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The Most Common Mercedes-Benz C300 Complaints Are Predictably Expensive

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. 

But even though the C300 is more reasonably priced than some of its fancier siblings, fixing its mechanical problems don’t come 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

Three owners complained that they were caught off-guard by a bad steering lock mechanism on the 2008 Mercedes-Benz C300. In each case, they were unable to start the car and it had to be towed. Mechanics replaced the steering wheel lock in two cases. In the other case, there was no clear solution to the problem.

CarComplaints.com rated this issue as “really awful,” which is the worst severity rating. Owners were forced to shell out almost $1,300 for a typical repair. The problem occurred on average at almost 94,000 miles.

The engine won’t turn over 

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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

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 making too much noise while the car was being driven 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, the owner was also miffed because the transmission was re-engineered and not new.

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

This year’s 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.