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2004 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

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$1,644 — $8,720 USED
12
Photos
Coupe
5 Seats
18-26 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 3 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Performance with 3.2-liter V-6
  • Automatic-transmission response
  • Interior space
  • Construction quality
  • Mercedes-Benz reputation

The Bad

  • Control layout and usage
  • Price of the C320 and C32 AMG
  • Fuel economy of the C32 AMG

What to Know

about the 2004 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Four engine choices
  • RWD
  • Manual or automatic
  • Side-curtain airbags
  • Available C32 AMG

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Mercedes-Benz’s smallest, lowest-priced sedan earned some enhancements for 2003, including newly available 4Matic four-wheel drive that is an alternative to standard rear-wheel drive. A C320 sport wagon joined the C-Class lineup for the 2002 model year, and a C240 wagon followed later. A C32 AMG sedan that is equipped with a 349-horsepower V-6 engine and AMG’s SpeedShift transmission is also available.

Sport versions of the C-Class that target younger buyers joined the group during 2003. The C230 Kompressor (supercharged) four-cylinder sport sedan and the C320 sport sedan have a sport-tuned suspension and a standard six-speed close-ratio manual transmission. The 2004 4Matic sedans and wagons with heated seats are priced lower than last year’s models. (Skip to details on the: C-Class Sports Coupe)


Exterior
Wedge-shaped styling features a steep rake to the windshield and back window. A familiar Mercedes-Benz grille with a three-pointed star insignia atop the sculpted hood sits up front. The headlights and turn signals are integrated into elliptical shapes, and triangular taillights are installed.

At 178.3 inches long overall, the C-Class sedan is 2 inches longer than the comparable BMW 3 Series. The high-performance C32 AMG rides on 17-inch tires, while regular C-Class sedans and wagons feature 16-inchers.


Interior
Five people may revel in a sizable wood-trimmed interior with leather and vinyl upholstery; full leather is available. Powered front seat...
Vehicle Overview
Mercedes-Benz’s smallest, lowest-priced sedan earned some enhancements for 2003, including newly available 4Matic four-wheel drive that is an alternative to standard rear-wheel drive. A C320 sport wagon joined the C-Class lineup for the 2002 model year, and a C240 wagon followed later. A C32 AMG sedan that is equipped with a 349-horsepower V-6 engine and AMG’s SpeedShift transmission is also available.

Sport versions of the C-Class that target younger buyers joined the group during 2003. The C230 Kompressor (supercharged) four-cylinder sport sedan and the C320 sport sedan have a sport-tuned suspension and a standard six-speed close-ratio manual transmission. The 2004 4Matic sedans and wagons with heated seats are priced lower than last year’s models. (Skip to details on the: C-Class Sports Coupe)


Exterior
Wedge-shaped styling features a steep rake to the windshield and back window. A familiar Mercedes-Benz grille with a three-pointed star insignia atop the sculpted hood sits up front. The headlights and turn signals are integrated into elliptical shapes, and triangular taillights are installed.

At 178.3 inches long overall, the C-Class sedan is 2 inches longer than the comparable BMW 3 Series. The high-performance C32 AMG rides on 17-inch tires, while regular C-Class sedans and wagons feature 16-inchers.


Interior
Five people may revel in a sizable wood-trimmed interior with leather and vinyl upholstery; full leather is available. Powered front seats have ample rearward travel to accommodate tall occupants. Split, folding rear seatbacks are optional. The sedan’s trunk capacity is 12.2 cubic feet, and wagons hold 25.2 cubic feet behind the rear seat. Tele Aid emergency communication service is standard.

Under the Hood
A 168-hp, 2.6-liter V-6 engine in the C240 teams with a six-speed-manual gearbox or an optional five-speed driver-adaptive automatic transmission. A SpeedShift feature can determine the best possible gear. The 215-hp, 3.2-liter V-6 in the C320 mates only with the automatic transmission. A supercharged 3.2-liter V-6 in the C32 AMG produces 349 hp and teams with the automatic. A 189-hp supercharged four-cylinder engine goes into the C230 Kompressor model.

Safety
Dual-stage front airbags and door-mounted side-impact airbags for the front and rear seats are standard. Curtain-type airbags deploy from above the side windows. With Mercedes-Benz’s BabySmart technology, sensors disable the airbags if they detect a child-safety seat. All C-Class sedans have antilock brakes and the automaker’s Electronic Stability Program.

Driving Impressions
The C320 is a precise, fully capable and rewarding road machine with a couple of irritating features. Rather than a full set of gauges, the driver must click through a sequence of electronic displays. The tachometer is small, and the controls aren’t the easiest to use. Ride quality is firm but highly pleasing. If the sedan hits a nasty bump, recovery is nearly instantaneous. The C320 is notably stable on the highway, and it requires minimal correction on straightaways. Extra-precise steering provides response to driver inputs that could hardly be better in a family-size sedan; however, the C320 doesn’t feel quite as sure of itself on the road as some rivals.

Performance from the 3.2-liter engine is strong and eager. The automatic transmission reacts quickly and almost seamlessly for passing and merging. Front occupants get plenty of space.


Related Model: C-Class Sports Coupe
A new three-spoke sport steering wheel, an enlarged chrome exhaust tip and body-colored door handles go into 2004 models of the C-Class Sports Coupe. Satellite radio systems can now be installed at the dealership.

No sheet metal is shared between the C-Class Sports Coupe and the sedan. At 171 inches long overall, the wedge-shaped two-door is 7.3 inches shorter than the sedan, but other dimensions are similar. A sport-tuned suspension helps deliver a more enthusiast-oriented experience.

The C230’s supercharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine develops 189 hp and 192 pounds-feet of torque. A 3.2-liter V-6 in the C320 produces 215 hp and 221 pounds-feet. A six-speed-manual transmission is standard, and a five-speed automatic is optional.

Except for a slight floating sensation on certain surfaces, the C230 Sports Coupe exhibits expert handling skills. It dives into tight curves with glee and behaves admirably even when the pavement gets rough. Even though the back end occasionally seems like it’s on the verge of breaking loose during rapid maneuvers, the Coupe remains quite well planted.

When equipped with an automatic transmission, the Coupe lacks the zip and personality that the well-matched six-speed manual provides. Acceleration is suitably swift, and the supercharger’s presence is hardly noticeable in ordinary driving. The manual gearbox shifts easily with short throws between gears, but it is slightly vague. Back to top

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.3
36 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.5)
Interior Design
(4.1)
Comfort
(4.3)
Reliability
(4.1)
Value For The Money
(4.1)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Priced to sell

by Mercedes lover from Huntington Beach,Ca on November 21, 2018

Has some miles on it but it is a reliable car always maintained, heater and air work great, love the touch screen stereo bluetooth, gps, dvd, back up cam, sunroof. Heated seats and a clean title tags ... Read full review

(5.0)

I own a Mercedes Benz C240

by Torivia from Norton shores Mi on June 29, 2018

I love my car runs great ! Reliable, beautiful, I would buy another one ! I love the way it handles very stylish . I own a burgandy color car Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2004 Mercedes-Benz C-Class currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2004 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The C-Class received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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