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2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Review

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sits in the top third of our luxury small car rankings. It has potent engines, a ritzy interior, and good fuel economy. However, it misses a top spot because of its exorbitant ownership costs (driven by high depreciation) and poor reliability rating.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engine lineup
  • Good fuel economy in base model
  • Exquisite interior
  • Cramped rear seat
  • Frustrating infotainment system
  • Below-average reliability rating

New for 2016

  • Coupe trims discontinued (until 2017)
  • C400 trim replaced by C450 AMG
  • New C350e Plug-in Hybrid




Critics' Rating: 9.7
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 9.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.2
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Overview

Is the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class a Good Used Car?

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a good used luxury small car that offers a comfortable ride, a long list of safety and technology features, impressive fuel economy estimates, and six capable engine options to suit a variety of power needs. However, it has a frustrating infotainment system.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews, as well as data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 28 Mercedes C-Class reviews to help you decide if it’s the right used car for you.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

The average price for a used 2016 Mercedes C-Class is $31,900, based on our site’s 560-plus listings for this vehicle. The C-Class’ price can range from $24,800 to $46,500, depending on the model you choose, as well as its condition, mileage, location, and features.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cost to Own?

Over five years of owning the C-Class, you can expect to pay $29,680 for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs. In comparison, five-year costs for most competitors are a little lower. For example, fueling, maintaining, insuring, and repairing the 2016 BMW 3 Series will cost you $28,150.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New C-Class?

A new 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has a base price of $40,250. That’s about $8,300 more than the average list price for a used 2016 model. However, the 2018 model offers several upgrades. It comes in sedan, coupe, and cabriolet body styles, and it adds a few more standard features, including: a nine-speed automatic transmission, a rearview camera, and a proximity key with push-button start. It’s also available with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. If you’re happy with a sedan, the 2016 C-Class is the better buy.

Read about the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class »

If want a new car for about the same price as a used 2016 C-Class, there are a number of options with nonluxury brands. The Toyota Avalon is a large car that comes loaded with technology and safety features. Its interior isn’t as cushy as the C-Class’, but it’s surprisingly nice and has lots of rear-seat room. You could also consider a fully loaded midsize car, like the Kia Optima. Again, it can’t match the C-Class’ interior or range of engines, but it’s a solid vehicle that comes with lots of technology and safety features.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

The 2016 C-Class has a below-average reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power. The majority of cars in the luxury small car class earn a reliability score of three or better.  

Read more about C-Class reliability »

2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Recalls

As of this writing, the 2016 C-Class has eight reported safety recalls. One recall involves a possible fracturing of the rear axle mounting flange, while another addresses the potential for inadvertent driver’s side air bag deployment. There are also recalls related to the power steering unit, an incorrect software installation, and an electrical fault. Be sure these issues have been addressed before buying.

See more information on Mercedes-Benz C-Class safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Is Best?

The 2016 C-Class is part of a generation that began in 2015. The 2015 is a better choice than the 2016. Not only is its average list price $5,000 less than that of the 2016 model, but it also earns an excellent overall score of 8.6. Finally, the 2015 model comes in a coupe body style, which wasn’t available for the 2016 model year. Models from 2013 and 2014 are also good vehicles – and even less expensive – but they don’t benefit from the 2015 redesign. Mercedes-Benz reintroduced the coupe model for 2017, in addition to a new cabriolet (convertible) body style. It’s a good vehicle as well, but it costs about $6,000 more than the 2016 model on average.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 C-Class »

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

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan comes in six trims: C300, C450 AMG, C300d, C350e, and the performance-oriented AMG C63 and AMG C63 S. For most shoppers, the C450 AMG will be the best choice, offering the most in-demand features for its price. It comes with a twin-turbocharged V6 engine that provides faster acceleration than the base model. If you’re interested in driver-assistance safety features, shop for a C450 AMG trim. It comes with the Driver Assistance package, which includes lane keep assist and pedestrian detection.

See 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class trims and specs »

What Does Mercedes-Benz's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Mercedes-Benz offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. 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. This warranty can be renewed for a fee. If the new-car warranty has expired, you’ll receive the one-year warranty with unlimited mileage. Every Mercedes-Benz CPO vehicle must pass a 165-point inspection.

If you’re unsatisfied with your CPO vehicle, Mercedes’ Exchange Privilege program allows you to exchange it for another CPO vehicle of equal or lesser value within seven days or 500 miles. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mercedes-Benz warranty page carefully.

Among luxury car manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz’s CPO program is about average. It’s better than BMW’s but not as robust as Jaguar’s or Lexus’, according to our analysis.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the C-Class?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2016 C-Class a Top Safety Pick+, the organization’s highest safety honor. The C-Class received the highest rating of Good in five IIHS crash evaluations. However, its headlights received the lowest safety rating of Poor. The C-Class also earned five out of five stars for overall safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Mercedes offers the C-Class with forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and a driver drowsiness monitor, which few rivals offer as standard features. Other available driver assistance features include front and rear parking sensors, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, active lane keep assist, a head-up display, and parallel parking assist.

See C-Class safety scores »

2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class or 2016 BMW 3 Series?

If sporty handling is a must-have, the BMW 3 Series is a better fit. Its handling is more dynamic than that of the C-Class. The 3 Series can comfortably accommodate back-seat passengers; in fact, it has one of the roomiest back seats in the segment. Like the C-Class, the 3 Series is available with a range of potent engines, as well as fuel-conscious diesel and hybrid powertrains. That said, the Mercedes delivers a comfier ride, and it sports a richer cabin. Both vehicles have similar rankings, so your decision comes down to personal preference.

Which Is Better: 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class or 2016 Audi A4?

The Audi A4 offers the best of both worlds when it comes to driving dynamics. Its ride is smooth and comfortable, and it maintains composure around quick corners. The A4’s base V6 engine produces rapid acceleration, and the performance-oriented Audi S4’s larger V8 engine puts down potent power and speed. Although the A4’s interior doesn’t match the refinement of the C-Class’, the A4 is the better all-around luxury sedan. 

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

2016 C-Class Performance

How Does the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Drive?

The Mercedes C-Class' driving dynamics favor ride comfort over agility, but the car does round corners with composure. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all models have a seven-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive (4Matic) is available.

The 2016 Mercedes C300 is powered by a 241-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that provides ample power and lively acceleration in most driving situations. For effortless passing and merging on the highway, go for the C450 AMG and its 362-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6.

Two twin-turbocharged V8 engines produce remarkable power for Mercedes-AMG models: the AMG C63’s V8 delivers 469 horsepower, while the top-of-the-line AMG C63 S’s engine generates a whopping 503 horsepower. For improved fuel economy, the C300d uses a twin-turbo diesel engine. The C350e is a plug-in hybrid that has a turbo-four coupled with an electric motor.

Does the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Get Good Gas Mileage?

Fuel economy numbers with the base engine are excellent; the C300 can earn up to 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. These numbers are possible thanks to a standard stop-start system, which helps conserve fuel by shutting off the engine when the car is sitting at a stop light or stop sign. However, these numbers decline with the stronger available engines. The AMG 63 and AMG 63 S both earn 18/24 mpg city/highway.

The hybrid 350e can travel 10 miles on electricity alone. The gas engine earns an EPA-estimated 30 mpg combined city/highway.

Read more about C-Class performance »

2016 C-Class Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 C-Class Seat?

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class seats five on leatherette (MB-TEX) upholstery. Some models come with genuine leather, heated front seats, and natural grain black ash wood trim. While luxurious interiors are common within the class, few match up to the C-Class’ elegance and rich materials. Up front, the seats are comfortable and supportive. However, the same can’t be said of the back seats, which have limited head- and legroom.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

The C-Class' rear outboard seats have two complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors, and the middle seat has an upper tether anchor. The IIHS gave this LATCH system the top rating of Good; it is user-friendly and easy to access.   

2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Features

Mercedes equips the C-Class with dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, a 7-inch display, two USB ports, and Bluetooth. A touchpad controller with handwriting recognition comes standard, but its location at the back of the center console can make it difficult to reach. It can also be overly sensitive to inputs. Fortunately, many functions use physical buttons and knobs as well. Notable available features include a Wi-Fi hot spot, a panoramic sunroof, and Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment system with an 8.4-inch display.

See 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class specs »

Read more about C-Class interior »

2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Dimensions

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cargo Space

The base Mercedes C-Class sedan has a 12.6-cubic-foot trunk, which is slightly smaller than the class average of 12.8 cubic feet. The plug-in hybrid body style has an 11.8-cubic-foot trunk.   

2016 C-Class Length and Weight

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is just over 15 feet long. Its curb weight is between 3,417 and 4,057 pounds, depending on the body style.

Where Was the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Built?

The 2016 C-Class was manufactured in Germany.


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