MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors

Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures


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MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors C-Class W206
MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors C-Class W206 2021 2022
2021 2022

In 2021, Mercedes-Benz introduced the fifth-generation for one of its best-selling ranges, the C-Class, and pushed forward the company’s electrification process.
While the world was still fighting against the pandemic situation, Mercedes-Benz had to push forward toward a cleaner future. Its new range was developed from the ground up and introduced advanced technologies such as rear-axle steering and, as a first for the C-Class, plug-in hybrid versions.

With its cab-rearward design proportion, the C-Class featured a longer front end when compared to its overall length. The A-pillars were sloped even more when compared to its predecessor, and the decklid was even shorter. Combined with the power-domes on the hood and the tear-shaped headlights, all these created a sportier appearance for the mid-size sedan. In the back, the LED taillights followed an aggressive design with sharp sides on the inboard section, which crossed from the quarter panels to the trunk lid.

Inside, the C-Class designers took their inspiration from the S-Class. They created a dashboard divided into an upper and lower section. There were new, flattened round vents reminiscent of aircraft engines. The driver area featured a high-resolution, free-standing LCD screen. Customers have a choice between a 10.25” or a 12.3” version. On the center stack, Mercedes-Benz installed another big display tilted toward the driver for the infotainment system, with a standard 9.5” touch-screen and an option for an 11.9”.

Under the hood, the C-Class W206 started its journey with a new engine lineup. Its downsizing process, combined with the electrification program, led to higher fuel-efficiencies for the entire lineup. At the new generation’s start, the car received only automatic transmissions and rear-wheel-drive systems.

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MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors C-Class W205
MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors C-Class W205 2018 2021
2018 2021

Mercedes-Benz introduced in 2018 a mid-life cycle refresh for its best-selling model from those times, the C-Class W205, adding more value to an already appreciated car.
After switching from a conservative look to a younger, fresh appearance, the C-Class increased its sales. More youthful customers were no longer afraid that if they get behind the wheel of a C-Class, they’ll be accused of stealing their grandparents’ car. But, after four years on the market, the compact-executive sedan needed some upgrades to look fresh again.

The entire range received a new front fascia, with LED headlights and an option for an ultra range system, with up to 84 individual LEDs inside. Its grille lost the three-slats from its non-facelifted version and gained a 3D mesh with a horizontal slat and a wide three-pointed-star badge. It lost the little star from the hood, though.

The interior went through a major upgrade along with the introduction of the new infotainment system and an option for a full-digital instrument panel with three individual display options. Its touch-sensitive controls from the steering wheel allowed the driver to access the infotainment unit and also access the LINGUATRONIC voice-control system.

Along with the facelifted version, Mercedes-Benz introduced the 2.0-liter turbo-diesel engine on the C-Class. It was carried over from its bigger brother, the E-Class. The engine lineup ranged from a fuel-efficient 1.6-liter turbo-diesel that provided 122 hp to an inline-six turbocharged three-liter unit that pumped 333 hp to a standard nine-speed automatic gearbox.

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MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors C-Class W205
MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors C-Class W205 2014 2018
2014 2018

With an up to 100 kg (220 pounds) lower weight depending on the engine specification, the fourth generation of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class brings an all-new design language and a host of safety and comfort features that have been borrowed straight from the S-Class W222.
Launched at the 2014 North American International Auto Show, in Detroit, the C-Class W205 is the first model in its segment to feature an electronically-controlled pneumatic suspension (Airmatic), and can be also fitted with head-up display, a low-speed autonomous driving system and variable aerodynamics, while the fuel economy has also been improved with up to 20 percent on all engines.

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MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors C-Klasse W204
MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors C-Klasse W204 2011 2013
2011 2013

The Stuttgart-based carmaker updated its entire C-Klasse lineup in 2011, unveiling it to the overall public at the 2011 North American International Auto Show, in Detroit.
Some photos and official details of the new model had surfaced in the media a few weeks before, showing a slightly different exterior, a revised interior and the news that it will benefit from a new engine start-stop system. The interior has been boosted by Merc with the addition of a high-res screed on the dashboard, the introduction of the new Mercedes-Benz Comand APS system, new steering wheel and updated switchgear.

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MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors C-Klasse W204
MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors C-Klasse W204 2007 2011
2007 2011

The third generation of the C-Class debuted at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show and it showed a new design for the entire range, in the same style with its bigger brothers, the E-Class and the S-Class.
The 2007 model lost the four-round headlights style from its predecessor and returned to a more common square design. It was built to offer more comfort than a medium-sized sedan from other mass-market brands. When compared to its predecessor, the W203, it featured a 50 mm (2”) longer wheelbase, to offer more legroom for the rear passengers.

The sportier look of the car was considered appealing by younger generations who didn’t consider to buy a Mercedes-Benz before. The new design was part of its big success. It was the best sold Mercedes-Benz from its era, with a total of 2.4-million units sold. The square, angular, headlights, the body-colored door handles and the sculptured profile were part of the W204 success story.

Inside, there were new features that were appealing to the younger generation. The Mercedes designers took their lead from the sporty sector and included dial gauges such as those found in roadsters or coupes. The new infotainment options started with the Audio 20 and went all the way up to the multimedia Command APS that featured a 7” color screen display with navigation. All versions featured Bluetooth connectivity.

For the technical point of view, all the range was fitted as standard with a 6-speed manual gearbox but the 350 version, which was fitted with a 7G-Tronic automatic gearbox. That was offered as an option for the rest of the stable.

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MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors C-Klasse W203
MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors C-Klasse W203 2004 2007
2004 2007

The mid-life refresh for the second generation of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class brought more power for the engines, exterior, and interior changes.
The C-Class was a success from its start and the second generation was launched in March 2000 at the Geneva Motor Show. Four years later, the facelift appeared with important changes for especially for the diesel versions, which were upgraded from Euro 3 emission standard to the Euro 4. That change added some power, but it also lost the only AMG diesel version.

From the outside, new headlights, new rear-view mirrors, and taillights were added to the car. The body shape remained the same, with only some subtle changes.

Inside, the instrument cluster was completely redesigned. Instead of a big, large, speedometer in the middle as in the pre-facelift version, the 2004 C-Class featured two round dials for the speedometer and the tachometer. Between them, there was an LCD display for the on-board computer. Also, the steering wheel was redesigned, with round buttons instead of larger, squared ones.

For the engine compartment, the 2.1-liter diesel engine was offered with up to 150 hp. The C30 CDI was cut out of the production line. For the gasoline units, there was more power for the supercharged engines. The standard transmission was a 6-speed manual while a 5-speed automatic was offered as an option. Also, 4Matic all-wheel-drive versions were upgraded.

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MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors C-Klasse W203
MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors C-Klasse W203 2000 2004
2000 2004

The second-generation C-Class saw the arrival of a completely redesigned vehicle, with a longer, curvier nose and a sportier, shorter rear.
It was introduced in March 2000 and comes with various engines, both gasoline, and turbodiesel. The new design language carried over the cues introduced by its bigger brother, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class W210, with twin double-rounded headlights.

The engines were mostly carried over from the previous generation except for a couple of models such as the C 320, which delivered an output of 218 hp. Diesel units were also upgraded, having been fitted with common-rail direct injection systems and variable geometry turbochargers.

Six-speed manual transmissions became standard on nearly all versions while letter and number labeling no longer reflected the engine’s displacement, i.e the C 180 had a 2.0-liter plant while the C 240 had a 2.6-liter unit. The new 5G-Tronic installed in the C-Class is an electronically shifted 5-speed overdrive automatic transmission with five forward gears and two reverse gears.

Inside the cabin, Mercedes-Benz used top quality materials and plenty of options. There are two options for the automatic climate-control unit, CD-Radio or Navigation Systems, Bluetooth to connect a phone or a cradle where the driver can plug-in a phone. The central armrest is refrigerated.

For the rear-seat passengers, the manufacturer offered heating and ventilation systems with dedicated air vents.

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MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors C-Klasse W202
MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors C-Klasse W202 1997 2000
1997 2000

The 1997 line-up revision saw the introduction of several upgrades, many of which were aimed at increasing engine power outputs.
Thus, most of the previously developed M111 plants were replaced with the new M112 units that head discarded the DOHC layout in favor of a SOHC architecture that was complemented by a 3-valve cylinder head design and twin-spark ignition. The C 230 engine grew in size to 2.4 L while the top-range C280 was re-modeled into a V6 configuration. Diesels also saw a regrowth with the arrival of the OM611 plants, equipped with a common-rail direct injection system jointly developed with Bosch.

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MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors C-Klasse W202
MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors C-Klasse W202 1993 1997
1993 1997

In 1993, Mercedes-Benz changed the designation name for its compact-class lineup.
The successful 190 model had to retire and the new C-Class was shown. And it was a big success.

In May 1993, the C-Class was shown and it had the internal code as W202. It was a step forward from the angular lines of the 190 series, which lasted since 1982. A novelty was the concept of a different styling. There were three trim levels: Esprit, Elegance, and Sport. The Esprit featured a lowered suspension than the Elegance and was addressed to younger customers. The Elegance had a higher ground clearance to offer a bigger wheel-travel and more comfort. For this trim, the turn-signal lamps had colorless cover glasses. The Sport version had the ground clearance of the Esprit, but with stiffer suspension and standard wider tires.

Inside, there were different color schemes according to the trim level, with a chess-like pattern on the seats and door panels for the Esprit. Depending on the options, the car featured air-conditioning and power-windows for all. The sunroof was available as an option.

At the time of launch, there were seven engines available: three diesel and four with gasoline. Over time, other engines joined the lineup, including an AMG version. As a true novelty for the era was the optional 5-speed automatic transmission with electronic control, which has a better fuel-efficiency over other automatic transmissions on the market.

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MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors 190 W201
MERCEDES BENZ C-Klasse and predecessors 190 W201 1982 1993
1982 1993

On December 8, 1982, the press and the public had a big surprise from the Mercedes-Benz.
The new 190 and 190 E were presented. It didn’t have any predecessor, it didn’t replace anything. It was just a beginning. The angular design of the car was a surprise and made other vehicles from the era to look outdated.

The big improvements in the safety area showed the world that the “Baby-Benz” was as safe as the big S-Class saloons. It started with two engine variants, one equipped with a carburetor, and another with mechanical fuel injection provided by Bosch.

In 1983, the 190 D and the 2.3-16 were introduced. The D had a 2.0-liter diesel engine that was very fuel-efficient at its 72 hp. The 2.3-16 gained respect for a few world records on the Nardo race-track in Italy. It achieved long-distance records for 25.000 km, 50.000 km and 25.000 miles with an average speed of 250 kph (155 mph). That performance was possible due to its 2.3-liter fuel-injected engine that had a 16 valves cylinder head architecture and offered 186 hp.

The new multilink rear suspension was revolutionary. Each rear wheel was led by an independent control arm. The system avoids unwanted steering movements of the wheel. As a plus, it offered more comfort and it was lighter than other rear suspension systems.

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