Since Mercedes recently unleashed their latest C-class lineup here in the states, we thought we’d take a moment to revisit the humble beginnings of the not-so humble C-Class. So, head on past the jump for our brief but thorough history of the C-class. Your C-class history class, if you will.
Produced since 1993, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class line covers the
automaker’s compact executive sedan segment. The C-Class has offered
numerous trim and engine options throughout its production, as well as
full exterior redesigns.
Based on the W202 platform, the first generation C-Class was produced
from 1993 to 2000. It was the smallest, entry-level model that
Mercedes-Benz offered until 1997’s introduction of the A-Class. Various
four-cylinder engines were offered in the C 180, C 200, C 220 and C 230,
while the premium C 240 and C 280 received powerful six-cylinder
options. The C 200 and C 220 trims also offered turbodiesel
four-cylinder options, while the C 250 came equipped with a turbodiesel
There were also multiple AMG trims available. The C
36 AMG was equipped with a 280-horsepower I6 engine, while the C 33 and
C 55 AMG offered powerful V8 options churning out 302 horsepower and
340 horsepower, respectively. In 1997, Mercedes-Benz gave the W202
platform a mild facelift until the C-Class was redesigned in 2000.
For the second generation W203, Mercedes-Benz updated the C-Class
exterior with a more rounded body style and circular headlamps. The
C-Class line also featured its first two-door coupe offering with the C
200 Kompressor. Most of the engines from the first generation were
reused, featuring updates that increased horsepower and reliability
across the model line. The exception is the C 320’s 3.2-liter V6, which
churned out 215 horsepower. The top model C 55 AMG produced 362
horsepower from its 5.4-liter V8. There was a minor interior update in
2004 across all C-Class models, and new engines were introduced that
year which would be carried over into the third generation.
Produced from 2007 until 2011, the third C-Class was based
on the Mercedes-Benz W204 platform. The exterior featured a more
aggressive, angular design than the previous generation. The C 250 offers 201-horsepower from a
2.8-liter V6, while the C 300 offers a slightly larger 3.0-liter V6
churning out 228 horsepower. The C 350 offered a 3.5-liter V6 producing
268 horsepower, updated with direct injection for the CGI model where it
produced 288 horsepower. The C 63 AMG model features a 6.2-liter V8
producing 451 horsepower, capable of 480 horsepower with the optional
AMG P31 Development Package. 2.1-liter turbodiesel engines are offered
in the C 180, C 200, C 220 and C 250, while the C 350 offers a 3.0-liter
turbodiesel V6 producing 221 horsepower. The 2012 W204 vehicles feature
a cosmetic facelift as well as additional luxury and safety features.