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

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 61.4mpg on the WLTP combined test cycle and the C 300 d averaging 55.4mpg. 

With the petrol C 200 and C 300 only able to manage around 42-44mpg, but costing around £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 haven’t yet been confirmed for the latest C-Class, although the previous model range occupied a sliding scale from the low 30s for entry level versions through to group 40 for more powerful, top-spec diesel variants. The AMG-tuned performance cars were more expensive to insure, sitting in groups 41-49.

Depreciation

The previous C-Class saloon had begun to lose a little of its shine on the used market, with residual values of around 40 per cent after a typical three-year ownership period. Early indications are that the all-new, fifth-generation car should perform better: our data predicts an average of 50 per cent retained across the range over three years and 36,000 miles.

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