Used buyer's guide: Mercedes CLC

The Mercedes CLC wasn’t a showroom hit, but it's a fine second-hand buy

What to look for

• Check air-con/climate control system functions properly; if it fails, repairs tend to be very expensive.• Ensure heated rear screen works; an earthing fault on some models means it doesn’t warm up properly.• Some cars were built with misaligned suspension. It should be fixed, but uneven tyre wear is possible.

Not all Sports Coupes and CLCs are auto, and while the manual gearboxes aren’t terrible, they’re not nearly as nice to use. Buy a Sports Coupe with the Evolution Pack if you can; it adds 17-inch alloys, a glass sunroof and revised suspension for a sportier drive.

Don’t confuse the C230 with the earlier C230K; the former is a smooth V6, the latter a four-cylinder supercharged car with much higher CO2 emissions. If you can stretch to a CLC it’s worth it, but this later model sits in a far higher insurance group than its Sports Coupe counterpart.


Most C-Class recalls didn’t affect the Sports Coupe, but two did. The first, in January 2004, related to cars built between August and October 2003, in which the rear seatbelt buckles could fail to engage properly. In addition, a handful of 2006 Sports Coupes could suffer from the engine cutting out due to a fuse working loose, but these have all been fixed. Still, some diesel CLCs built between January 2009 and December 2011 could suffer from fuel leaks, and not all affected cars have yet been fixed.

Check out the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) website for up-to-date recall information.

Driver Power

Our view:While the CLC and Sport Coupe haven’t been ranked in our Driver Power survey, the C-Class has. Its best score is 32nd, but it came a disappointing 68th in 2011. Its ride quality and ease of driving impress yet reliability and running costs don’t.

Your view:John and Margaret Walton from Worcester replaced a Sports Coupe with the CLC seen here. Says John: “It’s small but spacious, economical, reliable and beautifully built. The dealer is superb, too. The sunroof reduces headroom, though.”


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