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History of the Mercedes-Benz C Class

The Mercedes C Class is a formidable contender in the mid size saloon sector, but it wasn’t always this way. We decided to do some digging on the heritage of this luxury German automobile.

The C Class name didn’t arrive until the W202 model of 1993. Prior to that, the model was known mainly as the 190 (W201). The 190 was Mercedes’ first foray into the mid-size saloon sector. Made from 1982 to 1993, the 190 was well known as being ‘massively over-engineered’. Mercedes set itself a benchmark with the 190, and to drive one in 2015 you can still tell just how well it was was put together by the factory. It was the car that set Mercedes on the path to becoming one of the most popular cars on UK roads.


Following on the footsteps of the W201 was the W202. This was the first car to be known as a C Class. The W202 took the boxy styling of the 201 and combined it into a more compact package. A range of economical diesel and peppy petrol engines completed the line-up, and the W202 became an instant hit. The W202 lasted from 1993 to 2000, but was plagued by problems with rust. Take a look on the roads around you and there doesn’t seem to be many left! Thankfully the rust problems were rectified and modern Mercedes don’t suffer with the dreaded metal rot the way the W202 did.


The W203 was more than just a facelift - it was a complete overhaul. Lasting from 2000 to 2007, the W203 continued the success of the W202 and resolved many of the problems that were associated with the W202. The W203 went head to head with the BMW 3 Series, with the diesel engines scoring top marks with business and private users alike.


2007 saw the introduction of the W204, with updated aesthetics. It was also longer, wider and stiffer than the W203, giving it more precise handling and a more spacious interior. The W204 lasted until 2014, when it was replaced by…. You guessed it… The W205.


Arriving on our roads just last year (2014), the W205 is the most curvaceous C Class to date. Jam-packed with advanced technology and gadgets, the W205 is still taking the fight to BMW and Audi and retains Mercedes signature luxury and refinement. The W205 features aluminium construction, allowing the car to shed almost 100kg off the kerb weight of the W204 it replaced.


At Imperial Car Supermarkets we have a range of Mercedes C Class models available, in Saloon, Estate and stylish Coupe variants. If you haven’t yet driven a C Class, give us a call - we’ll be happy to get you behind the wheels of a luxury Mercedes.

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