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 5 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)
  • 6.3-liter V8 (507 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

Display screen goes blank

"While on a trip, my C-Class would no longer work properly. The turn signals would not turn on, both the instrument panel and the navigation screen wouldn't turn on. Towed to dealer. ECU reset"

Anonymous, NH (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"Media interface stopped recognizing iphone. After firmware upgrade at service this was fixed"

Anonymous, CA (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"It's essentially useless. Occasionally works as advertised, but usually will not take keyed-in destination data. Verbal instructions are 100% useless. I use my iPhone for all driving directions. I believe I have paid MB hundreds of dollars for a brick"

John H., CA (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Radio

"Sirius/XM function does not work"

Anonymous, CO (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)
Speakers

"Harmon Kardon speakers did not work properly even after the dealer tried to fix them"

Anonymous, CA (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Voice control commands

"voice commands do not give you time to respond to prompts before exiting"

Anonymous, CO (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)

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

12V power plug

"Power plug in the rear did not work when I bought the car. It was replaced for free at the first service"

Michael S., VA (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)
Body control module

"Failure of module caused loss of electrical power in all major electrical systems while driving; car needed to be towed to garage and repairs took about one week to complete"

Anonymous, MA (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Right rear tail light assembly had to be replaced because one of the integrated LED lights burned out"

R H., HI (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Tire pressure monitor

"The item was corrected on a timely basis."

John C., FL (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C350 3.5-L V6)
Wiper motor or washer

"Intermittent wiper mechanism failed and had to be replaced"

C M., IL (2014 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

"pulley not turning smoothly, sound could be heard in cabin of car, but only at certain speeds and operation of car not compromised."

Anonymous, HI (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Oil leaks

"My engine started to suck in oil internally into the intake system from a faulty centrifuge, not covered under warranty and the cost to repair was $1,700.00"

Michael D., NJ (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)

"Dealer detected small leaking seals in engine and transmission areas."

Leon Z., IL (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)

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

Shocks or struts

"Had to replace rear shocks due to noise. Dealer paid part or cost since it was out of warranty."

Anonymous, FL (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Springs or torsion bars

"The suspension links were very noisy when passing on bumps, they were replaced free of charge at end of warranty inspection."

Anonymous, QC (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)
Tire wear is uneven

"I only experienced minor problems that were corrected on a timely basis."

John C., FL (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C350 3.5-L V6)

Climate System

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

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"Compressor was undersized ffor the car. Couldn.t cope on 90+ degree days. The entire steering column ...all the sensors had to be replaced. The column was uncontrollable and would flip up during drive"

Anonymous, DE (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)
Refrigerant leaks

"I lost all the Air conditioning freon through an unknown leak"

Michael D., NJ (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)

"hole in hose"

Anonymous, CA (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C350 3.5-L V6)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"Mercedes looking into problem - related to Sunroof, they belief"

R K., BC (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Front passenger seat had to be repaired because it shook at high speeds. This involved replacing the motor that allows the seat to be adjusted. Front driver seat had moisture underneath that corroded a wire, resulting in the engine light coming on"

Denise M., ON (2014 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

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Defective EGR valve"

Brian L., NB (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Emission light kept coming on. They changed the sensors which they said was the problem."

Anonymous, GA (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 3.5-L V6)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Parking brake

"The parking brake spring had to be replace because it would not release properly."

Anonymous, KS (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)
Squeaking

"Back Brakes made noises. Took it in. Fixed it under warranty"

Robert K., TX (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

"Hinge on passenger front door failed and had to be replaced"

C M., IL (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 3.5-L V6)

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)

"Ruby red paint total failure. MERCEDES-BENZ repainted at no cost to me. Class action suit against MERCEDES-BENZ is underway"

Anonymous, FL (2014 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

Electronic ignition

"Ignition stuck when starting car, causing racing engine"

Carla S., AE (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C350 3.5-L V6)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"frozen needed reset"

David F., PA (2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Drive System

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

Engine Cooling

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

Transmission Minor

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

Engine Major

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

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