Mercedes C-Class review - Reliability and safety
The C-Class brings a solid air of quality, with proven components and a five-star safety rating
Mercedes finished in a disappointing 28th place (out of 30) in our 2020 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, with the C-Class itself not featuring in the individual model rankings.
As you’d expect from a new Mercedes, the C-Class is loaded with standard safety and assistance equipment. Seven airbags are standard, and the entry level SE includes assistance tech including cruise control, rain sensing windscreen wipers, parking assist, automatic emergency braking at speeds of less than 65mph, and Merc’s Pre-Safe collision protection system, which prepares the car for maximum protection if it detects an accident is imminent.
A reversing camera is also standard fit on every car, as is tyre pressure monitoring and a driver attention warning system. An optional head-up display is available for £825.
The current model hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP, but the previous version of the C-Class was awarded the full five stars, scoring 92% for adult occupant safety and 84% for child protection.
All Mercedes C-Class models come with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty that can be extended for a variable fee depending on individual circumstances. BMW and Audi both have similar set-ups but do have mileage limits that come into effect in years three, four and five on their vehicles.
The C-Class works on the condition-based servicing system Mercedes has had in place on almost all of its cars since the late 1990s. It’s therefore dependent on driving style how often your Mercedes is in the dealership.
Regular short, city-based journeys will put more of a strain on components and consumables than long motorway commutes at steady cruising speed – inevitably where most C-Class buyers will put miles on their cars.
For either a one-off fee, or paying monthly amounts, Mercedes-Benz Service Care guarantees owners the price of parts and labour for up to four years to protect against inflation. Service Care covers the cost of all recommended service items, including fluids, filters and spark plugs.
- 1VerdictThe upmarket Mercedes C-Class brings the usual air of quality, although you'll need to upgrade to the AMG cars to find a truly exciting drive
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe C-Class remains a solid, stable cruiser, while AMG offerings are still huge fun
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsEconomy is strong compared to rivals, with new mild-hybrid petrol model designed for fuel-free coasting
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe C-Class has a cabin that’s among the most sumptuous in the class, and new tech keeps it at the sharp end, too
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe C-Class offers a good amount of room up front for driver and passenger, but the boot size is nothing special
- 6Reliability and Safety - currently readingThe C-Class brings a solid air of quality, with proven components and a five-star safety rating