Research

2012 Mercedes-Benz C Class Review

The Car Connection Expert Rating Breakdown?

8.2
on a scale of 1 to 10
Styling
8.0
Expert Rating
Performance
8.0
Expert Rating
Comfort & Quality
8.0
Expert Rating
Safety
9.0
Expert Rating
Features
8.0
Expert Rating
Fuel Economy
6.0
Expert Rating

The Car Connection Expert Review

With a new base four-cylinder engine, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class makes even more sense for value-conscious (yet image-conscious) luxury shoppers.

For the first time in nearly a decade, Mercedes-Benz is offering a four-cylinder engine in its compact C-Class model line. It coincides with extensive changes throughout the model lineup, as well as all-new C-Class Coupe and high-performance AMG editions. Overall, it takes on entry luxury and sport models like the Audi A4 (and A5), the BMW 3-Series, the Lexus IS, the Infiniti G37, and the Cadillac CTS.

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan hasn't been completely redesigned, but it does get a careful retouch, for a clear visual link to the latest new Mercedes-Benz designs. As before, the C-Class can be had in Luxury or Sport guise, with the Sport treatment standing out for its emphatic, salad-plate-sized emblem over a barrel grille. Inside, the C-Class sees a sportier, more modern look with revised metallic trims, but it's still a bit. A new Coupe joins the C-Class range for 2012 as well, available in the same basic forms as the sedan.

The new addition to the C-Class lineup is the C250. Its turbocharged, direct-injected 1.8-liter four might raise eyebrows for the classic M-B crowd, but it's no reason for worry, clocking to 60 mph just as quickly as the former C300 and delivering a smooth wave of torque to the rear wheels--with EPA ratings of 21 mpg city, 31 highway. The C300 (and its 228-hp engine) remain offered in 4Matic all-wheel drive guise, and the C350 gets the all-new 302-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 that's used in the larger E-Class. Sport versions remain our recommendation, because the ride quality doesn't suffer much at all for its more aggressive cant; the Sport sedan also gets bigger wheels and brakes, as well as a dual exhaust to go with its lower, more tightly sprung suspension. Steering feel is a little zestless, though.

At the top of the line, is the brilliant (and slightly wicked) C63 AMG Coupe joins the lineup for 2012, powered by a massive 6.2-liter V-8 that rumbles out 457 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. And when optioned with a Performance Package, it can get to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, and to 186 mph. It also comes with AMG's quicker-shifting seven-speed automatic, while a tighter suspension, wider track, quicker steering, and big 18-inch wheels with 14.2-inch front disc and 13-inch rear disc brakes give it a much more lively feel without compromising its civility.

The C-Class models provide the utmost comfort for front occupants, but those in back, even if they can get in, will be left wedging their legs against the back of the front seats whether you're looking at the sedan or coupe. In all fairness, when looking at rival models like the Audi A4 or BMW 3-Series, that's just how it is in this class. You do tend to hear the engine a bit, but cabins are well hushed from road and wind noise.

Whether you go for the Luxury or Sport models, equipment remains stout, even at the base C250 level. Bluetooth connectivity is standard, with a USB port and HD Radio; a sunroof and dual-zone climate control are also included. C350 and C300 4Matic models move up to iPod control, heated front seats, a sport suspension, and options are grouped into several packages: Sport, Luxury, and Premium. The new mbrace suite of security and concierge services is also available. 

The Car Connection Consumer Review

(1)
3.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
0%
4 star
0%
3 star
100%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
Rate and Review your car for The Car Connection! Tell us your own ratings for a vehicle you own. Rate your car on Performance, Safety, Features and more.
Write a Review
Monday, April 13, 2015
For 2012 Mercedes-Benz C Class

This car just does everything in an expected manner,no strange thumps, bumps or squeeks like my previous GM products!

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
Premium fuel and poor fuel economy make this an expensive car to own! Having said that I still look forward to driving it every time and appreciate it's reliability and consistent performance with no surprises!
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Yes
Saturday, December 26, 2015
2016 Mercedes-Benz C Class 4-Door Sedan C450 AMG 4MATIC

Great car for it's size.

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
I have a 2004 E500 and I keep saying I'm going to start back driving it again and I love that car but my new C450 AMG is unbelievable, you have to drive one to see why I am so excited whenever I talk about my... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Yes
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
1996 Mercedes-Benz C Class 4-Door Sedan 2.2L

It is an enjoyable drive in spite of its bone jarring ride, for my wife.

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
The four cylinder engine gave me over thirty mpg on freeways in the USA. I wish that I had had it when I was traveling German autobahns. My list of to do things includes more wash and wear clothing, my popcorn... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Yes
See all user reviews »
Looking for other models of the Mercedes-Benz C Class?
Read reviews & get prices
Compare the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C Class against the competition
  • 2012 Acura TSX 5dr Sport Wagon I4 Auto Tech Pkg Angular Front Exterior View

    2012 Acura TSX

    8.0
    Compare Cars
  • 2012 Audi A4 4-door Avant Wagon Auto quattro 2.0T Premium Angular Front Exterior View

    2012 Audi A4

    8.2
    Compare Cars
  • 2012 BMW 3-Series

    2012 BMW 3-Series

    8.4
    Compare Cars
  • 2011 Infiniti G37 Sedan 4-door Journey RWD Angular Front Exterior View

    2012 Infiniti G37 Sedan

    7.8
    Compare Cars
  • 2011 Lexus IS 250 4-door Sport Sedan Auto AWD Angular Front Exterior View

    2012 Lexus IS 350

    7.4
    Compare Cars
Compare All Cars