Mercedes-Benz C Class Saloon 2000 - 2004

Mercedes-Benz C Class Saloon 2000 - 2004

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016


  • An improved C-Class with a higher level of comfort
  • Good build-quality
  • A safe car


  • Not the most beautiful of Mercedes cars
  • Some engines are too thirsty for a compact executive car


This was an attempt by Mercedes to improve an all-time favourite, the excellent C-Class. It was a risky business because many people had high expectations for this car. Most of the expectations were justified eventually as the 2nd generation C-Class was a decent improvement on the original.

Exterior and Interior

Some people criticise this generation of the C-class because it's trying too hard to be an S-Class that made debut a year earlier. Indeed, the side proportions are quite similar to the then-current S-Class. Some wish the resemblance would have extended to the front end of the car because the double headlamps don't look natural and didn't really suit the car's overall image. Nevertheless, there are plenty of people who think that the C-Class looks acceptable, some even love the styling. Built in a completely new manner, the 2nd generation C-Class is a very safe car. The EuroNCAP rating awarded it with 5 stars, which is the highest possible mark. The interior is significantly more exciting than the exterior. As you can guess from the engine line-up, the C-Class was intended as a sporty car (to be able to compete with its arch-rival BMW 3-Series). The sporty theme has found its way into the cabin ‐ the dashboard is sporty and stylish and the seats also follow the theme of the car. The newer C-Class is a more comfortable car compared to the 1st generation. It is now suitable for 5 adults as the back space is far more comfortable and the increased boot space will be appreciated by people who like their sporty cars to also be practical.

Performance and Economy

The appearance of the new C-Class sent the 1st generation car's prices down, but today the 2000-2008 C-Class is quite reluctant to depreciate although the 3rd generation model has now been around for a while. It is one of the most expensive cars of its class in the used car market. Paying a premium is something that you have to get used to. The C-Class cars are not particularly fuel-efficient (although the diesels are better) and they are expensive to maintain. You have the right to expect a lot from a car that leaves such a big dent in your budget. Regardless of which engine you go for, you'll love the performance. It is a sporty car with lots of character. The smaller diesel version is capable of 46mpg which is not bad at all. The more powerful diesel version guarantees 38mpg. Petrol engines are rather thirsty, the basic version 1.8-litre engine can only achieve 37mpg and it's much lower with the 3.5-litre engine, which will at best achieve only 29mpg.

Like to Drive

It's a very responsive car and you'll have a great time behind its wheel. Handling is sharp and with all the electronic systems assisting you, there's almost no way of getting it wrong. With the sportiness of the vehicle you will have an executive model which really does perform. You will be able to have a lot of fun with this car and yet still enjoy the comfort and practicality that it delivers. An additional bonus of the C-class is the 6-speed gearboxes that will help to provide you with perfect control of the car.

Faults and Repairs

The 2nd generation is a reliable car and it often tops the lists of most reliable vehicles. Engines and gearboxes are refined and bound to last very long. It is a modern and relatively new car and many systems rely on electronics and the computer. If the "brain" goes wrong, the car won't move. The electric system should be tested before buying a used C-Class.