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MERCEDES-BENZ C CLASS Estate 1996‑2001
33 owner reviews for MERCEDES-BENZ C CLASS Estate 1996‑2001
Reliable, thirsty, rusty
MERCEDES-BENZ C CLASS C280 V6 Classic 5dr Auto  (Review date: 10th July '13)
We had a 1997 Classic Estate for four years, between 2009 and 2010, covering about 40,000 miles. We bought it with 150,000 miles, and sold it with over 180,000 on the clock.
During that time we did nothing but service it twice, put new pads and tyres on for the MOT, and add new wiper blades.
The car was fantastically reliable. Never a mechanical breakdown. Never felt like the engine or box were going to break., ever.
Parked it up during the fierce winter of 2010, and after four months of sitting in minus freezing temperatures, it started first time.
The car has a chain-driven belt so is no need for ####### replacements.
During the time we had it, the fan blower and rear electric windows stopped working.
The car's main achilles heel is rust. It starts as bubbles on the rear tailgate and arches, and then starts eating away at the panels. If you find a really nice example, give it a good wax every so often. Wish I had done so.
In terms of fuel use, we got around 22-26 mpg about town, and high 30's on the motorway. You need to learn how to drive the car lightly, which, because it has a big engine, is quite easy to do.
On the automatics, put the gearbox into 'W' mode. This does away with first gear and turns down the revs a little, saving a bit on fuel in town. As the engine has so much power, you'll barely notice the difference.
If you drive the car hard and fast it will drink almost as fast as you can put fuel in it.
I'd recommend any of these classic C classes for general reliability. If you're looking for a low-mileage, second car, an excellent choice.
Reliable Berlin Taxi.
MERCEDES-BENZ C CLASS C250 TD Esprit 5dr Auto (Review date: 21st November '12)
Car purchased as a "park anywhere don't worry if it gets bashed" second vehicle, but have rapidly fallen in love with it. The brakes don't inspire much confidence and nor does the handling, it being a heavy car.The plus side is that driving it you can't help but take your time and enjoy the pleasures of driving again i.e. using your driving knowledge, thinking ahead and being a considerate driver. Regularly used on motorway so have had no reliability issues. Good MPG of 42-45. Very comfortable cruiser. Rust unavoidable with these vehicles so just pick the best one you can find.
Good load lugger
MERCEDES-BENZ C CLASS C250 TD Elegance 5dr Auto (Review date: 25th June '12)
Considering i'm writing this in 2012 if you are looking at one of these then you are wanting a cheap load lugger- you might pick up a good one for around £1,000. The C250 TD estate is a good option for the price- I have owned mine for 12 years so know it well. However, it is thirsty for town use as heavy vehicle. Also not fast if you drive economically. Dangerous in snow & ice. Expensive on road tax but offset this against cheap insurance if you set value low. Great space though!
Things that have gone wrong are frequent (every 40k miles) glow plugs (always buy ones with warranty) and dodgy ecu which was replaced cheaply 2nd hand off internet. Other than that, not too many probs.
What to look for: decent service history from people that know Mercs. Rust in wheel arches and boot lid although if you catch early enough you can sand and hammerited OK yourself. Check electrics all work- look for fault lights on dash. Check gearbox all changing correctly. AC & cruise control often dead. Mechanicals & engine all pretty solid. Check brake disk wear. Expect maintenance bills of around £300/yr and do as much as poss yourself.
How to get most out of her: to maximise MPG never push when cold, accelerate gently up to cruise speed and don't push up hills (its a big Merc- be patient!). Regularly clean engine air filter. keep tyres well inflated. ignore AC all equal a respectable 40mpg average (46 on motorway).
=a reasonably prestigious barge!
Merc C Class Estate 2ltr Auto Classic
MERCEDES-BENZ C CLASS C200 Classic 5dr Auto (Review date: 20th May '12)
Did not pay very much for this car almost 4 years ago when it had 105k on the clock. Now up to 155k. Mechanically, it has been pretty faultless. Water pump went but it was relatively cheap to fix (about £120 at my local garage) otherwise, nothing apart from a new set of rear disks and pads front and rear. The cost at my local garage was reasonable.
Drives beautifully - great auto gear box and fuel consumption not too bad for an old bus. The real problem with it is corrosion - boot lid and wheel arches. It is a real shame that Merc have let their standards slip. However, have touched it in and it still looks good for a 14 yr old car and should go on for a year or two yet!
It is not the best estate around - wheel arches encroach and seats do not fold completely flat
This is the second Merc C i have had - recommended
MERCEDES C240 ESTATE
MERCEDES-BENZ C CLASS C240 Sport 5dr Auto  (Review date: 19th January '12)
I purchased the Mercedes as I requied a good estate as myself and my partner have convertables It is a really nice car to drive and handles very well, the auto box is really smooth and even loaded with luggage and bikes it is a joy to drive and quite fuel efficient . Regarding maintainence it is pretty economicle with possibly the most expensive service item being spark plugs at 40,000 miles. I use Euro Car Parts for all my spares as i recieve franchise parts at substantially less than main dealer prices. The only negative is that as the power stearing is powerfull it does scrub through front tyres quite quickly. I am looking at keeping the car for quite a number of years and enjoying every mile
Mercedes Estate C180 Elegance - 1998
MERCEDES-BENZ C CLASS C180 Elegance 5dr (Review date: 8th November '11)
Bought to replace an old E series estate six years ago. Bought cheaply (white cars not so attractive I was told)
- An ex Directors car with 110K on the clock and full MBSH .
Since then with regular servicing and oil changes have covered 45K including a 2k weeks run to Poland via Germany without any problems at all !! Replaced tyres all round once (and have at least 20k left on them), Discs and pads all round, exhaust. Replaced the wiper linkage (my fault - tried to clear heavy snow with the wiper and damaged the gearing - 2nd hand unit via the internet £70)
Drives and performs well - quick enough for motorway legal and a bit more - handles country lanes superbly. Not a sports car but deceptively quick if not careful. Feels like a limo yet 30mpg plus round town.
Roomy, comfortable and quiet on the go, with loads of space in rear area . Not as much as my old E series but enough for three car boot tables worth !!
Well honestly none in real terms except that its starting to show its age on the paintwork now - Small surface rust starting on the rear arches and a bit above the rear number plate ( Entirely my fault - lazy washing - they say these are usual fault areas ? ) . Oh, the drivers seat boulster has worn away a bit and my mechanic recommends the waterpump bearings will need replacing next MOT service next year. Rear seats don't fold flat unless squab taken out.
Great all round luxury space and economy lasting forever - Overlooking the cons above possibly has made me keep it longer than I should due to its reliability day to day. I am thinking of replacing it for another Merc, (but back to E Series for the armchair ride and fold flat rear floor) - Depends on cost as Mercs stay expensive to buy it seems.
C Class W202 C250 TD Tip Auto Estate
MERCEDES-BENZ C CLASS C250 TD Sport 5dr Auto (Review date: 14th August '11)
Bought when diesel was cheap compared to petrol. Its old technology now so noisy compared to CDI version. Terrible turbo lag but pulls like a train when she has spooled up.
This estate version is quite poor on space. Rear leg room quite limited. Luggage space takes the golf clubs and cart okay but if you have luggage for two adults and two or three kids forget it. Back seats fold but not that effectively and not flat so not a great help when wanting to move the wardrobe!
Mechanically its been pretty good. Average £350 every MOT. Two things to note which can catch you out anywhere. A 200 amp main power fuse in its own holder in the engine bay can blow at anytime so carry spares. When you do your checks under the hood look for tiny air bubbles in the diesel fuel lines. There are several tiny O rings in the fuel system which, can leak and cause poor starting and total cut out anywhere anytime.
Around town very thirsty but easy to park. Get it on the motorway and she is in a class of her own... In cruse, just purrs along crunching the miles. I find the hard seats in the Sport Version superb particularly when set bolt upright, I simply get out without any backache or fatigue at all. Lowered Sport suspension is hard and picks up every pothole. I even get front spoiler scrape going over some speed humps.
Now I am no rally driver but you can throw this Sport version into corners and she sticks like glue then you can write a few postcards while you wait for the turbo to spool back up Stability light helps you out if you get too ambitious!
Bodywork is disgraceful for a quality marque. Everywhere is susceptible, Just stand and look at the bonnet long enough and it will stone chip itself just out of courtesy! Wheel arches, Bottom of doors, sills and tailgate. My friend who is a body shop repair expert will not contemplate repairing it because it will be just as bad within 12-18 months. Replacement wings are cheap at £25.00 so may be worth the investment if you have a low mileage vehicle. Post 2003 seem to be better years but you are into CDI territory then.
To conclude.. Would I recommend... YES, you bet... Would I buy again...? YES. I just love being associated with the three point star... What a snob How sad...
10 years and 200,000 miles with a Mercedes C220 Cdi Estate
MERCEDES-BENZ C CLASS C220 CDi Classic 5dr (Review date: 1st July '11)
I have owned the car from 2 years old and it is now 11 years old and has almost 200,000 miles on the clock.
Mechanically the car has been faultless, servicing costs are low if you avoid the main dealers (each visit used to cost me about £600 regardless!) but I now service the car myself and again, parts are reasonable if main dealers are avoided. that said, some parts are surprisingly cheap so it always pays to check.
The car is very economical and regularly returns 45-50 mpg, which is more than most superminis, let alone a large estate car.
On the road the car drives fantastically. OK a BMW 3 series will drive better, but the cars road manners are refined and it is smooth comfortable and quiet. Whilst it's no sports car it is quite entertaining to drive when pushed hard owing to its rear wheel drive setup.
The car has been used for a variety of tasks and has always come up with the goods. It is in regular daily use for driving to work but I have also made good use of the estates boot for lugging things round in the course of my many outdoor hobbies. I have also regularly used it to tow trailers and it is one of the best tow cars I have driven. The car seems to be a great comprimise of size, space and economy.
I have only two main criticisms of this car. Firstly, as an estate it is not very good. The load space is quite narrow and it has a large load lip that makes loading and unloading difficult. The seats can be folded flat but this requires quite a bit of disassembly of the rear seats!
My main issue, however is the problems I have had with corrosion. My car has had warranty repairs but the rust is pandemic. Not what I'd have expected for a 2 year old full service history Mercedes! This is very sad as it lets down what would otherwise be an excellent car.
As I have said, I have now had almost 10 years and 200,000miles of ownership of this car and it has been fantastic, however owing to the corrosion problems I think I may be looking to Munich rather than Studtgart for my next car....