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Mercedes-Benz CLK (2005 and earlier)

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  • I have a 3 year old 328 Saloon which I'm due to change for a C230K in the next 2 months.

    The ride is just as good, interior space is similar (though the Merc is much more practical as you can drop the back seats).

    Rarity is what clinched it for me - the 3 series is an excellent car, but is very common over here - since the UK launch in May last year, I've only seen a couple of dozen C230's.

    Can't wait...

    Regards, John
  • Neither the Audi nor the BMW currently offer a hatchback in the USA. As such, the question comes down to if you're really looking for a sedan, or if because of utility preferences, you're willing to consider a wagon to be the relative equal of a hatchback.

    The big difference on costs seem to be that BMW tends to nickel and dime you up...figure $31-32K easily, whereas the Audi gets you because its only available with AWD (which may or may not be a desired option).

    BTW, per a phone call I got last week, the Audi 2002 wagons are going to be starting to arrive at dealerships within the next ~4 weeks.

    Finally, BMW's European Delivery seems to be about the best in the industry in terms of offering value. Audi doesn't offer one at all, and MB's has no price discount.

    -hh
  • Wife & I both were due for new cars; we looked both at C230K & BMW 3 series. I bought the Mercedes; she bought the BMW. I prefer the C230K because: a) more horsepower; b) more gears) c) cloth interior; d) more airbags (including rear seats); e) longer free service plan (4 years vs. 3 years); f) Mercedes was substantially cheaper (especially for a coupe buyer); g) looks; h) feels more substantial. My wife prefers the BMW because: a) engine smoother; b) shifter slicker; c) she prefers a four door; d) she wants separate trunk; e) BMW tradition moves her; f) BMW dealer is closer to home. Either German made car is very satisfying and big improvement over cars in similar price range from American or Japanese companies.
  • jjpeterjjpeter Posts: 230
    Anyone have anything to say about the cold start noise of the C230 Kompressor motor?

    I've noticed our C230 sounds a little "agricultural" when it first lights up. But, once it warms up (after about 30-45 seconds) things smooth out. The earlier model, in the 99 and 2000 C class was even less refined. For this go-around some internal improvements were made to quiet the motor down. I'll say one thing though,,, this little motor goes! Once that blower kicks in, one gets throw back into the seat and its hold on! I don't know of another 4 cylinder motor that is currently on the market (with the exception of the turbo happy VW/Audi 1.8) that has the thump of this German 2.3 liter Kompressor. None.
  • I don't know of another 4 cylinder motor that is currently on the market (with the exception of the turbo happy VW/Audi 1.8)

    The 1.8t VW GTI has 10 HP less, but its curb weight is ~400 lbs lighter, which makes up that shortfall, plus a bit more: the C230 is admittedly a bit on the "portly" side.

    I would say that the old VW Corrado G60 "G-lader" (super charged 4) may have also been a player, but its not been available for years. Similarly, the Corrado G60 had a ~600lb weight advantage on the C230.

    In any event, power isn't everything: there's far more to life and car performance by how fast it can rip in a straight line. Spend any time with a good PCA club and you'll see days where the Autocross course layout strongly favors 914's over 911's with 2x (or 3x!) their horsepower. You haven't lived until you've seen a high horsepower car get taken to the cleaners by a low horsepower but more agile one :-).

    -hh
  • jjpeterjjpeter Posts: 230
    Oh, I agree about other factors involved in car performance beyond power to spin the tires! Its just nice to have a car that responds to throttle input as much as the 230....

    Speaking of 4-cylinder power.... Wasn't it Porche that has a 4 banger that put out over 200 hp in their 968? Wonder what happened to that motor?. I believe it had a fairly large displacement, must have been hard to smog or was not that durable. Do you remember, being an observer of the scene?

    Jay
  • My recollections are pretty slim. It was indeed a large bore, normally aspirated 4-banger (in-line), and Porsche licensed Mitsubichi's counter-rotating shaft technology to keep its vibrations in check.

    Edmund's reports (1995 model) that it was 3.0 liters and:
    Horsepower: 236 hp @ 6200 rpm
    Torque: 225 ft-lbs. @ 4100 rpm

    Overall, the car was received fairly favorably, but its shortcoming seems to be that it was never offered with a turbo (at least in the USA), which is what (IMO) allowed the 944 to avoid the "Not a Real Porsche" stigma.

    The other shortcoming was probably that while it was a "less expensive" Porsche, it never was really all that inexpensive of a car: historically, it was around just before Porsche brought in the Japanese consultants to improve the efficiency of their production processes, as well as initial build quality.

    The philosophical question you need to ask yourself is if you think the 968 was "more" or "less" of a car than the Boxster, and the basis of the question is because their MSRP's were quite comparable. I think most people would answer this as saying that the Boxster is the better of the two.

    -hh
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    I agree the 2.3L Kompressor is quite a motor! I have the less noise-refined one in my '00 C230 4-door. Although it's not the fastest car on the road in either a straight or curved line, I'd swear the thing can fly. I have determined that the car is too fast for me, but I'm not giving it up - it's addicting! Also read an online Consumer Reports road test that gave it a 0 to 60 time of 7.5 seconds versus Mercedes' published 8.1 second time. Not that I'm into racing, it's just nice to know how the numbers compare to others. In the hatchback I'd expect times to be even less!

    In regards to previous posts, at 22 months and 4,500 miles since manufacture, the engine has quieted down some. The Kompressor whine has muted noticeably over the last 1,000 miles - the whistling noise it used to make while cruising through the subdivision at about 20 mph (1400 - 1500 RPM) is almost undetectable now. You still hear the "stage boost" whine above 3000 RPM when accelerating which I find very cool!

    If anyone could please point me to documentation or a website on how the Kompressor is designed and works, I would appreciate it.

    The C230 Hatchback was not available when I bought my car almost 2 years ago, if it were I would have most definitely considered it. Please enjoy your C230 hatchbacks, they are beautiful machines!

    - Paul
  • lukymelukyme Posts: 46
    Just a bit of thought regarding my perceptions after test drives of Audi TT 1.8's and the C230K after about 3500 miles.
    Last year when I was looking for a 2 seater, I spent a fair amount of time with the Audi TT's, as I recall, one Turbo with 180hp and the other with 220hp, approximately. I loved the car, but that turbo was so pronounced when it kicked in that I did not feel good with it. Seems like the boost was so substantial over the normal throttle response that it was lurching all the time. I determined that I was not a fan of turbo chargers, and went looking for something more consistent in the power output. Ended up with a Toyota MR2 Spyder. Not as cool as the Audi, no storage, but liked the engine better. Anyway, after a blissful summer, I decided to get more practical. Enter the C230K.
    This is my first experience with MB, and I drove the C sedans with the V6's and loved the smooth engines. But I wanted the uniqueness of the C230K. I love the car, but think the engine is a bit "unrefined" for such a nice package. With it's Kompressor, it really has a nice bit of punch, and power delivery is so much smoother than those formentioned Turbo's. My only real complaint is the sound it makes when it is not at operating temperature. When I start it when the temps are low (even in the garage) it seems to make more noise than I would expect it to. It also likes to warm up just a bit before starting off. Anyway, just my "not so technical" opinion.
    Otherwise, the car is a jewel.
  • I have been shopping these cars and others for some time. The Audi is too busy inside for me, and their past quality problems gave me pause, plus I realized I was tired of 4 doors. The BMW just felt too small and cramped inside. I'm 6'3" with a long torso, so I got my coupe sans the panorama roof and power seats for maximum headroom. By the way, the coupe gives up only 6 tenths of a cubic foot passenger interior capacity to the C240 and C320 four door sedan models, according to the MBZ, C Class brochure.
    The quality feel and finish of the Mercedes I think is better than the other models. Nothing in the coupe goes unfinished. I also echo the other sentiments, it's nice having something different than all the BMWs, Audis VWs, Toyotas, Hondas, Nissans etc. on the road.
  • Seems like the boost was so substantial over the normal throttle response that it was lurching all the time.

    Sounds like you were driving the 220 HP version more than the 180. My wife has an A4/1.8t and it doesn't seem particularly "boosty" to me at all. Of course, it is an automatic, which will play a part in power delivery (real & perceived).

    - - - -

    The Audi is too busy inside for me, ...

    IMO, the instrumentation layout of the Audi is clearly superior. It has a better tachometer, and the center information display is a less distracting neat little box, whereas on the C230K, it seems that none of the instrumentation gages are "dead ahead" where my eyes naturally fall during an information gage sweep, and the information display is an ungainly trapazoid.

    ...and their past quality problems gave me pause...

    Which alleged problems are these? My wife's experiences with Audi's since 1990 has been good enough that if they still offered the Coupe GT, I suspect that we would have bought our 4th car from that dealership. Our biggest complaint is that with the upturn in popularity of Audi's, its been harder to get service appointments.

    -hh
  • tommyp13tommyp13 Posts: 146
    Hugh, I agree about the tach. It's placed badly and is way too small. Also is displayed in tens, not ones, for some reason. So if you're a real moron, it looks like it's a small speedo.

    But, correct me if I'm wrong, with the TT you either get a fixed roof or a conv, with nothing in the middle. I realize that you wouldn't want a sunroof, but I think that's pretty nasty to not have something available, be it a small sunroof that goes outside the car, or a targa-like contraption.

    Also: who can complain about the baseball stitching? You gotta repect Audi for not taking itself too seriously.

    Does Audi not have the persistent window regulator problems and electronic glitches that VW still has?? The premium on Audis is getting a little out of hand as well, imho.
  • Also is displayed in tens, not ones, for some reason. So if you're a real moron, it looks like it's a small speedo

    Okay, speeding defense plan #1: "But Officer, I was only doing 50." ;-)

    BTW, how are the snow rims working out?

    -hh
  • correct me if I'm wrong, with the TT you either get a fixed roof or a conv, with nothing in the middle.

    Yes, it appears that way (I double checked the Edmunds & AudiUSA websites).

    I realize that you wouldn't want a sunroof, but I think that's pretty nasty to not have something available, be it a small sunroof that goes outside the car, or a targa-like contraption.

    True, but we have to remember that automakers are in business to make money. The TT is a niche product with a low production volume, so adding an optional sunroof will be more expensive to the manufacturer, which means that the typical ~$1K price on more mainstream sedans will have to be higher in order to recoup the engineering costs and maintain a reasonable profit return.

    Let's say for sake of argument that this would have to incur a ~50% (~$500) markup over a generic $1000ish A4-type sunroof.

    Next, the current price differential between the coupe and the convertible is currently only $2000. And that's MSRP; the invoices differ by 10% less: $1780.

    For those buyers who want "sky above", if you give them the choice between a coupe w/sunroof and a true convertible for only ~$500 more, how many of them do you think will spring for the convertible?

    IMO, virtually all of them... even (photosensitive) me!

    -hh
  • tommyp13tommyp13 Posts: 146
    I don't really notice much of a difference in handling, but I didn't push the C7 rims much either.
    I guess that you're right about the sunroof, though I would think that there are people in Northern ares who would like the versatility of the setup that I mentioned. Especially since there's no hardtop for the conv, right?

    What's the projected date for the car coming in? I forget - are you getting rid of another car, or is it just joining the group?
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,458
    I think the C7 Wheels on the C230 are great. They make the car look meaner and more aggressive. I saw a Black one with the C7 Wheels the other day and it looked amazing!

    Do the C7 wheels come shod with z or V rated rubber? What Brand?

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • lukymelukyme Posts: 46
    The 220hp turbo boost to me was annoying. The 180hp was my preference. I would have liked the AWD in the 220hp but for the occasional benefit, I did not think it was worth it. They were std. trans. also.
    But that TT convertible was sweet.
    Anyway, I'm very pleased with the C230K. I really appreciate all the room and storage. It's unbelievable how much stuff I have been able to put in it when those seats fold down.
  • is early March.

    I've kept quiet about it because it was driving a slightly^H^H^H^H^H^H^H (thank goodness for that edit button!) irritating young coworker (who also reads Edmunds) up a wall. Revenge has been sweet :-)

    Configuration was C4 (heated seats) + C7 + Bordeaux Red Metallic. Discount was 3.5% below MSRP.

    There was some unexpected hassles when the first dealership I was at demanded an astounding $300 service fee for processing T&T paper work. I walked out, and they'll be hearing from the BBB in the near future because they misrepresented state laws.

    -hh
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    I learn from the best, according to my co-workers
  • mlsphdmlsphd Posts: 26
    It's common practice in CT for dealers to charge 200-300 for "conveyance fee", just an add on profit gimmick. When I was negotiating for the car, I figured that add in when I gave them the number I wanted to pay. Worked out fine! I got my price, and the salesman got to add back in the $250.

    Going to pick it up tomorrow...
  • It's... just an add on profit gimmick.

    Clearly so. We've now bought multiple vehicles at our local "high end" dealership (Audi/Range Rover/Porsche/Bentley) and they only charge $99, which made this particular M-B dealer's price clearly out of line.

    When I was negotiating for the car, I figured that add in when I gave them the number I wanted to pay. Worked out fine! I got my price, and the salesman got to add back in the $250.

    We were a mere $200 apart on the bottom line of our first time down through the numbers. I was willing to let him move the numbers around so that they "fit" properly, so long as the bottom line didn't change. He refused. I walked. His loss.

    At the other very local dealership, not only did I get the price I was asking for, but the contract terms for my trade-in are more fair, they're closer to where I work than the first dealer, and they just started offering Saturday service hours.

    -hh
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    The the Tags & title are mostly privatized. There's the standard state fees (when you go do a PennDOT license center), but PA also allows companies to charge a fee on top.
  • In NJ, state regulations still allow you to process Title & Tags yourself. This part costs around $75. You're not obligated to pay the dealer an additional fee to do this paper work transaction for you.

    The problem was that "$300 fee" salesman claimed that I couldn't do the paper work myself, which is a misrepresentation of State Law.

    Would you reward a liar by buying a car from him?

    -hh
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    I personally would just walk away from the sale.

    There are people, who don't even know what is going on, and is depending on the salesman for information (and hopefully the truth). Those people would be called "suckers".
  • This is my first MB and the process from being just curious about the new C230 coupe to driving off one was interesting.

    When I was car shopping at Van Nuys, CA one saturday afternoon. I looked and test drove the Subaru WRX. Then I was on my way over to the BMW dealer to test drive the 325ci.

    I saw MB dealer across the street so I decided to check out the C230. I was greeted by a salesperson who told me that it's busy on weekends and he would love to take me to test drive the c230 on a weekday when it's not too busy (since I told him that at that moment I was not considering a MB). So I think it's reasonable.

    I went back during a week night and test drove both auto and manual. But I still need to think about it. A week later I went back and told him that I have decided to get the C230 and would like to give the business to him because he has been very helpful.

    I was upfront with him about me did some research on the car's price/invoice on the internet. I don't expect him not making any profit.

    At the second visit when I asked about the k2a package. he told me that the handset is not included, I have to buy it from parts for $400. he even shown me on the sticker of another car. I told him that the description on the sticker does not state that the handset was not included. He told me just the way MB is.

    I check with other dealers and confirmed that the handset indeed is included in the package. Needless to say, I bought my C230 from another dealership and the rest is history.

    Ed.
  • I finally bought my first MB on 12/30/01. I can't tell you how it drives yet because I still don't have my car. The saga from deposit to now is really long (3 months). I will share my exp. when I get my baby safely home. Right now, I honestly have mixed feelings towards the whole buying experience. There are very good moments and there are very frustating ones.

    Here's my real question.I went to the dealership to pick up my car. The engine started right away but it sounded really loud as if the engine is really cranked up. Does that sound right? I stood by a S class and a CLK to listen. The engines didn't sound like they were working so hard. Any thoughts - am I right, paranoid or ignorant? This isn't the reason why I didn't pick up the car - the trunk won't open! However, I should have my car once they fix the trunk. If there's other things I need them to fix, I want them to do it now and not me keep taking it to the mechanic.

    Please help.
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    chowchow3,

    If you are getting a C230 with the Kompressor engine do not despair, it can be loud on startup. My 2000 model sounds as one poster put it very well, "agricultural" (appropriate for me I guess, as I live in Northwest Georgia among the tractors). Once the car warms up though it should sound fine, in my 7 years of owning C-Classes I have always noticed a tick from the fuel injectors and/or valve train.

    I had read that most of the noise had been worked out in newer models, but perhaps it is because you are new to the car that it seems loud. However, if you still do not feel it is right you may want to bring it to the attention of your Service Rep.

    - Paul_P
  • jjpeterjjpeter Posts: 230
    Sitting on top of the C230 engine is a supercharger, which gives this little engine so much power. The price you pay is this "agricultural" noise one hears at startup. A lot of moving parts are involved with this engine, and it takes a few seconds to get the oil circulated to the top and into the blower (my guess.) Once everything is fully circulating, it quiets down. MB has tested this engine for 100s of thousands of miles and I'm sure its built to last. I kind of like to think of it as a jet engine that lights up when I turn the key, waiting for its master to kick in the throttle and once the supercharger takes over, its like adding the afterburner.

    On another note, I installed mud flaps behind the front wheels this past weekend. Finally went to the channel lock plyers to get those damn clips snapped on, but now the protection is in place, and a nice little complement to the looks of the car.
  • just want to say thank you for your advice on engine noise. Now it only my baby can come home:(
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