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Mercedes-Benz C350 & C280

mac320mac320 Posts: 147
edited June 7 in Mercedes-Benz
I just heard that the new 350 engine will be a power option this Spring. We've really enjoyed our 320 and do not really need to be looking at a new car.

 

Even so, the new 350 engine is very impressive on paper and seems like it would be a great driver in a C-Class sedan, especially when teamed-up with the new 7-spd. tranny.

 

I was not completely shocked that the new 350 wasn't among Wards' top 10, but I was surprised to read their comment about it that it was "un-fun," apparently because it was working against a heavy-feeling flywheel.

 

Maybe the balancing shaft is bigger or heavier or rotates backward faster than in our 320, but I cannot see how the new 350 would not impress me considering the increase in hp and more torque at an even lower rmp compared to our 320.

 

My guess is that the new 350 may sacrifice a little in potential "fun" to meet the newest EU-4 pollution standards and that is probably why it does not post the numbers that the toyota and nissan 3.5s offer -- or, maybe it is just more conservatively engineered, e.g., lower compression.

 

I will be interested to test drive a C350 and also, hearing the comments of any SLK350 owners that are happy with their engines and 7 spd. autos. Thanks.
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Comments

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Thats very interesting because that is the first negative thing I've heard about the new 3.5L DOHC V6. Even the hard to please British press has raved about it in the SLK350 and upcoming E350. Even Car and Driver likes this new motor in the SLK350, pretty high praise.

     

    Do you have a link to the Wards article?

     

    Also, at the Geneva show in March the replacement for the C240, the C280 will be shown, along with a SLK280. The current rumors have them running 3.0L version of the new V6 with anywhere from 225-231 hp. Of course for 2006 the CLK320 will become the CLK350 also.

     

    New V6 engines for all 6-cylinder model Benzes were long overdue imo.

     

    M
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    The link:

     

    http://waw.wardsauto.com/ar/auto_wards_best_engines_8/index.htm

     

    You have to wonder what Wards is thinking when they say something so subjective as "unemotional," after they've noted the evocative vocals and thrust of the engine, which seem to me to be the major characteristics that people base subjective feelings on.

     

    I would suspect that MB had neglected to pay-up their corporate subscription -- so Wards could care less -- but then, Wards says they love MB's 3.2 diesel (an engine option that I wish I could enjoy but I live in the enlightened state of Calif.).

     

    I am guessing that with the new 7 spd. tranny, MB must waste a lower gear to make their car jump out of the hole like a frogger if they want to maximize accolades from the typical auto reviewer.

     

    If Wards is unexcited because they miss something like jack rabbit starts off the line, then I can totally discount their subjective feelings in my calculations.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Any idea yes as to when the C350 is to arrive in the U.S.?

     

    M
  • fellyfelly Posts: 16
    The C350 goes on sale this summer, although pricing hasn't been officially released. Mercedes officials report the cost should be comparable to the current C320.

    And for mac320, the new 350 engine will not be an option, its replacing the C320. Gone will be the C320 from the Benz lineup.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Does this include a wagon, or are we looking at a 280 wagon?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think the C280 is the only wagon we'll get. The previous C320 was and the new C350 would be too expensive. They C320 Wagon didn't sell to well.

    M
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Hell, I'd pay for the AMG. Now that would be worthwhile...
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    A C55 AMG wagon?

    M
  • cmnottcmnott Posts: 200
    I was looking at the newly revamped C320, especially the Sport model. They had an extensive window of it in the mb site and it looks great with the huge tires and AMG-like exterior. I also like the new dash and apparently better fit and finish.

    Now, I was prepared to bite the bullet even though I felt that the car needed more bhp because it has a really nice transmission, the short throw 6spd. Now I am positively giddy to have an extra 43bhp ontap! From everything that I have heard and read, this V6 sings a beautifol song as well.

    When i went to price a the C320 Sport, I wanted the leather interior even though the cost was prohibitive. The salesman said that almost no one orders leather in the C Class and I will never get that money back in a trade because the leatherette is very good...what do you guys think? I am a leather man myself.

    I have some tough choice to make now, you gotta love how the car market takes shape sometimes. Right now, it is C350 vs. E90 330i vs. S60R. I am kind of leaning towards the Volvo ( I have a S60 T5 right now) and the Benz. I typically stay away from 1st year, clean sheet design cars, but I have love the new BMW and the dealer is a 3 wood away from my house.

    Decisions, decisions...
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Bingo.

    I've been seriously mulling the S4 Avant, and the C55 AMG wagon seems competitive to me. But for the ever increasing size of the A4 line, the thunderbolt grease-slapper end of the range is very appealing, especially de-badged!

    Too bad we don't get it here (C55 estate). I mean that literally and figuratively...
    ;-)
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    "...love the new BMW and the dealer is a 3 wood away from my house..."

    And he's been complaining roundly at the substantial number of apparently stolen "range" balls that have mysteriously ended up in his yard...

    :-)
  • 6spdtl6spdtl Posts: 30
    I don't see what all the gushing is all about 260 HP fron a 3.5 L engine???? Acura offers more HP from their 3.2=270hp not to mention their 3.5=300hp. I doubt this new motivation under the hood will correct the fact that the C series is no better than mid pack in the entry luxury sedan category while carrying one of the biggest stickers. TO equip a C series to the level of an acura TL you have to pay about 46K which BTW is in the league of the RL which comes with 40 more ponies, better accomodations and standard SH-AWD which no other automaker offers. Sorry, despite the hoopla this C series is another overpriced overhyped Mercedes.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    While the revamped C-Class may not set the class afire, it will improve its standing which is virtually nill as a sports sedan. The new Mercedes 3.5L V6 has 268 and 258lb-ft of torque, not 260hp. Only 2 less hp than the TL, and more torque over a broader range, much less revving will be needed to attain the Benz's power.

    Unlike Acura nobody else forces all those needless (for some buyers) option on their customers. The C-Class ain't cheap, but at 49K the RL ain't no bargain either with the much better performing M35 beating it in just about every way for the same or less money. Neither the C or the RL are big values in their respective classes.

    The RL doesn't even perform like a car with 300hp either, cars will less hp are faster. You can bet the C350 will be one of the faster cars in its class, unlike the RL.

    M
  • 6spdtl6spdtl Posts: 30
    A neon SRT4 is faster than all the cars in this segment, nevertheless, I don't see anybody looking for these cars lining up to pick one of those up. The RL is smack down in the midle of the fastness race in this segment and is the only one to offer standard SH-AWD! A C320 4 matic with similar equipment as the RL is 49K!!! (check MB USA) The RL which competes with the E series not the C, with comparable equipment the E is 66K. The infinity M, which were not discussing here (its a Merc thread) also is more expensive when comparably equiped and a hell of a lot uglier to boot! It's only bragging right compared to the RL its that its faster, its inferior in every other category.
    SO as we were discussing, the C350 is another overpriced MB for those who will pay premium for having a very faded three pointed star hood ornament!!!
  • Darn right the C class is overpriced, matched with poor quality makes it even worse and the C is also an underachiever compared to the others in the class like the 298hp G35 to name one. The new Lexi IS will be another one to add to that list in the near also.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You missed the point of my original post. I didn't say the C350 competed with the RL. I said that the C350 will be more competitive in its segment than the RL is in its segment when it comes to power and the delivery of it. The M35, while uglier in your opinion trounces the RL for less money because unlike Acura you can option the M35 to your specifications, not what some marketers thinks everyone wants in their cars.

    To me loads of extra and needless equipment on the RL don't make up for poor brakes, lackluster acceleration and tarted up Accord styling.

    The RL is just an overpriced and glorified Accord to me. Other than 300hp, which it doesn't even perform up to, and ShAwD it doesn't offer much more than Acura's own TL.

    M
  • 6spdtl6spdtl Posts: 30
    Point taken the RL is not much better than the TL. Thats why I'm keeping mine. The point is that the TL is a fantastic car whether its an Accord or not which btw is completely immaterial since the C class is an overpriced German TAXI LOL! The time when German cars could brag about being superior to other brands is history. It used to be that people would put up with german prices and reliability problems because they built comfortable, safe, sophisticated vehicles. To their misfortune, now Japanese manufactures offer cars that are reliable, cheaper and just as, if not more, sophisticated than the German brands. To put it bluntly if German automakers don't get their duckies in order their future is not much brighter than Italy's FIAT.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I agree that German need to work on some things. The C-Class being an overpriced taxi is no differnent the RL being an overprice and over-equipped Accord. You find this about RL to be "immaterial" and more than a few buyers find your taxi theory to be the same because the C-Class sells and will continue to do so. To each his own I guess.

    M
  • cmnottcmnott Posts: 200
    I certainly don't and I am not really interested in comparing the two. The TL is a nice car. That being said, with the torque steer and FWD setup it lacks the refinement of the Germans and even the G35. Regardless of whether a C Class is a taxi or not, the funny thing is the old C320 was compared and preferred by many (myself included) over the soulless TL.

    Now that you get 43bhp more and also a significant torque boost, it really is going to challenge the leaders in the segment...the leaders being a G35 in terms of value and 330i in terms of outright top notch cars, regardless of price.

    Personally, my three choices right now, Volvo, BMW,and Mercedes have to do with cars that I want. I find that in the past when I considered an Acura before, it was more value based, it would always be a compromise because while it is a nice car, I would rationalize getting it because of affordability.

    This has been an effective strategy in selling their vehicles, but there are still thousand buying the European brands.
  • 6spdtl6spdtl Posts: 30
    Sounds like you haven't tried the new TL! As essentially every automobile magazine and 3 to 1 consumers in the market the new TL is far from souless and creams the C series even without factoring in the obvious value equation. Try it you will never see mercedes in the same light again, take it from the previous owner of 3 mercs (one E and 2 S series).
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Wait a minute you've had Mercedes' before? Due tell. Which E and which S models?

    Not to debate the TL here, but I wasn't blown away by the driving when I drove it. To me it drove like a nicer and faster Accord, but I was taken with the interior and obvious value. Styling is my main problem with the TL.

    M
  • 6spdtl6spdtl Posts: 30
    My dad had an S300SD (dropping windows, dead turbos, flaky ignition switches and obviously slower than cold syrup). Once that nightmare was done he thought that an S500 was the solution (for him there's no car like MB) on that one the MB service department is kept on speed dial (he still owns it). My mother (due to my father's enlightened influence) has an E320, I think the name gremlins was based on her E; dead radio quirky tranny, dead AC and electronic windows that seem possesed. I, on the other hand, learning from previous long experience, with hondas, fords chevy's and other assorted beaters (too many years of school) have only bought new Hondas with my own dough. The only reason I've visited the dealers after 4 civics 2 odys and 2 TL's is to testdrive the new models when they show up!!!
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Not to get in the way here, but I've had new TL immersion recently. Spent a week with a new TL prior to selling it for my Mom after my Dad's death.

    For a FWD car, frankly I think it's as good as it gets. With all the "complaints" of torque steer out there, you'd think they were driving a different car! I'm convinced most of them never drove the thing. Extrapolation is my theory here. Honda has made the most that can possibly be made of a FWD platform.

    It's comfortable, competent, amply equipped, and just as amply powered, but it's not exactly inspiring. I played in the hills near home a bit with it, and it simply doesn't incite one to acts of imprudence! That's a litmus to me. OTOH, I'll bet your 6-speed helps in that category a bit. Still not the platform I'd want to start with, though.

    I'll go with Merc up to a point here. I absolutely agree that it's sumptuous and gutsy and a nice car in all ways. I also agree that the styling is an attempt at chic that lands just this side of conventionally outre (figure that one out and you get a cookie!). It has grown on me substantially in the past year, but I still find it slightly incoherent (like me after 7pm).

    I just can't think of much in the Benz line up that really pumps me as direct competiton. This is a bigger car than the C-class unless I'm mistaken, but competes on price. Bigger ain't better in my book.

    I take it back. If you told me I had a choice only between a TL and a C320 sport with sunroof and 5-spoke staggered wheels, I'd do the C. Yeah, that'd feel more natural on the roads I like to drive. And look better, too, I think.
  • cmnottcmnott Posts: 200
    I have driven the new TL. It is an improvement over the prior TL with regards to having some sort of style, and while many praise the interior, I still find it a little cheap. The leather to these eyes is barely average and I am always impressed with the build quality, but in this Acura I think that better materials would help. The torque steer is very real. If you drive the car hard, it will not co-operate. If you drive reasonably, true, it may not rear its head but for that one moment that you want to feel exhiliration, torque steer kills the moment.

    But of course, there is a price to pay for materials that are cheaper: it is a cheaper car and a better value than almost any car in its segment. If every one purchased vehicles solely based on value, Acuras would be in every driveway. That is their entire raison d'etre. Undercut the competition, give them 95% of the same expereience and there you have the reason why Acuras are flying out showrooms.

    I am not that type of consumer. I want to get a vehicle that makes my mouth water, that makes me check it out a few times walking away from where it is parked. Everytime I walk to my car, I want to feel something. For me, the TL doesn't rate in that category.

    I will pay more to feel that. And yes, I will pay 5-10K more if I have to. I don't want to settle with a car full of compromises, I am done with that in this stage of my life.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    "...I want to get a vehicle that makes my mouth water, that makes me check it out a few times walking away from where it is parked..."

    Yes, yes, YES!

    "...For me, the TL doesn't rate in that category..."

    Neither for me, but I can understand how it does for others.

    "...I will pay more to feel that. And yes, I will pay 5-10K more if I have to. I don't want to settle with a car full of compromises, I am done with that in this stage of my life..."

    Brother, you just said a cotton-pickin' mouthful! One of the few advantages to age is the wisdom to know when not to ignore what's important to you!

    Good Lord, I sound like my father...
    ;-)
  • cmnottcmnott Posts: 200
    In 1993, I wanted a Camaro. They werebrand new and very hot and when I went to trade in my loved 1989 626 Turbo (tuned to run 14.04 in the q/mile) they lowballed me. I didn't get the car i wanted but got a nice 1993 Probe GT. Nice car, and in the end I grew to really like it, but it was not what I wanted.

    Then in 1997, I wanted the new A4. Loved it. I wanted it badly, but residuals for Audis back then were horrific and made the car a bad value. So I settled and got a nice 1997 Maxima SE. Great motor, lousy seats but in time I grew to like it, an awesome highway car, but it was not what I wanted.

    In 1999, the new Mustang came out. I wanted it bad. No compromises, I just went and got it...and loved every minute of it because it was exactly what I wanted, a glissening silver GT, manual with all the bells and whistles and even picked it up on April 17, 1999, 35 years to the day!

    In 2002, I wanted an S60 T5, I simply fell in love with it at first sight. With beautiful 17" alloys, amazing seats and sound system, not to mention powerful 250bhp engine that munched every other car I tested. I got that too. Sure, the torque steer in this car makes the Acura feel like RWD, but it was something I chose to live with and have with other cars, as you can see from my list.

    Anyways, sorry for the long post, but one thing I have learned over the years is there is no point saving a few grand if you have too many compromises. If you are honest with yourself, you will always regret it.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Nope, not too long at all, and I'm right there with you, cmnott. And it's only my last purchase (current car) that the lesson came clear for me. Took me 42 years to learn it too.

    Interestingly, of my three serious considerations last time out, I ended up in the least expensive, but for all the right reasons, and none of them economic. For the sake of expediency, however, I took delivery from existing stock, and settled for exterior and interior colors that I didn't really want. Had I spent a few more dollars and waited a few weeks, I would have been even more satisfied with my decision, and frankly would have enjoyed the past couple of years that much more.

    I won't make that mistake next time out.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    All engines get more powerful, interiors get roomier, etc. The current civic is bigger and more powerful than the accord was when it first hit the lot. The C350 is a luxury sedan. German cars, by definition, have some degree of athleticism regardless of what their primary purpose is, but the similarities between say, the C350 and a 330i are the culture in which they're produced, and that they are rear drive. That's it, really. The 330i is a sports car with a few luxury elements sprinkled on top. The C-class is a luxury road car which, if neccessary, can be thrown around a bit. The japanese brands are simply using their(mostly) low end platforms, and some monday morning quarterbacking, to be a little of both. The 3.5 liter engine is fantastic IMO and needed to happen.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Even better is that the slow C240 becomes the 227hp (more then the current C320) C280 in June also. The C230 also will ditch its gruffy 4-cylinder engine too for a 200hp V6 also. All these engines are long overdue imo.

    Do you think an entry-level CLK280 or E280 would make it here, since they would now have more power than the "320" versions they replace?

    M
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    as a price point car, they might attract a few. I've had people rave about how much they love their C220's and S320w's, usually the folks who have no need to go fast, but just want to enjoy the ride, and the prestige. If an E280 could be sold at a price of say $45,900 or so, it would fetch some interest IMO. If the CLK280 could be bought over here with the 6-speed manual gearbox, THAT would be be something special.
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