Last month when the International Auto Show rolled into town I had a few minutes to sit in and play with the new W206 Mercedes-Benz C-Class. I’ve very pro-sedan in a world where they are all going away, so this was somewhat exciting to me. What I climbed into was a car that had an outstanding steering wheel and two screens, and the rest was a letdown. I was ready for this as a C-Class is not an S-Class, but the cheap vinyl, plastic, and generally “lightness” of everything was a real down. I really hate to be the “They don’t make them like they used to.” guy, but you are buying a price point with these cars now. I did really love that steering wheel though.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2023 Mercedes-Benz C300 on eBay
Engine: Turbocharged 2.0 liter Inline-4
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Mileage: 3,456 mi
Location: Miami, Florida
Price: $52,795 Buy It Now
PARKING PKG, WHEELS: 19″ AMGÂ® 5 TWIN-SPOKE W/BLAC… AMGÂ® LINE W/NIGHT PACKAGE, ANIMATED MB LED ENTRY PROJECTOR, BODY COLOR REAR SPOILER, SIRIUSXM SATELLITE RADIO, PANORAMA SUNROOF, iPod/MP3 Input. C 300 trim, Black exterior and AMGÂ® Black interior. AND MORE!======OPTION PACKAGES: AMGÂ® LINE W/NIGHT PACKAGE: Sport Suspension w/Sport Steering System, AMGÂ® Body Styling, Star Grille, AMGÂ® Line Interior, Brushed Aluminum Sport Pedals w/Rubber Studs, AMGÂ® Floor Mats, Flat-Bottom Sport Steering Wheel, MB-Tex Dashboard, Perforated Brake Discs, Mercedes-Benz lettered calipers, AMGÂ® Line Exterior, PANORAMA SUNROOF, SIRIUSXM SATELLITE RADIO: 6-month trial, BODY COLOR REAR SPOILER. ======KEY FEATURES INCLUDE: Heated Driver Seat, Back-Up Camera, Turbocharged, iPod/MP3 Input, Onboard Communications System, Chrome Wheels, Remote Engine Start, Dual Zone A/C, Brake Actuated Limited Slip Differential, Smart Device Integration, Blind Spot Monitor, WiFi Hotspot, Apple CarPlay, Hands-Free Liftgate, Heated Seats. MP3 Player, Remote Trunk Release, Keyless Entry, Child Safety Locks, Steering Wheel Controls. Mercedes-Benz C 300 with Black exterior and AMGÂ® Black interior features a 4 Cylinder Engine with 255 HP at 5800 RPM*
On the outside, I don’t mind the looks. It doesn’t look cheap like the A-Class and while clearly not a giant luxury car, does a fair job of looking the part as a premium car. However, once you open the doors it, it was a letdown. The vinyl on the seats just feels flimsy and reminds me of what you’d find in a Jetta, not a C-class. The does a bad imitation of trying to look like carbon but clearly isn’t, both in look and feel. Outside of the steering wheel, all the switches you touch daily are just so cheap and clearly carried out from the previous generation parts bin. For something you touch almost constantly in the car, the turn signal stocks shouldn’t be on the same level as a free pen you get from your dentist. The giant screens are fine as long as you know what you are doing, but my guess is they’ll be totally distracting to normal drivers and most C-Class buyers won’t even utilize 10% of what they are capable of.
As far as the price goes, $53,000 for this used example with 3,500 miles isn’t much of a deal at all. You are paying a lot of money for a car built to an exact price point that probably isn’t going to hold out great in the long run. These cars are made to lease and probably will be treated as such. Welcome to 2023.
If you want a sedan, there is absolutely no reason to purchase one of these. For $50K there are many better options.
If you want a new car, get a Lexus ES – much better materials and better built, and this C-class doesn’t have any sporting pretentions anyway so the Lexus isn’t any worse in that regard. Honestly a top-spec Honda Accord or Acura equivalent would be a better choice at this price point.
If you want a Mercedes, buy a used – class or better, readily available at 50K.
My comment was supposed to read if you want a used Mercedes, buy a used E class or better.