The Mercedes CLC was released in 2008, replacing the C Class Sports Coupé that had been around since 2001. It is still in production. It was originally a stop gap until Mercedes-Benz got a new compact platform up and running. It got new headlamps and a redesigned grille but retained the Coupé's engine range, a 1.8 litre Kompressor supercharged unit, two V6 petrol engines and the CDi 2.1 litre diesels. There were just two trim choices, SE and Sport. In 2010, the thirsty petrol V6 models were removed from the range and the 160 BlueEfficiency entry-level model was introduced.
Bang for your buck
Mercedes were very keen to stress the CLC was a new car and not just a face lifted C Class Coupé and indeed, there are over 1,100 changes of component. Inside, it does look like the old car with pretty much the same dashboard but with new seats, steering wheel and infotainment system.
On the outside, the CLC's silhouette is familiar but its detail is a lot more modern than the C Class. At the rear, there is a set of stylish LED tail lights. There isn't much room in the back but the boot is an impressive 1,110 litres. The build quality is noticeably better than that of its predecessor, in terms of both the panel fit and the interior finish.
A panoramic glass roof was available as an option and standard features included sports suspension, airbags, parking sensors, electric windows, sports seats, ESP stability control and climate control. The Sport trim added lowered suspension, leather steering wheel, speed sensitive power steering and large alloys.
What you'll pay
Like most Mercedes-Benz models, used CLC cars for sale tend to hold their value very well. A CLC 180K with the SE trim from 2008 will cost at least £15,000 with an automatic transmission. The same car with the Sports trim and manual gearbox will be about £600 more.
If you can find a second hand CLC with the Panorama Pack then it will add about £900 to the price but is well worth it with its twin sun roofs. Diesels start at approximately £17,000 for a 2008 CLC 200 and go up to over £22,000 for a 220 Sport with Panorama Pack and on a 59 plate.
What to check
The Kompressor engines all sound a bit rough so don't worry about that. There are no major faults with the Mercedes CLC but you should have a look at the alloys to see if they have been kerbed and ensure that the traction control and ABS systems are fully functional as there have been some electronic failings. Cars in one of the attractive metallic finishes with air con tend to be easier to sell on so you may want to bear this in mind when choosing a secondhand CLC.
A new set of front brake pads will set you back around £50 and rears are only £25. A full exhaust system will be about £400. A replacement clutch system is approximately £250 while a new radiator is around £150.
These prices are based on the 200 CDi but you should find that part prices are pretty much the same across the range.
How it drives
From the off the approved used Mercedes CLC came with a choice of five engines, the power of which ranged from 122 bhp up to 272 bhp. They have all proved to be good, reliable units over the years. The 200K and 180K supercharged petrols are the best drives, always begging you to put pedal to the metal. The 220 CDi and 200 CDi cut fuel expense considerably, the V6 petrol engines being quick but costly. The petrol CLC 160 arrived later on with its normally-aspirated engine.
Maybe the best compromise choice is the 200 Kompressor with its 183 bhp and nought to sixty in 8.6 seconds.
The Mercedes-Benz CLC doesn't corner or steer as well as the best of its rivals but is still a reasonably entertaining drive and is well suited to those buyers looking for a car to look good in while cruising around town. Having said that, the CLC is understated enough to avoid too much attention and is also a reasonably practical car with a decent sized boot and reasonable repair costs.