In-depth reviews

Mercedes C-Class review - MPG, CO2 and running costs

Running costs should be greatly reduced if you opt for the C-Class plug-in hybrid model

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

MPG, CO2 and running costs Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£45,140 to £102,855
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​Private buyers and business users will find it hard to ignore the cost savings to be had from running a C-Class plug-in hybrid model, compared with a conventionally-powered petrol or diesel car. 

The C 300 e offers a claimed 68 miles of all-electric drive, with a top speed of 87mph in battery mode, so it’s quite possible that you could take on the daily commute without ever needing to fire up the combustion engine - as long as you get into the routine of regularly charging the battery. Mercedes has even equipped its plug-in models with a 55kW charging capability, which is a faster rate than you’d normally find in other PHEVs, so replenishing the 25.4kWh battery from 0-100 per cent can take as little as 30 minutes.

Company car drivers will also benefit from a big reduction in Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax, with the C-Class plug-in models falling into sub-10 per cent brackets. In comparison, the C 200 and C 300 petrol cars are 20-25 per cent higher, which means you’ll pay a whole lot more to HMRC if your compact exec comes without plug-in power.

Diesel models fare a little better for tax, and they also return better fuel economy: the C 220 d with up to 62.8mpg on the WLTP combined test cycle and the C 300 d averaging 54.3mpg. 

With the petrol C 200 and C 300 only able to manage around 40-44mpg, but costing around £1,000 to £2,000 less to buy than the equivalent diesel, you’ll have to work out which option best suits your circumstances and offers the best value. 

Insurance

Insurance group ratings for the latest C-Class remain similar to the previous model and range between the 30s and 40s. The cheapest C-Class to insure is the entry-level C200 in AMG Line trim, which sits in group 38. Unsurprisingly, the C43 AMG performance car is the most expensive, as this resides in group 44.

Depreciation

Our expert data indicates that all but the AMG variants of the fifth-generation C-Class should retain between 50 and 53 per cent of their initial value over a period of three years and 36,000 miles. The C43 AMG still fares reasonably well though, and should retain between 48 and 49 per cent over the same ownership period.

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