There were 3 generations of this car, and each was given a different name to differentiate them. The W202 was made from 1993 until 2000, the W203 was sold from 2000 until 2007, and the W204 is being sold from 2007 and onward.
Although these cars started out as the most affordable Mercedes, that honor was given to the A-Class supermini in 1997.
The engines on the first C-Class models ranged all the way from an I4 to a V8. In some markets there was a diesel V6 sold with these cars. These engines were paired with a 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic transmission. There was also a 5 speed automatic offered on some models.
The second generation was sold in 3 body types: the 3 door hatchback, 4 door sedan, and 5 door station wagon. It was sold with a 6 speed manual or 5 speed automatic, with certain models also getting the specially engineered 7 speed automatic engine.
The latest generation is a 4 door saloon car. A V6 is the top engine, but the smallest I4 engine is a Kompressor.
These cars are out there on the used car market, but only in certain areas. If your area is more likely to have used Ford Pintos than a Mercedes, try looking on eBay.