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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedans

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  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    All MB needs to do is to add a small amount of power to the C240. That may be coming with a new direct injection V6.

    Any "reliable" rumors on when a more powerful C240 is on tap? Model year 2006?
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    No, they would say upgrade to the C320.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...that there will be multiple versions [as always - this is a tradition] of the new V6 with the 4-valve heads and direct injection. At the moment, the only one that is out there is the 3.5, currently appearing in the new SLK but soon to be across the line everywhere that the old 3.2 was used. It is presumed that there will be other versions from 2.5 to 2.8 to 3.0 liters...which one[s] of those will appear in our market is up for grabs, and the timing is indeed a big question. I would not be surprised by either scenario: the new engines appearing in the current W203 as a swan song before the replacement car appears....or....waiting until the new body makes its appearance in early '07 [late '07 in our market, as an '08 model]. I can see arguments for both alternatives. In any case, all the V6s and V8s [which share a common architecture and common assembly line] will have the new heads / fuel system before '08.

    Also, their intention is to drop supercharging and go to turbos. The new 4 cyls will be turbos, starting with the B-class which will be in our market in about a year.

    And finally, I'll observe that I find 168 hp perfectly adequate, thank you, and don't need to get to 60 mph any faster than the 8.8 seconds that the C240 manages. What the car needs more than extra power [for me] is the new 7-speed automatic - the gearing on the C240 is noticeably short to keep response reasonably snappy. You could have your cake and eat it too with the new automatic - fuel consumption in this car is out of proportion to the power, precisely because of the short gearing. The new powertrains should be the best of all worlds - more power AND lower fuel use AND lower emissions.

    Incidentally, when the B-class gets here it will probably have a CVT transmission [along with a 6-spd manual] as the optional drivetrain.
  • rqcrqc Posts: 95
    I hope they don't switch to turbo power. The low end grunt from a supercharger is a great advantage in their higher performance versions.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...they've already announced their intention to drop superchargers in favor of turbos.

    The drivetrains for the new A-class have already been announced. Anything with forced air is a turbocharger, not a supercharger. The AMGs are all going to turbos on the V8s [hasn't this already happened ? I don't pay that much attention to the AMG side of the house].

    They claim they have solved the turbo lag problem with what amounts to a turbo-within-a-turbo design. Don't know who is the OEM here [Garrett? AirResearch? Fill-in-the-blank?].
  • When I bought mine in 2001, there were lot of complains about the new C320. I though, well, this may not happen to me. You know what, I was wrong.
    By the way, do you guys know how to show them a randomly-happened issue? The most recent problem is when open door from inside driver's side, sometimes, only one door is opened, sometimes all four. Another random problem is the fuel gauge, sometimes malfunctions, this casued me stopped in the middle of a high way in April, right now it happens again.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    .....is well known by all dealers, or should be. There are multiple TSBs out on it. The problem, I believe, is the sending unit...a problem, incidentally, which is shared by ALL of the German makes. VW, Audi, etc. have all managed to buy the same parts from the same suppliers. The alleged cause is the higher sulfur content in some American gasoline, or so I've read.

    Our '02 C240, which for most of its life has been fed Calif RFG, has not exhibited any symptoms beyond the occasional [twice in two years] situation where the needle is slow to finally hit the full mark after a fillup. It does get there eventually...this has happened only twice.

    My list of C-Class TSBs is in the car, which is 3 floors below me in the condo garage. I'll check to see if there is anything on the door locking solenoid the next time I'm down there.
  • Your random door "problem" is a feature controlled by how you open your door with the remote. RTFM...like I did when I thought I had the same "problem". If you open just the driver door remotely then only the driver door will unlock when you turn off the engine. Activate remote button twice to enter then all doors will unlock when you turn off the engine. "Over-engineered?" Maybe, but it makes sense. I don't follow your fuel gauge problem. Yes, I had several/many problems with my '01 C320 but they were all fixed (eventually, when parts arrived) under warranty. None of the problems affected reliability. I like the car and intend to keep it a much longer.
  • John -- it's been a while and I've lost your email address. If you email me privately I will tell you the outcome of the situation with my C320. Thanks. sl561@comcast.net

    Sherrill
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    I tried to send an e-mail to SL561@comcast.net [that's correct, right?] and the system kicked it back.

    In any case, I'm at jrct9454@comcast.net.

    Yes, I'd like to hear how it turned out. If you were dealing with MB-Sacto, I'd also like to know whom you were working with. As you probably know, we are now 600 miles north in Vancouver WA, right across the river from Portland. Only thing I miss about the new arrangement vs the old is my well-lighted private garage...the condo garage is not the same for a car nut...
  • I sent you a private email, but I think comcast has been having some problems the last couple of days, at least here locally.

    Sherrill
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    Hi,

    I'm new to this board but it is looking more and more like my next car will be a C320 Luxury Sedan. Does anyone know when the introduction of the 2006s will be? Will it happen in May, as with the 2005s or will they go back to the more usual September time frame?

    Thanks
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Since there will be no big changes as there were this year, look for the '06 release in the Sept-Oct time frame.

    This year's timing was all about the facelift; they wanted to get the cars out there as soon as the plants were producing the cars with the changes. I see nothing like that for the '06 models.

    2007 will see the intro of the successor car; EU availability in early '07, late '07 here?
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    Thanks for the reply!

    Now, another question(s) for someone who is familiar with the European Delivery program:

    1) Is there a minimum time required in Germany? Can you just drive across town and drop off the same day?

    2) When is payment required?

    3) How do you handle a trade-in? Do you have to surrender your old car in advance and go without it for a while?

    4) Do you or do you not pay the destination fee? The MB website is especially unclear about this.

    5) Can you negotiate down from the 7% discount?

    6) Do dealers try to tack on additional fees like dealer prep?

    7) When and how do you schedule the factory tour?

    Thanks again
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    Looking more closely at the ED section of MB's website and crunching some numbers it appears that they calculate your ED price by taking 93% of MSRP and then charging invoice price for any options you buy. Then they add the destination charge. Is that correct?

    Since invoice = 93% of MSRP, another way of stating the above is you get the vehicle for U.S. invoice plus destination fee. (That still leaves unanswered whether the dealers try to stick you with other charges like advertising or dealer prep.)
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Ah, my favorite subject!

    -No minimum time. You can drive it directly to a dropoff point if you want.

    -Payment - I think the online site covers this - payment is due x number of days prior to delivery - think it's 30 or 60 days.

    -Trade-in - You trade your old car whenever you're ready to give it up. Of course, that means it is valued as of that time. In practice, that means you are on the hook for two cars until your new one arrives back in the states, OR you give up the old one for some time while the whole process plays out. Thus, you have to be able to handle the financial implications of not having a simultaneous trade and delivery, or handle the entire price of the new car for 60-90 days.

    -Destination fee - no, you don't pay it, which is no small thing the way they keep jacking it up every year.

    -Negotiations - in theory, the dealer can discount the price further. In practice, there is very little wiggle room. Generally, the price is what it is. In the "olden days" of 20% margins, the discount was half [10% profit], and it was common for some dealers to discount further...no more.

    -Add-on fees - nope, an honest dealer should handle this at no extra charge, only what is charged to every other customer [local license fees, sales tax, and a modest document fee are all common to both kinds of transactions]. If you encounter any resistance, buy from someone else. Use the internet if your local dealer is clueless or resistant on EU delivery.

    -Factory Tour - ....and it's a highlight! You don't have to schedule in advance. When you show up at the Delivery Center in Sindelfingen, you'll be given the option to take the tour either before or after your "delivery ceremony". And check out the status of the MB museum in downtown Stuttgart - they are building a new one, and I don't know the current situation, but you should ask - it's another must-see for any enthusiast.

    You have the basic numbers right, per your second post.

    Anything else? I highly recommend this to everybody who wants to drive their Mercedes at least once in its native habitat. I always look forward to driving in Europe, and particularly Germany. In general, drivers are SO much better than here - more alert, better trained, and faster on their feet. It takes a day or two to get acclimated, and then you go with the flow.
  • amohraamohra Posts: 7
    How does the supercharger work differently than turbocharger? Don't both systems compress the air intake?

    Thanks for the info.
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    Thanks again for the reply! I've been reading some of these previous posts here. (Not all 7,000+ though!) I must say you strike me as quite the gentleman. There's a big contrast between you and some of the younger posters. Plus, with 14 MBs under your belt you definitely know whereof you speak.

    So you've done an ED too?!? I'm not too surprised, really. I have a trip to Germany scheduled for June, so it's a possibility but I will need a new car around March 1, so I may let the dealer convince me to buy something off the lot...
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    This URL has the answer to your question:

    http://auto.howstuffworks.com/question122.htm

    One failing of turbochargers in the past has been a lag between the demand for acceleration and the kick-in of the turbo but it seems this problem has been solved by a number of manufacturers -- which may be why MB is getting away from the supercharger. I rented a diesel turbo Passat this summer in Italy and drove it for over 6200 KM and never once noticed any turbo-lag.
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    Oh, I DO have another question. You spoke about shopping around for the best deal. I currently have a BMW and with them, if you don't buy from the servicing dealer you don't get a free loaner. Is it that same way with Mercedes?
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    Are you sure it's invoice price on the options and not the normal list price?
    BMW ED has a similar discount on the base MSRP, but there is no automatic discount on the options.
  • rqcrqc Posts: 95
    Turbos work best on engines with enough low end torque that they don't need help at low RPM (before exhaust pressure has gotten the turbo spinning)- diesels and V8/V12 engines. The size of the turbo and the amount of pressure it is allowed to develop determine how quickly the boost kicks in and how much it helps. A small turbo will spin up faster (less turbo lag, lower engine RPM, less exhaust pressure) but will hit it's maximum boost earlier and will probably leave the engine a bit weak at higher RPM. A bigger turbo can develop more boost but can suffer from more lag. You avoid that by keeping your RPMs up so the turbo is creating boost.

    A supercharger is typically driven off the crankshaft like the alternator and A/C compressor, so boost is always present but this adds parasitic drag to the drivetrain.

    I can't believe MB is abandoning superchargers. It's much harder to tune a turbo to give good performance over a wide range of driving situations. It's not going to matter for a good V8 or the V12, but it will be harder to avoid compromises on a 4 or 6 cylinder.
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    I took delivery of my BMW in Europe, so I know the pricing is different.

    I'm not SURE about the MB pricing. I just went through the ED configuration webpages up to the point that a price was given for my proposed vehicle, including options. That price equaled invoice for the base car AND the options.

    Anybody have an answer for me about free loaner cars if you didn't buy at the servicing dealership? This will be very important in my purchasing strategy.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    The prices posted on the website are dependable. Whatever it says....

    On the loaner question: each dealer is allowed to set their own policy, so unfortunately, the only way to be sure is to ask. Practices vary from being very generous [every service customer gets some kind of transportation] to parsimonious [nothing at all, or restricted to people who bought their cars there, and even then not always available]. Needless to say, a competitive market helps [more than one dealer in the area, preferably owned by more than one person or entity - we had multiple dealers in Sacramento, and same here in the Portland OR area, but under common ownership in each case...no real competition].

    You're not likely to get a lower price on MB overseas delivery by shopping around - there's just nothing much to work with. However, some dealers are more welcoming and knowledgeable about EU delivery than others, which can break a tie if you need to.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    It's true MB has a long history with superchargers, but they have taken the decision to switch to turbos. I can guess at the reasoning, but without having a corporate talking head in the room, it would only be a guess.

    Keep in mind that outside of North America, the worldwide market is over 50% diesel...sometimes pushing 80% or more depending on the model and the locale.

    And a final thought - there were a lot of complaints in the past about the noise and general roughness of the supercharged 4s from MB. Over several years, they made a lot of improvements, but maybe decided it wasn't worth it to keep trying to push this rock uphill.
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    Too bad if you must pay full Euro Delivery MSRP withe the C Class. It is not as if the dealerships are personally discounting them the 7%. Their invoice cost is also reduced, plus it is an extra sale that doesn't count against their limited allocation. So, they can't say they will hold out and see if they can get a few hundred dollars more from the the next person that walks in if they lose this sale because this sale would have been an "additional" sale that is now lost forever.
     I priced out a 2005 230 sedan with the ED discount and it didn't price very competitively with a 2005 ED BMW 325 optioned out the way I'd want it.
    The 325 can be had in the range of $1500 to $2000 above the ED invoice after shopping around and you also get 4 years free maintenance along with at least average reliability and a smoother engine with the BMW.
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    It almost sounds as if you're trolling. This board is too dead for that, anyway. If it weren't for jrct9454 you could put a fork in it. Too bad, because I'm enthused about my upcoming C-class purchase and this is the only board I've found that's inhabited by "grownups".

    Anyway, I've done the BMW thing, and it's Mercedes time...
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    No. I like the "looks" of the C230 and the new 2005 interior update, so I looked up the pricing to see if I could justify it by price compared to a 325i, but the poor quality control rankings and now no more free maintenance, plus MBUSA's lax loaner program policy that lets dealers do whatever they want is making it look less and less attractive other than just it's appearance when brand new.
    On top of that it looks like a C230 Sport Sedan with options would actually cost MORE money than a discounted similar 325i even before adding the maintenance costs.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Without being argumentative, I should mention that BMW dealers' loaner policies are just as variable as MB's. These programs are not directly paid for by the corporate parents nor by their US subs. The loaner programs are strictly up to the dealers in both cases - what the manufacturers do is make it attractive financially to participate by offering low financing and hefty buybacks on cars that are used as loaners, which then can be "certified" and sold just as profitably as used cars.

    I chose our C240 over a 325 at least partly because, in the urban market in which we lived at the time, the MB dealer was both closer and considerably easier to get along with than the BMW guy. The actual differences between the cars were [and continue to be] VERY slim - small things that are ties that can be broken either way. I've said here before that anybody who picks a 3er over a C gets no serious argument from me. These are matters of personal preference that don't need real justification to strangers. But BMW's loaner policy is not different from MB's, no matter what you've been told to the contrary.

    And yes, the 325 is a very attractive proposition on EU delivery. The savings are substantial, and for me, more importantly, you can get the car the way you really want it. Both BMW and MB dealers tend to order cars for our market that have too many options that I regard as completely useless, or in some cases, worse than useless. EU delivery offers both an attractive price and the ability to truly customize the car...for either make.
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    my BMW dealer has the policy of no loaner if you didn't purchase your car there. That has proved not to be a big deal in my case because with 43,000 miles on the car I've had nothing go wrong with it so far. With the Mercedes, I think it important that I make sure I have free loaners. Personally, I would never argue the 230 over the 325i simply because I've had my fill of 4 cylinder engines. The inline 6 in the 325i is a beautiful engine. But, I feel sure that both sixes offered in the C-class will satisfy too.
This discussion has been closed.