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2006 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

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2006 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Review

Offers a wide range of luxuries in a mid-tier package.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2006 Mercedes-Benz C-Class belongs to the second generation that premiered in 2001, providing a more modern take on the previous decade’s offering. This entry-level luxury sedan includes a long lineup of impressive trim levels, with plenty of optional features and all the comfort and reliability that Mercedes-Benz generally offers.

The C-Class received full interior and exterior upgrades in 2005, and the 2006 family builds upon these improvements with a number of further refinements. While the C-Class’s wagon and coupe body styles are no longer available, Mercedes still offers a full range of trim packages and optional features, along with three V-6 engine options.

The C-Class classifies as an entry-level luxury vehicle, but it still comes with a relatively hefty price tag compared to other sedans in its class. With the wide selection of models, however, the C-Class has a broad appeal for a diverse range of drivers.

The Range

Body styles: four-door sedan
Engines: 2.5-liter V-6 (C230), 3.0-liter V-6 (C280), 3.5-liter V-6 (C350), 5.4-liter V-8 (C55)
Transmissions: six-speed manual (Sport models), five-speed automatic, seven-speed automatic
Models: C230 Sport, C280 Luxury, C280 Luxury 4MATIC, C350 Sport, C350 Luxury, C350 Luxury 4MATIC, C55 AMG

What's New

Mercedes-Benz has removed the coupe and wagon body styles from the 2006 C-Class lineup, focusing instead on the family’s impressive collection of luxury coupes. All C-Class sedans now come standard with a V-6 engine. The C230 receives a new 2.5-liter V-6; the C240 is now the C280, with 3.0 liters; and the old C320 has upgraded into the C350 and 3.6 liters. The C55 AMG sports sedan, which debuted in 2005, remains unchanged in 2006 with its 5.4-liter V-8.

The new 4Matic-equipped vehicles offer all-wheel drive and an improved five-speed automatic transmission, while a new seven-speed automatic transmission comes on all rear drive models.

All 2006 C-Class models also include active front head restraints as a standard feature.


The 2006 C-Class boasts a classic but sporty exterior. Its muscular body rides on alloy wheels and 16- or 17-inch tires, depending on the trim level. A full spectrum of exterior paint colors is available. Other standard exterior features for all C-Class models include automatic headlights, foglights, heated and power-adjustable exterior mirrors, power windows, and a rear wiper. Optional additions include HID headlights, a rear spoiler, splashguards, and electro-chromatic mirrors.


2005’s makeover brought a wealth of upgraded comforts and technology to the C-Class and the car maintains its level of interior luxury in 2006. The sedan’s sleek cabin comes standard with power front seats, dual-zone climate control and rear ventilation ducts, leather upholstery, alloy and leather trim, and speed-sensitive volume control for the car’s six speakers. One drawback remains: the sedan’s relatively short length, around 178 inches, limits rear legroom a bit.

Performance & Handling

Mercedes-Benz offers three powerful V-6 engines with the three sedan models of the C-Class family. The C230’s 2.5-liter engine carries 201 horsepower, the C280’s 3.0-liter engine measures in with 228 hp, and a 3.5-liter engine with 268 hp powers the C350. Meanwhile, the sporty C55 AMG’s 5.4-liter V-8 pulls in 362 hp. The 4Matic option in the C280 Luxury and C350 Luxury models offers all-wheel drive for increased control. The 2006 C-Class provides more athleticism than past Mercedes-Benz sedans. The 2006 C-Class offers a comfortable, refined driving experience and an all-around luxurious ride.


The 2006 C-Class provides all the standard safety features expected of a luxury sedan, including stability control, traction control, three-point seatbelts with tension limiters in all seats, and four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. Front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags come standard on all models, with rear-seat side airbags remaining optional.

Mercedes-Benz doesn’t stop with the basics, however, even in its less-expensive models. Additional high-tech safety offerings include emergency braking assist and electronic brakeforce distribution, a remote anti-theft alarm system, and an engine immobilizer. The entire 2006 C-Class lineup earns top scores all around in both frontal and side crash tests.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mercedes-Benz C230 Sport: 18/27 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz C280 Luxury and C350 Sport: 18/26 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz C280 Luxury 4MATIC: 17/24 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz C350 Luxury: 18/27 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz C350 Luxury 4MATIC: 17/22 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz C55 AMGL: 15/20 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Broad selection of trim levels and accessories
  • High-tech safety features
  • Powerful V-6 engine
  • Luxurious interior

You Won't Like

  • Unremarkable cabin design
  • Limited legroom in back seat
  • High price
  • Only offered as a sedan

Sum Up

Offers a wide range of luxuries in a mid-tier package.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • BMW 3 Series
  • Audi A4
  • Acura TSX
  • Infiniti G35

See the New 2015 C-Class.

Front & Driver Side View

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