turbocharger, direct gasoline feed and 16-valves and inlet and outlet phase rotators. The role of diesel variant is performed by 2.0-liter OM 654 power plant.
Such engine comes in C220d, C220d 4Matic version. It got twin-scroll turbocharger, battery injection, aluminum cylinders with iron coating and 16-valve construction of the timing mechanism. As a result, the diesel gives 194 “horses” (400 Nm of torque).
All engines function together with a nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive versions have the proprietary 4Matic system, which has an asymmetric axle differential that normally distributes torque in the 45/55 ratio in favor of the rear wheels.
As a basis, the Germans decided to apply for the restyled Mercedes-Benz C-class 2019 W205 the universal modular MRA platform, which has a longitudinally oriented motor and independent suspensions on all wheels. The front end has a double wishbone and the rear has a multi-lever structure. The sedan can optionally get adaptive dampers and pneumatic elements.
The power structure of the body has a high-strength and heavy-duty grades of winged metal steel (the mass fraction of the latter accounts for 24 percent). The car is already controlled by an electric booster, mounted in the body of the rack with a variable tooth pitch. The braking part traditionally has disc mechanisms (the front ones are “ventilated”).
Like any other Mercedes car, the restyled W205 has a large number of different safety systems and assistants. The body of the “German” was made using aluminum, high and ultra-high strength steel. In addition to this, there are programmed crumple zones. For example, the 2020 C-Class has:
- A system that warns of collisions;
- A 360-degree camera;
- A system that reads traffic signs;
- Active parking assistant;
- The system of preventive protection Pre-Safe;
- Technology DISTRONIC, which is responsible for the right distance to the moving car in front;
- Steering Assistant;
- Technology of blind spot monitoring;
- Projected display;
- Automatic Cruise Control;
- LED optics;
- Airbags and curtains;
- Anti-lock brakes and electronic stability system;
- Tire pressure monitoring sensors;
- Anti-skid system;
- Injury-proof pedal box;
- A system that informs you how worn out the brakes are;
- Fire extinguisher;
- Automatic low/high beam control system; and more.
Price and packages
For the European market 4 generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class comes in three versions to choose from – C180, C200 4Matic and C300, and also in two suites – Premium and Sport. The car having a “premium” complete set with a 150-horsepower engine will cost not less than 26193,91 euros. And all-wheel drive version will be priced at 28452,01 euros. The basic configuration has:
- Seven airbags;
- 16-inch steel rollers;
- Heated front seats;ABS, ESP;
- 2-zone climate control;
- High Performance LED headlights;
- A simple media center;
- Rear camera;
- Rain and light sensors;
- Rear Parktronic;
- Power windows and more;
- Fabric interior;
The “Sport” variant with the weakest engine is priced at no less than 28903,63 euros. The top version with 258 horsepower under the hood costs from 32516.58 euros. This version will be equipped with a combined upholstery fabric and leatherette seats, 18-inch “rollers” of light alloy, sports suspension and AMG-body kit. In addition, the Germans have provided a huge list of additional options, which can be viewed on the official website.
Comparison with competitors
The main competitors to the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class W205 Generation IV are the Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, Peugeot 508, Lexus IS, Cadillac ATS, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda 6, Toyota Camry and Opel Insignia.
Owners note the pleasant appearance, comfortable, practical and modern interior, as well as a large luggage compartment. The finishing materials inside cause pleasant emotions. Good equipment even in the basic version. There is a four-wheel drive system. Pleases with good dynamics.
However, in winter sometimes have problems with the rear-wheel drive, as often the stern is light and there is no traction. Inside it is very comfortable to sit on the heated seats – it is very saving in winter. But do not forget that this is still the most compact Mercedes sedan, there is not much room to wait.
Pros and cons
- Modern Appearance;
- Stylish, practical front lighting;
- Good streamlining;
- Quality, rich interior;
- Not the smallest trunk;
- Good dynamics;
- A high level of safety;
- Good equipment;
- 4Matic all-wheel drive system;
- Ability to combine additional options;
- Virtual “dashboard”;
- Good “music”;
- Low fuel consumption;
- You can put an air suspension;
- An abundance of different electronic systems.
Cons of a car
- Not as loose inside as the big brothers;
- Rear-wheel drive can be a problem in winter.
Despite the high cost of the updated 4th generation 2019-2020 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, it’s still one of the best sedans in its niche. After the update, the car looks more modern, the interior has been improved. Also the Germans have worked on the technical part. Now the W205 will be able to compete on the global market.
We advise you to read the article: Mercedes-Benz, classic German cars