• (4.2) 33 reviews
  • MSRP: $1,810–$9,102
  • Body Style: Coupe
  • Combined MPG: 18-26
  • Engine: 168-hp, 2.6-liter V-6 (premium)
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel Drive
2004 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Our Take on the Latest Model 2004 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

What We Don't Like

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

Notable Features

  • Four engine choices
  • RWD
  • Manual or automatic
  • Side-curtain airbags
  • Available C32 AMG

2004 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reviews

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)

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.

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.

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


Average based on 33 reviews

Write a Review

C230 Kompressor can run with the best of them.

by Benz guy. from Old bridge nj on November 9, 2017

2004 c230 sport coupe is the best little car that I've ever owned. It feels very solid and stable on the highway. It can run. Big Pano roof makes it feel like a convertible. No maintenance issues besi... Read Full Review

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13 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2004 Mercedes-Benz C-Class trim comparison will help you decide.

2004 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,800 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


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.


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.

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).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

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.

Other Years