There are obvious differences between a new Mercedes-Benz and a certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz, but the similarities between them might surprise you. While many new car shoppers with the means to buy a new Mercedes-Benz will likely dismiss a CPO vehicle as an inferior purchase choice, they’re turning their backs on an incredible group of cars that come dangerously close to (or if not, match) the quality of the newest models from the German luxury giant. The beauty of a good CPO program such as Mercedes-Benz’, is that all of the cars that qualify must be checked with the same scrutiny that the new cars receive. In fact, Mercedes-Benz’ standards are so high that many of their CPO cars could easily pass as new cars. In this article, we will compare the procedure for certifying a pre-owned C-Class with the specifications of a new C-Class. Of course, pricing will also be compared, but determining which one is the better value is completely up to you.
One of the main differences between a certified pre-owned C-Class and a new one is mileage. Mercedes’ CPO program accepts cars that are no older than 6 years and have less than 75,000 miles. We agree– 75,000 seems like a lot. But not all CPO vehicles have that many. Most CPO vehicles have less than 50k miles. And each CPO vehicle is given a thorough and meticulous inspection. If something is worn out, it’s replaced. That being said, a CPO Mercedes-Benz is a used car. For the buyer who demands a flawless vehicle, brand-new would be the way to go. Just expect to pay more.
Because the CPO program accepts models up to 6 years old, there may be generational differences between a new and certified pre-owned C-Class. For example, if you chose a 2006 C280, the differences between that particular car and a new 2009 C300 would be significant as there were many changes made to the C-Class over the years. However, because the CPO program takes only the best used cars out there and then brings them back to showroom condition, that 3-year-old car will feel practically brand new. They’re not going to take a fully-built and modified vehicle in–only something that has minimal wear & tear, from a driver who used the vehicle for commuting, not HPDEs.
Before a car can be certified, all CPO candidates must pass a 162-point inspection including a full road test. During that road test, Mercedes-Benz technicians feel for the slightest imperfections in the drive. After the road test, all worn bushings, boots, shock mounts, ball joints, motor mounts and transmission mounts are replaced. It’s details like these that make all the difference in the way a car drives.
A complete tune-up is performed to ensure that the car’s engine is operating at optimal performance. So how different is a new 2009 C300 from a like-new CPO 2006 C280? Aside from the different body style, not a whole lot. Both have 3-liter V6 engines making 228 horsepower and 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic transmissions. Both have beautifully crafted interiors, complete with leather and high-quality plastics. And most importantly, both drive like new cars.
Not surprisingly, the biggest difference between a certified pre-owned C-Class and a new C-Class is the price. The 2009 C300 Sport Sedan starts at $33,600. A CPO 2006 C280 can range from $19,800 to $26,900, depending on mileage. A new C300 comes with the standard 4-year/50,000-mile warranty, while a CPO 2006 C280 comes with whatever remains of the original 4-year warranty plus an additional 12 months or up to 100,000 total vehicle miles. This warranty is fully transferable and includes Mercedes-Benz’ own 24-hour roadside assistance program. Extended warranties are also available.
Now that you know the differences between the two, hopefully you have an idea of which one you want as your next car.