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MSRP: $41,400 - 83,800

Best Luxury Small Cars

  • #1

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    2019 Audi A5

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  • #7

    2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

    $41,400 - $83,800 MSRP

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2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Review

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class ranks in the middle of the luxury small car class. It has an upscale interior, but it can't match the dynamic performance of many rivals, and some infotainment controls are hard to use.

Pros & Cons

  • Elegant cabin design
  • Long list of standard and optional features
  • Potent engine lineup
  • Not as sporty as rivals
  • Confusing technology
  • High base price

New for 2019

  • Refreshed front and rear exterior styling
  • New turbocharged standard engine
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now standard
  • Enhanced driver assistance features

Is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class a Good Car?

The heavily refreshed 2019 C-Class is a good car, but many vehicles in the uber-competitive luxury small car class are better. This Mercedes has several engine options, and all deliver satisfying power, but the C-Class isn’t as fun to drive as competitors. If you're looking for a luxurious ride and cabin, though, the C-Class nails it. Elegant materials are everywhere you look and touch, and the list of standard and optional features is extensive. Minor complaints about the interior include some distracting infotainment controls and a second row that's just so-so on space.

Should I Buy the Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has one of the highest base prices in its class, at around $41,500. Longtime rivals like the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 start at a little over $40,000 and $39,000, respectively. The C-Class is far from a bad buy, but most shoppers would be wise to check out the competition as well.

Compare the C-Class, 3 Series, and A4 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

Mercedes-Benz made several changes to the C-Class that make the 2019 model more appealing than older models. Exterior styling is refreshed, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are now standard. New and updated active safety features have been added as well. A 10.25-inch infotainment display screen and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster are newly optional, and all models except the base C300 sedan feature the larger infotainment screen.

In terms of performance, the C300 lineup gets a new 255-horsepower engine, while the AMG C 43's twin-turbocharged V6 engine gets a 23-horsepower boost to 385 horsepower. The range-topping AMG C 63 and AMG C 63 S now feature an enhanced nine-speed automatic transmission with different gear ratios than the standard nine-speed transmission.

For 2018, Mercedes added a rearview camera to the standard features list in coupe models. (It became standard in the sedan and cabriolet for 2017.) Android Auto and Apple CarPlay were also made available for the first time. You'll likely save money by shopping for older or used models, though you won't get the benefits of the 2019 refresh.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 C-Class »

We Did the Research for You: 50 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 50 Mercedes-Benz C-Class reviews – along with fuel economy estimates, performance specs, and more – to help you decide if the 2019 C-Class is the right new car for you. This 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2015 through 2019 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain objective, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team manages the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cost?

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class starts at $41,400, making it one of the most expensive options in the luxury small car segment. The high-performance AMG C 63 S sedan starts at $74,600. The C-Class coupe retails for $43,800, and the price goes up to $76,450 for the highest AMG version. The 2019 C-Class Cabriolet starts at $51,850, while its most powerful AMG variant retails for $83,800.

Competitors like the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series are typically a little less expensive than the C-Class – the A4 starts at $39,200, while the 3 Series starts at $40,250.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mercedes-Benz dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Mercedes-Benz deals page.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Mercedes-Benz C-Class or BMW 3 Series?

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the fully redesigned BMW 3 Series have a lot in common, but they differ in several key areas. The 3 Series runs with the best in the class when it comes to performance. It has dynamic handling and a comfortable ride quality, which make it a great companion for all kinds of driving. Its base engine delivers satisfying acceleration and ample power, and there's an all-new 382-horsepower M340i model, which is slotted below the yet-to-be-announced M3 model. The C-Class focuses more on driver and passenger comfort, falling a little short of the 3 Series when it comes to driver engagement.

Comparing these two in other ways is tough: The C-Class typically costs thousands of dollars more than the 3 Series, but it boasts a more opulent interior and a longer list of standard features. You'd have to add packages or individual options to bring the BMW up to the Benz's level of creature comforts. On the other hand, the 3 Series might feel a little roomier in the back seat than the C-Class. You can also get the 3 Series as a Sports Wagon or Gran Turismo hatchback, which increases utility. These models carry over from the previous generation of the 3 Series, and they lack the changes of the redesign. The 3 Series isn't available as a coupe or convertible like the C-Class is, so for those body styles, look to the related BMW 4 Series. The C-Class and 3 Series are both good cars, so you really can't go wrong with either.

Which Is Better: Mercedes-Benz C-Class or Audi A4?

The Audi A4 is one of our highest-ranked luxury small cars. Though it typically costs several thousand dollars less than the C-Class, it stacks up favorably to the Mercedes when it comes to features. These include standard leather upholstery, heated front seats, and the user-friendly MMI infotainment system. There's enough room in the second row for adults to really stretch out and get comfortable, in contrast to the C-Class. The A4 delivers solid performance, with a couple of peppy turbocharged engine options. The A4 is also an adept corner carver, but it doesn’t sacrifice the forgiving ride quality that buyers appreciate in a luxury car. However, the performance-oriented S4 can't match the C-Class AMG models for raw engine power. Overall, you're probably better off with the A4.

Compare the C-Class, 3 Series, and A4 »

C-Class Interior

How Many People Does the C-Class Seat?

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan seats five, and coupe and convertible models seat four. The front seats pamper you in comfort and provide good lateral support and bolstering for taking curves. Rear-seat accommodations are a little different – sedan passengers should find a decent amount of room back there, provided the front-seat occupants don’t push their seats back too much. The second row in the C-Class coupe and convertible are cramped, however, and with only two doors, they can be hard for adults to get in and out of.

C-Class and Car Seats

The Mercedes C-Class has two complete sets of LATCH child-seat connections in its second row. In five-seat sedan models, there's an additional tether anchor for the middle seat. The lower anchors are easy to locate since they're found under plastic flaps and not buried in the seat cushion. It requires little effort to attach the seat straps to the anchors. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the LATCH system the highest rating of Good for ease of use.

C-Class Interior Quality

An elegant cabin is a longtime calling card of the C-Class. The 2019 refresh brought minimal changes to the interior quality and design, largely because none were needed. Real wood trim pieces adorn the doors and center stack, and things like the air vents have a retro-futuristic look. The standard leatherette upholstery is comfortable, while more opulent options like Nappa leather are available. All in all, the C-Class' sleek, modern, and luxurious cabin is one of the nicest in the class.

C-Class Cargo Space

The 2019 C-Class sedan has 12.6 cubic feet of trunk space, which is about average for the class. Both the BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4 have a tad more room at 13 feet. The C-Class coupe’s trunk has 10.5 cubic feet of space. Volumes go as low as 8.8 cubic feet in cabriolet (convertible) models. A split-folding rear seat is standard, and a power trunk lid is optional.

C-Class Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Rarely is a Mercedes vehicle out of date when it comes to in-car technology. With the 2019 refresh, the C-Class' features enjoy a host of improvements. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are now standard in all models, having previously been optional. We recommend using these smartphone integration systems as an alternative to the infotainment system's regular controls. A physical knob on the center console and the available touchpad can be distracting to use, and the menus are hard to navigate.

Another major update for 2019 is a new 10.25-inch display screen. It comes standard in coupe, convertible, and AMG models, and it's optional in the base C300 sedan. The standard C-Class sedan still utilizes the 7-inch screen found in the 2018 model, which some critics disparaged for its positioning atop the dashboard. The 10.25-inch screen has a similar set up, but its larger size and rectangular shape flow better with the dash and interior layout. You can also opt for a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, which gives more of a cockpit feel to the car. It can display everything from navigation to speed, and different themes accentuate various items. The Supersport setup, for example, offers a tachometer in the center of the display and a digital speedometer in the middle of that.

Read more about interior »

C-Class Performance

C-Class Engine: Kicked Up a Notch

New for the 2019 C300 is a 2.0-liter turbocharged, 255-horsepower four-cylinder engine mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. This engine is an upgrade from the base four-cylinder engine in the 2018 C-Class that has 241 horsepower. The C300 has ample power for daily driving, whether you're taking off quickly from a stop or cruising and passing at highway speeds. The transmission delivers quick and smooth shifts.

It'd be criminal not to mention the thrilling engine options in the high-performance AMG models. The AMG C 43 boasts a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that delivers 385 horsepower, a gain of 23 from the 2018 model. The AMG C 63 has a 469-horsepower twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8, while the AMG C 63 S has the same engine but rated at 503 horsepower. All C-Class AMG models feature a nine-speed AMG transmission with different gear ratios than the standard transmission. These monstrous C-Class derivatives will throw you back in your seat when you hit the gas, and you may just want to listen to the raucous engine notes instead of your favorite tunes on the radio.

C-Class Gas Mileage: Middle of the Road

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C300 gets an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 23 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. That's about average for a luxury small car, but the ratings go down from there with other engines, body styles, or all-wheel drive. The highest figures for the C-Class coupe are 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway, while the convertible comes in at 21/29 mpg city/highway.

C-Class Ride and Handling: C Is for Comfort

The 2019 C-Class comes standard with rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is optional. There are four selectable driving modes – Comfort, Eco, Sport, and Sport+ – that emphasize different aspects of ride and handling. In Comfort mode, the C-Class delivers what's probably the plushest ride in the class. Sport and Sport+ modes ratchet up throttle response and steering for a more engaging drive. Even then, the C-Class falls a little short of the more athletic rivals in the class.

Read more about performance »

C-Class Reliability

Is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reliable?

J.D. Power gives the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Warranty

Mercedes backs the 2019 C-Class with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty. That's the same coverage length afforded to most luxury vehicles.

Read more about reliability »

C-Class Safety

C-Class Crash Test Results

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class a Top Safety Pick+, which is the organization's highest honor. It received the highest rating of Good in all six crash test as well as the highest ratings in for front crash prevention and how well the headlights illuminate the road ahead.

C-Class Safety Features

The 2019 C-Class offers a ton of standard and optional driver assistance features. The safety tech now rivals that found in Mercedes' flagship S-Class sedan.

Newly standard for 2019 is extended active brake assist, which warns you of impending collisions ahead (including with pedestrians or cyclists) and applies the brakes or brings the car to a full stop when necessary. All C-Class models also come with a rearview camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and attention assist – a driver drowsiness monitoring system that monitors your eye movements and face while you drive and detects if you're distracted or nodding off. Also standard is Mercedes Pre-Safe, which prepares the car for an impending collision by closing the windows and tightening the seat belts.

Optional active safety features include front and rear parking sensors, automatic park assist, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, a surround-view camera, forward cross traffic alert, steering and speed limit assist, and a head-up display. When equipped with navigation, the C-Class can use maps data to predictively adjust the car's speed in certain situations, like when approaching a bend. Optional Pre-Safe Plus can detect rear-impact collisions and perform the same functions as standard Pre-Safe. When taken all together, the C-Class' suite of advanced safety features creates a semi-autonomous car in certain situations.

Read more about safety »

Which Mercedes-Benz C-Class Model Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is available in four major trim levels, each with its own distinct engine. Standard and optional features mostly stay the same between trims. You can choose from among sedan, coupe, or convertible body styles and either rear- or all-wheel drive.

The base C300 should be fine for most drivers. Its engine delivers satisfying power, so you may have a hard time justifying the roughly $14,000 price jump over the lower AMG model.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300

The 2019 Mercedes C300 sedan starts at $41,400. It comes with a 255-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive. Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, two USB ports, proximity key entry, push-button start, HD Radio, a 7-inch infotainment display screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a sunroof, a rearview camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and attention assist. C300 coupe ($43,800) and convertible ($51,850) models come standard with a 10.25-inch infotainment screen.

Mercedes-Benz AMG C 43

The Mercedes-AMG C 43 retails for $55,250. It features a 385-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and an enhanced nine-speed automatic transmission with different gear ratios than the standard nine-speed. All-wheel drive is standard, along with the 10.25-inch screen, heated front sport seats, and a sport-tuned suspension and exhaust.

Mercedes-Benz AMG C 63

The 2019 AMG C 63 and AMG C 63 S both come with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine and the enhanced nine-speed automatic transmission. The AMG C 63 has an MSRP of $67,000. It puts out 469 horsepower, while the AMG C 63 S cranks out 503 horsepower for a total cost of $74,600.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mercedes-Benz dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Mercedes-Benz deals page.

See 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has a hard time keeping up with the best in the luxury small car class. It offers a comfortable ride but otherwise largely forgettable performance, despite powerful engines in higher trims. The interior has tons of features and top-notch materials, but many rivals are more well-rounded.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • These Mercedes models compete against the BMW 3 and 4 Series as well as the Audi A4 and A5. The C-Class maintains its position in this class as the more luxury-oriented choice against the more athletic BMWs, while the Audi largely splits the difference and adds more high-tech features. Deciding between any of these German sedans, coupes and convertibles will depend more on your personal preference than any objective differences." -- Edmunds
  • "What we do know is that, thanks this mid-cycle freshening, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C 300 and Mercedes-AMG C 43 are set to remain benchmarks among entry-level luxury sedans, while the lineup's variety of powertrains and free-spirited coupe and cabriolet body styles will appeal to a wide range of luxury car shoppers." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "It's been four years since this generation of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class was introduced, and the company is wasting no time updating the luxury car with all its latest know-how. From more powerful yet more efficient powertrains, to an even more impressive array of technologies, the 2019 C-Class continues to stake its place at the heart of the class." -- CNET

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: June 7, 2019

Steady, High Sales: Refreshed for the 2019 model year, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is the second-best selling luxury small car, behind only the Tesla Model 3. The C-Class is also the best-selling car in the Mercedes-Benz showroom and has remained constant this year compared to the same period in 2018.

Research more buying advice »
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