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2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Review

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class ranks in the middle of the luxury small car segment. The C-Class has a posh interior, composed driving dynamics, and refined engine options. However, a complex infotainment system and low predicted reliability rating keep it from ranking higher.

Pros & Cons

  • Elegant interior with high-grade materials
  • Refined, powerful engines
  • Complicated infotainment system and controls
  • Small rear seats
  • Subpar predicted reliability rating

New for 2018

  • New standard nine-speed automatic transmission
  • Rearview camera included in base model
  • Available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto




Critics' Rating: 9.4
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 8.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.3
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Overview

Is the 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class a Good Used Car?

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a decent used luxury small car. It's easy and enjoyable to drive, and it offers a lot of infotainment and active safety features. It also looks great and is very well-built.

The 2018 C-Class has several strengths:

  • Available in sedan, coupe, and cabriolet (convertible) body styles
  • Multiple powerful engine choices, including high-performance options
  • One of the nicest interiors in the class
  • Front seats are supportive and highly adjustable
  • Long list of standard and available driver assistance features

There are some notable drawbacks though:

  • A complex infotainment system
  • Rear seats aren’t big enough for most adults
  • Below-average predicted reliability rating
Why You Can Trust Us

Our Mercedes-Benz C-Class review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 47 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

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

How Much Is the 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

Based on listings for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class on our site, the average price is $40,000. Prices range from $32,000 to $54,800 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cost to Own?

The 2018 C-Class’ five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $32,300, or $6,460 per year. That’s above average for a luxury small car.

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

The 2019 C-Class starts at $41,400. Mercedes refreshed the C-Class for the 2019 model year, so there are some notable changes to it. These include new features that weren’t previously offered, such as a bigger infotainment screen (10.25 inches) and a semiautonomous driving mode. Some previously optional features became standard for 2019 as well, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Mercedes also boosted the engine performance of the C 300 and C 43 trims by a few horsepower each. Opt for a 2019 model if these sound like must-have upgrades. Otherwise, you can save money by shopping for a used 2018 model.

Read about the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class »

You can save even more money by shopping for a used 2015, 2016, or 2017 C-Class. These models are also part of the same C-Class generation, which debuted for 2015. That means they all offer similar styling and many of the same features, apart from a few key updates. The 2017 model year reintroduced the C-Class coupe and convertible models which were absent for 2016. The 2018 model was the first C-Class to offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

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

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about C-Class reliability »

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Recalls

At the time of writing, there are 11 recalls for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class:

  • Front seatbacks may improperly lock
  • Headlights may not be properly adjusted
  • Steering coupling may not have been locked
  • Steering rack locknut may fail
  • Passenger air bag status may not display correctly
  • Starter battery has exposed positive cable in some models
  • Rear window may loosen and detach
  • Rear beltline trim may separate from vehicle
  • Seatbacks may not lock
  • Backrest rail and fittings may not be properly welded
  • Inadvertent driver air bag deployment in some models

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

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

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

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class comes in five trims: C 300, C 350e, C 43, C 63, and C 63 S. You also have the choice between a four-door sedan, a two-door coupe, and a convertible (called a cabriolet). Notable standard features in each trim are detailed below.

  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 300: The base C 300 sedan comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive. Standard features include synthetic leather upholstery (called MB-Tex), a 7-inch infotainment system, Bluetooth, dual USB ports, HD Radio, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a proximity key, push-button start, forward collision warning with brake assist, crosswind assist, driver drowsiness monitoring, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a rearview camera, and Pre-Safe. Also available are the C 300 coupe and C 300 convertible.
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350e: The plug-in hybrid C 350e combines a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a seven-speed automatic transmission and a single electric motor. Most features included in the C 300 carry over to the Mercedes C 350e, along with pre-entry climate control. The C 350e only comes with real-wheel drive.
  • Mercedes-AMG C 43: A twin-turbocharged V6 engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission power the Mercedes-AMG C 43. All-wheel drive is standard, along with a sport-tuned suspension, a performance exhaust, and heated front sport seats.
  • Mercedes-AMG C 63: The AMG C 63 and AMG 63 S both come with a twin-turbocharged V8 engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission. The C 63 has a 469-horsepower rating, while the C 63 S cranks out 503 horsepower. Both editions are available as a sedan, coupe, or convertible.

See 2018 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 gave the 2018 C-Class the highest rating of Good in five crash tests, and properly equipped models received a Superior rating for front crash protection. However, it received a Poor rating for how well its headlights illuminate the road.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 C-Class a five-star overall crash test rating. It received five out of five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • forward collision warning with brake assist
  • crosswind assist
  • driver drowsiness monitoring
  • rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • rearview camera
  • Mercedes Pre-Safe (prepares the car for an impending collision by closing windows and tightening seat belts)

Available advanced safety features:

  • blind spot assist
  • pedestrian detection
  • adaptive headlights
  • lane keep assist
  • active park assist
  • traffic sign recognition
  • surround-view camera system
  • cross traffic alert
  • head-up display

See C-Class safety scores »

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class or 2018 BMW 3 Series?

The 2018 BMW 3 Series is one of the most athletic luxury small cars, and it's more fun to drive than the C-Class, which has a more laid-back demeanor. The Mercedes comes with a ton of standard features and offers some performance-oriented trims, but the 3 Series has roomier rear seats and more cargo space. Overall, the BMW is the superior performer and a better option for most shoppers.

Which Is Better: 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class or 2018 Audi A4?

The 2018 Audi A4 is one of our highest-rated luxury small cars, and it's one of the few members of the class that might have a nicer interior than the C-Class. The A4 also has larger rear seats and more cargo space. Both cars have long features lists and multiple powertrain options, though the A4 doesn't have anything to rival the Mercedes' two V8 engines. The Audi delivers a smooth ride and agile handling, and it has a better predicted reliability rating than the C-Class. The A4 is the clear choice here.

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

2018 C-Class Performance

How Does the 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Drive?

The C-Class comes standard with a turbo-four engine that delivers plenty of pep for driving around town and on the highway. For the more spirited drivers, there are three Mercedes-AMG models (the C 43, C 63, and C 63 S) that have larger, more powerful engines and provide considerably quicker acceleration. The performance-oriented AMG models also have a better exhaust note.

As far as handling, this Mercedes is easy to drive. It feels poised and capable on city streets and winding back roads, and the available 4Matic all-wheel-drive system provides plenty of road grip. In some trims, the ride is a bit firm, but available features like an air suspension can provide a more cushioned feel.

  • Base engine: 241-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Available engines:
    • 362-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6
    • 469-horsepower twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8
    • 503-horsepower twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8
  • Drivetrain: standard rear-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive (not offered in all models)
  • Transmission: nine-speed automatic with the four-cylinder and V6 engines; seven-speed automatic with the V8s
Does the 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Get Good Gas Mileage?

The C-Class gets average fuel economy for a luxury small car. The turbocharged four-cylinder gets the best ratings in the class, though the numbers drop by about 1 mpg if you opt for Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. The beefy V8s get the lowest ratings of any C-Class engine.

  • Turbo-four, RWD: 24/33 mpg city/highway
  • Turbo-four, AWD: 23/32 mpg
  • V6, AWD: 20/27 mpg
  • V8, RWD: 18/24 mpg
2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Alternative Fuels and Charging

The C-Class offers one electrified powertrain: the C 350e plug-in hybrid. It features a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that combine to produce 275 horsepower. The C 350e comes with a seven-speed automatic transmission. It has an all-electric range of 8 miles, and it gets 51 mpg-equivalent under electric power, according to EPA estimates. It gets 30 mpg city/highway combined under gasoline power. With a 240v outlet, it takes 2.5 hours to recharge the C 350e.

Read more about C-Class performance »

2018 C-Class Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 C-Class Seat?

The 2018 C-Class features two rows of seats and holds five people in sedan models and four in coupe and cabriolet models. The interior oozes class thanks to its stylish design and premium materials. The front seats are comfortable and highly adjustable, making it easy to find a suitable driving position. The rear seats don't have as much space, and most adults will think they're a tight squeeze.

Standard seating features:

  • MB-Tex synthetic leather upholstery
  • power-adjustable driver's seat

Available seating features:

  • Nappa leather upholstery
  • heated and ventilated front seats
  • sport seats
  • power-adjustable passenger seat
  • heated steering wheel
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

The 2018 C-Class has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. The anchors are easy to find, and it doesn't take too much effort to hook up a car seat.

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Features

There aren't a lot of physical buttons and knobs for infotainment and climate functions, so you mostly have to use the touchpad controller and rotary knob to make your selections. This setup makes it tedious to navigate menus – especially for minor adjustments like changing a song – and the complex interface takes time to understand.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 7-inch infotainment display, Bluetooth, dual USB ports, and HD Radio
  • Available infotainment features: an 8.4-inch infotainment screen, a navigation system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a touchpad controller, satellite radio, a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot, and a 13-speaker Burmester audio system
  • Additional standard features: a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a proximity key, and push-button start
  • Other available features: a panoramic sunroof, a cabin-air purification system, and pre-entry climate control

See 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class specs »

Read more about C-Class interior »

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Dimensions

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cargo Space

The C-Class sedan has a 12.6-cubic-foot trunk (11.8 cubic feet in the C 350e). You get 10.5 cubic feet with the coupe body style and 8.8 cubic feet in cabriolet models. Sedan models have a typical amount of cargo space for the class, while other body styles are a bit below average.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Length and Weight
  • Length: 15 feet, 5 inches to 15 feet, 7 inches
  • Curb Weight: 3,472 to 4,226 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Built?

Mercedes-Benz built the 2018 C-Class in Alabama.


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