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#4

in 2009 Upscale Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $16,277 - $18,861
Original MSRP: $32,900 - $39,000
MPG: 18 City / 26 Hwy
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2009 Mercedes-Benz C Class Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2009 Mercedes C-Class' interior wins a lot of reviewer praise for its well-made, luxurious cabin. Reviewers often single out its COMAND system, which allows the driver to control all of the car's electronics through a single interface. The car doesn't challenge for the top spot in our interior rankings, though, because a few of its Japanese rivals are more comfort-oriented.

  • "The controls are laid out logically and have an expensive feel to their action, but some of the interior plastics in the C-class look a bit cheap." -- Car and Driver
  • "It's beautifully crafted, but the C-Class cabin can come off as austere and a bit bland." -- Edmunds
  • "Nicely padded surfaces and upscale trim are appropriate to the price." -- Consumer Guide
  • "I was fairly unexcited about the C-class interior until I saw it in person; the grade of materials is richer and more appealing than it looks in photos. This is an organized, serious interior with lots of evident deliberation behind it." -- Los Angeles Times
  • "The interior has received a makeover as well, with the tightly-screwed-together feel expected of the marque. But the very-German, all-black center stack lacks the flair of cars such as the Lexus IS." -- Road and Track
  • "Because of its relatively low price, Mercedes' engineers haven't been able to pack the C-Class with a lot of confusing-to-operate 'features' of dubious value such as some you'll find in high-end Mercedes (and BMWs and Audis)." -- Newsday
  • "The door panels have more brightwork, and it is tasty." -- New Car Test Drive

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Seating

Mercedes calls the 2009 C-Class a five-seater, but they aren't fooling anyone. Front-seat passengers will find plenty of space and comfortable seats. Rear-seat passengers aren't treated quite as well.

  • "Inside, the C-class is comfortable up front, but the back seat is small compared with its competitors'-even the Honda Civic has more interior space." -- Car and Driver
  • "In Sport trim a six-speed manual transmission brings out the C300's playful side, making us wish for more aggressively bolstered front seats. The front seats are wide and somewhat flat, which is fine for the Luxury model but definitely lacking in the support that would be appropriate for the Sport." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The driver and front passenger sit in seats that are large and supportive enough for long-distance touring." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • "Seats are supportive and comfortable. The steering wheel tilts and is telescopic." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The front seats are wide and somewhat flat, which is fine for the Luxury model but definitely lacking in the support that would be appropriate for the Sport." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Some reviewers have complained that the seats are too hard, and, indeed, they are firm, but I found them comfortable." -- Newsday
  • "Mercedes says C300 seats five adults -- perhaps, if the one in the middle in back is the Invisible Man." -- Chicago Tribune
  • "Two rear-seat passengers will find the space tolerable but not generous." -- Orlando Sentinel
  • "I found the back seat a bit cramped and lacking in thigh support." -- About.com
  • "Legroom was a little tight for my statuesque 5-foot-4 frame, but with a little grace from the front-seat passengers, I think even my nearly-6-foot-tall teenager would be content." -- Mother Proof

Interior Features

Reviews say the interior features of the C-Class are a high point and build quality is excellent. Most reviewers, though, focus on the COMAND system, which controls comfort and entertainment functions. Many luxury carmakers seem to feel the need to build one of these, but writers consistently agree that Mercedes' version makes more sense than similar efforts from BMW and Audi.

  • "On the downside, even though the latest generation boasts more spacious dimensions, the C-Class is still on the small side for its class." -- Edmunds
  • "The navigation system itself is difficult to use, with many controls buried in a series of menus and submenus. The MP3/iPod plug is inconveniently located in the glovebox. The low-mounted turn-signal lever -- a Mercedes tradition -- requires acclimation." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Multiple changes for the better inside include standard eight-way-adjustable seats, improved gauge work, and a COMAND interface that folds neatly into the top of the dash when not in use, controlled by Benz's spinning knob on the center tunnel." -- Motor Trend
  • "Unlike the BMW iDrive that puzzles PhDs, the only skill needed to master COMAND control is the ability to turn a dial left or right." -- Chicago Tribune
  • "The optional panoramic glass sunroof opens the C-Class interior, making it feel larger and more airy." -- Kelley Blue Book

Cargo

Like many German sport sedans, the 2009 C-Class is not exactly known for its spacious trunk. Its 12.4 cubic feet of storage space is about average for the class, and reviewers have little to say about interior storage cubbies, of which there are few.

  • "Interior storage is adequate at best with a somewhat skimpy center console, two open console cupholders, and a decent-sized glovebox." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The trunk is spacious. Press the key fob and the lid pops wide open for easy loading/unloading. A pull of handles in the trunk lets rear seat backs fold for more cargo room. But unless arms are mop-handle long -- or you keep a mop handle in the trunk -- you have to walk around, reach in the rear door and pull the backs down." -- Chicago Tribune
  • "The trunk is big but a little shallow, though the same has been said about me." -- Orlando Sentinel

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