Sedans & Coupes

3 Reasons the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Is an Awful Used Car Purchase

Purchasing a used luxury car has traditionally been a fantastic path to elevating your driving experience while on a budget. However, some of these exquisite pre-owned models, such as the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, will leave you disappointed. 

It’s easy to picture yourself behind the wheel of this plush entry-level luxury sedan. However, we’ve outlined three significant reasons why you’ll want to avoid this particular C-Class model year.

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class doesn’t seem luxurious by today’s standards

A white 2016 Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG 4MATIC parked next to an artsy wall
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG on display | Mercedes-Benz

Consumers expect the best of the best when they’re purchasing a luxury vehicle. This sentiment still applies to models on the pre-owned market. The C-Class will undoubtedly impress drivers with its elegant cabin that’s comprised of high-quality materials. But that feeling won’t last long, as the compact sedan’s lack of modern amenities might make shoppers question their potential purchase.

The 2016 C-Class wasn’t horribly equipped for its time. However, smart safety systems and high-tech features became more commonplace shortly after Mercedes-Benz released this model. So rather than upgrading to a techy, modern car, you might find this luxury sedan to be somewhat lacking.

Lower trims lack vital features like a rearview camera, voice command, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Thankfully, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class isn’t entirely barebones. It comes standard with automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, and a driver drowsiness monitor. Ultimately, the inclusion of these advanced technologies makes the car’s shortcomings all the more apparent.

Critics put this used Mercedes-Benz’s dependability into question

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It seemed like the 2016 C-Class was one of the best affordable luxury cars at one point. However, some experts have altered their assessment after gathering additional data. 

For example, Consumer Reports put the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class on its ‘Used Cars to Avoid Buying’ list. Dependability likely played a significant role in the publication’s criticism of this model. It gave the C-Class a dreadful 18/100 reliability score – putting it in last place among all 2016 luxury compact sedans.

Consumer Reports came to this conclusion based upon information it gathered from subscribers who own this vehicle. The publication pinpointed 17 potential trouble spots and evaluated in which areas issues are most likely to occur.

It discovered that the C-Class experiences common problems in a multitude of vital categories. The publication gave it the lowest score of 1/5 in body integrity, brakes, drive system, engine (minor), climate system, in-car electronics, and transmission (major.) Additionally, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class earned an underwhelming 2/5 rating for its fuel system.

Several owners reported fuel/oil leaks, HVAC malfunctions, and premature brake wear to Consumer Reports. Meanwhile, a 2016 C450 AMG driver detailed their drive system issue, stating, “The differential whines between 48-55 MPH. (Mercedes-Benz) replaced the differential, but it still whines.”

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class’ value doesn’t justify its price

A blue 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class (C350e) parked next to the water with a bridge in the background
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is available as a plug-in hybrid | Mercedes-Benz

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According to Consumer Reports, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has an estimated retail value between $19,900-$42,875. This sedan’s price is just too steep considering its potential repair costs and lack of crucial technologies.

Shoppers can upgrade to a different used entry-level luxury sedan that’s more dependable at a more reasonable price. One such car is the 2016 Audi A4, which has an 89/100 reliability rating on Consumer Reports. 

Meanwhile, some newer model years of these rival vehicles are also available for around $20,000. For example, the 2018 BMW 3 Series’ elegant cabin nearly matches that of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Plus, the 3 Series comes with the benefit of a standard rearview camera.