Mercedes-Benz C-Class (1993 – 2000) Review

Mercedes-Benz C-Class (1993 – 2000) At A Glance


+Solid aspirational car in its day

-Inferior follow-up to the 190, over-light feel-free steering, uninspiring, rusts, ECU failure at 12+ years old scraps the car

After more than a decade in production, Mercedes-Benz replaced the 190 range with the all-new C-Class. The W202 generation baby Benz was a clear evolution from the older car in terms of styling, but the new model ushered in a much wider range of engines, as well as an additional body style in the shape of a new - and very stylish - estate version. Also, the performance models were now sold under the AMG banner.

As a product of the 1990s, the C-Class was packed with new safety kit, including standard driver airbag, ABS and integrated side-impact protection; the front passenger airbag became standard from 1995 onwards, and from the same period Traction control (ETS in the four-cylinder models, combined with limited slip differential (ASD) or ASR in the six-cylinder models) was available as extra cost. But the timeless styling means that the C-Class has aged extremely well - and well into the 21st century, many examples - some quite rusty - are still being worked hard as daily hacks.

Ask Honest John

How should I sell an inherited 'classic' Mercedes-Benz?

"I have inherited a 1996 Mercedes-Benz C180 Elegance Automatic in good condition with less than 70K recorded mileage. It is surplus requirements and I would welcome your advice on the best method of sale in the current market. "
If you feel the car has some classic appeal the best option may be to sell to an enthusiast audience, such as a Mercedes-Benz owners club, forum or social media group. We would also suggest using these resources to try and gauge a good price for the vehicle, as it is frequently more about what someone is prepared to pay for a vehicle rather than its open market value when looking at an enthusiast audience.
Answered by David Ross

How much should I pay for a 1997 Mercedes-Benz W202?

"I have been offered a 1992 Mercedes-Benz W202 estate with 60,000 miles on the clock. It has one owner from new and it's in good condition - what do you think would be a reasonable offer to make? It has a private plate on it - three digits and three letters which the owner says is worth £1500."
Leaving the plate aside for the moment - a price for the car is going to depend on a huge amount of factors beyond mileage and number of owners - it's value will be based on service history, condition of the body (ie rust) and engine (it's more than possible for a low-mileage car to have plenty of issues either from lack of use or the kinds of miles covered), interior etc etc. These cars are rapidly appreciating modern classics so assuming it's been garaged, has good service history, no rot and has been pampered, you're probably looking at about £1500 to £2k. The numberplate is tricky - there are plenty of online valuation companies that will be able to give you a rough idea of what it's worth. As always with private plates, it depends on finding the right buyer (normally with the right initials).
Answered by Keith Moody

Should my mother replace her Mercedes-Benz C-Class with a Volkswagen Polo?

"My retired mother is looking at selling her immaculate 1995 Mercedes-Benz C180C auto with 50,000 miles on the clock. She wants a smaller, more economical and manoeuvrable car for her short suburban journeys. The Mercedes, owned since new, is immaculate. It has been fully serviced by the main dealer. She is keen on a Volkswagen Polo. The 1.4 Match with a petrol engine and DSG box seems to be her first choice. What is the value of the Mercedes and the best way to sell it? She is keen that it goes to someone who will appreciate and care for the vehicle. And what is you view of her choice of new car? She is still very mobile and wants 'German Quality'."
Sell the C-Class to this specialist dealer: I don't recommend the Polo 1.4 DSG because the engine is a bit long in the tooth and there are questions about the DSG transmission. Volkswagen has not upgraded it to get the much better 1.2TSI engine with the DSG, that you can get in a SEAT Ibiza. So she could stick with VAG, but get an Ibiza instead of a Polo. Both cars are built in Northern Spain anyway. The Polo is actually no more German than Franco was.
Answered by Honest John
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