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In-depth reviews

Mercedes C-Class review - MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

Economy is strong compared to rivals, with new mild-hybrid petrol model designed for fuel free coasting

The latest mpg figures supplied for the Mercedes C-Class facelift have been achieved under the new, tougher Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) rules, but have been converted to be representative of the kind of figures Mercedes estimates the C-Class would claim under outgoing, less stringent New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) rules.

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Unsurprisingly, the most economical petrol offering on paper is the C 180 equipped with a manual gearbox. Mercedes claims 43.5mpg on a combined run, with CO2 emissions ranging from 134g/km to 138g/km depending on wheel size and the choice of manual or automatic gearbox.

Comparing the automatic C 180 and the C 200 – equipped with an automatic gearbox by default – it becomes clear that the 48v mild hybrid system on the more potent model does deliver some fuel economy gains. Merc claims 42.8mpg for an automatic C 180, compared to 44.1mpg for the C 200. However, it’s nothing too ground-breaking compared to equivalent rivals such as the outgoing BMW 3 Series. For instance, an automatic 320i will deliver 47.1mpg under the same WLTP to NEDC conversion. As for company car tax, the C 200 boasts a BIK rate of 32per cent for the 2020/21 tax year.

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The C 300 doesn’t take too hard an economy hit, delivering 40.42mpg. However, exhaust emissions are high at up to 136g/km depending on which wheel size you choose, sending the BIK rate into the thirties.

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The C 220 d diesel gets a combined figure of 55.4mpg with 114g/km in its cleanest spec. A best combined figure of 49.6mpg is quoted for the C 300 d, with emissions of 135g/km.

There’s little between the AMG models from a running costs perspective – Mercedes claims 28.8mpg for the six-cylinder C 43 saloon and 25.5mpg for the eight-cylinder 63 badged models, with 208g/km and 227g/km CO2 emissions respectively.

The most economical models by far are the two plug-in hybrids. The diesel-hybrid C 300 de claims to have economy figures of 188mpg and emissions ratings of 38g/km of CO2, while the C 300 e returns a claimed best of 176.6mpg combined along with 37g/km of CO2.

All powertrains take a slight economy and emissions knock if you opt for the estate body, given the extra weight of the more practical rear end. The coupe’s figures are remarkably close to those quoted for the saloon. Like the estate, the heavier cabriolet model is not quite as frugal or clean. 

Insurance groups

Entry-level models such as the C 180 and C 200 equipped with manual gearboxes occupy groups in the low 20s depending on your final specification, with the volume sellers – the C 220 d diesel and C 200 petrol – hovering around the group 30 mark.

Depreciation

Our latest data suggests that the C-Class is no longer quite the value holder it once was, with the true volume sellers – the C 220 d and C 200 saloons – likely to hold on to between 36-42 per cent of their value over three years and 10,000 miles, depending on what specification you opt for.

Generally, the three other bodystyles the C-Class is offered in fare better, with coupe and cabriolet variants expected to hold on to their value the best. For example, a C 200 AMG Line Coupe is predicted to retain 50 per cent of its value over three years.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    C180 S 4dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £28,035

Most Economical

  • Name
    C300e Sport Edition 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £40,074

Fastest

  • Name
    C300e Sport Edition 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £40,074
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