Evolution of the Mercedes C-Class: an overview of all generations

From the 190 to the W 206 – the evolution of the Mercedes C-Class

The successful Mercedes C-Class: From the 190, the Benz sedan developed into a state-of-the-art technology carrier. Generations overview!

S.solidity, reliability and a high level of security characterize the Mercedes C-Class out. Even if not always problem-free – some models tended to rust – the C-Class can look back on a long history of success. More than 10.5 million vehicles have been built since 1982. The C-Class has developed into one of the most voluminous models with the star. Production takes place in Bremen, South Africa and China for customers around the world. Here are the most important facts on the evolution of the C-Class.

Mercedes 190 (W 201): C-Class story starts with the Baby Benz

Mercedes 190 E.

For Mercedes, the history of the C-Class begins with the Baby-Benz 190 W 201. A legend on wheels!

© Ronald Sassen / AUTO BILD

The Stuttgart-based company dates the first beginnings of compact vehicles to the time the brand was founded. It is known to be a first little Daimler at the time of the Ponton-Benz only made it into prototype status. The history of the C-Class really begins with that 190 (W 201). As that of potential US customers “Baby Benz“Mercedes, which was baptized and known internally as compact, came onto the market in 1982, it heralded a new era in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim. He was less baroque than its brand siblings built to date, lighter, more economical and convinced the testers with its chassis Multi-link rear axle.

€ 11,750

Mercedes-Benz C 180 T Avantgarde Spiegel-P, petrol

130,950 km
115 kW (156 hp)

Petrol, 6.4 l / 100km (comb.) CO2 150 g / km *

€ 12,888


62,500 km
115 kW (156 hp)

Petrol, 5.8 l / 100km (comb.) CO2 137 g / km *

€ 13,450

Mercedes-Benz C 180 T Elegance Park, petrol

83,790 km
115 kW (156 hp)

Petrol, CO2 0 g / km *

€ 13,690

Mercedes-Benz C 200 Avantgarde, petrol

105,403 km
135 kW (184 hp)

Petrol, 7.8 l / 100km (comb.) CO2 156 g / km *

€ 13,888

Mercedes-Benz C 180 Avantgarde | AZS SAFE ONLINE PURCHASE, gasoline

80,950 km
115 kW (156 hp)

Petrol, 5.8 l / 100km (comb.) CO2 137 g / km *

€ 13,888

Mercedes-Benz C 180 | | AZS SAFE ONLINE PURCHASE, gasoline

70,450 km
115 kW (156 hp)

Petrol, 5.8 l / 100km (comb.) CO2 137 g / km *

€ 13,990

Mercedes-Benz C 180 EDITION C AMG-Styling AVANTGARDE, petrol

99,950 km
115 kW (156 hp)

Petrol, 6.4 l / 100km (comb.) CO2 150 g / km *

49377 Vechta, Autohaus Anders GmbH Authorized Mercedes-Benz sales and service

86609 Donauwörth, Car Center Swabia

34123 Kassel, Emil Frey Kassel / Göttingen GmbH

53909 Zülpich, Autohaus A. Gotzen GmbH & Co.KG.

86609 Donauwörth, Car Center Swabia

86609 Donauwörth, Car Center Swabia

93413 Cham, Hirschvogel GmbH & Co. KG – Cham

The reputation of indestructibility, hot sports equipment such as the 190 E 2.3-16, the EVO expansion stages and, last but not least, motorsport successes gave the 190 the Status of a legend. But where there is light, there is also shadow. Because the space available in the small Mercedes is neither for particularly tall nor for well-built people.

Mercedes C-Class (W 202): the first C-Class, which was also called that

Mercedes C-Class 220 Elegance

The name C-Class came with the W 202 series. As an AMG, this C had up to 347 hp under the hood.

© Sandra Beckefeldt / AUTO BILD

1993 came the W 202 series and thus officially the name Mercedes C-Class. The new nomenclature was derived from the S-Classwhich has been called that since 1972. The W 202 offered more space and was also more comfortable than its predecessor. The three digits after the C indicated the displacement of the respective model. The equipment lines were called Classic, Esprit, Elegance and Sport. There was also an AMG styling package. In 1995 the 193 hp engine provided C 230 compressor caused a stir, because for the first time in 50 years, Mercedes again fitted a production car with a Roots blower. 1996 Mercedes put one with the T-Model Station wagon to. 1997 came with the C 220 CDI the first Mercedes car with Common rail direct injection on the market. The top models of the series were the C 36 AMG (280 PS), C 43 AMG (306 PS) and the C 55 AMG (367 PS). Rust turned out to be a major enemy of the W 202.

Mercedes C-Class (W 203): four eyes for the C-Class

Mercedes C 220 CDI

The W 203 generation of the C-Class sports coupé was so popular that it ran as the CLC-Class (photo) until 2010.

© Thomas Ruddies

In 2000 the C-Class model series W 203 at the start. The most striking visual feature of this generation was theirs significant face with the four headlight eyes. The C-Class was now available in for the first time three body versions: Sedan, station wagon and coupe. The compact one Mercedes coupe was so popular that it was built as the CLC class until 2010 after extensive revision, although the generation change to the C-class W 204 took place in 2007. The C-Class W 203 was a typical Mercedes and filled the role of the technology carrier in this vehicle class with life. She performed among other things Windowbags, on Multifunctional steering wheel and a Central display in their market segment. They were also new Three-link front axle and an easily exchangeable front module with crash boxes made of high-strength steel.

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Mercedes C-Class 180 Supercharger

For the AUTO BILD editorial team, the highlight of the W 204 series is this white C 180 compressor.

© Olaf Itrich / AUTO BILD

With the premiere of the C-Class W 204 In 2007 Mercedes returned to taut lines and rough edges in sheet metal. For the first time, the customer had a choice between two faces. As an avant-garde, the C-Class had its star in the middle of the radiator grille and should come across as sporty. The versions Elegance and Classic traditionally wore the star on the hood and, according to the manufacturer, stood for comfort and elegance. 2008 appeared in C 350 CGI BlueEfficiency the world first gasoline engine with spray-guided direct injection. Probably the most blatant C-Class of all time came onto the market in 2011: the 517 PS strong and specifically designed for the racetrack C 63 AMG Black Series Coupé. But also sedans and station wagons of this generation could boast. Both existed as C 63 AMG PP Edition 507 with 507 hp. By the way: a white C 180 compressor (W 204) in the bookkeeping equipment the editorial team has been accompanying as a long-term test car for more than 500,000 kilometers and has not had any serious weaknesses so far (see video above). In addition to its uncompromising reliability, the car is a reminder of how little technical bells and whistles you need to arrive at your destination relaxed.

Mercedes C-Class 200

The C-Class of the W 205 series shone with a barely manageable variety of model versions.

© Roman Raetzke / AUTO BILD

With the series W 205 (from 2014) the large number of variants of the C-Class finally started. The limousine was soon followed by a long-wheelbase limousine, the T-model, and finally a convertible and coupé. The range of engines with outputs between 116 and 510 hp also included several Hybrid and plug-in versions. By using high-strength steels and aluminum profiles, Daimler was able to save 50 kilograms in weight compared to pure sheet steel construction. Byproduct was one remarkable rigidity the body. The Airmatic air suspension was available for the first time in this vehicle class. The Facelift 2018 brought among other things multibeam LED lights with ultra-range high beam and Intelligent Light System. in the Endurance test at AUTO BILD showed one C-Class of the W 205 series just as their strengths as many specimens at TÜV. Because Daimler got really good grades. The owners criticized the details. For example, some owners were bothered by the clearly audible wind noise on the motorway. The youngest will go in 2021 Generation of the C-Class (W 206) at the start.

* Further information on the official fuel consumption and the official specific CO2 emissions and, if applicable, the power consumption of new cars can be found in the “Guide to Official Fuel Consumption”, which is available free of charge at all sales points and from “Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH” (www


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