Mercedes C-Class hybrid saloon reliability & safety

The C 300 hybrid Mercedes are safe cars, but you have to pay extra to get the best assistance technology

Mercedes C-Class hybrid
Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Reliability & safety rating

3.5 out of 5

Euro NCAPAdult protectionChild protectionSafety assist
5 stars (2020)92%84%70%

The C-Class is a safe car on paper and shouldn't be unreliable, but it's a shame that Mercedes satisfaction ratings aren't higher – and that you have to stump up plenty of extra cash to get all of the best safety and driver assistance features. For context, you have to spend at least £45,759 on a C 300 e or £47,905 on a C 300 de in AMG Line Night Edition Premium trim in order to be able to pick the near-£1,695 Driving Assistance Plus package; a BMW 330e SE Pro with optional £3,650 Technology Plus Pack brings comparable safety features for £43,680, or £45,785 in M Sport trim. 

So, it's not the best value when put against its closest rival, especially if you want as much safety kit as possible – but then again, the average company-car user won't notice much of a difference in their payments.

Mercedes C-Class hybrid saloon reliability & problems

While we don't expect reliability to be any more of a concern here than in any of the Mercedes' rivals, the brand itself hasn't produced overly happy owners recently – at least according to the 2020 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. Mercedes finished 28th overall out of 30 manufacturers – one place behind BMW and three behind Audi. However, running costs and fuel economy were rated poorly – areas where a plug-in hybrid C-Class might do a little better.

Safety

A full five-star rating in 2014 from Euro NCAP means the C-Class should still have what it takes to keep you safe in the event of a crash. Since then, the car has been boosted with a fuller suite of active driver assistance and safety systems, and Euro NCAP has re-evaluated it every 12 months; it retained its five-star rating as of April 2020.

Both plug-in hybrid versions of the C-Class come as standard with attention assistance, dual-stage airbags and Mercedes' Collision Prevention Assist Plus system – essentially autonomous emergency braking that can also warn if you're travelling too close to the car in front. Cruise control is standard, too.

For the ultimate in active on-board systems, you have to step up to AMG Line Night Edition Premium trim and choose the additional Driving Assistance Plus option. This adds modern features like active blind-spot assistance, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and evasive steering assistance that steps in to help if you swerve to avoid a pedestrian detected by the car. The pack costs £1,695 to add.

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