1996 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Esprit 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Good looks, poor performance


Catalytic convertor has failed, making the exhaust note very raspy and noisy.

Driver's window has a bad scratch; apparently a common problem.

Handbrake ratchet failed.

General Comments:

I quite like the look of these cars. Mine has lovely full leather interior, with privacy glass. She looks really nice, I just wish she went a lot better.

When I say this car is slow off the mark, I mean it's really SLOW.

I wouldn't buy another one after this. I would definitely go back to the Japanese cars. This compared to my previous Mitsubishi Evo... the Merc just doesn't stand a chance in any department.

Why did they make it so slow? Disappointed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd June, 2005

4th Jun 2005, 01:43

I'm not a Mercedes fan (...not at all) but I find it pointless to compare a C180 to an Evo. I mean if you want a standard just turn the BMW and Audi's of this era, and start comparing...

20th Jul 2005, 17:04

Overall the Mercedes C-Class is going to be a much heavier car then majority of the Japanese imports that are 4 cylinder as well. If you need something very fast, I would recommend you test drive the new Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG which is a high performance supercharged V-8 5.5 liter or if it is pricey, then drive the new C230 Kompressor that has a 4 cylinder supercharged engine.

1996 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 220 2.2 liter from North America


A great bargain


Crank gasket needed replaced probably because of overfilling at "quick-lube" establishments. Belt tensioner went south.

General Comments:

This is a super model from Mercedes Benz, and probably will prove to be one of it's most reliable. Don't "push it" when cold and the transmission will last much longer! As a side note... the burl walnut trim on my particular car is unbelievably beautiful!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th February, 2004

1996 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C200 Elegance 2.0 from UK and Ireland


A dated looking saloon


Differential oil is leaking, front wheel bearing needs adjusting, CV joints are getting worse.

General Comments:

Quite a good cruiser, but getting dated now. Seats are uncomfortable. Dash layout is good and quality is abundant from switchgear to overall finish. Road noise is very quiet.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th February, 2004

5th Jul 2007, 04:02

I own a C200 Elegance and it is rear wheel drive. Mercedes didn't make front wheel drive (cv joint) in their C200 models. My C200 model is 9 years old and it has never let me down, so if you take care of it properly it will take care of you.

19th May 2009, 09:09

I own a 1996 C200 petrol Elegance and I think that it is a mean machine!! It has never let me down and that's because I take care of it like it is my child. And the performance is fantastic... 100km/h with second gear if you want to push it, and if you want to take it to its limits, I have been driving with 230km/h with it... hihihi... I love my C Class!!

1st Aug 2010, 01:43

Hi, my partner just got a 1996 C200 Elegance. Nice car, but we are having a few problems, like when we put it in reverse, it is clicking into gear, then goes back, but soon as you put your foot down, it just revs up and goes nowhere. If any one can help me, please email me on carb@windowslive.com


22nd Jun 2014, 11:11

Thanks for sharing your experience. I also own the same model, but I have not yet worked out how many kilometers it does for one litre.

22nd Jun 2014, 20:00

The most accurate way - fill the tank until the nozzle clicks off. Zero the odometer. Drive the car for a week or so, then fill up again until the nozzle clicks off. The number of kilometres travelled divided by the number of litres used (displaced) between the two fill-ups is the consumption in km/L.

1996 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Elegance 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


The finest cars money can buy!!!


This Wonderful over engineered car has had a couple of faults listed below.

1) Very squeaky windows at the front

2) Scratches all down the windows now

3) Major tick-over problems

4) Heavily scratches window at front

5) Alarm not always working correctly.

General Comments:

Wonderful, high quality, classy.

All of the above describe this car.

When I decided to buy this car I was told by the garage that every time I get behind the wheel of this car I will smile, and guess what they were not lying.

I love to climb in and be cosseted by all the wonderful touches, the wood and the big Mercedes badge at the end of the bonnet.

The big plus with this car is its power, it is very powerful considering the size and the economy is not bad either when driven in economy mode.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th August, 2003

10th Oct 2003, 12:44

I have a C200 and agree that it is a great car and I too smile when I'm behind the wheel. I would be interested to hear more regarding the alarm problems as I too have had intermittent problems.

26th Mar 2004, 01:10

Yes I have a C280 which is a great car, but as noted the front windows are scratched by the door lock waterproofing rubber covers. the window runners need to be greased at the rear to prevent the 'Screeching. The big pest is the alarm which at the most inappropriate times will not unset correctly sometimes leaving you stuck for some minutes.

4th Jul 2004, 19:23

Yes I agree with all the comments above. I have a C200 Elegance Automatic Transmission 1996 which is the best car I've ever had.

Yes the front windows (especially the right one) are scratched, but you can prevent it by spraying the door-lock waterproofing rubber cover with 'STP Son of A Gun' once a month.

The battery of the alarm must be replaced once every 6 months to avoid problems.

I use the MOBIL 1 oil and changed it every 10,000km and the engines run smoothly.

It is very quiet inside the car and very comfortable too.

The fuel consumption is considered economy to the power that we get from this car.

2nd Nov 2009, 06:08

Yes I have read the advertised mpg rating of this car, I need to know the reality. What is really the per mile or mpg rating for it?

3rd Jan 2011, 10:55

I have a C200 Elegance automatic (1996).

The horn doesn't work, nor can I find the location of the horn.

Any help would be appreciated.



28th Jan 2011, 01:31


The horn for the C-Class is located at the left-driver-front-tire. If you look closely, there's a patch-covering, which when removed gives access to the horn.

29th Apr 2012, 15:08

Hi, are you sure this is the location of the horn? I can't find one, but there is an alarm horn unit bolted to the chassis leg on the inside behind the plastic covers. Does this double up as a standard horn?

Thanks. I can be contacted at sandy@mags-ltd.fsbusiness.co.uk

Any help would be much appreciated, as the MOT is due in 27 days.