Mercedes-Benz C-Class and AMG: How to Maximize MPG

Spending money at the pump is never fun. Use the following tips to save money on gas, so driving your Mercedes-Benz doesn't hurt your wallet.

By Charlie Gaston - May 8, 2015

This article applies to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class w204 (2007-2014).

The Mercedes-Benz C250 is the most fuel efficient model sold in the U.S. It achieves up to 22 miles per gallon in the city, and up to 31 miles per gallon on the highway. A number of factors—including the speed at which you drive your vehicle, the health of its internal fluids, as well as the condition of your tires and engine—will determine how much gas mileage you're able to achieve. While the process of achieving the most gas mileage for your C-Class requires some awareness of your maintenance schedule, you won't have to worry about becoming too bogged down with all of the nitty-gritty details that go into the day-to-day workings of your vehicle. Just follow these helpful tips, and you'll be saving money at the pump in no time!

Materials Needed

  • Engine oil and filter

Step 1 – Consider your speed while driving

The easiest action you can take to increase the MPG for your C-Class is to drive slowly. While it is obvious and boring, it is true. If you are cruising on the highway, your vehicle will get far greater fuel economy cruising at 60mph versus 80mph. The vehicle is in top gear, there is less wind resistance (drag), and lower cruising RPM when going slower. The drop off in fuel economy is usually quite substantial from below 70mph to above it. Also, avoid alternating your speed, and instead cruise at a constant speed or use cruise control. You use more gas while accelerating versus maintaining a cruising speed. Also, excessive braking is a waste of energy, so playing the constant speed up and slow down game in traffic is hampering your ability to hit max MPGs.

Figure 1. This could be you!

Pro Tip

If you're approaching a red light and know that it won't turn green before you get there, coast to a stop. Avoid accelerating all the way there, and then slamming on the brakes. If your vehicle is in gear and above 1,500rpm while coasting, the fuel injectors will actually shut off and your vehicle will temporarily be getting infinite MPG. This applies to most every modern, fuel-injected vehicle.

Step 2 – Drive in sport mode

Driving your C-Class in sport mode could increase your vehicle fuel economy. Sounds un-intuitive, but it's true. Comfort mode works on the principle on hanging onto gears and smoothing out gear changes. Sport mode offers quicker shifting times, and minimizes gas wasted lingering in higher RPM or between gear changes. Also, despite its sporting pretentious, sport mode will actually allow you the option of shifting into a higher gear sooner than comfort mode would allow. The theoretical goal for best fuel economy is the lowest cruising RPM, and the lowest throttle application (or load on the engine).

However, avoid accelerating too quickly and be wary of adopting a hard driving style to maximize the benefits of the sports mode! Relying on cruise control, whenever possible, could also help to increase fuel savings.

Bottom line: Keep a light foot on the gas pedal, be aware of your driving characteristics, and utilize cruise control whenever possible.

Figure 2. Average MPG is 34. Average speed is 63mph.

Pro Tip

You can check by jotting down the number of miles on your C-Class at the start of a full tank of gas. Drive in sports mode until the tank is empty, and then jot down your ending mileage. Next, fill up your tank with gas, taking time to once again jot your starting mileage. Drive in comfort mode until your tank is empty. Compare the difference in mileage between the two modes.

Step 3 – Follow your maintenance schedule

Have your vehicle's tires rotated every 5,000 miles (this service is usually offered free of charge with a paid oil change at most garages). Also, replace the engine oil along with the engine filter annually, or every 10,000 miles. Follow your regular maintenance schedule, and perform regular checks of your vehicle's brake fluid as well as coolant. Top off or replace as needed.

Pro Tip

Fuel economy increases as the health of your vehicle increases, so keep your C-Class tuned up and in optimum working condition.

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