2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C200CDI Estate 2.1 turbo diesel (136bhp) from UK and Ireland
Mercedes engineering standards are not what they should be
Air con condenser.
Tracking causing uneven tyre wear (repeatedly).
Parking brake cables.
Parking brake mechanism.
Fuel consumption spoiled by "emissions upgrade".
Corroded brake pipes.
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