The C-Class may be a compact sedan but it's also a solid, agile, quiet, comfortable and credible luxury car. We tested the base C250, powered by the exceptionally smooth, 201-hp, turbocharged four-cylinder engine Mercedes introduced for 2012. It serves up ample power, but its 24 mpg is not exactly stellar.
Alerts
There are 6 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
2003
NA
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and front side air bags standard. Rear side air bags standard from 2001-2007. Head protection air bags standard from 2001. ESC standard from 2000.
Road Test

The C-Class may be a compact sedan but it's also a solid, agile, quiet, comfortable and credible luxury car. We tested the base C250, powered by the exceptionally smooth, 201-hp, turbocharged four-cylinder engine Mercedes introduced for 2012. It serves up ample power, but its 24 mpg is not exactly stellar. We liked the steady, supple ride and agile handling in the Luxury trim we tested; it was more comfortable riding and about as agile as the Sport trim. The cabin is impeccably furnished, with great front seats. Some controls are a little hard to get the hang of, but they're simpler than the Benz's closest rivals'. Our biggest beef was the rear seat, which is tight for two adults, let alone three.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
coupe
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 7-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 1.8-liter 4 turbo (201 hp)
  • 3.5-liter V6 (302 hp)
  • 3.5-liter V6 (248 hp)
  • 6.3-liter V8 (451 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"The tire management system is unreliable"

Anonymous, FL (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 3.5-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"waiting on dash parts to silence buzz in dashboard"

Anonymous, TX (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Squeak behind dashboard"

Anonymous, NY (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)

"whether the car has been washed or its been in rain, the loud squeak occurs, eventually squeak disappears when car dries. Benz services hasn't been able to determine source of loud squeak sound yet"

Anonymous, OH (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Rattling noise from center console, passenger side door, and panoramic sunroof"

Anonymous, CA (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The right rear window rattles over less-than-smooth roads. The dealership has tried to fix it but it keeps coming back. Now it is out of warranty and I'm going to just live with it/"

Anonymous, AL (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Persistent rattling noise from the right rear door. The window mounting was found to be loose by the dealer, who repaired it during regularly scheduled maintenance"

Anonymous, AL (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"Dealer had to work on it twice to get it corrected"

Anonymous, CA (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C350 3.5-L V6)

"I have been to the dealership nearly 8 times now for this issue, which they acknowledge but claim they can not repair. They claim to have 'fixed' this by swapping the front tires (Left/right) but this makes no sense to mechanics I've talked to. The"

Steve S., CA (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Hit a small pothole and many expensive bad things happen"

J M., KY (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)
Ball joints

"Suspension creaks and deemed to be unfixable by Merdeces-Benz service center"

Anonymous, CA (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Shocks or struts

"Clunking noise while driving. About 8k miles in car. Dealer replaced both front struts Been great since then"

Anonymous, TX (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"The steering module locked up when the electronic ignition switch went out. It took a couple weeks to get it all repaired. Thankfully, it was all under warranty"

Anonymous, OK (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)
Steering wheel vibration

"Two months into getting the car I felt a vibration in the steering so I took it back to have them look at it and they said they could not find anything wrong. It continues to get worse and now it is noticeable to someone on the passenger side as wel"

Anonymous, MD (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Accessory belts or pulleys

"belt tensioner and idle pulley needed to be replaced - made odd sounds sometimes."

Anonymous, TX (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Engine computer

"drive-ability issues. unpredictable acceleration, "turbo lag", a totally unacceptable driving experience. don't see how you can recommend this vehicle. two dealers tell me this is normal. all this and only 23 mpg?"

Anonymous, TX (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Engine mounts

"Motor mounts replaced after only 4 years and about 40,000 miles on car. MERCEDES-BENZ charges big $$$ for any repairs."

Anonymous, CA (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"(2) engine mounts went bad at 42000 miles as well as (1) transmission mount. This is quite early in my opinion"

Steven T., NV (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)
Oil leaks

"Rear main crank seal from factory had to be replaced after install of engine replacement at 1200 miles"

Doc K., OR (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 6.3-L V8)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"It stopped working on my way to Florida in December 2014 and was replaced at no cost with a newer system by Sarasota Mercedes"

Anonymous, MN (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)

"It does not always let you input the street address, It also has a very limited choice for looking up a destination by name"

Anonymous, WI (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Newer model of apple iphone will not pair with the car, the car cannot detect the iphone when both are in search/pair mode. After researching this, I found information about the issue. The car needs to be returned to a dealership to get a software update in order to use the newer Bluetooth tech. It was not made clear to me over the telephone if I will be charged for this update. The car is no longer covered by the factory warranty"

Anonymous, PA (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C350 3.5-L V6)
Software update fixes

"Car went into the limp mode, computer had to be reset."

William G., NJ (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)
Voice control commands

"Voice commands aren't picked up by car. It can't hear! I can yell at it and still it won't acknowledge hearing anything. When it does hear, it's often inaccurate. As for navigation, there's a real problem with getting car to accept a city and then a street. Lots of failures and then often incorrect directions. I just updated the map program and its worse!"

Anonymous, CA (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

"After putting the car in for maintenance, the brakes kept squeaking. I had to have it towed back to the dealer to correct"

Anonymous, NJ (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Parking brake

"The parking bake spring had to be replaced because it would not release properly."

Anonymous, KS (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)
Premature brake wear

"Brake jobs for MERCEDES-BENZ very costly"

Anonymous, CA (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaking

"I went to the dealership 7 times before they finally admitted that there was a technical bulletin on this sqeaky brake problem. They also claimed to have not done it right the last visit. I have been back twice since for the same thing"

Steve S., CA (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Blower (fan) motor

"I have had to have the blower motor replaced 3 times in the last 4 years; twice covered by warranty and once I paid in part while MERCEDES-BENZ picked up 75% of the cost due to the fact it was a recurring blower motor malfunction"

John C., NY (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)

"blower motor quit, easily fixed at dealership"

Anonymous, MI (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Heater system

"Only blew hot air NOT A.C"

Laura C., CA (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Car has been well maintained but not garage kept. Paint is dull even after waxing with a high quality wax product. There are iron oxide deposits (looks like rust stains) on the white paint on the back of the car near the license plate"

Anonymous, PA (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C350 3.5-L V6)

"Chrome trim around windows oxidized. Bad quality"

Steven T., NV (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)

"Lower front bumper...so low that makes contact with pull in curb stops...what has started as a rub has now grown into cracked and chipping paint on the lower front bumper"

William S., OR (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery cables

"Auto start stop feature stopped working. Bad negative battery cable prevented battery from charging properly. Main and Auxiliary batteries and cable replaced. Charging program updated"

Daniel J., WA (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)
Electronic ignition

"The electronic ignition switch went out, locking the steering module. It took the dealership a couple weeks to get everything fixed. Releasing the steering module lock took the longest"

Anonymous, OK (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"Passenger air bag of and on with lightweight passenger"

Anonymous, NE (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)

"MERCEDES-BENZ issued a technical service bulleting (recall) in October 2017. Since then I have been requesting that the necessary correction be made on the vehicle but the MERCEDES-BENZ dealer continues to say that MERCEDES-BENZ has not provided the necessary parts. For something as important as an airbag(s), this delay in correcting the problem is unacceptable."

Anonymous, PA (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C350 3.5-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"Complained about whirring sound from engine. They replaced oil pump, balance shaft, checked pulleys to no avail. Finally, MBUS ordered a new engine. Was in the service dept over six weeks. Good loaner provided"

Anonymous, TX (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"One of the cylinders had low pressure. MB dealership replaced engine under 50K warranty"

Doc K., OR (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 6.3-L V8)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Keyless entry

"There are times the keyless entry stops working. Than starts working again"

Ira W., NJ (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)
Warning lights

"The warning lights would come on and the car would go into limp mode. The dealer reset the computer. this happened 2 months ago and it hasn't happened again."

W G., NJ (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

"clamp holding cable to open door broke. Cost over $1200 to fix."

Anonymous, WA (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Replaced under warranty. Vibration in transfer box when turned to full lock"

Godfrey J., ON (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel cap

"Gas pump nozzle won't stay in filler hole. Keeps popping out if handle is locked on self fill. You must manually hold the nozzle down in the filler hold"

John R., CA (2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

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