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2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Review

Choosing a used 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class will get you a top-grade cabin and composed handling, but also cramped rear seats, below-average safety scores, and high ownership costs. These negatives keep it from breaking the lower half of our rankings. 

Pros & Cons

  • Premium interior design
  • Composed ride and handling
  • Tight rear seats

New for 2013

  • C300 has more horsepower and better fuel economy than 2012 model
  • C300 and C350 gained a stop-start feature
  • Subscription-based internet connectivity (mbrace2) became standard




Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.3
Safety: 8.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Overview

Is the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class a Good Used Car?

A lavish interior and a smooth ride quality help used C-Class models – available in sedan and coupe forms – live up to luxury small car standards. Still, there are several vices. Trunk space is limited, the car’s driving dynamics are more fitting of a cruiser than a sporty sedan, and its reliability score – though good overall – is relatively low for the class.

Used 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Performance and Interior

The base 2013 Mercedes C250 is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out 201 horsepower and has enough acceleration to make highway passing maneuvers easy. Three more powerful engines are available – the most potent being the C63 AMG’s 451-horsepower V8. All models come with a smooth-shifting seven-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available. The C-Class handles corners with poise, despite steering that can sometimes feel numb. Most models favor ride comfort over agility, though the AMG model delivers a sporty ride. This sedan delivers 21-22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway with the base trim – typical ratings in this class.

Read more about C-Class performance »

The C-Class is pleasing to the eye, with either soft-touch leatherette or leather upholstery. Wood and aluminum accents add an extra touch of extravagance. The front seats are comfortable and provide both a great amount of support and good visibility, but the rear seats pose an issue. They’re snug in the sedan and even more unaccommodating in the coupe. Trunk space is minimal; rivals like the Buick Verano offer more. There are two sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the outboard rear seats.  

Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, a sunroof, Bluetooth, and HD Radio. All C-Class models come with a user-friendly COMAND infotainment system. Its menu is well laid out, and it responds quickly to user inputs.

Read more about C-Class interior »

Used 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Prices

A used 2013 Mercedes C-Class ranges from about $16,200 for the C250 Luxury trim to roughly $33,500 for the C63 AMG trim. Prices vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, and demand.

See the Best Used Car Deals »
We Did the Research for You: 66 Reviews Analyzed

To give you a complete overview of the 2013 C-Class – and make your car-shopping experience easier – we analyzed 66 Mercedes-Benz C-Class reviews alongside reliability ratings, safety scores, and more.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles for a decade, and our crew has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we do not accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an external company manages the ads on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

The 2013 Mercedes C-Class has a reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power. This is average for the luxury small cars class, but a number of competitors, like the Audi A4, earn much higher scores.

See C-Class reliability scores »

How Safe Is the C-Class?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the C-Class a Top Safety Pick in 2013, giving it the highest rating of Good in four crash tests and the second-lowest rating of Marginal in the small overlap front crash test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the C-Class four out of five stars in frontal and rollover tests and five stars in the side crash test for an overall rating of five stars.

Every 2013 C-Class comes with a driver drowsiness monitor and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Other active safety equipment can be found in higher trim levels, including a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, and lane keep assist.

See C-Class safety scores »

Is the 2013 C-Class the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is part of a generation that started in 2008 and includes the 2014 model year. There were quite a few changes between 2012 and 2013; the 2013 C300 trim has quicker acceleration and better fuel economy estimates than the prior model, the C300 and C350 gained a stop-start feature, and mbrace2 (a subscription-based internet connectivity system) became standard. If those upgrades aren’t important to you, choose a used 2012 C-Class to save some money.

Compare the 2012 and 2013 C-Class »

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

The C-Class comes in four trims: C250, C300 (sedan only), C350, and C63. Sedan models of the C250 and C300 have two subtrims: Luxury and Sport. Choosing the right trim for you depends on what you’re looking for in a luxury small car. If you’re on a tighter budget, you’ll like that the base trim has a good amount of features and adequate acceleration. Performance-minded shoppers will want a higher trim level. If you’re looking for more amenities, you’ll want to opt for the C350. It adds features like satellite radio, heated front seats, and a Harman Kardon audio system. When the C-Class was new, there were a few packages available. This means you might find a model with leather upholstery, a rearview camera, or blind spot monitoring.

The C-Class has a good reliability rating, but you still might want to consider a certified pre-owned model for further peace of mind. Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned vehicles come with the balance of the original four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty, plus an additional one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. If the new-car warranty is expired, you’ll just receive the one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. Every Mercedes-Benz CPO vehicle must pass a 164-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mercedes-Benz warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »
Read more about the Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned program »

2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class or 2013 BMW 3 Series?

The 2013 BMW 3 Series is a larger luxury midsize car, yet it offers about the same trunk space as the C-Class. However, the 3 Series does have additional rear-seat legroom, which means occupants will feel more than comfortable in the back row. It’s also more fun to drive than the C-Class – even in its base trim – and its safety scores are higher. Nonetheless, the BMW gets a lower reliability rating (three out of five), and its cabin is less luxurious than that of the C-Class. If you’re looking for more space and better performance, go with the 3 Series. If not, the C-Class will suit you just fine.

Which Is Better: 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class or 2013 Audi A4?

The 2013 Audi A4 is another luxury small car, but it scores much higher in our rankings thanks to its top-notch reliability score (five out of five), superior safety scores, and large number of standard features, including leather upholstery and satellite radio. Both cars have enough power to get up to highway speeds, but neither packs great acceleration. The A4 is the better choice overall; it will get you more features and may cost less.

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

Best 2013 Luxury Small Cars

  • #1

    2013 Audi A4

    $13,190 - $21,654 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
  • #2

    2013 Audi A5

    $15,645 - $29,353 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
  • #9

    2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

    $13,988 - $30,003 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
See the full 2013 Luxury Small Cars rankings »

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