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Mercedes-Benz CLK (2005 and earlier)



  • lukymelukyme Posts: 46
    When it comes to car rattles, I go nuts. I can't stand any rattles, shimmies, or shakes. My C230 is so far as tight as they get. I have the sunroof, and frankly, don't hear a thing from it. This car feels like it was carved from a solid piece of steel.
    I agree with you about the ML. I considered one back in 98, when the 99's were coming in. I was not impressed with it at all. It kind of put me off on MB for a little while. The fact is that these ML's were a totally new product for MB, building them in the U.S. for the first time, and I think they compromised on MB quality initially. I have not driven one lately, so I don't know if they improved or not.
    As a side note, I was a quality control inspector for Honda in Marysville, Ohio back in the early 80's. We lived and breathed nothing but quality. I was trained to drive these new cars off the line, take them out to a test track with lots of bumps built in it, and try to create or find any rattles or sounds. Did I ever get picky about the personal cars I drive. My wife thinks I'm crazy when I can hear the most muffled rattle in a car and I've got to get rid of it.
    You won't be disappointed with the C230 as far as build quality goes.
  • jjpeterjjpeter Posts: 230
    Have posted pics of our Silver 2002 C230 Kompressor Coupe. Have a look...

  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    I test drove an automatic tonight and it seemed to have plenty of getup and go. I currently drive Tundra V8 pickup truck which has quite a lot of low end torque and I wasn't disapointed with the coupe. There might have been the slightest hint of a flat spot from a dead stop with the automatic but that was probably due to the supercharger not being spun up. I could feel the shorter wheel base and some choppiness over rough streets as noted in the Edmunds review. The car has a lot of features that you don't find on other cars. The cloth interior fabric seemed durable but the pattern is probably something you get use to over time. The seating and steering wheel are very adjustable. I hate to think about finding the perfect position for everything and then the wife changes it and I have to start over again. I think the electric seats with memory are a must have for anyone who shares the car with someone else but boy are they pricey; over $1000. It hard to believe that the electric seats aren't part of the premium package or the leather seat package. I like the versatility of the hatchback configuration with the folding seat backs. I really like the sunroof and I would have to have one. The lack of an in-dash CD seems way out of place in this price range; I think BMW includes a CD this year so so Benz can't be far behind. At speed on the freeway (65-75) the car was fairly quite and you didn't notice the choppyness of the suspension like I did on the city streets. I hit a few corners and the cars handling seem competent but I wasn't able to really push the car very hard. One thing I missed was a rear wiper for the hatch glass. With previous hatchbacks I have grown to appreciate the usefulness of a rear wiper. All in all I am interested in the car but have some others car I want to compare it with.
  • tommyp13tommyp13 Posts: 146
    MB says that the angle of the hatch is such that a wiper isn't necessary. After 2 months of ownership, I'd have to agree. I haven't had an instance where I've needed one yet. I agree with you about the cloth pattern - it's not the best-looking that I've ever seen, but it's a really tough fabric. Even though I really want leather, I'm having a tough time justifying it to myself, since the cloth will wear so much better.
  • Dealer Permaplate is pure dealer profit, read the warranty fine print very carefully - there is LOTS of wiggle room. There is absolutely nothing that will keep your paint and interior looking good for years other than good old maintenance. The best way to keep your car looking new for a long time (if you don't do it yourself) is to take it to a good detailer once a year. The operative word is "good", the guy I take my cars to is a fanatic - he knows all the best products for nourishing the paint, rubber, vinyl, leather, etc, etc. He clay bars the paint when the car is new and gives it a coat of excellent wax (high end Zymol), then uses some increadable stuff on the rubber and seals, then something different on interior plastics and Hyde foods the leather - that's the major detail, he comes back in 6 months for a mini detail which is a good cleaning and wax and the preservative treatment. I invest about $250 a year in each of my vehicles with him and they stay absolutely new looking. I just got rid of an 8 year old Range Rover that looked like it had just been driven off the lot. Perfect paint and not a crack in the interior, just the drivers seat was very slightly worn with 170k miles on it, amazing.
    I replaced the Rover with an X5 about a month ago, the first thing I did was have him detail it. It looks so much better than when I drove it off the lot, much better than "new".

    Now back to the C230K - I've been in to my Mercedes dealer twice to test drive it - I really like this coupe. I'm looking for a weekend autocross car and think the C230K may be my next one. I've used an old 3 series BMW, a VW Golf and a really old 911 SC for this purpose in the past. Now comparing Golf GTI 1.8t, C230k and the upcomming Mini Cooper S. I'll be looking to the aftermarket to tweak the Mercedes a little - Brabus already has some stuff for the C230k. An underpully for the supercharger takes it from 197 HP to 220. Eibach springs to lower it about an inch, bilstein shocks and beefier swaybars and it will be good to go. It also needs some sort of short shift kit for the 6 speed. I think it will be an absolute blast to autocross. I want a white C230k with black cloth and the wheel package - that's it.
  • skobolaskobola Posts: 207
    Rickrover, in regard to increasing hp in C230, see my post here, #545, Wetterauer. I do not know how much is the Brabus thing, this one is $1,295; see more at
  • I noticed some comments about the extended warranty. Can someone post the cost and the duration of the extension?

  • jjpeterjjpeter Posts: 230
    We opted for the extended warranty based on several factors. 1-This car is so full of gizmos, seemed prudent to cover it beyond 4/50K. 2- Its our first Benz, and we have heard of bank account draining repair costs happening beyond the standard factory warranty. Of course, not covered are "consumables" like brakes, light bulbs, filters etc. But what concerns me the most is the complexity of the electronics in the car, plus electrical motors in the seats, windows etc. So, we went with the premium 4/50K extended which covers it till the year 2009 or 100K. Cost us ~ $2200 extra.
  • MB says that the angle of the hatch is such that a wiper isn't necessary.

    They can claim all they want, but they put one on the C320 Wagon...what's that say?

    The bottom line is that as a hatchback owner for the last 15+ years, I know that I use the rear wiper and I want one on my next hatch. PERIOD.

  • tommyp13tommyp13 Posts: 146
    The angle on the rear window is more like a coupe's than a hatch's. I don't see the lack of a wiper as a big issue on this particular car. If you're stuck on this, then I guess that you've just eliminated one model from your search.
  • That says that the wagon has a different rear window angle, no?

    Yup. The catch is that more vertical rear surfaces are less less likely to gather rain, snow or frost, so why did M-B see a wiper as necessary on the C-Wagon? For "looks"?

    I don't see the lack of a wiper as a big issue on this particular car.

    It is a combination of local conditions and constraints...YMMV applies. As I mentioned, I have 15+ years of direct, relevant experience. The slope of hatchbacks such as the C230 will require that you're going 40+mph in a rain or snowstorm to keep it clear of precipitation. If you're stuck in bumper-to-bumper in a snowstorm, it is going to get obscured.

    My point is that this "don't need it" claim is self-contradictory on M-B's need it on both, or neither.

    Since a rear wiper also exists on the A Class, its absence on the C-Coupe is downright conspicuous.

    FWIW, I personally suspect that MB figured that this was a place that they could cut costs a little, keep the "ugly hatchback" accusations at bay and hope that the profile of their targeted customers won't miss it.

    For example, if your car is always garaged, then you don't have to worry about the chore of clearing off heavy morning dews & frosts. YMMV.

    If you're stuck on this, then I guess that you've just eliminated one model from your search.

    Perhaps. I'm more upset at the lameness of M-B's excuse than its absence. I would have been fine if it had been extra-cost option, but it isn't. IMO, if MB is successful with the C230, expect to see a rear wiper on it within a few years.

    Any suggestions on how or where I could get a rear wiper aftermarket?

  • I believe that Mercedes deemed rear wipers unnecessary on their hatchbacks because of the way aerodynamics work. The rain, sleet, whatever form of precipitation naturally flows off the steeply raked window with help of the wind flow. On wagons, where windows are not as angled, the water tends to gather and stay and slowly drip off, which requires the help of a wiper. Furthermore, since the window is more upright, it is more susceptible to water rising from the rear wheels. It's all about aerodynamics once the car is going rather than what happens when the car is stable.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367
    ...we have folk who know better than the engineers...

    Believe me, if a $15 wiper were necessary on this car, it would be there.

    I've owned plenty of hatchbacked cars in my time, and each has been different about crud buildup in bad weather. A couple of early '80s Celicas never required aux wiping in foul weather; others were a disaster without constant use of the rear wiper. The angle DOES make a difference, and I'll side with the assumption that the people in Stuttgart know what they are talking about - if they didn't, the EU reaction to this would already be deafening.

  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    I have owned both generations of the Honda CRX-SI which had a very raked rear windows. Each car had a rear wiper and at speed you really didn't need it. When in traffic, with rain or snow the wiper was useful. If your car is sitting outside and you want to backup, you could flip the wiper and clean off the dew/rain/snow off the hatch window. Without the wiper you have to reliey on the side mirrors for rear vision or get out and wipe off the window by hand. I have found that keeping a rear window well coated with rain-x or equivalent will reduce the amount of moisture sticking to the rear window. I think the wiper was left off to cut costs. So it goes in the entry level luxury sporty car market.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367
    ...Mercedes does not cut costs on safety. If the wiper were an issue, it would already be a scandal in Europe.

    What everyone forgets is that the things that American customers consider "cheap" about this car are routinely left off of ordered cars in Europe. Leather is rare in this class of car in EU - the cloth upholstery is what most people order. Same with wood, where it is an option, it is ordered by a minority of people. Safety equipment is another story - Mercedes simply doesn't cut corners here...they spent money on standard ESP, headbags, etc. If the wiper were necessary to safe driving, it would be there.

    Look, I think there are a lot of things to criticize about the way MB is doing business these days - this is not one of them.
  • I believe that Mercedes deemed rear wipers unnecessary on their hatchbacks because of the way aerodynamics work.

    Yes, but this is incomplete: the fluid mechanics of non-inviscid compressible flow to apply as a tangential clearing force are only applicable when the car is moving at or above a threshold velocity.

    ...we have folk who know better than the engineers...

    Or perhaps some of us are Mechanical Engineers ourselves.

    Using a semi-laminar flow to blow rain off your rear hatch works fine when its rain. But when accumulated snow blows off your roof, you're pretty much hosed, unless you have a nuclear powered rear window defogger.

  • mlsphdmlsphd Posts: 26
    If you take a look at the C230 option list, one thing becomes glaringly obvious. MB does not consider safety an option. All of the safety & handling features are standard. Differing from other makes, especially at this price point, MB made a decision about what they felt was important to include. IMHO, I feel more confident when side airbags, skid control, etc. are considered essential parts of the vehicle, and the CD changer, leather seating, etc. are options. I'm fine with that hierarchy of priorities.

    My MB station wagon had a standard rear wiper which was needed to clear the window at highway speeds. I agree with earlier posts that if window visibility was a problem, this relatively inexpensive item would have been included.
  • abc246abc246 Posts: 305
    This part does not cost $15! It has a motor, linkage, arm, switch, ect. I feel they left it off to cut cost. My last hatch, a Toyota Supra, had a wiper. If you live where it snows all winter long this is a nice feature. Sometimes snow from the roof slides off on the window. If the car is outside overnight or at work the wiper will clear light snow. During heavy wet snow the wiper can help keep the rear window clean. In spring and fall the wiper can clear frost using the washer. I will miss it.
  • I saw two messages (#568 and 569) talking about extended warranties. I talked to my neighbor who is on her 3rd MB. She never knew there was extended warranties. (A fine example of educated consumers) However, she did repeated said how expensive repairs are and for the price she would definitely buy it if she plans to keep her cars longer than the original warranty period.

    I conducted an unscientific poll by walking around 2 MB lots - most of the newer used cars have around 45K miles on them. I wonder if there is any coincidence - sell them before warranty runs out.

    However, here's the most important thing - is the warranty price negotiable? The brochure said $2500 for the 4yr/50K but I think jjpeter said he got it for $2200. Don't tell me - it also depends on which area of the country you are buying your car.

    Thanks guys. This board ROCKS!!!

    P.S. My car will be born next wk. Just in time for Christmas.
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