12 Best & Worst Mercedes C300 Years (With Facts & Stats)

The Mercedes-Benz C300 is a small luxury sedan that was introduced for the 2008 model year.

It’s known for its upscale cabin, cutting-edge features and silky smooth engine.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the best and worst model years of the C300.

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Mercedes-Benz C300 Are:

The best Mercedes-Benz C300 model years are 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018. The worst model years of the C300 are 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, and 2013. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Mercedes-Benz C300?

2023 Mercedes-Benz C300

The 2023 C300 is a top pick thanks to its state-of-the-art features and premium build quality. This model takes the #1 spot out of 11 small luxury sedans, according to Edmunds.

It boasts a luxurious interior, quick acceleration, and great fuel economy.  

It is the second installment of the 5th generation C-Class and provides a lot of value, whether you choose the sedan, coupe or convertible.

The model comfortably seats 5 full-sized adults and comes in a variety of exterior and interior color options (12 exterior body colors and 8 interior color options). 

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2023 C300, Edmunds review:

“The AMG line package really transformed this car from mediocre to enjoyable! Best all-around vehicle in its class (I drove the A4 and 330i), considering the comfort, drive and looks.”

2022 Mercedes-Benz C300

The 2022 C300 is another great choice when shopping for a small yet classy sedan.

This model year entered a full redesign as it marked the start of the 5th generation, sporting sleeker styling and a new interior that has a big central touchscreen.

It is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine enhanced by a 48-volt mild hybrid system.

Fuel economy estimates are respectable, with 29 mpg for combined driving, 25 mpg for city driving, and 35 mpg for highway driving. 

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 79 / 100

2022 C300, Edmunds review:

“I did some pretty extensive research in this class, including the 330i xdrive and A4. After taking each of them on extensive test drives, I decided on the C300 4MATIC with the AMG line. I was very close to taking a great deal on the 3 Series, but in my heart I knew I liked the Mercedes more. It’s much smoother, better built, and has better technology. I felt like the 330i’s ride was a little too busy for me. It always begged me to drive fast, which may have been great in my 20s, but now I’m “more mature” haha. The C300 gives me the luxury all the time and the sportiness when I want it. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.”

2021 Mercedes-Benz C300

The 2021 C300 is another solid choice although it is a slight step down from the revamped 5th Gen models it will be easier on the wallet.

This model year comes with a 12.3-inch driver display, heated front seats, and an optional Night Edition package that provides a sharp-looking black exterior trim.

It is the final and most refined version of the 4th generation of C-Class vehicles which started for the 2015 model year.

NHTSA awarded this model a perfect 5-star overall rating.

Notable safety features include active brake assist, surround view system, and active blind spot assist.

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 78 / 100

2021 C300, Edmunds review:

“This is my second C300 and I love this car. It’s not too big but has plenty of room for adults in the back seat. It has great, luxurious options, great acceleration, plenty of space and love that the back seats fold down when you need extra room”

2020 Mercedes-Benz C300

The 2020 C300 is versatile, stylish, and richly detailed. It has scored strong reviews from owners and auto critics and has received minimal complaints.

It boasts an elegant center stack with a crisp touchscreen positioned above it and reassuringly weighty switchgear.

The standard engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, providing 255 horsepower.

Fuel economy is fantastic for this model, offering 26 mpg for combined city and highway driving. 

This model also secured the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award after scoring top marks in crash tests.

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 79 / 100

2020 C300, Edmunds review:

“Don’t be  fooled  by the 255 Hp. This car is peppy, and fun to drive, (This opinion from a MKZ owner with the 400hp engine.) This little coupe pushes me back into the cozy leather seats, every time my lovely wife floors the fun pedal. Build quality is excellent, everything works as it should and  everyone  at Temecula MB was Awesome!”

2019 Mercedes-Benz C300

The 2019 C300 has cutting-edge features, head-turning exterior styling, and a bulletproof engine. Car and Driver gave this model year their coveted “Editors Choice” award and a near-perfect 9/10 score.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were introduced as standard for 2019, as were a number of performance upgrades.

While driving dynamics and interior design are noteworthy highlights of this model year, the 2019 C300 is praised the most for its tech features.

This includes a crisp 7-inch display, multiple controls for the infotainment system and an optional Burmester sound system.

Interesting safety features include collision prevention assist, surround view system, and active blindspot assist. 

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 79 / 100

2019 C300, Edmunds review:

“This is my 5th new Mercedes Benz that I have purchased and the second C300. I also drive the heck out of my cars. I maintain them well, but I drive them hard. I go through at least 2 sets of top quality all season sets of tires per car per year. I buy the C300’s as cheap commuters and live on Highway 9 and commute into Silicon Valley daily for work. I typically buy more fully loaded GL and E Class’s for my wife. This car replaced my 2015 C300 which was the 1st year for the new body style and it was a great car. This car is a significant improvement in every way. My first C300 (2015) had a number of upgrades and was a great car…”

2018 Mercedes-Benz C300

While the 2018 C300 is the oldest on this list, it definitely should not be considered outdated. It’s been around a few years now and there have been very few problems reported, according to NHTSA data.

It is a fantastic luxury sedan that can comfortably fit 5 full-sized adults and accommodate plenty of cargo too.

The standard engine is a turbocharged four-cylinder with 241 horsepower mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission.

  • Edmunds: 4.1 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 79 / 100

2018 C300, Edmunds review:

“Beautiful car. Very good power for a v6. Convertible is so much fun. Like most the trunks are smaller. I owned a 2015 C400 so the engine is similar along with most interior and body aspects. The upgraded exhaust is a must. Snap crackle and pop. In Sports Plus mode the gas mileage is poor. I paid close to 80k with all the options. The all-wheel drive was a draw in case I need to drive in wet weather and especially snow.”

Consumer Scores For Best Mercedes-Benz C300 Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2023 Mercedes-Benz C3004.2 / 5.03.2 / 5.0NA
2022 Mercedes-Benz C3004.2 / 5.03.2 / 5.079 / 100
2021 Mercedes-Benz C3004.3 / 5.04.3 / 5.078 / 100
2020 Mercedes-Benz C3004.4 / 5.04.3 / 5.079 / 100
2019 Mercedes-Benz C3004.3 / 5.04.3 / 5.079 / 100
2018 Mercedes-Benz C3004.1 / 5.04.3 / 5.079 / 100

Related: 7 Most Common Mercedes-Benz C-Class Problems (Explained)

What Are The Worst Years For The Mercedes-Benz C300?

2008 Mercedes-Benz C300

Based on statistics from CarComplaints.com and CarProblemZoo.com, the 2008 C300 is the most problematic C300 model.

The 2008 C300 was affected by the notorious, exploding, shrapnel-shooting Takata airbag recall.

Some owners were left waiting extended periods for repairs whilst other owners reported having even more problems post-repair.

Problems with the car’s headlights, brake lights and turn signal lights were also widely reported, this was linked to issues with the wiring harness and melted connectors.

Steering and engine issues were common too with owners reporting that the car wouldn’t start and the steering was locked.

The 2008 C300 had a total of 15 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 902 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Faulty steering lock mechanism
  • Engine will not start
  • Lights go out

2009 Mercedes-Benz C300

The 2009 C300 is another model year to steer clear of. This was the second year for the C300 and it was still experiencing its share of teething issues.

Like the 2008 model, the 2009 C300 was also affected by the Takata recall for exploding airbags.

Owners widely reported issues with lights, such as headlights flickering, tail light housing melted and turn signals not working. These were all symptoms of wiring harness faults.

Issues with the electrical ignition system and electronic steering lock were also common leading to starting issues and locked steering.

The 2009 C300 had a total of 16 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 771 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • ESL (electric steering lock) failure
  • Engine will not start
  • Subframe broken

2010 Mercedes-Benz C300

The 2010 C300 was hit with numerous complaints related to the Takata airbag recall.

A number of owners also reported that the airbags failed to deploy following a collision.

Lights not functioning properly, melted wires and heat damage were also common issues.

Issues with the electrical ignition system (ESI) and electronic steering lock (ESL) were widely reported.

The 2010 C300 had a total of 11 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 549 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Engine will not start
  • Broken interior door handle
  • Gas leak

2011 Mercedes-Benz C30

The 2011 C300 isn’t as problematic as the previously mentioned models however it still had a comparatively high number of complaints.

Most of these however were related to the Takata recall and issues with the airbag system in general.

Another widely reported issue with this model is cracks in the welds of the rear subframe and suspension.

Here’e one owners report (many others have shared similar stories):

“Had to replace the rear sub frame due to extensive rust and erosion. Major safety concern. This was brought to my attention at a routine maintenance service appointment. Almost as if they knew they should be looking for this problem. We are the only owners of this car. It is a garage-parked car. No rust elsewhere just at the welded connection on the rear sub frame.”

The 2011 C300 had a total of 7 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 496 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Excessive noise while driving
  • Steering wheel locked
  • Strong gasoline odor after filling tank up

2015 Mercedes-Benz C300

The 2015 received an unusually high number of complaints for issues with the valve for the crankcase ventilation.

The positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve is a simple system that introduces filtered fresh air into the crankcase.

This problem often left owners with repair bills in excess of $1600. Leaving this problem unattended can lead to engine failure.

Here’s one owner’s complaint:

“Car is at 60,000 miles and code for positive crankcase ventilation appeared. Why does this happen to a trouble-free car after warranty runs out??? seems like hundreds of complaints all over the internet and dealer charging big money to fix their design flaws.”

The 2015 C300 had a total of 281 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 322 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Broken piston
  • Engine knocking
  • Check engine light on
  • Rough idle

2013 Mercedes-Benz C300

While the 2013 C300 may not have as many problems and complaints as the others on this list, it still received a number of complaints due to a faulty airbag system.

Many of these were linked to the infamous Takata airbag recall.

Issues with subframe rusting were the second most widely reported problem.

Here is what one owner had to say:

“The rear subframe is rusted through and cracked making the car almost undrivable. This is a known problem at Mercedes Benz. Nothing else on the vehicle is rusted and has a perfect undercarriage.”

This problem posed a serious safety risk for owners, in some instances the control arms of the wheels completely detached from the vehicle.

The 2013 C300 had a total of 4 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 280 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Bearing in the transfer case is bad
  • Brake failure
  • Wheels cracking

Related: How Long Do Mercedes-Benz C300 Last? (Solved and Explained)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints(CarComplaints.com)Problems(CarProblemZoo.com)
2023 Mercedes-Benz C3000
2022 Mercedes-Benz C30008
2021 Mercedes-Benz C30002
2020 Mercedes-Benz C300317
2019 Mercedes-Benz C300133
2018 Mercedes-Benz C300355
2017 Mercedes-Benz C3005152
2016 Mercedes-Benz C30021175
2015 Mercedes-Benz C30028322
2014 Mercedes-Benz C300194
2013 Mercedes-Benz C3004280
2012 Mercedes-Benz C3006253
2011 Mercedes-Benz C3007496
2010 Mercedes-Benz C30011549
2009 Mercedes-Benz C30016771
2008 Mercedes-Benz C30015902

What Problems Do Mercedes-Benz C300 Have?

  • Engine failure
  • Broken piston
  • Excessive noise while driving
  • Engine knocking
  • Check engine light on
  • Rough idle
  • Strong gas smell
  • Transmission locks up
  • ESL (electric steering lock) failure
  • Engine will not start
  • Subframe broken
  • Lights go out
  • Broken interior door handle
  • Gas leak

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Mercedes-Benz C300?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Acura Integra9.0$30,800 – $35,800City: 26 – 30 /Highway: 36 – 37
Audi A48.7$40,300 – $42,400City: 24 /Highway: 32 – 33
Audi A58.6$44,600 – $53,900City: 24 /Highway: 31 – 33
Mercedes-Benz C3008.6$43,550 – $87,100 City: 17 – 24 /Highway: 24 – 33
Genesis G708.5$39,400 – $47,000City: 17 – 21 /Highway: 26 – 31
BMW 2-Series8.4$35,700 – $48,550 City: 23 – 26 /Highway: 32 – 35
Kia Stinger8.4$36,690 – $54,090City: 17 – 22 /Highway: 24 – 32
BMW 3-Series8.3$41,450 – $56,700City: 23 – 26 / Highway: 32 – 36
Volkswagen Arteon8.3$43,010 – $50,175 City: 22 – 25 /Highway: 31 – 33
Volkswagen Golf R8.1$44,740 – $46,190 City: 20 – 23 /Highway: 28 – 30
Volvo S608.1$41,300 – $50,300City: 25 – 26 /Highway: 33 – 35
Audi A38.1$34,900 – $36,900City: 27 – 28 /Highway: 35 – 38

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: Where are Mercedes Benz C300 Made? (Solved & Explained)










  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...