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Mercedes-Benz CLK (2005 and earlier)

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Comments

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    I've had a long relationship, though dormant for the past few years, with Franz Krieg at the dealership in Belmont [though we go back to the Brugger days in RC]. I have also had successful dealings with Stead in WC, with Norm Micheals; cannot recommend Stead's service dept, but that's irrelevant for your purposes.

    Understand, there is probably no dealer in the SF area that wants to talk discounts on the Coupe...that doesn't mean you shouldn't be treated with respect, or shouldn't try hard to get the best deal you can. LA just has so many dealers and such a big market that you have a better chance of getting a discount of some kind.
  • jjpeterjjpeter Posts: 230
    I'll save my energy and sanity for other things then getting my "deal" on a car. Based on the fact that MB dealers are selling every coupe they get in at MSRP, in fact they have no inventory on them, every one that comes in is ordered in advance. If you want to arm wrestle over a few hundred dollars, pull the "walking out now from this deal" bs in order to get what you want, then there are hundreds of dealers that "need" your business. From the impressions I've had of MB dealers, they are very professional, polished and offer the best automoblies on the planet. Lowballing them on a car like the coupe is a waste of time and the effort can best be saved for trips to Nissan and Mitsubishi dealers.

    Pay for quality and be done with it.
  • mlsphdmlsphd Posts: 26
    I am sure practices vary in different areas of the country. Fortunately, in the NY Metro area, I have 10 dealers within about an hours drive. After looking at the car at the closest dealer, I told them I was going to do some price shopping, but would give them an opportunity to meet my best offer. For the remainder of the shopping, no arm wrestling or threats required. Just a bit of polite telephoning and saying: "I am prepared to order this car today. I would like to buy the car for 3% over invoice and want to know if you would be willing to sell at that price." Some said no, but some called back with offers. Four dealers were quite willing to compete on price. (The final price was a savings of about $1700 over what someone walking in and paying what was asked would have paid.) Yes, dealers may be selling all they get, but with enough dealers around someone is going to offer a discount so that THEY get the sale. A credit card number over the phone for deposit, and a faxed order to confirm. Now I am waiting for delivery.

    Since service departments operate as separate "profit centers" for the dealerships, they are quite happy to get warranty/service work whether the car was purchased there or not.

    Hope other prospective buyers will enjoy the benefits of polite competitive shopping. Savings of $1000+ are, in my book, quite worth the effort of a few phone calls. (and, at that rate, pays quite a bit better than I bill for my regular hourly rate.)
  • jjpeterjjpeter Posts: 230
    I'll save my energy and sanity for other things then getting my "deal" on a car. Based on the fact that MB dealers are selling every coupe they get in at MSRP, in fact they have no inventory on them, every one that comes in is ordered in advance. If you want to arm wrestle over a few hundred dollars, pull the "walking out now from this deal" bs in order to get what you want, then there are hundreds of dealers that "need" your business. From the impressions I've had of MB dealers, they are very professional, polished and offer the best automoblies on the planet. Lowballing them on a car like the coupe is a waste of time and the effort can best be saved for trips to Nissan and Mitsubishi dealers.

    Pay for quality and be done with it.
  • Any dealer preferred by MB customers in Denver? There are only two - Murray & MB of Littleton. Ready to go order the coupe. I'm a little leery about the issues people have with the manual shifter; my current car is a Miata with the very best shifter/trans/clutch I've ever owned. Don't want anything as sloppy as those Volkswagens so I'm hoping the manual MB does not put me off.

    Also wondering about any European delivery program. It has been years since I've inquired about that at an MB dealership. Does it still exist; is it available for the coupe and are there substantial or any savings for someone going to Germany anyway? Thanks
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Yes, it still exists. Yes, it applies to the Coupe. No, there are no longer any substantial savings associated with the MB program, beyond saving the cost of renting a car while you are there. The only savings starting a couple of years ago is the amount of the US delivery/freight charge, which is what, $645 this year? And the last iteration of the program on the website failed to mention even this miniscule savings, so you may have to ask a dealer to be sure.

    My rule of thumb these days is that the program makes no sense unless you really want to drive the car in EU [vs a rental alternative]; prepayment requirements, and the time elapsed after you drop the car vs when you take re-delivery at home, mean also a cost-of-money factor that needs consideration...though with interest rates so low these days, that's less important than it was a year ago.
  • I put nothing down.
  • hirobynhirobyn Posts: 10
    I'm looking to purchase a C-coupe in 3-6 months and I'm having difficulties deciding on whether to get the stick or the automatic.

    I've driven both but that has not helped in my decision. I've never owned a stick so, I can't judge whether it's "smooth" or not. I've driven my friends cars but not long enough to become real confident with it. I like the idea of having a stick and I know once I drive it I'll get use to it and I will get the timing down. (No, I didn't make is stall or jump. I just waited till NO cars were even close to me before pulling out of the MB dealership.)

    However, I don't want to order a stick to find out that the stick stinks (and it's not just my inexperience) and I should have gotten the auto.

    Please let me know what your experience and thoughts have been on stick vs. auto.
  • jjpeterjjpeter Posts: 230
    Driving a stick is an acquired skill. After time, and someone to instruct you, you'll be shooting out into tight spots with confidence. Each car has its precise take up point and the timing of applying gas and letting out the clutch will come to you. I'm not so sure though you'd want to "learn" all of this in a brand new Mercedes. Drive a 5 speed beater for a while till you've mastered the stick. Based on feedback from a number of contributors to this board, the six speed in the coupe is not world class. The "standard" seems to be flying at the BMW and Acura dealers. So, test drive some manuals over there and then come back to the three pointed star to compare. Personally, I'm ready for an automatic, and our silver kompressor will arrive this week at the dealer so equipped. Call it giving into a 51 year old left knee that needs a rest....
  • I concur wholeheartedly with jjpeter's post. I've driven the 6 sp after a long layoff from manuals and found it a little off putting. Not so much from the 'feel' but from the location of the shift lever compared to the center arm rest. If the shift lever were a couple of inches longer it would have worked much better. Also like jjpeter I gave in to old knees (and my wife's preference - after all I have to live with her)on my silver kompressor and have been very happy with my choice. I still get 25+mpg driving quite fast on fine twisty roads so the premium gas cost is not a real factor.

    Get what you feel comfortable with and ignore any pressure that you 'have' to learn to drive a manual shift car to be a 'whole' person. After all the 'standard' shift in cars is now an automatic.
  • c702000c702000 Posts: 39
    Just got my Red C230 Coupe, now I have not driven a stick in 20 years, but back then I did race my 240Z and was glad to get back to sport driving. I fine the stick to be just fine, after a little getting use to,it works just fine. In a couple of months will try autocrossing and see if I still have it. Best of luck on your choice, either way it's one great car for the money and you will enjoy.
    Regards Tom
  • hirobynhirobyn Posts: 10
    Thank you, jjpeter, rockribbed, and c702000. Your advice will help me in my decision and I appreciate it.

    I have driven the Acura RSX Type-S (6 speed manual) and found it very responsive and a bit easier then the MB. Now, that could be because the Acura had 88 miles so I wasn't afraid to step on it. And I know the engine performs best when at high rpms. (The dealer even told me to take it to 6000 before switching gears!) :-) The MB only had 5.2 miles and I didn't want to hurt the engine by stepping on it. And that is why I feel the Acura seemed more "fun" to drive then the MB.

    I'm sure once the MB is mine and I feel comfortable with the clutch, it will be as fun (if not more) to drive then the Acura.

    Again, thanks for your response.
  • tommyp13tommyp13 Posts: 146
    While I really like my c230, and have gotten used to the manny tranny, I wouldn't say that the transmission is my favorite part. Downshifting is still a little odd in it. While I haven't driven the rsx, I do think that it is a more fun car to drive, if that's your only consideration (from my experiences with integras and civics, as well as my '90 crx). Honda has the best trannies in the business, and the rsx will be a more sporty-feeling car. But, a car is more than that, of course. I thought that the c230 was a much better overall car, obviously, but I wouldn't be so quick to discount the rsx.

    If I were you, I'd base my opinions on what the actual cars felt like on your test drives; 83 miles aren't going to make much difference in terms of transmission smoothness. If the rsx felt better, it's because it has a better tranny, as well as a higher redline (which is why the salesperson didn't cringe at 6k). You might want to take them both back out again, with as little time as possible between them, and re-evaluate.
  • skobolaskobola Posts: 207
    I am kind of surprised when some of you said that the auto is exactly like a stick, only without clutch. I drove a MBCC at the MB event and found it solid, sure-footed, very balanced. However, it was an auto, and it was very, very slow shifting/guessing the gears. Maybe I found it that way because I currently have a 99 BMW 323i with Getrag manual transmission, which is pretty much perfect. So, based on my experience with MB's auto transmission, I would certainly go for a manual - though, I will have to test drive it first, just to make sure that this will be it. And, of course, if I get a Bimmer for the same or less price (lease), than I will be going with it, as MB CC is currently my possible less-expensive alternative to the Bimmer. Maybe some of you could share your lease deals with me - my e-mail is in my profile. Thank you.
  • Insofar as the Auto/Manual question, its a personal choice. I very strongly prefer the greater control afforded by Manuals, and I do not plan for the foreseeable future ever buying a car that doesn't have a manual transmission. However, I recognize that the real strength of an Automatic is in stop-N-go traffic and I don't have any of that on my commute to work...but IMO, this is YA "quality of life" choice/trade off we all make.

    I did a test drive of a C230 with the automatic two months ago, back when I still had some free time. Overall, I found its characteristics to be extremely similar to my wife's A4.

    Particular to the transmission, I did play with the Mercedes "Tiptronic" shift, and I found that it has the same aggravating flaw that the A4's TIP has: a perceptible delay between input and the gear change.

    I do plan on test driving the C230 again with a manual. If the MB has a poor manual shifter, it will be another factor...and I know that both Audi and BMW offer small wagons that are an alternative to the utility of a hatchback.

    -hh
  • bccoupebccoupe Posts: 11
    Dear Forum members, I would like to begin by saying I am a newbie on the forum here. I live in the S.CA area and have places my order on a silver C230 coupe auto,C5,C7,Tele Aid,and the COMand Navigation system. The Price I was quoted not including tax and licensing came out to be $33065 with the options that I wanted but after doing alittle wheeling and dealing I got the sales person to throw in the CD changer which he said was $750! I jumped at the deal and put my $1000 dollars down and should be getting delivery sometime before X-mas ( fingers Crossed ). I wanted to bring up another subject though and that was the deal with the auto vs 6spd Delimma I had. I had taken a test run of the coupe at a prior dealership and found that the 6spd was as stated in the post before very notchy, the clutch and the trani just seem to not match well and I found shifting to be alittle difficult. I was not able to get a good run and feel for the engine becuase of the fact that it was late and there were too many cars on the road and the fact that the gas light was on didn't help any. I currently drive a 95 Twin Turbro Supra 6spd and have owned many cars previous that also had a manual trani. I found the Coupe's trani to be the most fustrating to use. Rowing through the gears seemed pretty fluid but there was just that lack of feel and the clutch engagement I am use to. I originally came into the dealership with my mind made up that I was going to choose a manual trani but after the test drive I opted for the auto with the sport shift function. I had also the same day tested the auto trani but not on the C230 because there were none so equipped at the dealership I was at. The sales person did however take me out in the C240 and let me get a feel for the auto. Driving around Pasadena around 5-6pm didn't give me a chance to shift and test the limits on the auto as I liked but when I did tap the lever I noticed alittle lag but the power delivery and gear change were fairly smooth. Being located in S.CA and dealing with the usual traffic jams here I could see myself scarificing some speed for some practibility. It seems from the Forum that there are a few if not many people here who are still looking for a good deal on a Coupe, indeed it is difficult to get the dealer to budge from the MSRP considering they are having a hard time even keeping the cars on hand but I would encourage anyone looking to buy a Coupe if they are on the West Coast preferibly in CA that they look into the southern California market. I am orignally a native of northern CA and have checked prices up north as well as down in S.CA and have noticed dealers being more flexible here in the LA area compared to the bay area. I will comment on one dealership I had problems with and that was Rusnak Mercedes in Pasadena. Rusnak has built quite a name for itself in the southern California market and I am surprised to see the type of training there sales associates receive in particular my sales person who I belive was Stanely. This was my second trip into the dealership and having talked with Stanely about pricing I came in with a check in my pocket. I was fully ready to put down my deposit, in my previous trip talking with Stanely we had agreed on a price for the options I had wanted on the coupe this he wrote down and I had verfied and we had come to a verbal agreement on this amount. I had previously been on the MB site and had built the car I wanted and done my homework and figured out a pretty exact price for the car. When Stanely presented me with the figures on my first visit I noticed for the same options the price was about 2 grand less then what I had expected, I was befounded and asked him clearly again if the numbers were correct and he assured me after looking at the list he made me were correct and I told him I'd be in with a check the following day. When I returned the following day I met with him and we sat down to takecare of the paperwork, again I asked him about the price which he seemed somewhat evasive about. I asked him to take out the list he had drawn up for me with the prices and he stated that they were upstairs and that he would just start over and draw me out another list ( another evasive move ) When doing so however the price came out to be 2 grand over what he orignally stated and I asked him to please bring the list that he wrote previously but instead of going upstairs he went over to a cubicle behind where we were sitting and fumbled through some papers and brought out the list he had made. Basically after checking the list he told me had made an error in his calculations which he later tried to defend by saying he did not have his reading glasses on and must have made a mistake when he calculated the figures. I sat there for what seemed like 10 min while he tried to explain to me how careless he was double checking the numbers. I basically told him that mistakes are made daily but what he did was clearly not a mistake and took my bussiness elsewhere. That said I feel being a dealership that has built a reputation out of selling luxury cars that there sales staff needs a lesson in Ethics. I would have been completely fine if the sales person was upfront with me on the prices I love the car and would have not have had a problem with paying MSRP on the car, but this type of dishonesty and service is just not what I would expect from a Mercedes Dealership! I did finally place my order through Penske Mercedes in West Covina I found that for the most part they were upfront with the pricing and having explained the service I received at Rusnak my sales person Steve Hsia talked his manager into throwing in the CD changer for FREE! Now this is the type of Service I'd expect from a Mercedes Dealership. Having said the above my experince was just an unfortunate one at Rusnak I'd like to think this is just one isolated incedent but I hope it helps out some of the first time buyers in the Southern California market to be on the look out. I guess the saying is true if it looks to good to be true it probally isn't.

    Regards,

    Bruce iibeatdownii@aol.com
  • Now that winter is approaching again, I once again am reminded that I _still_ miss my ancient VW Scirocco.

    Why? Because I could configure its HVAC controls to put heat on my feet and heat through the windshield defroster, yet simultaneously direct refreshingly cool air to my face. Doing this helps keep this driver significantly more alert and clearheaded...I consider it essential to driving safety.

    The amazing technology that allowed this was called a "fresh air vent". They seem to have disappeared from the allegedly more advanced cars of today.

    Yes, I know that some auto makers are offering temperature controls where the driver & passenger have their own choices, but this is a "left/right" HVAC control, not "top/middle(face)/bottom" HVAC control.

    Currently, the HVAC on my Saab and my wife's A4 are such that we can make the interior any temperature we want, but the catch is that it all must be the _same_ temperature from top to bottom. One of our solutions has been to run with a cool cabin with seat heaters on.

    However, in a snow/icestorm, you need to blast the defroster, so this drives up the cabin temperature. I find that I need to run down a power window every few minutes to vent the cabin to cool down the air around my face and head and figuratively avoid passing out.

    This kind of HVAC system is "Progress"? I say not.

    During my brief C230 test drive, I didn't get a chance to really look over the HVAC system controls.

    My question: is it one of these IMO dumb (if not dangerous!) "automatic" HVAC system found on most cars today, or is it actually capable of putting cool air in my face while simultaneously giving defroster heat?

    -hh

    PS: Can't I please just have my fresh air vent back? :-)
  • tommyp13tommyp13 Posts: 146
    there's a wheel at the top of the center console that, when properly adjusted, will allow the system to blow cooler air at you, while doing hot air everywhere else.

    But, like you, I'd rather just have a simple one. My 12-year-old crx's hvac control if far superior in my opinion. Seems like these so-called "idiot-proof" systems actually are harder to get how you want them. I'd prefer to have a simple system that I can control, not the car.
  • Center console vent? Well, that's better than nothing :-). Thanks for the info.

    -hh
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...you can override the automatic air direction to split the air top and bottom just as described. MB does not force you to use the automatic feature - you can override both the direction and amount of the air, as well as adjust the temp.
  • rbraverrbraver Posts: 13
    Does anyone know if MBCC is offering decent rates these days? About the best I've been able to find is 6.19% for 60 months through PeopleFirst or E-Loan. I financed an ML320 with MBCC in 2000 at 8%, but rates have come down quite a bit since then. Thanks.
  • hirobynhirobyn Posts: 10
    Just last week I was at the MB dealership and they quoted me a 60 month loan at 5.88%, this week on Tuesday the rate was now 5.74%. I believe this was with SunTrust Bank (I'm in Florida.)

    The only financing through MB that I heard about was with the balloon payment option. Those quotes started as high as 8.3% but finally came down to 7.2%. However, in this economy that is still too high.

    I chose to wait until I have more money for a down payment and get the regular 60 month financing. I don't see the rates going up anytime soon so I will take my chances.

    Good luck getting a good rate.
  • c702000c702000 Posts: 39
    In Daytona I got 5.1% for 48 months, thur the Mercedes dealer. I now have the car and the waiting was painful, but it was well worth it.
    Tom
  • lukymelukyme Posts: 46
    Just a funny little side note: I picked up my silver C230 yesterday. Absolutely love it, and so many others on the road want to see it too. Good feeling to have something others like. However, it stinks !
    On my way home, on a curvy backroad, I encountered a huge skunk while on a 90 degree corner. Now I'm sure that I could have put all that Mercedes handling goodies to work, but unfortunately, I met another car on this corner, and I did not want to go left of center, so, I felt the inevitable "THUMP.........THUMP". In the rear view mirror was a not so lucky skunk, in the Mercedes (with 30 miles now on the odometer)was a not so lucky, proud, but mortified driver. Well home was only a few miles away, but it was already obvious to me that the skunk got me with some vengeance. My car really stinks. I tried spraying water on the underside and wheel wells, I even took this clean car out for a drive later in the rain to just try to "wash it off". My wife suggested washing the car in tomato juice. Not a good option. Anyway, since we were expecting severe weather moving in last night, I still parked it in the garage, stink and all. Now my wifes SUV and my son's car don't smell so good, and the garage smells too. But it sure looks cool.
  • jrct9454,

    With the way you phrased your response, I'm not sure you understood my inquiry.

    For example, my HVAC system acid test would be:

    Can the HVAC system be configured blow "hot" (~80F) air out the defroster while *simultaneously* also blow "cold" (~60F) air out a front vent that I can aim onto my face?

    The 1984 VW Scirocco does this okay.
    The 1985 Porsche 911 does this very well.

    The 1995 Saab 900S cannot even come close.
    The 2001 Audi A4 can't either.

    FWIW, I have noticed that the automotive industry's trend towards more and bigger glass canopies makes this "winter defrost sauna" problem progressively worse.

    -hh
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Yes, I understood the nature of your question, and certainly my '98 E was fully capable of what you and I both call "bi-level" venting...but you had to fully understand the system and how to fool with it [why they invented owner's manuals] to make it happen.

    No, I doubt that the temp difference between feet and face was as dramatic as you are demanding, but it was acceptable to me.

    And on the skunk problem - take it to a high-pressure self serve wash, and do everything you can reach with the wand...wheels, wheel wells, undertray...anything that might have contacted the animal, including the front valence. Make sure your brakes are not hot - don't want to warp the rotors on your brand new car. Tomato juice is for the small patch on your pants or arm...not practical for this challenge, I'm afraid...
  • The basic problem with skunk stink is that its pretty much a water-insoluble oil.

    Parking the car in the garage is a bad idea, as you've already discovered. Leave it outside to air out, and to prevent the stink from getting into the carpets & seats... you probably have a long road ahead of you now.

    On cleaning up the stink, since you can't dunk the whole car in tomato juice :-), your best bet is to go with a good detergent delivered by a spray hose and wash, wash, wash. There are cleaners that are slightly acid-based, such as "Lemon" or "Orange" based stuff, which might mimic the acidity tomatoes (which is supposedly what makes tomatoes helpful) that might be worth a try.

    There's some cheapie "car wash" kits that let you hook up a soap bottle to your garden hose to make a soapy wash solution on the fly. This would be better than plain water. Douse everywhere you think is reasonably waterproof along the undercarriage, wheel wells, the tires themselves (both sides), etc. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat... until you run out of soap and/or patience.

    Personally, I'd try rotating through different types and styles of cleaners... each will have its own strengths and weaknesses, so they'll attack different parts of the skunk juice formula and be more effective. You might also find something that works great, so you can come tell us what you found! :-)

    The rest is just going to have to be time, to let it fade.

    -hh
  • bccoupebccoupe Posts: 11
    Hello Forum members, I would like to begin by stating that I am also going to be a new C-COUPE owner. I've placed my order for a silver Coupe with the premium package,wheel package,navigation,Tele Aid still considering the option of getting the CD changer(dealer installed) which I agree with most people on the forum that it is an expensive option. My delivery date as told by the dealer is sometime mid December. I'm writing this because I've seen a few post of members who are located in California, I also live in California to be specific near the LA area right now but also call the bay area my home I've lived there for 18 years give or take. I recently came back down from Northern CA and noticed a few ( 3 ) Coupe's in SF and have observed a few running around here near LA also. I am trying to take a survey here to see if any forum members in the West Coast preferably in CA would be interested in participating in a group meet? My goal was to maybe link up with a few members to discuss the car and maybe grab a bite to eat along the way. If I can get enough people interested I would like to set maybe a date that would be convenient for all who would like to attend maybe take some pics of the meets and post them on this forum. Hopefully if all goes well and there's an interest in this we can make these meets a few times a year and in different regions.
    Please contact me at my e-mail address if anyone would like to partake in such an event. Thanks agian all for your time. My E-mail is iibeatdownii@aol.com

    Regards,

    Bruce ~
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    If you haven't joined MBCA yet, you should, if you are interested in group get-togethers; the SoCal sections of the Club are particularly active and have a lot of interesting events. The bi-monthly magazine is well done. $45 a year; go to MBCA.org if you are interested.
  • San Diego here. Ordered my new c-coupe back in July (black, auto, leather, roof, CD-changer (thrown in for free), power seats and BOSE system), it is finally in production and my delivery date is the end of November. The long wait was attributed to my desire for leather. It should be worth the wait though. Would also be interested in the same. JRCT9454 I will check out MBCA also. Thanks again. My email is geosrule@home.com.

    Thanks
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