The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a compact luxury sedan and is one of the company’s best-selling vehicles.
The C300 offers a premium driving experience and a wide range of features including driver assistant technology, customizable driving modes, and an intuitive user interface.
Lets find out how long the C300 lasts….
Here is the short answer to how long do Mercedes C300 Last:
The average Mercedes C300 will last between 150,000 to 200,000 miles before an engine rebuild is required. Based on the national average of 15,000 miles per year, the C300 should last between 10 and 13.5 years, providing it has been properly maintained.
How Long Do Mercedes-Benz C300 Last?
The Mercedes-Benz C300 has improved its reliability over time with a noticeable decrease in complaints since 2017.
This means that newer models can push past the 100,000 miles mark without encountering any significant problems.
While not everyone’s first choice when considering reliability, owners of this car have reported pushing past the 200,000 mark, and there are even some reports of reaching 300,000 miles.
Mercedes-Benz has proven its reliability, as the C and E Class are commonly used as commuter service vehicles, so while the Japanese brands still take the cake in terms of ease of maintenance, it’s not uncommon to find C300s running smoothly for years, well into the 100,000 mile range.
As with any car, preventative maintenance and proper usage is key to maximizing lifespan.
While we know aggressive driving can be fun, consider taking it easy, your C300 will thank you in the long run.
Pro tip: Dealer maintenance can be expensive and you’ll often find that independent certified Mercedes mechanics charge about 20%-30% less.
How Soon Should You Expect Rust?
While the C300 has its share of problems, rust is not one of them.
The C300 falls under the W204 and W205 generations. The new generations managed to fix the rust problems of the pre-W204 C-Class (e.g. 2007 and older).
One recurring rust problem reported by owners of the C300 is rusting on the cars subframe.
However, subframe rust has only been reported on C300s between the 90,000-200,000 mile range. So it’s a problem that you won’t have to worry about in the early years.
Nonetheless, make sure to take standard cleaning measures to ensure your C300 stays rust free. Especially for those living in coastal or snowy areas.
Running your car through a car wash that also has an underbody spray can take the salt off and help to prevent the rusting process
How Long Does the C300 Last Compared to its Main Rivals?
As the C300 is a compact luxury sedan, we will be comparing it to other cars in the same category.
Economy sedans from the likes of Toyota and Honda, and ultra-luxury sedans from the likes of Bentley and Rolls-Royce will not be included.
C300 vs. BMW 3 Series
Perhaps the most classic and recognizable rivalry. The two German brands have been synonymous with each other for decades.
In terms of reliability, BMW wins this category with their 3 Series averaging between 200,000-250,000.
Although Mercedes-Benz falls behind slightly in overall lifespan, they win when considering maintenance costs needed to achieve high mileage.
The 3 Series is known to reach up to $17,000 in maintenance costs over a 10 year period, and between $1000-$1700 annually. While the C300 sits at a comfortable $908 annually and $6,700 over a 5 year period.
When deciding overall between the two, the C-Class offers a slight edge in terms of luxury features, while the 3 Series will give you slightly more engaging driving dynamics.
Both cars are guaranteed to get you well past 100,000 miles.
Related: how long do BMW 3 series last?
C300 vs. Audi A4
These two German cars are neck-in-neck, both averaging 150,000-200,000 miles. The C300 and the A4 are about as closely matched as the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.
Despite both cars being able to reach 200,000 miles, Audi edges ahead in the maintenance department. The $739 annual maintenance costs of the A4 ever so slightly beats the $908 of the C300.
Looks are subjective and ultimately down to personal preference, however, the aggressively elegant design of the C300 sets itself apart from the more subtle exterior of the A4.
When choosing between an Audi A4 and a Mercedes-Benz C300, you can expect to get nearly identical lifespans, driving dynamics, and everyday practicality. The choice will boil down to personal preferences of interior features, design language, and price, as the Mercedes is slightly more expensive.
C300 vs. Lexus IS
Can the Japanese luxury brand really dethrone the German automakers?
Right off the bat, the Lexus offers a longer lifespan, averaging 250,000 miles. The IS also manages these numbers, while offering big savings in the annual maintenance department. Beating Mercedes-Benz’s $908 by a significant margin.
Lexus is after all Toyota’s luxury department, so you can be sure to expect the Japanese manufacturer’s signature reliability in the Lexus IS.
Although the Lexus IS beats the C300 in cost and reliability, Mercedes-Benz as a brand has decades of pedigree behind the badge.
And while Lexus is no slouch aesthetically, there’s no denying the reputation of Mercedes-Benz, which Lexus may need a few more years to catch up to.
If you’re looking to get the most luxury out of your hard-earned money, then Mercedes-Benz is still the king in this regard. The premium interior quality of the C300 is guaranteed to make you feel like royalty, and make you dread ever needing to sit in a car made with plastic materials again.
How Reliable is the Mercedes-Benz C300?
Based on owner feedback, the C300 is definitely a good choice when looking for a reliable and luxurious daily driver.
As mentioned previously in this article, the C300 is commonly used as a commuter service vehicle in Europe and North America. So finding a C300 with some high miles on it is not a rare occurrence.
RepairPal ranks the C300 13th in reliability out of 31 midsize luxury cars. While not perfect, the C300 is ready to give you the perfect blend of luxury and reliability, so long as you do your part as an owner to make sure your ride is well maintained.
Reliability Compared to Other Luxury Cars
|Acura TLX||4.5 / 5.0|
|Acura TSX||4.5 / 5.0|
|Lexus ES300h||4.5 / 5.0|
|Lexus ES350||4.0 / 5.0|
|Genesis G70||4.0 / 5.0|
|Infiniti G25||4.0 / 5.0|
|Acura TL||4.0 / 5.0|
|Lexus IS250||4.0 / 5.0|
|Infiniti G37||4.0 / 5.0|
|Lexus IS350||4.0 / 5.0|
|Infiniti Q50||4.0 / 5.0|
|Volvo S60||3.5 / 5.0|
|Mercedes-Benz C350||3.5 / 5.0|
|Mercedes-Benz C300||3.5 / 5.0|
|Audi A4||3.5 / 5.0|
|Mercedes-Benz C250||3.5 / 5.0|
|Hyundai Genesis Coupe||3.5 / 5.0|
|Cadillac CTS||3.5 / 5.0|
|Cadillac STS||3.0 / 5.0|
|BMW 328i||3.0 / 5.0|
|Lincoln MKZ||3.0 / 5.0|
|Audi A4 Quattro||3.0 / 5.0|
|Jaguar XF||3.0 / 5.0|
|Audi A5 Quattro||3.0 / 5.0|
|BMW 328i xDrive||2.5 / 5.0|
|Porsche 911||2.0 / 5.0|
|BMW 335i xDrive||2.0 / 5.0|
|Audi S4||2.0 / 5.0|
|BMW 335i||2.0 / 5.0|
|BMW M3||2.0 / 5.0|
|Audi S5||2.0 / 5.0|
|BMW 335d||1.5 / 5.0|
|Avg. Lux. Midsize Car||3.5|
The Best and Worst Years of the Mercedes-Benz C300
Based on CarComplaint’s extensive statistical data across all models of the C300, the 2011 C300 ranks as the worst model year.
Problems with this year’s model include electrical problems, high maintenance costs, and major problems at low mileage. A 2011 C300 needed a $7000 transmission swap at just 40,000 miles.
Other problems throughout 2008-2016 include:
- Engine problems
- Transmission failure
- Failure to start
- Faulty steering
- Faulty interior accessories
Here’s some good news for anyone looking to buy a C300. The W205 generation made some major changes to the overall production of the C300, meaning model years 2017-2020 have a significant decrease in complaints. So if you’re eyeing a shiny new C300 then you’re in luck.
What About Recalls for the C300?
Below is a list of recalls throughout the C300’s production, starting from 2008 to present:
- 2008: 7 recalls
- 2009: 7 recalls
- 2010: 8 recalls
- 2011: 8 recalls
- 2012: 5 recalls
- 2013: 6 recalls
- 2014: 5 recalls
- 2015: 9 recalls
- 2016: 9 recalls
- 2017: 9 recalls
- 2018: 11 recalls
- 2019: 7 recalls
- 2020: 2 recalls
Mercedes-Benz C300 Model Year List
Below is a list of C-Class generations featuring the C300
W204 Generation C-Class
- 2008 Mercedes-Benz C300
- 2009 Mercedes-Benz C300
- 2010 Mercedes-Benz C300
- 2011 Mercedes-Benz C300
- 2012 Mercedes-Benz C300
- 2013 Mercedes-Benz C300
- 2014 Mercedes-Benz C300
W205 Generation C-Class
- 2015 Mercedes-Benz C300
- 2016 Mercedes-Benz C300
- 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300
- 2018 Mercedes-Benz C300
- 2019 Mercedes-Benz C300
- 2020 Mercedes-Benz C300
- 2021 Mercedes-Benz C300
Are Mercedes-Benz C300 Expensive to Maintain?
The annual cost to maintain a C300 is $739 per year on average.
|Model||Avg. Annual |
Repairs (per year)
|Probability of |
|Hyundai Genesis Coupe||$621||0.4||17%|
|Audi A4 Quattro||$925||0.7||14%|
|Audi A5 Quattro||$887||1.2||12%|
|BMW 328i xDrive||$900||1.2||12%|
|BMW 335i xDrive||$1,079||1.2||16%|
|Avg. Lux. Midsize Car||$739||0.6||12%|
How Long do the Brakes Last?
Mercedes-Benz brake pads last between 30,000-70,000 miles, standard across all models. Driving habits can greatly affect the lifespan of your brakes. Something to consider if you plan on taking your C300 to the track.
How Long do the Tires Last?
Tires for the C300 last around 3 years if you drive an average of 15,000 miles per year. However, tire life can depend greatly on your driving habits.
It is recommended to rotate your tires every 3000 to 5000 miles, or at least every time you go for an oil change.
If your owner’s manual states that your car doesn’t need new oil that often, then a good rule of thumb is to rotate tires at least once every six months.
How Long does the Transmission Last?
The transmission on a C300 will need replacing between 150,000 and 200,000 miles.
Related: where are Mercedes C300 made?
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
A spark plug change after every 30,000 miles is recommended.
How Much is Insurance?
The average auto insurance cost for a Mercedes-Benz C300 is $1,652 annually, or $138 a month.
Tips to Make your Mercedes-Benz C300 Live Longer:
Here are a few tips to keep your C300 running as long as possible:
- Minimise aggressive driving
- Stay on top of maintenance. For older models, keep in touch with the dealership to know when you’re due for a tune-up. For newer models, all servicing and maintenance reports can be found in the infotainment system, showing exactly how many miles away you are from needing your next service.
- Avoid excessive modifications or tuning
Mercedes C300 Comparison Chart
Now that you know the ins and outs of what to expect from the Mercedes-Benz C300, here’s a comparison of the trim levels available for the current C-Class to help you pick just the right car to suit your needs.
|Specs||Mercedes-Benz C 300||Mercedes-Benz C 300 4MATIC||Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG||Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG||Mercedes-Benz C63 S AMG|
|Horsepower & Torque||255 hp & 273 lb.ft||255 hp & 273 lb.ft||385 hp & 384 lb.ft||469 hp & 479 lb.ft||503 hp & 516 lb.ft|
|Transmission||9G-TRONIC||9G-TRONIC||AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9-speed||AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9-speed||AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9-speed|
|Drivetrain||RWD||4MATIC AWD||AMG Performance 4MATIC||RWD||RWD|
|0-60 mph Acceleration||5.7 seconds||5.7 seconds||4.5 seconds||3.9 seconds||3.8 seconds|
|Top Speed||130 mph||130 mph||130 mph||155 mph||180 mph|