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The Mercedes-Benz C300 is a stylish, sporty competitor in the luxury small car segment. Mercedes-Benz considers it to be an entry-level model. Fans of the S-Class will appreciate this smaller, more affordable sibling. 

Though the C300 is more less spendy than some of its fancier siblings, fixing its mechanical problems isn’t cheap. We’ll learn just how pricey these repairs are when we look at this Mercedes’ top three problems across all model years, according to Car Complaints.

A faulty steering lock mechanism is a tough problem for the Mercedes-Benz C300

Red C300 coupe
Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe | Mercedes-Benz

Three owners were caught off-guard by a bad steering lock mechanism on the 2008 Mercedes-Benz C300. In each case, the car wouldn’t star and owners needed a tow to get it repaired. Mechanics replaced the steering wheel lock in two cases. In the other case, there was no clear solution to the problem. rated this issue as “really awful,” which is the worst severity rating. On average, owners needed to shell out almost $1,300 for a typical repair. Worse yet, the problem occurred on average at almost 94,000 miles. That’s a relatively low mileage for a modern car to have such a major issue.

Engine start problems leave drivers stranded

The second-worst problem for the Mercedes-Benz C300 was the 2010 model year’s unpredictable failure to start. Four owners reported this problem, which the online car complaint website rated as “pretty bad.”  

Owners reported that they were able to turn the key in the car’s ignition and the lights and radio turned on. But the engine failed to turn over and the steering wheel locked. 

In every instance, owners were away from home when it happened. One owner’s wife and kids were caught out without reliable transportation twice because of this problem.

Mechanics weren’t sure what the problem was. In one case, an owner had already replaced the steering lock and battery for over $1,300 after having had recurring problems with her Mercedes-Benz C300 not starting.

And the owner whose wife who couldn’t dive the kids home from their activities because of this problem had multiple repairs done. The first involved replacing a ground fault in the headlight switch, which cost $500. The second was replacing the starter, which cost $970 and took the dealership nine days to repair. Finally, the dealership paid for a new battery after the car failed to start for the last time.

On average the problem occurred at 75,800 miles and typically cost owners $1,350. 

The Mercedes-Benz C300 has an excessively noisy drive

2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe
2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe | Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz Is Issuing a Recall to Fix a Previous Recall

The No. 1 problem for the Mercedes-Benz C300 is for the 2011 model year. Only one owner submitted a complaint. But this one is a doozy.

The owner reported that the transfer case was noisy while driving at highway speed. The dealership’s solution was to replace the entire transmission at a whopping cost of $7,860 to the owner, since the issue occurred outside the warranty period. Besides the disappointment of having to pay out-of-pocket for the repair, this owner received a refurbished component rather than a brand-new one.

This problem occurred at only 40,000. Car Complaints gives it a severity rating of “really awful.”

Later Mercedes-Benz C300 models dodge reliability problems

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz C300 has all the panache of previous models but far fewer problems. The C300 is available in sedan, coupe, and convertible body styles. The performance-oriented AMG variants offer a more powerful engine and sportier suspension and handling. For U.S. customers, Mercedes-Benz is also introducing a plug-in hybrid model for the C-Class, the C350e.

Standard exterior features include automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated power-adjustable side mirrors, and keyless entry. A rearview camera, panoramic sunroof, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a hands-free power liftgate also come standard.

Both the new C300 and the variable all-wheel-drive C300 4Matic are powered with a standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It produces 255 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The EPA-estimated fuel economy is 24/35 mpg city/highway.

The C300’s cabin is richly appointed with leatherette seats and other high-quality materials throughout. Standard infotainment features include a 7.0-inch display screen, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.

Advanced safety features that come standard on this Mercedes-Benz are forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and blind-spot warning.

Pricing for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz C300 starts at $41,400.