The entry-level model Mercedes-Benz in the United States, the C-Class nevertheless exudes refinement, good performance, and prestige. On the road, the car feels every bit the Mercedes-Benz it is. With solid road manners, exceptional speed for its size, and considerable comfort (for front-seat passengers).
Instantly recognizable as a Mercedes-Benz product, the C-Class is a good way to drive a Benz on something of a budget. Be aware however, when it comes to maintenance costs, mechanics do not differentiate between the C-Class and the S-Class. The shop’s hourly rate is the same across the board. This is also true for parts costs. As all of the switchgear used by all MBZ products comes essentially from the same parts bin, so—as the saying goes—“parts is parts”.
Of course, the other side of that equation is the C-Class also feels largely like every other Benz going down the street. Initially introduced in 1994, as a replacement for the 190E, there have been three generations of the C-Class offered to date. This retrospective picks up with the second generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class introduced in 2000, as a 2001 model.