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7.6

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 8.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 6.9
Safety: 9.3
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Review

Despite its powerful engines and upscale interior, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class ranks near the bottom of the class. This is due to its below-average predicted reliability rating and high ownership costs, which are driven by depreciation.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engine lineup
  • Soft ride
  • Superior cabin quality
  • Below-average predicted reliability rating
  • High costs of ownership
  • Difficult-to-use infotainment system
  • Dull overall performance

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Overview

Is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class a Good Used Car?

The 2017 C-Class is a good car, but it’s not a good value proposition. It has one of the most elegant cabins in the luxury small car class, marked by premium materials and nearly all of the infotainment and safety features you could think of. The C-Class also delivers a soft and pampering ride quality. While it doesn’t have the most athletic handling, engine power is strong. A couple of high-performance AMG models up the ante considerably.

However, the C-Class has a high average list price, higher associated ownership costs than the rest of the class, and subpar predicted reliability. Unless you have deep pockets and want to be treated to upmarket luxury, you’re probably better off skipping the used 2017 C-Class.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 40 Mercedes-Benz C-Class reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of automotive industry experience combined. While we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we refuse expensive gifts and trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

Prices for the 2017 C-Class range from about $26,000 to about $52,000, with the average price landing at around $35,600. This data comes from more than 1,000 used car listings for the 2017 C-Class on our site. Listings for the various C-Class AMG models range from around $45,000 up to around $87,000. Exact prices fluctuate depending on each vehicle's features, mileage, condition, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cost to Own?

The 2017 C-Class tends to be much more expensive than most of its competition when it comes to gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance. You can expect to pay around $33,100 over five years for these expenses. By comparison, the 2017 BMW 3 Series’ five-year costs are typically about $3,800 less than the C-Class’, while the 2017 Audi A4’s expenses will cost you about $4,400 less over five years.

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

For 2018, Mercedes-Benz gave the C-Class a new nine-speed automatic transmission, but it doesn’t make that much of a difference in performance or fuel economy. Proximity key entry and push-button start are standard for 2018, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available for the first time. A rearview camera was made standard for coupe and cabriolet models as well.

If those improvements aren’t that important to you, you might be better off sticking with an otherwise identical 2017 model to save money. The average price of the 2017 C-Class is about $35,600, while the new base 2018 C-Class retails for just over $40,000.

Read about the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class »

Even with depreciation, the 2017 C-Class’ average price is higher than the base prices of many new luxury small cars. Consider perennial rivals like the Audi A4 (2018 MSRP: $36,000) or BMW 3 Series (2018 MSRP: $34,900), as well as high-ranking new cars like the 2018 Kia Stinger ($31,900) or 2018 Cadillac ATS ($35,495). You might also want to check out Mercedes-Benz’s entry-level car, the 2018 CLA (starting at $32,700). That starting price would give you some wiggle room to upgrade the car to your liking for about the same as what you’d pay for a used 2017 C-Class.

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

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

The 2017 C-Class is part of a generation that began in 2015. Changes from year to year in this generation mostly relate to the introduction or discontinuation of models or body styles, so those factors may help inform your decision. You’ll also likely save more money as you shop for older models. For 2016, the C-Class was only available as a sedan; 2015 and 2017 models come as coupes and cabriolets as well. The C350e plug-in hybrid was introduced for the 2016 model year. Prior-generation models from 2013 and 2014 are also good vehicles – and even less expensive – but they don’t benefit from the 2015 redesign.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 C-Class »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

The 2017 C-Class has a predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power. A score of three is considered average across the industry.

Read more about C-Class reliability »

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are several recalls that apply to the 2017 C-Class. These recalls address the following issues: seat belts that may not lock completely, a loss of power steering, inadvertent driver’s side airbag deployment, improperly functioning seat belt pretensioners, an overheating starting current limiter, and a rear axle mount that may disconnect or fracture. If these recalls apply to the C-Class you are considering, make sure the problems have been resolved before you buy.

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

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

Most drivers should be satisfied with the base Mercedes-Benz C300, and choosing between the sedan, coupe, or convertible body styles is up to your personal taste. The C300 comes with a long list of standard features, and nearly every available feature can be found in this model. Higher trims mostly only add more powerful engines, and they’ll also likely command much higher price tags.

Drivers who crave serious power will want to go for one of the Mercedes AMG C63 models, which come with a twin-turbocharged V8. The Mercedes AMG C43 – with its twin-turbo V6 – slots between the AMG C63 and the C300.

See 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned Mercedes-Benz C-Class Warranty

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 has 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.

Among luxury-brand CPO programs, Mercedes’ ranks as one of the most comprehensive. Other luxury carmakers with excellent CPO programs include Lexus and Infiniti.

See the best CPO programs »

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

How Safe Is the C-Class?

The 2017 Mercedes C-Class earned a perfect five-star overall crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests. The car also earned the top score of Good in five Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, and it was named a 2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick.

The C-Class has a ton of advanced safety and driver assistance features, including several that are uncommon in the luxury small car class. Crosswind assist helps keep the vehicle stable when it detects strong winds (when you're driving through the mountains or during a rough storm, for example). Driver drowsiness monitoring can detect signs that you are not fully alert and will suggest you take a break. Mercedes' Pre-Safe feature tightens the seat belts and closes the windows (and sunroof) if it detects an imminent crash.

A rearview camera is standard in sedan models and available in coupe and cabriolet versions. Other available features include blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, pedestrian detection, traffic sign recognition, and active park assist, which can size up a parking spot and then help you park.

See C-Class safety scores »

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class or 2017 BMW 3 Series?

Along with its brand mates, the 2 Series and the 4 Series, the 2017 BMW 3 Series has some of the best overall performance in the class. Like the C-Class, it has a lineup of engines that range from adequate to jaw-dropping, and handling is the perfect mix of sportiness and comfort. The Mercedes has the edge when it comes to interior quality, but the BMW holds its own in that regard. BMW’s iDrive infotainment system is also regarded as incredibly user-friendly, in contrast to the confounding operation of the C-Class’ system. With a slightly lower average list price, a better predicted reliability rating, and lower ownership costs, the 3 Series is the superior choice.

Which Is Better: 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class or 2017 Audi A4?

The fully redesigned 2017 Audi A4 is one of the most well-rounded cars in its class. Its luxurious interior goes toe-to-toe with the C-Class and offers plenty of passenger space throughout. The A4’s standard infotainment system is intuitive and includes cool features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The A4 has slightly better performance than the C-Class; this Audi can’t match the Benz’s beefy engines, but it has composed handling and a plush ride. Ample critical praise, relatively low ownership costs (for the class), and good safety and predicted reliability scores help propel the A4 to a high overall ranking. Because of its combination of overall quality and value, we named the A4 our 2017 Best Luxury Small Car for the Money.

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

2017 C-Class Performance

How Does the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Drive?

The 2017 C-Class is available with a wide range of engines. The C300 base engine is a turbocharged four-cylinder that puts out 241 horsepower. For many drivers, this engine will have more than enough power.

AMG C43 models feature a 362-horsepower twin-turbo V6. For the best possible performance, you'll want one of the range-topping AMG C63 models, which each feature a twin-turbo V8. The C63's engine puts out 469 horsepower, and the C63 S boasts 503 horsepower. Mercedes claims that both AMG models will go from zero to 60 mph in 4 seconds or less.

The C-Class isn't designed as a sport machine, and it lacks the athletic feel of rivals such as some small BMWs. Still, the C-Class is composed around corners and has sharp steering. The top AMG models are more focused in their handling prowess, offering sharper responses. Rear-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available.

The C-Class has a soft ride that remains smooth under virtually any condition. If you’re seeking a smoother ride or sportier performance, you’ll want to switch through the C-Class' four drive modes to adjust steering and throttle responses. There are also three available suspensions in sedan models: Sport, Comfort, and Airmatic (an adaptive air suspension). They have varying degrees of stiffness that affect ride quality. Coupe and convertible models are only available with the Sport and Airmatic suspensions.

Does the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base Mercedes-Benz C300 sedan gets the best fuel economy of the lineup: an EPA-estimated 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. These numbers are pretty good for a luxury small car. Mileage drops with the AMG models. The AMG C43 sedan gets 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway, while AMG C63 cabriolets get ratings as low as 17/22 mpg city/highway.

The C350e plug-in hybrid gets a combined 51 mpg-e city/highway, and it can go 8 miles on all-electric power. This model also earns a combined 30 mpg city/highway on gas power.

Read more about C-Class performance »

2017 C-Class Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 C-Class Seat?

There are five seats in the Mercedes C-Class sedan, while coupe and convertible models only accommodate four. The C-Class' front seats are roomy and supportive, and you'll easily find a comfortable driving position. The rear seats have less room, and coupe and convertible models probably don't have enough space for adults to ride in the back.

The C-Class has standard MB-Tex leatherette upholstery, and it is available with leather seats, heated and ventilated front seats, sport seats, and a heated steering wheel in certain models. Drivers who prefer top-down driving in a convertible will appreciate Mercedes’ Airscarf. It blows warm air onto your neck to help keep you warm on chilly days.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

The rear seats in all C-Class models have two full sets of LATCH child-seat connectors. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system a rating of Good for ease of use, noting that the connection points are easy to find and identify, and it's fairly simple to hook a car seat to the connectors. The middle seat includes a tether anchor and can borrow lower anchors from the outboard seats.

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Features

There are plenty of standard features in the Mercedes C-Class that you'll find in many luxury cars – automatic climate control, Bluetooth, and HD Radio among them. There are also features that give you more flexibility as a vehicle owner, such as mbrace Connect, which lets you control certain vehicle functions from your smartphone. Among the C-Class' many available amenities are a premium Burmester audio system, an in-car Wi-Fi hot spot, and a cabin-air purification system. There are three additional mbrace packages available that allow you to exert greater control over your C-Class.

Another standard feature is the touchpad controller, which operates many vehicle functions. It stands out for its ability to recognize handwriting (you can draw letters and numbers on the pad with your finger), which can ease the pain of entering addresses into your GPS. The available COMAND infotainment system is something of a mess. The touchpad controller is located just in front of the center armrest, making it easy to inadvertently touch and change a setting. The COMAND interface also doesn't mesh well with the controller, so adjusting some functions requires several steps.

See 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class specs »

Read more about C-Class interior »

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Dimensions

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cargo Space

Of the C-Class body styles, sedan models have the largest trunk: 12.6 cubic feet of space. Coupe models have 10.5 cubic feet of trunk space, and cabriolet models have just 8.8 cubic feet of space.

2017 C-Class Length and Weight

The 2017 C-Class ranges from 15.4 feet to 15.6 feet long. Curb weight ranges from 3,417 pounds for a base C300 sedan up to 4,226 for the AMG C63 S cabriolet model.

Where Was the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Built?

Mercedes-Benz built the 2017 C-Class in Alabama, South Africa, and Germany.

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