Mercedes-Benz C Class Saloon 1993 - 2000

Mercedes-Benz C Class Saloon 1993 - 2000

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016


  • Stylish and good-looking
  • A comfortable and versatile car
  • An accomplished and well-finished car


  • Still quite expensive
  • The rear seats are rather crammed


The C-Class was destined to become the best-selling model in Mercedes' line-up and it was a worthy successor to the wildly popular Mercedes 190. Conceived as a classier contender to the overcrowded Golf-class, it filled the marketplace with well-equipped, great quality, reliable cars.

Exterior and Interior

The car was a breeze of fresh air in 1993 when it made debut. It is styled cleverly as it looks bigger than it actually is. It virtually grew in size in 1997 with the arrival of the A-Class as it stopped being the baby of the Mercedes family. As its equipment level kept improving, the C-Class soon became a contender in the small executive car sector. Although the car is deceptively big, you can never deceive your passengers. The people sitting in the back are likely to start complaining, especially if you attempt to seat 3 adults together. The car is well equipped but it's a good idea to go for a post-1995 model when the line received additional electric options and some important safety updates. In 1996 the German engineers came up with an estate version of the C-class. Unlike some other estates that are built after a successful saloon, the C-class estate was a good-looking car. The rounded roofline made it much more stylish than its competitors. The saloon version has a boot space of 430 litres. The estate version stretches it to a maximum of 1510 litres ‐ quite a bit more than in a Golf Variant (1425 litres).

Performance and Economy

The smaller Mercedes was intended to allow people on budget to obtain a good-quality prestige car. One should note that the "budget" still had to be rather impressive. The C-Class was never cheap when new, and it is not cheap as a used car. Performance is quite good regardless of which engine you choose. All V6 engines are capable of speeds exceeding 120mph but they are not very economical. The basic 1.8-litre and 2.0-litre engines are powerful enough to ensure good fun. The most efficient are the diesel engines. The 2.2-litre diesel manages up to 45mpg while the 2.5-litre modification can run 37mpg. The C200 petrol model stands at around 31mpg. It's not a particularly cheap car to insure. The basic model is in the insurance group 23, the V8 AMG stands in the eye-watering group 40.

Like to Drive

It's not as smooth as the BMW 3-Series and not as sporty as the Alfa Rome 156, but the C-Class is a reliable and a practical car. It's a sensible choice for people who prefer a sensible car to flashier alternatives and will please those that like the classic Mercedes styling. The C-Class is a refined car and it feels good to drive both in the city and at high speeds. Long journeys should be a great experience, especially from the perspective of the two people sitting at the front.

Faults and Repairs

Mercedes is not a sort of a car that is bought by boy-racers. If you can find a car that's had one or two owners, there's a chance you'll get yourself a well-maintained used car. Cars with many previous owners might spell trouble ‐ the C-Class doesn't have a very long lifespan, especially the modifications with V6 engines. If the car has been looked-after, it will have good reliability, it's a Mercedes after all. The C-Class models are full electronically-assisted functions and it is those electrical systems that usually go wrong. Then making sense in amidst the miles of wiring and the great number of control units will be a difficult task, only accomplishable by a qualified engineer so expect relatively expensive repair bills.