GO
Avg. Price Paid:$26,102 - $33,027
Original MSRP: $34,800 - $42,370
MPG: 21 City / 31 Hwy
Search Used Listings:

2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Review

This review was written when the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class was new.

With a new coupe model and an improved powertrain, reviewers say the refreshed 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is good for shoppers who want style, luxury, safety and just enough sport to make driving fun.

Critics say the 2012 C-Class offers a good middle ground among upscale midsize cars. It’s not too performance-oriented and it’s not boring to drive either. The C-Class, which received a mid-cycle refresh for 2012, exudes luxury, and reviewers say its interior is high-quality, comfortable and has tech features that are easier to use than many rivals.

A small trunk and tight back seat are some of its downsides, but test drivers say the prestigious feeling you get inside the C-Class more than makes up for these drawbacks. If performance is your top priority, reviewers say some competitors perform better than the C-Class. They say its new turbo four-cylinder engine is somewhat underpowered, but the V6 engines and seven-speed automatic are smooth and quick.

The biggest news for the C-Class lineup for 2012 is the addition of a new coupe model. Test drivers say its sleek, sporty exterior, high-end interior and panoramic moonroof make it a good choice for entry-level luxury buyers who prefer a two-door car. Overall, reviewers think the refreshed 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a very worthy contender in the class.

Other Cars to Consider

Some test drivers ding the C-Class’ turbo four-cylinder engine for its lack of power. The Audi A4 has a turbo four-cylinder engine with more horsepower. Reviewers like it better than many rivals because its abundant torque makes it stronger and more fun to drive. The A4 is also offered with a manual transmission, which isn’t available at all on the C-Class.

The BMW 3-Series is the obvious alternative to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The 3-Series sedan is redesigned for 2012 and is expected to hit dealerships in February 2012. It receives a few exterior changes and a slightly longer and wider body. The 3-Series’ turbo four-cylinder engine produces significantly more horsepower than the C-Class’ turbo four. Also, the 3-Series has a manual transmission available and the C-Class doesn’t. Overall, reviewers say if you’re shopping for an upscale midsize car that has dynamic handling and plenty of power and can wait a few months to buy, the 2012 BMW 3-Series sedan is hard to pass up.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class: The Details

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class received a mid-cycle refresh this year. It’s available as a sedan or coupe. The sedan comes in five trims: C250 Sport, C250 Luxury, C300 4MATIC Sport, C300 4MATIC Luxury and C350 Sport. The coupe is available in two trims: C250 and C350.

New for 2012 is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine in C250 models, as well as a revamped interior and exterior for C-Class sedans. The C-Class coupe is all-new this year. See the full list of 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class specs.

  • "With several key changes for 2012, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class reaffirms its status as one of the best luxury sport sedans while chiseling out a similar position with its new coupe model." -- Edmunds
  • "The planted feel of the chassis, the quietness of the interior and the abundance of save-your-distracted-butt technologies make good first impressions for buyers shopping for this class of vehicle." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "As fuel prices rise and forced fiscal conservatism continues to impact buying decisions, Mercedes executives couldn't have hoped for a better environment to launch the best Baby Benz ever, and for buyers unable to pony up for an S, the C-Class easily fits the entry-level luxury bill." -- Autoblog
  • "With this latest C-class, Mercedes has addressed the small sedan's major interior deficiencies and added a couple of compelling engine choices." -- Car and Driver
  • "Within the confines of its compact dimensions, the C-Class acquits itself quite well." -- Consumer Guide
Review Last Updated: 10/10/13

Next Steps: Mercedes-Benz C-Class