2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C200CDI Estate 2.1 turbo diesel (136bhp) from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Mercedes engineering standards are not what they should be

Faults:

Air con condenser.

Tracking causing uneven tyre wear (repeatedly).

Suspension bushes.

Timing chain.

ABS sensor.

Parking brake cables.

Parking brake mechanism.

Fuel consumption spoiled by "emissions upgrade".

Corroded brake pipes.

General Comments:

The car was great at first, although the seats are quite firm until they settled in. I spend a lot of time on motorways and A roads so the car had a relatively easy life. There were persistent problems with tracking and uneven tyre wear; even after having had full 4 wheel alignment done by the dealer, it was never 100% satisfactory. From 40,000 miles on, it suffered persistent uneven tyre wear, particularly to the front tyres.

Performance was adequate, but the OM651 engine is a grumbly old thing and you could never forget that it was a diesel. Economy was pretty good, often getting 55-58mpg on the motorway, but this was ruined by the "emissions update" carried out in 2016 which knocked 10% off this figure. Dealer said that this could not be reversed.

Dealers always keen to carry out overpriced work - wanted to change my tyres with "only 3.5mm" tread remaining. Caught them lying about a number of issues including wanting to replace the "badly corroded" brake pipes and failing the car at MOT. An independent tester said that there was some light surface corrosion which he cleaned off and painted with some anti-rust paint and passed the car.

Dealers never managed to cure the sticking parking brake, which used to stick on if parked overnight. There were various excuses for this despite having replaced the cables etc. Eventually I went elsewhere. Summary - dealer experience was very poor.

At just over 100,000 miles the car developed a rattle on start-up. This was diagnosed by a Merc specialist as timing chain. If left it will either eat through the alloy engine casting or else snap, writing off the engine (£7,500 replacement engine). The chain is at the back of the engine and requires 8 hours garage time to change "and the parts aren't cheap". Mercedes skimping on engineering and using a simplex timing chain on the OM651 engine instead of duplex. The Merc specialist does these regularly as Sprinters have the same issue.

With a few other things that needed doing (suspension bushes, new tyres etc) the repair bill was 2/3 the worth of the car & so I traded in. The new Merc 2.0 litre diesel has a duplex timing chain. I wonder why that would be?

Summary, I liked the car a lot. It was spoiled by the poor engineering standards of the engine and the utterly miserable dealer service. I would have kept it longer except for the timing chain issue.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th November, 2019

29th Nov 2019, 20:20

Interesting review. I like Mercedes also. Fast, fun, luxurious cars. I think quality went downhill in the late 1990s with C and E class cars rusting early. Mercedes are now nothing like the famous 70s and 80s cars that built their reputation.

2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 1.8 turbo from North America

Summary:

Beautiful, reliable and the dealer is easy to enjoy - albeit pricey

Faults:

Surprisingly, the car - in over 14,000 miles and 5 years has had zero issues.

General Comments:

Subject: Very, very good looking Iridium Silver coupe.

Braking, steering/handling, fuel economy and comfort appear first rate

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th September, 2019

2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class SE Estate 2.1 CDI from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Excellent family car / business tool

Faults:

Nothing much has gone wrong. A brake return spring was replaced under warranty because of a slight rattle. That is it!

General Comments:

Comfortable, reliable and economical. Bought as an ex-Mercedes fleet car and it's my daily transport. I do 15-17,000 miles per year. Economy has been 55-57 MPG average on mixed driving, but will regularly achieve 65 MPG on long motorway runs, and has hit 70 MPG on 3 occasions (fill to fill, not trip computer). I have done 800 miles on a tank before the light comes on.

Even as a base SE model it has Bluetooth phone connection, climate control, cruise control, front & rear park sensors, automatic wipers, electric seat adjustment, sat nav and electric tailgate (estate). 16" wheels with common size tyres cost about £75 per tyre to replace, but the good news is that fronts last an amazing 50,000 miles and rears 25,000 (miles, not km).

Good points: Room for 4 adults plus luggage. Very relaxed on the motorway. Flat boot floor is very convenient. Build quality. Dealers can be a bit pricey, but I have a 3 year service contract which eases the pain.

Bad points: Foot operated parking brake is an acquired taste. 2.1 diesel is a bit grumbly sometimes. Clutch on manual gearbox has quite a long throw.

I would certainly buy another one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th October, 2016

22nd Oct 2017, 20:05

Problems with the C250 fuel pump: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KHlrfGBq7Is

23rd Oct 2017, 00:39

When you say nothing has gone wrong in 60000 miles you have lost all credibility.

23rd Oct 2017, 08:57

What's a C250 high pressure fuel pump problem got to do with this? It's a petrol engine; the review was for a 2.1-litre diesel.

23rd Oct 2017, 09:13

That's a bit harsh. To lose "all credibility" - what, on a car that is only 5 years old and done 100K km? Sure, Mercedes isn't anywhere near what it was in the 1970s and 1980s, but there are definitely enough cars out there (be they Chevy, Fiat, Renault, or Mercedes) which have not had any problems bar wear and tear - that's why people still keep buying them. You can go by averages that Toyotas or Hondas are not likely to break down, but owning a young, fairly basic Mercedes (this is not an S-class) doesn't mean it's inevitable that it will break down. Being a Mercedes, sure it might, there is a likelihood, but it's quite possible that the first non-wear and tear fix is still to happen within the next 20K km (12K miles).