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2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Why Buy a 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

Anything with the Mercedes name attached to it is bound to ooze luxury, and the 2021 Mercedes C-Class is no exception. Its interior is immaculate, and you get a slew of different horsepower from the engine options. On top of that, Mercedes equips the C-Class with a lengthy list of cutting-edge technology and safety features. While this all sounds well and good, there are a few hitches: a wonky touchpad controller, restricted cargo space, and a harsh ride from the C 300's sport-tuned suspension being the top complaints. Read on to find out what's new, what we like about the C-Class, what we don't like, and how it stacks up against the competition.

What's New for 2021?

New for the 2021 Mercedes C-Class are standard heated front seats and a 12.3-inch display. An all-new Night Edition equips black exterior trim. Other than that, pretty much everything else is carried over from the 2020 line-up.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class – The Pros

1. A Luxurious Interior

The most attractive part of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is its exquisite interior. This design showcases just how pristine and high-end Mercedes-Benz can go with their vehicles. Despite the lack of physical controls, you get a nice minimalistic design that feels de-cluttered. The center stack is where you will find the majority of what few physical controls are there, and the rest can be accessed via the touchscreen display.

2. Engine Variety

You can take you pick from four different engines with different power outputs. The base engine - found on the C 300 and C 300 4Matic - is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 255 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. If this isn't your speed, the all-wheel drive (AWD) AMG C 43 equips a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that gives off 385 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. Upgrading to the AMG C 63 snags you an even more powerful turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that is good for 469 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. At the highest end of the powertrain spectrum is the AMG C 63 S's tweaked version of the V8, which serves up a solid 503 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Whatever suits your needs, this line-up has it.

3. A Plethora of Creature Comforts

This wouldn't be a luxury vehicle without all the included creature comforts. On the C 300 alone, you get treated to a neck heater (exclusive to the Cabriolet), heated front seats, simulated leather upholstery, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Upgrades throughout the line-up include imitation suede seat inserts, configurable steering wheel controls, and real leather upholstery. Options include ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

4. Advanced Tech Features

The C-Class is loaded with all of MB's latest-and-greatest tech gadgetry. Standard issue are the 10.25-inch central infotainment display and smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Adding the Multimedia Package will get you built-in navigation, a touchpad controller, and Car-to-X functionality - a feature which electronically communicates with nearby vehicles and infrastructure.

5. Strong Acceleration

Each engine is geared for quick acceleration, which is a hallmark of this segment. The C 300 has a 0 to 60 miles per hour time of about 6.1 seconds. The 9-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly between gears, and you can switch between Comfort (the default) and Sport mode. Of course, the V8 models are bound to put in a speedier performance, but even 6.1 seconds is respectable for the base engine.

6. Ease of Entry and Exit

Getting in and out of the C-Class is easy for most folks. The tall ride height aids in this, as do the wide door openings. You essentially just slide in, even if you are a taller individual. And, with plenty of space up front, the front seat's occupants can get cozy quite quickly once they slide in.

7. Driver Aids Work Well

Although most driver aids are optional, they are known for being well calibrated and easy to use. Forward collision warning and a blind spot monitor come standard. The Parking Assistance package adds parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert, and a 360-degree surround-view camera system. The Driver Assistance package gives the car adaptive cruise control, a lane keep system, lane departure mitigation, blind spot intervention, and evasive steering assist.

8. Exceptional Build Quality

Mercedes-Benz is known for using high quality materials to craft their vehicles, and the C-Class certainly fits that mold. This automaker pays close attention to every single detail, and the fit and finish of everything inside the C-Class is held to a high standard. The controls, trim, panel fits, and brightwork all appear to be of a high build quality.

9. Three Sporty AMG C Models

A lot of buyers are attracted to the spunky AMG C models. They offer more powerful engine options. The AMG C 43 adds an aerodynamic body kit, upgraded brakes, a sport exhaust, a sport steering wheel, and a sport-tuned suspension that comes with adaptive dampers. The AMG C 63 has more drive modes, an electronic rear limited-slip differential, and a performance exhaust. The AMG C 63 S is given its own unique grille up front, steering wheel controls that are configurable, dynamic engine mounts, and even more traction modes. It is all about catering to your style of driving.

10. A Huge List of Packages

The list of packages for the C-Class is rather immense. You can pick from the Premium package, the AMG Line package, Multimedia package, Night Edition package, Parking Assistance package, and Driver Assistance package. There are also stand-alone options for features like the panoramic sunroof, wireless charging pad, and head-up display.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class – The Cons

1. A Clunky Touchpad Controller

Using the touchpad controller is nothing short of frustrating. The standard dial-and-button set-up is nothing too terrible, but the touchpad controller mounted to the steering wheel just seems clunky and obnoxious. You might find that you have a harder time scrolling through menus and selecting options this way. It sounds like a cool idea on paper but is not all that functional.

2. Lacks Cargo Space

Cargo space is limited in the C-Class. It offers just 12.6 cubic feet of cargo space. Most of its rivals do better than that and make their space more versatile. While it is easy to load and unload luggage, the trunk is deeper than it is wide, making it kind of awkward. You also will not find too many places in the cabin to store your small items.

3. Lacks Rear Seat Space

Rear seat space is also lacking on the C-Class. Other vehicles in this segment offer more foot and leg room. Taller passengers will feel crammed for space, and those up front will not be able to put their seats back very far if anyone is sitting in the rear. It also makes getting bulky rear-facing child car safety seats in and out a total chore. They quite simply just do not fit inside the rear that well.

4. A Harsh Ride From the C 300's Sport-Tuned Suspension

If you are looking for a smooth ride quality, skip the sport-tuned suspension. It has a harsh feel to it, lacking the refined nature we have all come to expect from luxury cars. Sure, the handling feels exceptional, but the suspension could really use a good re-tuning to make it a little more comfortable.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

2021 Mercedes C-Class vs. 2021 BMW 3 Series

The BMW 3 Series is priced to compete with the C-Class and offers a slew of powerful yet fuel-efficient engine options. There is plenty of space inside, both fore and aft. No one will feel crunched inside the rear seats. The 3 Series also demonstrates some absolutely superb handling capabilities. On the downside, the 3 Series has a steep learning curve to its infotainment system, making it a real detriment to the average buyer. On top of that, the driver aids lack refinement and present further challenges because of how inconsistent and even intrusive they can be while driving.

2021 Mercedes C-Class vs. 2021 Audi A4

The 2021 Audi A4 is slightly cheaper than the C-Class in terms of its starting MSRP, but it packs in a lot of value. The cabin is meticulously constructed and looks downright stunning. The included tech and safety features are all easy to use, and you can fit two fully grown adults in the rear seat without any problem. The A4 45 TFSI turbo engine outpaces the C-Class too. The only real drawback to owning the A4 is that there is a clear lack of feedback from the steering system that puts restrictions on driver control.


As far as luxury cars go, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a mixed bag. Its cons are pretty significant, and you will pay more for all the features you wish were standard (and that tend to come equipped as such in the C-Class' rivals). But you do get quite a few options that lend to a powerful performance, and the cabin feels comfortable as long as you have a front-row seat.

Used 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class: