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Mercedes-Benz CLK (2005 and earlier)



  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I don't care too much either way, but I know that many people prefer trunks for collision protection and damage protection reasons. The combination of separate rear pillars and a separate trunk tends to withstand somewhat greater loads. Also, hatches have a reputation for poorer durability than trunks - whether this is justified or not, the reputation is there in some circles. Hatches (I think) tend to be noisier because of less sound insulation out back. Lastly, hatches tend to be associated with economy vehicles and therefore, the more upscale you go, the fewer hatches you see. Does anyone expect Mercedes to make the CL500 a hatchback? Why not?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367
    ...release date for the '03 Cs is supposed to be the first part of August. Changes on the coupe are most significant in the engine compartment, with the new 1.8 SC engine replacing the iron block 2.3. Both power and torque are down about 3-5%, but fuel mileage is up 7%, and it promises to be smoother and quieter with the balance shafts.

    If you are hot for the current car, whatever is on dealer lots now is just about all there will be. The new ones are already arriving at the VPCs.
  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350
    BTW, European roads are full of MB A class and Smart vehicles.

    And PT Cruisers, too :-).

    I'm just back from 2 weeks in Germany, having had a Mercedes A-140 for ~1400km worth of driving. I do have to say that I'm quite impressed with the car in context of its price, and that despite only having a 1.4 liter motor, it moved out well enough, including the ability to pass the lorries on the Autobahn, and a typical cruising speed of ~140kph outside of congested areas. It was also interesting in that the only vehicles that were really in the "pffft" passing category were the E's, 5's and 911's.

    Overall, I'd say that I'd seriously consider an A in the USA, if looking for something in that <20K price range, although I would prefer it to go along with Germany's essentially SUV-free roads.

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367
    ...should be here by '05, perhaps as early as the fall of '04. The car we will see is of course the scheduled redesign, but I believe that the key features [two-story design, massive interior vs size of car, FWD] will be the same. They want to work on ride and engines before bringing it to NA - I expect we will get the naturally aspirated 1.8 that is about to appear in the C230 in supercharged form. The basic 1.8 would be fine for a car of the A's weight, even if the new one weighs more, as it inevitably will. As noted above, the current car manages fine with 1.4 and 1.7 liter gas engines, and a particularly nice diesel which we will never see here.

    And this platform will be the basis for their run at hybrid and fuel cell drivetrains, which we should see before the decade is out.
  • tariktarik Posts: 344
    ...I had an A 170 CDI rental two years ago, and that little thing made me grin ear to ear. Low end torque, acceleration in high gear, and top speed (~185 kph/115 mph acc to its speedo) were more than adequate, considering the engine size. The sucessor is believed to have a lower center of gravity to help keep all wheels on the ground (no more elk-issues...), I wonder how you realize that with the "two story" design?

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367
    ...can be jiggered to get the CG down a couple of inches. And the diesel is the best engine in the line, but not here until the US oil companies stop whining about it and get on with getting the sulfur out of our diesel fuel.

    Also, we will get only the long-wheelbase version - there is even the possibility that the LWB will be the standard [and only] car for every market when the A is redesigned - the extra WB also helps stability in sudden avoidance maneuvers.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    What is a two-story design?
  • tariktarik Posts: 344
    I was just paraphrasing jrct's definition for the A-Class' design of having an engine which is tilted forward in order to fit its gearbox under the front floor boards. Essentially, it s a somwhat elevated floor height to provide room for items which usually are housed in the engine compartment (i.e. battery). The following pic is smallish, but the best I could find for you:



  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367 well as a lot of other ancillary stuff. It was partly just a clever way of getting a lot of interior room in a small package, and partly a necessity for the fuel cell pieces that they wanted to experiment with.

    Unfortunately, the resulting higher CG caused the car to roll when under extreme side-side maneuvers [the moose avoidance test of one of the Scandanavian car mags], and the rest, as they say is history: much scrambling, recalls, lousy publicity. The solution was to lower the ride height, stiffen the ride, and make ESP standard equipment. Those things made it plenty stable enough, but also made the ride marginal for an MB mainline sedan product. The longer wheelbase version was recently introduced, and combined with some interior upgrades, has got the EU press back on the car's side.

    As noted in the posts above, the car is actually kind of a hoot to drive, and the packaging efficiency makes it unique in the MB lineup. But it really never overcame the initial negative press, and thus has never met sales expectations. They have high hopes for the redesign, which should come in '04 for the '05 MY.
  • chowchow3chowchow3 Posts: 9
    I have about 6,000 miles on my c230 so far and I am so glad I bought it. It is functional (used it to move furniture twice, threw in my bike in the truck), great handling (this is my first German car, I am hooked) and unique. The message board is true, there are a lot of dust on the wheels.

    The real question now: I just found a 8-10" crack on my windshield, I took it to the dealer. He found a pinhead (literally) size chip and said that's what caused it to crack. Could it be true? If this is really caused by chip, I am out $500 (insurance deductible). The chip is just so small that I can't imagine it could cause such a long crack in a day or so.

    What do you guys think?
  • c230jeffc230jeff Posts: 5
    Has anyone performed an ECU chip upgrade on a C230K? Who did you use? Problems? Praises?

    I've been thinking of Upsolute, any comments, pro or con?

    Warranty woes? (Yes, I know, implicit voiding, but REALLY?)
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367
    ...can start from any size damage, from a pinhead right up to something the size of a quarter.
  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350
    chowchow3 ...

    A windshield crack is usually the result of some sort of stone impact, PLUS residual stresses that were within the windshield since its installation that then causes the tiny flaw to propagate into a big crack.

    Currently, my C230 has a rock "ding" in it, and it has not cracked. My Porsche has 2 or 3 of them, as does also my wife's Audi. None of them have propagated cracks.

    And I find this typical with German cars I've owned: they've generally been able to take a good rock hit and NOT propagate into a crack.

    I'd attribute this to a good windshield design coupled with quality assembly, to prevent the introduction of residual stresses, as I've generally only experienced the problem with American cars we've owned.

    I'd suggest going back to the Dealer and asking them to reconsider, suggesting that a windshield that does not have a manufacturing flaw should be able to take a "TINY" rock hit without a catastrophic crack forming.

    But I'd suggest a little bit of self-examinination first. First, do you recall any rock hit occurring? (Probably the day of). Next, take a very careful look at the alleged start point, as well as the entire track of the crack and look for any signs of "pulverized" material on the plastic outer coating on the windshield. Rock hits always abrade and tear up the plastic outer coating on the windshield, so if there's no absolutely no pulverizing present anywhere, then it couldn't have been a rock hit. In my experience, any rock hit that's strong enough to cause any real damage will usually leave obvious damage on the windshield's outermost layer (don't forget that the windshield is a multi-layered laminate).

    c230jeff ...

    Before bothering to perform any performance mod's on your car, I hope you've invested twice as much money in performance driver training for yourself, as this represents a "bigger bang for the buck". Most of us believe that we're great drivers, but the truth is that most of us will benefit far more from a good training course than any modification we can add to our car, down to and including snow tires.

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,111
    I totally agree with you that the best modification you can make is to your driving skills. We were actually talking about this on the 3 Series board yesterday.

    Remember our friend Jeremy that had a newish (2000 or 2001) Jetta and was looking to upgrade to a c230 Coupe, but has debt and horrible credit? I guess he took our advice in that we told him not to buy a Mercedes, and to rebuild his credit. He ended up buying an Audi TT Coupe and was inquiring on the TT Board about chipping his car. Some people just never learn. They are also the ones who are always asking...why me?

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

  • wallace11wallace11 Posts: 1
    Trying to decide whether this upgrade is worthwhile or not. I live on a country road with a fairly steep, twisty drive (with a few bumps and holes). 2000 BMW 328 makes it up fine with RWD, though the traction does kick in on the uphill.

    I test-drove the car with 17" rims and liked the handling, but the car I will likely purchase is currently equipped with 16" rims and 205 tires. Dealer says he can easily swap them out if I want them.

    Thanks for your input.
  • c230jeffc230jeff Posts: 5
    I do agree with and appreciate your adice, HH, as I'm in my late thirties, I've been driving over 20 years, and have had many cars, both RWD and FWD.

    I also recall 400hp+ Chevy's with horrible suspensions and no intrinsic safety features.

    I love my C230K, and for today's cars, for that price range, you do get a tremendous "kick in the pants" and a safe one at that. However, I do feel the Kompressor could EASILY do with the additional 30-40HP and ft-lbs torque touted by the chip vendors, and I was hoping to get some feedback from any of those who may have done such a mod.

    That said, I solidly agree those doing 50mph in the fast lane, those applying eyeliner on the beltway, and those leaning so far back as to be in the back seat pose among the greatest threats the rest of us face on the roadways today.


  • tommyp13tommyp13 Posts: 146
    I know that some people have gotten the Upsolute chip. It basically advances your timing. I saw the install on someone's c230. One problem: our ecus are crimped together (like a frozen lasagna), and even with a crimping tool, it's hard to make it look like it's not been tampered with, if you're concerned about the warranty and making it look stock to the service dept. Though they really won't know that it's been done, unless they drive the car and know what a stock c230 feels like.

    GIAC is also supposed to be developing a chip as well, and don't forget all of the pulleys that have been developed that increase hp as well. Choose wisely, young Skywalker.
  • c230jeffc230jeff Posts: 5
    Thanks for your feedback, Tommy, I also posed this question in a forum at MBNZ,

    Some comments there as well.

    It seems to me Wetterauer has a nice design allowing for easily returning the chip to the stock setup, but their chip is four times the cost of the Upsolute chip. Sometimes maybe you do get what you pay for?

    Your point about the crimping is well taken, that is definitely to be weighed.

    I hope to get more comments, opinion, and most assuredly some chiding, on the subject, including more info re pulleys, and any other reasonably cost-effective mods.

    Thanks again to all,


  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350
    ...I do feel the Kompressor could EASILY do with the additional 30-40HP and ft-lbs torque touted by the chip vendors, and I was hoping to get some feedback from any of those who may have done such a mod.

    Personally, I'd look to change the supercharger's amount of compression by a pulley wheel change as being the likely easier and definitely more effective way towards more power; you should be able to find a lot of historical information on enthusiasts which had done this on the old VW G60 Corrado, if info on the C230K engine isn't forthcoming. IMO, this would be more effective than a chip change.

    In terms of how much the C-Coupe specifically would benefit from more power, I've done some experimental driving in the rain with the Traction Control turned off, and I found that the car has a greater propensity for rear wheel spin than I would have otherwise suspected.

    I hope it doesn't end up reminding me of that old '68 Caprice with the HP 327: plenty of power up front, and an all-too-light rear end :-)

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,111
    Have you taken your C to the track or do you just run the 911?

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

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