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Mercedes-Benz C350 & C280



  • dfc3dfc3 Posts: 87
    dbrand -

    Thanks for the insights. I'm one of those who started looking at all this because of the C350 review I saw in MT - but thought it was kind of pricey. Then I saw the C280 as an option, and read a review on this board courtesy of ikramerica which sung its praises. I haven't fully decided if I'm going to take the plunge - although its likely - but am now leaning toward the C280. Of course, the test drive would be the clincher.

    Just curious, you and other posters seem to be going for the 4-matic. I'd rather have the 7-speed? What prompted the 4-matic decision?
  • I live in Portland, Oregon aka: The Pacific NorthWET. I figured the AWD would be safer because of wet streets, heavy rain, etc., etc. We don't get a lot of snow or ice along the west coast but when we do it's a mess because of the terrain--lots of hills.

    I am also looking toward retirement in a few months and will be going back and forth to the southwest which means going over the Siskiyou Mountains--notorious nasty weather conditions from October through March.

    I also chose the lighting package because I want to be able to see as well as possible, and not be one of these little old ladies afraid to leave home after dark because I can't see well enough to drive.

    And I chose the sunroof package for obvious reasons.

    And entertainment package because even though I'm an old bat, I still love my tunes....
  • I actually live in the Southeast. We also don't get much snow here, but because of that they can't deal with it on the roads. 1" of the slickest snow I've ever seen last year turned a 30 minute commute into 6 HOURS due to the high slip and (other) unexperienced drivers. I'm originally from the IL-WI border area and am seldom affected by the snow. That said I've ordered the 4Matic for the following reasons:

    1. When it rains here, it dumps and everyone forgets how to drive (sort of like the 1st snowfall of the year in the midwest) :surprise: .
    2. When it snows here, I like to get through.
    3. When my wife (and toddler) have the car, I want to know they are secure and able to get through safely.
    4. I expect I'll be using the vehicle to travel to the mountains and back to the midwest on occaision.

    I test drove a 7-speed here (they didn't have ANY 4Matics) and loved it. My decision for the 4Matic was just that; I only decided against the 7-speed because to get the 4Matic I had to have the 5-speed. I am not sure why they didn't offer the 4Matic with the 7-speed. I'd expect that it would benefit the fuel economy and I can't beleive it wouldn't handle the power of the engine since it's also available with the C350.

    By the way, my C280 is scheduled to be built Oct 10, based on an order placed in mid August. Do they really have that big of a backlog for "sold orders" :confuse: or did the fact that I modified a unit already on order for dealership lot mean that I slowed my own deliver down?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    . I am not sure why they didn't offer the 4Matic with the 7-speed. I'd expect that it would benefit the fuel economy and I can't beleive it wouldn't handle the power of the engine since it's also available with the C350.

    Its just a space issue. The new seven speed won't fit in the current E, C or S with the 4Matic hardware. The new M-Class and R-Class both have the 7-Speed with 4Matic as will the next S, C and E. The 7-speed is also present in the new 503hp/465lb-ft ML63 so power isn't the issue.

  • In reply to pgsmith's question: "By the way, my C280 is scheduled to be built Oct 10, based on an order placed in mid August. Do they really have that big of a backlog for "sold orders" or did the fact that I modified a unit already on order for dealership lot mean that I slowed my own deliver down?"

    You may be in for a wait if my experience is any indication. I ordered my C280 4 Matic in mid-July, black w/stone interior. I thought the tan interior would be better looking with the black. Then I saw that combination on another car on their showroom floor, an E model, and thought the stone looked, stone. It didn't have any of the richness you'd expect in true tan. So I changed my order so it would have the ash interior--a very pale and warm gray. When I changed the order, my car was due to have been built August 10th. The change bumped my order down the queue to September 10. However it was built September 6, according to the "NetStar" database, which also listed the VIN. The dealer said best case scenario is 45 days after the ship leaves Germany, is when I can expect my car. I'm on the west coast, so it will come thru the Panama Canal and up to Los Angeles, then be trucked up the coast. If you're on the east, I'll bet that your car will arrive sooner than the 45 days quoted me.

    Re the reason why the 7 speed isn't in the 4Matic, is as stated in another message. The 7 speed transmission is longer, and there isn't room. I wish it were in the 4Matic, but nothing can be done about that. I was given a 2005 C230 Kompressor (with the 5 speed) by the dealer, to drive for a period of two weeks when my E was in for a pesky fuel problem (turned out to be bad fuel, not the car's fault). Two weeks is a great "test drive". I ordered the C280 based on my experience with the C230--it shifted smoothly, had plenty of power and I loved the fit and finish. Even though this was a package delete model, solely to be used as a loaner car, it really impressed me. When I went back to driviing my wonderful E, in comparison, it felt like a sled, so I sold it and ordered the C. All we can do is wait, right? And just hope the wait will be worth it.
  • dfc3dfc3 Posts: 87
    Wow! Thanks for all the comments. Needless to say, this board has been great for learning from people's experience. I appreciate the insight on colors and options.

    To the last post, the C is, of course, smaller than the other classes. This actually has a sizable appeal to me as I live in an urban area and need to squeeze into places and make sharp turns.

    My goal is to shop around a bit - test drive the C350 and C280 - and see where it all goes. Right now, I drive a 2004 Volvo S60 - which is a fine car. Normally I keep a car for more than 2 years; but I'm really intrigued given the new engine and transmission. In addition, I've been brand loyal to Volvo for a good number of years - so this would be a big switch. Talking about the S60, though, the turning radius is 39', whereas my previous Volvo was a minuscule 32'.

    The C280/C350 are reported to have a turning radius of 35'. Did anyone who test drove take sharp turns to see how it handled?

    I'm not too disappointed about what you're reporting about the lag time between order and delivery in that it'll give me some time to get my finances in order. We just moved to the Chicago area from the east coast, and there's administrative transfers and costs and all. Were you still able to knock a reasonable amount off MSRP given the order and all?

    Glad everyone's happy with their purchase! Keep the insights coming.
  • If there are any dealers or car sales people on this blog, they're going to flame me, but I'm a big goes. Regarding price, I went to this very for the dealer invoice price, including the options I wanted. I offered $500 over their invoice price, and of course they pushed back. However I work for a Fortune 500 company with a large fleet department. My employer's fleet director, told me of a MB dealer in the next state who would sell me any MB for the invoice cost. It would cost $600 to transport it to Oregon so I knew if the local dealer wouldn't agree to $500 over invoice, I had a Plan B. I told my local dealer what my alternative was, and we agreed on a number. I have a signed sales agreement with my local dealer (2 miles from my home and office) for $500 over dealer invoice, or in my case a total of $36,895. MSRP would have been $39,075 (both of these numbers include $775 destination charge). The car I've ordered is the C280 4Matic, black w/ash interior and has three packages: entertainment, sunroof and lighting.
  • I go back and forth on the size issue as I am moving from a Jeep Grand Cherokee ('97). I'll miss the space but since my other car is also a JGC ('00), I'll make due just fine I am sure. I am sure the C280 will help me adjust quickly and I'll just need to remember to take the bigger vehicle when I need it.

    Believe it or not, JGC's have fantastic turning radii (both ~37.5') and because of that TR was part of my shopping criteria. I was impressed w/ the TR of the RWD C280, of course I have not yet driven the 4Matic as you probably gathered from my previous posts.

    Regarding price, I need to disqualify myself as a reference as I was able to get EP due to immediate family. Whether or not that is such a good deal today, I don't know due to all the "EP" promotions. But my price is fixed and I am limited to negotiating a few extra $ on a '97 SUV w/ ~150k.

    You may want to check on the " Mercedes Benz C-Class: Prices Paid & Buying Experience" posts to get a better idea.

    PS - I miss the Chicago area and 4 real seasons. Good Luck!
  • I'm in the market for a C-280 MB with the following options:
    Metallic Paint
    Sunroof Pkg.
    Heated front seats
    power driver seat
    6 disc CD changer
    What should I expect the pay for it, either purchasing or leasing. I have a down payment of approx. $3,500.

    What is the best dealer to deal with in the Atlanta area?
    The dealer I've been to doesn't seem to want to deal any at all. He says there is not much markup in MB's and no factory holdouts or incentives to the dealer.
    I find this hard to believe.

    Thanks for any assistance.
  • dfc3dfc3 Posts: 87
    AG said Wednesday it will cut 8,500 jobs in Germany at its Mercedes Car Group in a bid to return the troubled brand to profitability. The program will target workers at plants in Sindelfingen and Bremen, which produce the C-Class cars.
  • Took my second test drive in the C350 with seven speed today. Going back with my checkbook tomorrow.
  • dfc3dfc3 Posts: 87
    Did you try the C280 as well?
  • No. I like the better 40-70 acceleration with the bigger engine, and the better highway gas mileage, since 90% of my driving is highway. I am also fairly sure the 350 will run on regular (absolutely it will run on midgrade), since it only has a 10.7 compression ratio.
  • Interested to hear about it . . . all I've read so far is from reviewers, e.g.,

    "On our test drive, this stronger pulling power was quickly evident, and much appreciated. The old C320 sedan never felt slow, but you wouldn’t confuse it with a sports car either. That line seems to be blurring.

    "A 0 to 62 mph sprint takes just 6.4 seconds, 1.3 seconds quicker than the previous model. And because of the wide powerband, Mercedes says the seven-speed automatic-equipped C350 takes just 6.1 seconds to get from 35 to 75 mph."


  • i placed my order a couple of hours ago.
  • I would call the C350 "sneaky quick". The shifts are almost imperceptable, and the ride was so quiet and smooth, i didn't realize i hit 75 until the sales rep said, "easy boy".
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    i placed my order a couple of hours ago.

    What colors and options did you order?

  • white/ash w/heated seats. nothing else.
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    So no sunroof or electric seats or is that included? The package that includes the all-leather may not be available for Alabaster White C350s anyway--at least in ash.

    Surprising but that is what seemed to be the case at about the time the C350 first showed up on the MBUSA website. I experimented around with designing a new C350--coincidentally, white with all-leather in ash--and that choice was not allowed.
  • no sunroof =1.5 inch more headroom. All C350 have electric memory seats.
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