List Price Estimate
$560 - $1,350

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

The Baby Benz grew up two years ago when the C-Class replaced the 190E. The new car was substantially improved over the 190, offering better performance and more interior room. This year the C-Class lineup gets a new infrared remote security system, dual cupholders in the center console, a delayed headlight switch-off and reconfigured option packages. Also new are goodies from the revamped E-Class, like the revised instrument cluster, new climate control panel, and various switchgear. Zebrano wood is gone in favor of the burled walnut type.

Performance-oriented buyers will want the C36, an AMG-prepared road warrior sporting fat tires, aero gimcrackery and a potent 3.6-liter engine. The C36 is priced about $10,000 higher than the BMW M3 and delivers 60 mph in just over six seconds. Mercedes will bring 400 examples of this hot sedan to the United States during 1996.

Mainstream models are the C220 and C280. Manually rowing the automatic shifter, a C220 can get to 60 mph in less than nine seconds. The six-cylinder C280 feels much quicker than the C220 getting to speed, and getting there quickly doesn't mean changing your own gears. Handling is sure-footed with either car, and braking ability is quite good, although the C220, at 200 fewer pounds than the C280, feels somewhat more agile.

These sedans ooze class, substance and style, unless they're adorned with faux-gold packages or other tacky add-ons. The look is quite contemporary, and the car seems larger than it really is. Traditional styling cues inside and out continue the Mercedes trend of evolutionary rather than revolutionary design themes.

Base prices start just over $30,000 for the C220. The stronger C280 can be had for another five grand and includes the 2.8-liter six, dual power front seats and an eight-speaker Bose stereo system. The C36 renders such cars as the Lexus GS300 and Cadillac Seville STS also-rans in the luxury-sport arena. You may want to consider BMW's 325i, the Lexus ES300, or the Mazda Millenia S before buying the Benz, but we can't help but think the C-Class is a relative bargain in this class, now that Mercedes has come down off its pedestal and is pricing its wares with some semblance of sanity.

1996 Highlights

An infrared remote security system, dual cupholders in the console, a delayed headlamp dousing system and reconfigured option packages mark the changes to the baby Benz.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1996 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Economical car, but weak horsepower
Michael L,05/04/2010
C220 4dr Sedan
This car has been very reliable and never had it towed to the shop as of yet now that it has 168,000 miles. This glossy black car looks very classy and luxurious at all levels. It drives well when the speedometer is over 60 MPH+ on the freeway, but from the get go it is slow because of the car is heavy and the engine is a sohc inline-4 with 148 horsepower. My cost of repairs on this car has been reasonable because the C220 had less features. Now the car is 14 years old and there are some wear and tear items that need to be addressed, but as long as it drivable and safe it should be no problems.
not the best built mercedes
C200 esprit auto,03/21/2010
C220 4dr Sedan
Would i buy another c class merc the answer would be no i would not, for the simple reason that this car just seems to go on and on with never ending faults.As for the body work thats no better than a rusting ford escort from the 1980s. Its a shame because i still enjoy the look of this car and still for some mad reason still like driving it,even when things do keep costing me more money each month and each year. The problem with most of these merc c class models seems to be all the same,with very bad electrical problems like wiper arm gives up working hazard warning switch gives up headrest button stops working, blower fan stops working,along with warning lights flashing at high speeds.
One of the Family
C280 4dr Sedan
Our first near-luxury vehicle. Still gets looks after eight years. Great on the highway. Could not have made a better choice. Recommend highly.
Time To Retire Her 214,000 Later
C220 FAN,09/20/2015
C220 4dr Sedan
I purchased this car 10 years ago from my sister who purchased it new. Thought our journey this car has been nothing but reliable and comfortable to drive. That is, until this last year. Here's the list of issues: 1. A/C has a small crack and therefore no A/C during a SUPER warm summer 2. Front driver and passenger windows won't go up or down (had all wiring redone and still nothing) 3. Interior lights stay on and won't go off (had to pull all the bulbs) 4. Key Fobs stopped working 5. Car dies after starting it when I put it in reverse but restarts fine and still drives fine. There's a handful more issues but I LOVE this car. Yes, it's expensive to repair but I think it's been worth it!


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Used 1996 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Overview

The Used 1996 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is offered in the following submodels: C-Class Sedan. Available styles include C280 4dr Sedan, and C220 4dr Sedan. The Used 1996 Mercedes-Benz C-Class comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1996 Mercedes-Benz C-Classes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Mercedes-Benz C-Class for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Can't find a used 1996 Mercedes-Benz C-Classs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz C-Class for sale - 10 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $22,258.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz for sale - 1 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $16,755.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz C-Class for sale - 5 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $17,229.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz for sale - 6 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $7,372.

Should I lease or buy a 1996 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mercedes-Benz lease specials
Check out Mercedes-Benz C-Class lease specials