Last updated on October 4th, 2023 at 11:05 am

The Mercedes Benz C-Class is a series of luxury compact sedans and is known as one of the company’s most sold vehicles.

The C-Class offers a premium driving experience and a wide array of features, including customizable driving modes, driver assistant technology, and an intuitive user interface.

If you are planning to purchase then you might be wondering about Mercedes C Class Reliability, its lifespan, and other factors.

How Long Does A Mercedes Last?

The typical C-Class series cars will last between 150,000 to 200,000 miles before requiring extensive repairs.

If you drive the car on an average of 15,000 miles per year, then the vehicle is expected to last between 10 to 14 years, given it receives proper maintenance.

Proper usage and maintenance are the keys to a prolonged lifespan with any car. Aggressive driving will cut the life expectancy of your vehicle in half.

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Mercedes C Class Reliability: Are Mercedes C Class Reliable?

Based on owner feedback, the C-Class cars are suitable for reliability and offer a luxurious experience even for daily drives.

One of the cars from the C-Class series, the C300, is commonly used as a commuter service vehicle in North America and Europe.

RepairPal ranks the C-Class cars 3.5 out of 5 for quality and reliability, and they are rated at 13th out of 31 for midsize luxury cars.

Kelly Blue Book gives 4.7 out of 5 for Expert Ratings for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Reliability Ratings of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Other Cars


Reliability Ratings

BMW 4 Series


Lexus IS

Lexus RC



Mercedes-Benz C-Class


Genesis G70

Audi A4


Audi A5

Volvo S60


BMW 3 Series


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Comparing the Mercedes-Benz C-Class with Similar Vehicles

This section will compare the Mercedes-Benz C-Class with cars of the same category.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class vs. BMW 3 Series

The BMW 3 Series is a series of executive compact cars introduced in 1975, produced by the German automaker BMW.

With good maintenance, the 3 Series has an expected mileage of about 200,000 to 250,000 miles which is much more than the expected miles from a C-Class vehicle.

The annual maintenance cost for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars is $739 on average, and for the BMW 3 Series cars is $773.

RepairPal rates the Mercedes-Benz C-Class 3.5 out of 5 and the BMW 3 Series gets 3 out of 5 for reliability.

J.D. Power scores the BMW 3 Series 80 out of 100, and the C-Class gets 79 out of 100 in terms of quality and reliability.

Fuel tank capacity for the C-Class cars is more than for the BMW 3 Series vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class vs. Audi A4

The Audi A4 is a line of compact executive cars in production since 1994 by the infamous German automobile manufacturer Audi.

Expected miles from the C-Class and A4 is similar, 150,000 to 200,000 miles with proper maintenance.

The Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class’s annual maintenance and repair costs are similar, around $739 on average.

When rated for reliability, both the A4 and C-Class receive 3.5 out of 5, as reported by RepairPal.

J.D. Power rates the cars in quality and reliability, where the Audi A4 gets 75 out of 100, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class receives 79 out of 100.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars offer more engine capacity than the Audi A4 vehicles.

Mercedes Benz C-Class vs. Lexus IS

The Lexus IS an executive compact sedan introduced in 1999 by Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota.

The IS has an expected mileage of about 250,000 to 300,000 miles which is much higher than expected from a Mercedes-Benz C-Class vehicle.

Service and repair cost for the IS is cheaper than the C-Class, which is $551 for the IS and $739 for C-Class.

According to RepairPal, the Lexus IS scores a reliability rating of 4 out of 5 while the Mercedes-Benz C-Class gets 3.5 out of 5.

J.D. Power rates the Lexus IS 86 out of 100, whereas the C-Class gets 79 out of 100 in quality and reliability.

Even though the reliability rates for the Lexus IS are higher than that for the C-Class, the C-Class can provide more increased horsepower than the IS.

Comparison Chart

Car ModelsMercedes-Benz C-ClassBMW 3 SeriesAudi A4      Lexus IS

Expected Miles

150,000 to 200,000 miles200,000 to 250,000 miles150,000 to 200,000 miles

250,000 to 300,000 miles

Annual Maintenance Cost



RepairPal Ratings



J.D. Power Scores



Price Range

Starts from $41,600Starts from $41,450Starts from $43,800

Starts from $38,625

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Does the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Rust Easily?

As reported by owners, some of the C-Class vehicles had one recurring rust problem; the cars’ subframe seemed to rust pretty fast.

Rust on subframe has been reported to start forming between 90,000-to-200,000-mile range, so it is a problem that you won’t have to think about for the first couple of years.

Ensure your car has underbody spray and regularly run it through a car wash to take the salt off, which will delay the rusting process.

Best and Worst Years for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has been on the market for a long time, and by now, it has some good and bad years of performance.

Best Years

One of the 1998 models of the C-Class range, the C43 sedan, has a new and larger engine that offers much more power than its previous model.

The 2007 model of the C-Class has quick, responsive steering and provides a supple ride. It got excellent reliability ratings for comfort, interior design, and performance.

From 2017 to 2020, there is a noticeable decrease in complaints, and it is much more reliable.

Worst Years

Consumer Reports scored the 2015 C-Class the lowest reliability score and have 11 total recalls for that model. Based on customer surveys, the model has about 17 potential trouble spots.

That model also had troubles with the sliding shaft and power assist system. Some owners also had issues with the glaring headlights and fuel pump.

The 2012 model has been recalled seven times, and in most cases, the engine had issues.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Model Years and Reliability Ratings

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Model Years

Reliability Ratings

2004 Mercedes-Benz C-Class reliability

2005 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reliability


2006 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reliability

2007 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reliability


2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reliability

2009 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reliability


2010 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reliability

2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reliability


2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reliability

2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reliability


2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reliability

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reliability


2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reliability

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reliability


2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reliability

2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reliability


2020 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reliability

2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reliability


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Is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Expensive to Maintain?

The annual maintenance cost for a Mercedes-Benz C-Class car is $739 on average, which is closer to the maintenance cost for any average luxury midsize car.

Below is listed some of the replacement costs for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.


Serpentine Belt Replacement


Oil Pump Replacement

Power Steering Pump Replacement


Oil Change


Radiator Fan Assembly Replacement


Windshield Wiper Arm Replacement

No Start Diagnosis


Air Conditioning Refrigerant Line Replacement

Track Bar Replacement


Power Seat Control Module Replacement


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How Long Does the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Tires Last?

Tires for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class last for about 3 to 5 years or up to 15,000 miles before needing replacements.

Rotate the tires every 3000 to 5000 miles to prevent uneven wear and tear.

Driving styles are also responsible for the condition of your car tires.

How Long Does the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Brakes Last?

Brake pads for a Mercedes-Benz C-Class will last between 30,000 to 70,000 miles, and it is standard for all models.

The brake pads of a C-Class will cost between $150 to $300 per axle and some added labor costs of $20 to $40.

Hard braking will wear out your brakes much faster than expected.

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How Long Does the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Transmission Last?

The transmission system of the C-Class models will need to be replaced between 150,000 to 200,000 miles.

The cost of a new Mercedes-Benz transmission can go over $3,500, but fluid changes or transmission fluid flushes can be as low as $150.

Tips to Prolong the Lifespan of Your Mercedes-Benz C-Class

  • Use good quality parts and fluids.
  • Avoid off-roading or hard braking.
  • Limit short trips which do not let the car cool down completely.
  • Store your vehicle in a garage most time.
  • Get used to the owner’s manual to learn about the location of essential components, what the vehicle needs, and dashboard warning signs.
  • Adopt smooth driving styles.
  • Wash the car regularly to prevent the build-up of dirt and debris.
  • Take your car for maintenance often.

We expect this article has guided you with questions regarding a Mercedes-Benz C-Class vehicle.

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