The Mercedes C240 was in production between 2001 and 2007, and in that time Mercedes managed to sell a ton of these. The C240 comes with a 2.2L V6 with 170hp which is a fairly decent number for a compact luxury sedan from the 2000s.
The C240 comes in a rear-wheel-drive setup and either a 5-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual gearbox. Design-wise, the C240 looks like any other Mercedes from that era which means that it looks classy but relatively dated these days.
The C240 is indeed a reliable car, but many owners complained about airbag issues, electrical issues, leaks, engine belt and pulley issues, and overall tiredness and trim wear. However, if you maintain the C240 properly, you are likely going to squeeze a few hundred thousand miles out of it.
Value-wise the C240 is now stellar as you are able to buy a decent example for anywhere between $5,000 to $8,000. It is also a fairly practical car that can transport up to four adult individuals with all of their luggage without any issues.
Mercedes C240 – The powertrain
The C240 was first introduced in 2001 and many people were quick to buy it. One of the reasons why the C240 was so popular is because it comes with a fairly potent engine considering its size and market positioning. The V6 found in the C240 is smooth and refined, fitting for a car with a three-pointed star badge.
The 170hp and 177lb-ft of torque are perfect for the C240 chassis. The engine is primarily tuned for comfort and smooth linear acceleration which means that it is not jerky or difficult to drive. The 5-speed automatic gearbox is also a good match with the 2.2 V6 because it is equally as refined and sophisticated.
During that time Mercedes did not offer 4MATIC all-wheel-drive for smaller models such as the C-Class which means that the C240 is strictly a rear-wheel-drive car. There was also a manual gearbox available, but this one was more popular in Germany and the rest of Europe.
The C240 returns around 24MPG combined which is decent even by today’s standards. All in all, the C240s powertrain is both refined and smooth, but it does not excite you in any way.
Mercedes C240 – Design and chassis
The design of the C240 is perfectly in-line with the E-Class from that era which means that it looks like the E-Class, but a bit more compact. This is a good thing whenever you wanted to buy the C-Class, but not the best if you wanted to buy the E-Class.
Interior-wise, the C240 looks great even by today’s standards as it offers a fair bit of technology such as heated seats, digital A/C, navigation, and a fairly nice stereo system. Chassis and suspension-wise, the C240 is a luxury car and it drives like one.
This means that the C240 is not made for weekend canyon crushers as it does not offer a playable chassis at all. The C240 drives somewhat like the current C-Class does which means that it does not try to be sporty, yet it focuses on smoothness and luxury.
Mercedes C240 – Reliability and potential issues
As mentioned in the beginning, the C240 is able to last hundreds of thousands of miles if you take proper care of it. This means constantly doing all the maintenance such as checking and replacing all the fluids, changing the spark plugs and filters.
However, the C240 does come with its fair share of issues and the most common ones are associated with airbags, engine belts and pulleys, engine cooling, leaks, electrical issues, and overall interior wear. The airbag issue is relatively common and it usually points to overly sensitive airbag deployment sensors.
Electrical issues include exterior lighting problems, power sunroof, power window problems, interior gadgets, and accessories. Interior wear and discoloration are also common issues, especially for lighter-colored interior cars.
Mercedes C240 – Value and practicality
A decent C240 is going to cost you between $5,000 and $8,000 which is indeed a cheap price. This is because there are many C240s around and no one is really all that excited about them. Sure, they drive nicely and they are able to last a long time, but they don’t ruffle any feathers in any way shape, or form.
Practicality-wise, the C240 is decent, comfortable able to pack 3 of your friends and a sizeable portion of their luggage. The rear seats also fold down to create even more space and fitting a baby seat in the second row of seats is easy due to wide-opening doors and accessible Isofix mounting points.
Should I buy the Mercedes C240?
If you like the car and you want to have it, you should indeed buy one as it is not all that expensive yet it drives fairly nicely, even by today’s standards. However, don’t go expecting you are going to buy a fast car or one that likes taking corners fast.
The C240 drives fairly senior-friendly which means that it is easy on you and all you want to do while driving in the C240 is sit back and relax.
Is the C240 a safe car?
The Mercedes C240 is indeed a safe car, but not according to today’s standards. Car safety standards have skyrocketed in the past 10 years due to many active safety features, but most cars from the early 2000s come with only the most basic of software safety systems such as parking sensors.
All in all, the C240 is safe as it utilizes lots of airbags and cleverly designed crumple zones that are intended to keep you safe in an event of a crash.
What’s the difference between the C240 and the 2022 C-Class?
Everything is different as there are 20 years worth of research and development between these cars. The C240 is a car from a different era, while the 2022 C-Class looks like a car from 2050. The sheer progression cars had in the past 20 years is baffling, and you can see that fairly clearly if you compare the new C-Class to the C240.
However, the C240 is a bit more tactile and satisfying to interact with than the new C-Class. The new C-Class is so space-age like that it kind of loses the Mercedes bank vault driving experience.