Overview

Overview

From its base C250 to the high-performance C63 AMG, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class offers a broad spectrum of performance for buyers of a compact luxury coupe or sedan.  Other selling points include a stylish exterior, composed handling, high-quality interior and numerous high-tech safety features.

What Experts Think

Mercedes-Benz has an excellent reputation for automotive advancements, performance, safety and high technology. This is clearly evident in the comments from the automotive press, the folks who test and review cars and trucks so that consumers have at least an educated impression of what each product offers.

With definitely a few favorites in mind, the editors and testers at Consumer Reports say the entry-level C-Class sedan is "agile, quiet and comfortable," while noting the C300 and C350 "use more powerful V6 engines." Befitting a true performance vehicle, editors remark that the "high-performance C63 AMG is a delight, and a couple is also available."

Meanwhile, over at Edmunds, editors claim to be big fans of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, "but then we're also quite fond of BMW's 3 Series, Audi's A4 and Volvo's S60." Commenting that they'd like to say one stands out above the rest, they can't, urging consumers to "take them all for a long test drive."

"C63 excepted, others premium compacts may beat the C-Class for all-out performance, but for buyers who want brand cachet and an enjoyable driving experience, this Mercedes is worthy of consideration." (Consumer Guide)

Although it's certainly not without its faults, Cars.com says the real payoff is in ride and comfort, "which scores in both ride and noise isolation. Even with the sport-tuned suspension [the] C250's advance adaptive setup, the C-Class is a comfort-oriented car."

"Even the base C250 sedan feels as solid and screwed together as the best S-Class," notes Kelley Blue Book. The publication also hails the C-Class for its stability and confidence, saying it is "loaded with creature comforts and overflowing with technology."

What Owners Say

Owners generally like what they've purchased when it comes to the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Commenting on sites such as Yahoo Autos, Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, AOL Autos and MSN Autos, owners aren't at all shy about voicing their opinions.

Typical comments include great luxury sport sedan, handles like a dream, awesome 450-watt Harman Kardon sound system, competitively priced relative to similar German sedans in the class, great fit and finish, good performance, and a very luxurious interior.

Some negatives repeated by owners are that this is not a practical family sedan, rearview camera could be better, back seats are basically useless for adults, a little hard on gas and fuel economy could be better.

Model/Trim Lineup

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class comes in numerous coupe and sedan versions. The entry-level C250 is available in coupe and sedan. The C250 sedan is available in Sport and Luxury trims. The C300 only comes in a sedan, again offered in Sport or Luxury trims.

Moving up to the C350 models, both coupe and sedan are available. The top-of-the-line C63 AMG versions are also available in coupe and sedan models.

Standard equipment in the entry-level C250 includes 17-inch alloy wheels, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, vinyl upholstery, power driver's seat, sunroof, and wireless cell-phone link. Sport adds aluminum trim in the interior, while Luxury sedan includes wood accents.

Options on the C250 include heated front seats, keyless access and start, satellite radio, and an iPod/MP3 interface - all of which some auto critics feel should be standard.

There are additional features in the C250 coupe, including power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, memory for driver's seat, mirrors and steering wheel, and sport suspension. Similar equipment comes in the C300, with the addition of standard all-wheel drive.

Heated front seats, satellite ratio, power rear sunshade, rear spoiler, and iPod/MP3 interface system are included in C350 models.

The C63 AMG standard equipment list includes 18-inch wheels, specific front seats, and performance suspension and uprated brakes.

Performance

Auto critics observe that most of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class lineup is at least as sharp-edged as some of the other sport sedans in the class, while noting that comfort is a great part of the appeal compared to others. Both coupes and sedans do a laudable job by delivering satisfying performance and a more nimble driving demeanor that might be readily expected.

In 2012, Mercedes-Benz brought back the four-cylinder engine to the C-Class, and in 2013, new V6 engines are praised as being smoother and better than ever. In total, there are for different engines offered in the C-Class.

The base C250 is powered by a turbocharged, direct-injected 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, rated at 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque. Fuel-efficient and fun, say reviewers, it even feels quicker than the previous V6-powered C-300. The C250 is only available in rear-wheel drive, mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission.

C300s get a new 3.5-liter V6 with 248 horsepower, which is 20 mpg more than the 3.0-liter V6 previously used.

C350s have the same 302-horsepoer 3.5-liter V6 as before. With the $3,050 Dynamic Sport Package, buyers can get adjustable suspension which, according to reviewers, really livens up the driving experience.

At the top of the lineup is the C63 AMG coupe, powered by a 451-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 engine that makes 443 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual. Besides straight-line performance, say the auto critics, the C63's performance is akin to the class benchmark, the BMW M3. Optional AMG Development Package increases the C63 AMGs output to 481 horsepower.

Only the C300 sedan offers all-wheel drive, while the C350 coupe is also available with all-wheel drive.

As for fuel economy ratings, EPA estimates for the C250 coupe and sedan are 21 mpg city/31 mpg highway/25 mpg combined. The C300 is rated at 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway. Rear-drive C350s are 20/29/23 and the all-wheel drive C350 coupe is estimated at 19/27. C63s are rated at 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway/15 mpg combined and are also subject to the federal gas guzzler tax.

Interior

Among the motoring press, most find that the front seats of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class are comfortable and supportive. Watch out for long-legged and tall drivers, though, as one reviewer of 5-foot-11-inch frame needed the driver's seat all the way back. Center console also encroaches on legroom and, if the front seat is raised, headroom is compromised. Many reviewers say that overall room is a little tight in the back seat.

Also of note, and not a particularly pleasant one, is that consumers have to pay extra for real leather in higher trims - even the $50,000-plus C63, calling it "absurd."

As for the dash and layout, some auto critics say the controls are still not particularly logical. New for 2013 is the next-generation mbrace2 telematics and concierge system, which now includes a mobile app for remote operation of lights and horn, as well as Valet Protect functionality, Curfew Minder, Driving Journal and Speed Alert services.

Door locks feel "chintzy" and "cheap," as do "flimsy" climate controls and "crude" sun visors.

Safety & Reliability

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has solid safety ratings, along with some active safety features that are not typical in this class, according to most in the automotive press. Some go so far as to applaud the automaker for bringing many of its latest accident-avoidance technologies to lower-priced, higher-volume models so that they are bound to make more of a difference to the buying public and translate to greater proliferation on the road.

The list of standard safety features includes 13-way airbag protection with 11 airbags, active head restraints, adaptive brakes, stability control, traction control, rain-sensing wipers, and Attention Assist, which monitors the driver for alertness.

Optional safety equipment includes blind spot monitoring parking guidance, adaptive high beam headlights, lane-keeping assist, and a rearview camera.

In government crash testing, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class an overall rating of four out of five stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class the top rating of "Good" in all crash-test categories and awarded it Top Safety Pick status.

As for reliability, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class had a three and one-half-circle rating (between "About Average" and "Better than Most") in the J.D. Power Predicted Reliability rating.

Consumer Reports notes that reliability for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class "has been above average of late."

Trim Style Engine Drive Train MSRP
Coupe - AWD
C 350 C 350 4MATIC Coupe V6 AWD 45200
Coupe - RWD
C 250 C 250 Coupe 4 Cylinder RWD 37800
C 350 C 350 Coupe V6 RWD 43200
C 63 AMG C 63 AMG Coupe 8 Cylinder RWD 62330
Sedan - AWD
C 300 Sport C 300 4MATIC Sport Sedan V6 AWD 38950
C 300 Luxury C 300 4MATIC Luxury Sedan V6 AWD 39360
Sedan - RWD
C 250 Sport C 250 Sport Sedan 4 Cylinder RWD 35350
C 250 Luxury C 250 Luxury Sedan 4 Cylinder RWD 35770
C 350 Sport C 350 Sport Sedan V6 RWD 41400
C 63 AMG C 63 AMG Sedan 8 Cylinder RWD 59800

Comparison of 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class with Similar Cars

2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class MSRP Invoice
2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class $35,350 $32,876
Similar Cars to Consider MSRP Invoice Compare
2013 BMW 3 Series $32,550 $29,945 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class VS 2013 BMW 3 Series
2013 Cadillac CTS $38,905 $36,765 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class VS 2013 Cadillac CTS
2013 Lexus ES 350 $36,370 $34,068 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class VS 2013 Lexus ES 350
2013 Buick Lacrosse $31,660 $30,394 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class VS 2013 Buick Lacrosse
2013 Lincoln MKZ $35,925 $34,129 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class VS 2013 Lincoln MKZ

Car Rankings

Interested to see how the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class ranks against similar cars in terms of key attributes? Here are the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class rankings for MPG, horsepower, torque, leg room, head room, shoulder room, hip room and so forth.

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