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2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Review

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is not the sportiest 2011 midsize car, but it offers enough refinement and power to keep most drivers content, as long as you don’t need a large back seat or cargo area.

Pros & Cons

  • Good blend of performance and luxury
  • Upscale, refined interior
  • Cramped back seat
  • Not as sporty as key rivals




Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.6
Safety: 7.9
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Overview

When it was new, reviewers generally liked the 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class’ handling and interior refinement. However, some noted that it doesn’t handle with the agility of its sportier competitors, such as the 2011 BMW 3-Series. Buyers can select from Luxury and Sport variants, with the latter receiving tauter suspension tuning. 

The C-Class has two available engines. Base C300 models have a 3.0-liter V6 that makes 228 horsepower, while the C350 has a larger, 3.5-liter V6 that produces 268 horsepower. There is also a high-performance C63 AMG version available. Although critics said that neither the C300 nor the C350 would likely break any speed records, most said the C300 has adequate power for passing and merging and that the C350 feels fairly fast. A rear-wheel drive C300 with an automatic transmission gets 18/26 mpg city/highway. Selecting all-wheel drive or the more powerful C350 means slightly lower estimates. Automatic transmissions are standard on all models, but a manual is available on the rear-wheel drive C300. Maximum trunk space is 12.4 cubic feet, which is low for the class, but still on-par with rivals like the 2011 Audi A4 and BMW 3-Series.

Most critics said the C-Class’ interior felt upscale and comfortable, at least in the front seats. The back seats drew some criticism for being cramped, and one tester said some might find it difficult to install child safety seats. Standard equipment includes a power sunroof, dual-zone climate control and Bluetooth. Option packages add features like leather upholstery and heated seats, Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment system, navigation and a Harmon Kardon stereo. Sport models also have different front seats with more aggressive side bolstering.

See the full 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class specs »

Other Cars to Consider

Like the C-Class, the highly-ranked 2011 Acura TL is also available with varying degrees of sportiness, which most critics liked. They also liked its high-tech interior, comfortable seats and abundant standard features, though some found its button-heavy dash difficult to discern. The TL also earns better safety ratings than the C-Class.

Critics said the 2011 Audi A4 offers plenty of luxury, and they loved its refined, high-quality interior. They also noted that it feels fairly peppy and sporty, even though it’s less powerful than the C-Class. The A4 also carries a better safety score.

Compare the C-Class to the TL and A4 »


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