This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon review.

Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

Mercedes-Benz C-Class performance options are split between frugal diesel engines and smooth petrol engines.

Petrol engines

Mercedes dropped the 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine from the saloon range in 2011 as it was a marginal seller. In 2012, the C180 and C200 models gained a BlueEfficiency tag and the C180 swapped its 1.8-litre engine for a new 1.6-litre unit with 154bhp that delivers 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds whether you choose the manual or automatic gearboxes. The C250 is the only other petrol on offer and gives 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds thanks to 201bhp from its supercharged 1.8-litre petrol motor. Unlike the C180, the C250 only comes with a seven-speed automatic gearbox, so there’s no manual option for the C250.

Diesel engines

The same 2.1-litre turbodiesel engine features in the C-Class in differing power outputs. For the C200 CDI it offers 134bhp, while the C220 CDI has 167bhp and the C250 CDI delivers 201bhp. In the C250 diesel, the C-Class gets form 0-62mph in 7.0 seconds flat, while the C200 and C220 models record the same spring in 9.1- and 8.1 seconds respectively fitted with automatic gearboxes. For those who want even more refinement and performance from their diesel-powered C-Class, there is the C350 CDI that has 262bhp on offer to see it from 0-62mph in just 6.0 seconds and it also has superb overtaking grunt.

Parkers recommends

The C180’s 1.6-litre petrol engine offers a cheap way into C-Class ownership with fine economy, but the C220 CDI is the best bet for all round running costs and performance.

The C-Class is agile, accomplished and sure-footed. Even in adverse conditions and heavy rain it holds the road impressively and will happily make swift progress – the steering is responsive, it corners well and there’s little bodyroll. It’s a supreme motorway cruiser too, as it rides superbly and feels very stable at speed. An Advanced Agility Package firms up the steering and sharpens the gearbox response simply by switching a button on the dash that moves it between Comfort and Sport modes.