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.

14th Nov 2014, 00:40

This chap has driven performance cars, so a 1.8 engine in any car will disappoint. I had a 1996 P plate 1.8 Classic, and no not fast, but certainly no worse than any other it was my first Merc, and it started a life long love affair with Mercedes!

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.