Mercedes C400 4MATIC W205 sedan (vs. C300)

Mercedes C300 vs. C400: The 6 Differences & Which Is Best?

Ever heard of Mercedes-Benz? Of course, you have! It’s one of the most iconic car brands.

And among their many models, the C-Class stands out as a favorite for many.

But do you know the exact differences between the variants of the C-Class?

If you don’t, we’ll tell you all about them, specifically between the Mercedes C300 and C400.

The main difference between the Mercedes C300 and C400 is that the C300 has a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 241 horsepower, while the C400 has a larger 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine with 329 horsepower.

Ready to explore further? Let’s go!

6 Differences between the Mercedes C300 and C400

Ready to put the Mercedes C300 and C400 head-to-head?

Here are all the differences between them!

1. Engine

Let’s with the heart of any car: the engine.

Here is an overview of the engines of the C300 and C400 and their performance:

MercedesEnginePower (hp)Torque (lb-ft)0 to 62 mphTop speed
C3002.0-liter four-cylinder 2412736.2 seconds155 mph
C4003.0-liter V63293505.2 seconds155 mph

Starting with the C300, it has a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with a respectable 241 horsepower. Pretty impressive, right?

Mercedes C300 C-Class 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
Mercedes C300’s engine

On the other side of the ring, we have the C400. This one’s a bit of a show-off with its larger 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine, which offers more power and smoothness.

Plus, it even offers amazing reliability, considering it’s one of the most reliable Mercedes-Benz models currently available.

And speaking of power, the C400 delivers 329 horsepower! That’s like having almost 90 extra horses compared to the C300, which is also great if you want to tow heavy stuff with your C-Class.

Mercedes C400 C-Class 3.0-liter V6 engine
Mercedes C400’s engine

To sum it up, if you’re looking for more raw power and acceleration, the C400’s engine will give it to you. But if you’re content with a dependable engine that’ll more than meet daily driving needs, the C300 is no slouch.

2. Fuel economy

Now, when we talk about cars, especially luxury ones like Mercedes, our attention goes to the engine’s power.

But fuel economy is equally important, especially if you’re mindful of both the environment and your wallet.

The Mercedes C300 has a combined fuel economy of 27 MPG. This means on a mixed driving route of both city and highway, the C300 will, on average, cover 27 miles with just one gallon of fuel.

Mercedes C300 C-Class grey - side profile

On the other side, there is the more powerful C400. Remember that V6 engine we talked about?

Well, while it offers thrilling power, it does ask for a bit more fuel.

The C400 has a combined MPG of 24. That’s three miles less than the C300 for every gallon. But considering its power output, 24 MPG isn’t too shabby, either.

Here’s the thing: choosing between these two boils down to what you prioritize more.

If you want a balance of performance with better fuel efficiency, the C300 might be your pal. But if you’re willing to trade a few MPG for stronger engine performance, the C400 stands ready.

In the grand scheme of things, both these cars do a pretty decent job of offering power while being relatively kind to the environment (and your fuel budget).

So, hats off to Mercedes for that!

Reader’s tip: Mercedes C-Class: Regular Or Premium Gas? (2024 Guidelines)

3. Rear-wheel drive vs. all-wheel drive

Let’s talk about how these cars deliver power to the ground.

The Mercedes C300 offers more flexibility, as it’s available in both RWD and AWD configurations, while the C400 is only available as an AWD.

If you’re in sunnier climates and enjoy spirited drives, RWD might be your first choice. But if you often find yourself driving on wet or snowy roads, the AWD option can be a lifesaver.

On the other hand, the Mercedes C400 commits fully to the 4MATIC system, which is Mercedes-talk for AWD.

It’s geared towards ensuring consistent power delivery and top-notch road grip in all conditions. It’s particularly handy if you find yourself frequently driving on challenging terrains or just want that extra layer of confidence on the road.

Mercedes C400 C-Class rear with 4MATIC badge

4. Standard features

When you think of a brand like Mercedes, there’s an inherent expectation of top-tier features.

And trust us, neither the C300 nor the C400 disappoints.

However, the specifics of what comes ‘standard’ does vary between the two, and this can be a crucial deciding factor for many.

Starting with the C300:

  • Audio: Here’s a quirk. While the Premium Package on the C400 includes the Burmester Sound system, it’s an add-on for the C300.
Mercedes C-Class Burmester Sound system
  • Driving Assist: It’s got essentials, but some features like Parktronic and the 360 camera are optional add-ons.
  • Seats: The C300 offers a 16-way power seat, but only for the driver.

Over to the C400:

  • Exteriors: This model comes with the AMG exterior package as standard. This means you get that sporty look with chrome deletions, unique AMG rear bumper side air outlets, and a lowered suspension.
  • Driving Assist: Features like Parktronic and the 360 camera? All are standard with the Premium package.
  • Seats: Both the driver AND the passenger get the 16-way power seats.
  • Additional Luxuries: Panoramic sunroof to gaze at the stars and ambient lighting to set the mood? Both come as standard.

5. Wheel size

Believe it or not, the size of a car’s wheels can make a noticeable difference in how the vehicle performs and feels on the road, not to mention the aesthetic appeal.


Bigger wheels often mean lower-profile tires, which can give a sportier appearance and potentially better handling. However, they might also transfer more road imperfections into the cabin.

That means smaller wheels, with their thicker tire walls, generally offer a softer, more cushioned ride.

Now, let’s see what our Mercedes models offer:

Mercedes C300: It comes standard with standard 17-inch wheels. This size is a sweet spot for many, blending a smooth ride with a stylish appearance.

Mercedes C400: This model comes with 18-inch wheels as standard. This not only gives the C400 a bolder, more aggressive stance but also hints at its performance-oriented nature.

So, which will it be: the balanced elegance of the C300 or the sporty flair of the C400?

Mercedes C400's C-Class 18-inch AMG wheels
Mercedes C400’s 18-inch wheels

6. Retail price

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room: the price tag!

After all, every feature, engine tweak, and design element gets factored into the final cost.

The Mercedes C300 had a lower retail price than the Mercedes C400. For example, the C300 4MATIC had a retail price of $41,325, while the C400 4MATIC started at $49,515.

Going to the C400 is a noticeable jump, but remember, it has more power, larger wheels, and a plethora of premium features as standard.

The decision boils down to what you’re seeking.

If you’re looking for that quintessential Mercedes experience with room to customize, the C300 offers a slightly more accessible entry point. But if you want all the luxury features and you’re okay stretching the budget a bit, the C400 is a compelling choice.

Tip: Take a look at this article if you’re interested in buying a Mercedes C-Class: Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reliability: Which Years To Avoid?

What is the best choice? (Mercedes C300 vs. C400)

Deciding between the C300 and the C400? It can be tough!

Mercedes C300 white C-Class side profile

But let’s try to break it down. Here are the things you should consider:

  • Driving Dynamics: If power makes your heart race, the C400’s V6 engine is undeniably tempting. However, if your drives typically involve urban commutes or relaxed highway cruises, the C300’s engine might be all you need.
  • Fuel Efficiency vs. Power: Fuel efficiency might not be the sexiest topic, but let’s be real; it matters. The C300 is the clear winner in this department.
  • Drive Configuration: The C300 is available both in RWD and AWD, while the C400 is always an AWD. This can make the C300 tempting if you’re specifically looking for an RWD vehicle.
  • Budget: Last, but by no means least, your budget is crucial. The C300 is definitely cheaper. Yet, if you can stretch that budget a little, the C400 promises a more comprehensive package of power and luxury.

In essence, the C300 is the practical yet luxurious choice for the daily driver, while the C400 is for those seeking a bit more oomph and premium features straight off the lot.

And hey, there’s no wrong choice here. After all, you’re still driving home in a Mercedes at the end of the day.

One extra note is that if you ever want to get close to the power of the C400 in your C300, you can always consider getting a RaceChip.

RaceChip is a company offering Plug & Drive tuning box systems for many car models. They can be installed by yourself without needing any specialist knowledge or tools.

In fact, it will only take 10 to 15 minutes, and when you buy a RaceChip, you’ll receive car model-specific installation instructions!

Using a RaceChip, you can give your Mercedes C300 a performance boost of up to 54 horsepower and 50 lb-ft of torque:

Mercedes C300 chip tuning results using RaceChip

And the best thing is that a RaceChip is much more affordable than the upgrade from a C300 to a C400. You can check out RaceChip’s website here!

Fun fact: Did you know that the Mercedes C-Class can last over 280,000 miles?


And there we have it!

We’ve put the Mercedes C300 and C400 head-to-head, examining the differences in their engines, fuel economy, features, and more!

If you’re considering these models, we highly encourage you to take them for a test drive.

After all, nothing can truly replicate the feeling of being behind the wheel, experiencing the drive for yourself.

You might just find your dream car in the process.

Tip: If you’re a C-Class owner, don’t forget to check out our favorite phone holders for the C300 or C400!

More C-Class comparisons

Not sure yet about these C-Class models? If so, take a look at these articles instead:

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