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Mercedes-Benz C350 & C280

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Comments

  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Where would that put a CLK280 on price? That might draw me, if the driving experience was right. A two-door would have to be a second car for me.

    The E interests me not at all personally. Never has really; it's a bigger and a scad less agile a car than I would drive day to day, and not quite pretty or plush enough for a social calendar car, IMO. But I'd be willing to bet there are more than a few C owners (or potential ones) that might make the jump for more car at basically an upper C price (if I've got that right).

    But I admit, I'm out of my comfort zone speculating in any detail on Benz product. More gut reaction here.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    on a CLK280 is all we can do, b/c I seriously doubt it will cross the pond. Especially not with a manual tranny. Just daydreaming. MB tends to charge about $1400 for an auto when it's an option, and engine upgrades(V6 into V8) tend to run 5-6K. I doubt that would be the deduct to go from big to small V6, tho. I agree that some buyers in the high C-class market would step up in a heartbeat to get the bigger car. Daimler needs to be carefull about how much product they saturate this market with, tho, IMO.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Thinking critically, they now have another bookend to worry about as well. Chrysler now blossoms, perhaps as an example to Benz management, perhaps as kharma for firing the wrong freakin' guy!

    It may not be essential at this particular time, but pricing and segments will be areas of concern down the road, particularly if more successes round out the Chrysler experience.

    Bodes well for marque-snobs like our pal Merc! ;-) Can't swim too far downstream without messing with their suddenly lucrative investment!
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    daimler could learn a thing or two about marketing to us yankee capitalists, which chrysler's success could help with. They build a brilliant car, but it took them until '95 to put a cupholder in any of them, and when they did, instead of putting a hole in the console like they should have, they over-engineered it to death. Took way, way too long to put a cd player in a car, as well. Things they never took the time to see how important they were to this market. If you look back a few years, tho, they have kept pricing very competitive through the years. In 1982 a 190E with the 2.6 engine and a sunroof, but not much else, was in the low 30's.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    How's about the nine discs required for the NAV?
    :-(
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    such as those are completely lost on them. They could easily double the volume of M-class sales if they would add even a decent factory installed DVD -not VHS- player in the back seat, for example, but they will not do it.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    on the good side, it's now a single disk, dvd-based system, and the head unit is easier to learn and more efficient to use than before. Unfortunately it still lacks a lot of smaller roads, and detours compared to other systems, even though it is my understanding that NAVTEQ is the supplier for almost every auto manufacturer out there.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The things you guys are talking about goes back to my theory that MB and particularly VW doesn't have the full attention of their bosses back in Germany, otherwise they'd react much quicker and precisely to U.S. market demands instead of ignoring the obvious.

    A CLK280 would probably see for about 39K, I'm guessing. I think it would sell, but a manual nope because that would put in direct competition with much more powerful/sporty coupes in the price range, namely the G35 Coupe.

    M
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    Both of those companies are so global that they probably view our(America's) obsession with cupholders, etc. as an afterthought. They have always had a take-it-or-leave-it kind of approach to how they package their vehicles, but now that volume manufacturers like toyota are eating their lunch, they need to start paying more attention to the details this market bases their decisions on.

    A CLK280 with a 6-speed is a pipe dream, but it would be a way to exploit that power. A pillar-less true coupe with that tranny, at that price point would be sweet
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    In reading your posts it seems you work for Mercedes-Benz? Either way what do you think about all the new and/or revamped products they have coming between now and this fall? I mean there is a new M-Class, R-Class, a revamped engine lineup for the C-Class...not to mention the new SLK and CLS? What do you think of the SLK and CLS and the facelifted CLK, also coming this summer/fall? Mercedes really needs the M and R-Class vehicles to be a hit if for no other reason, profits not spoiled by the dollar/Euro situation.

    M
  • cmnottcmnott Posts: 200
    Another favourable review.

    Looks like MB may finally have the C350 right...they are also boasting a 12% mpg increase along with increased power with the 3.5L V6.

    Everywhere that I have read about this engine is it sounds amazing. Well on Top Gear I had a chance to hear the SLK and it was a glorious sound indeed. Personally, that is what makes me enjoy my cars, a great exhaust makes you wnat to turn the radio off!
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    yes I must admit my living is made via mercedes-benz. It's a love affair that started when I was a valet in Atlanta, GA. The first time I parked a 420SEL there was no looking back. That was in 1988. The new product is exciting to me, being an enthusiast, but because some of it is such a departure from what the American market sees mercedes to be, I have my fingers crossed that we as a culture will really get it. The new M-class will, barring any prolonged series of issues, be everything now that the outgoing one was then. All of the newer product has been much more reliable so far as well, thank god. I drive the c-class and it's been a really great to drive, reliable car, but I've seen other people not fair so well. These new drive trains are advanced, efficient, and fast. That coupled with the modern and functional body styles coming soon, and mercedes as a brand may back in the saddle. The B-class is still coming, it's just getting delayed because of the exchange rate. probably we'll see it this time next year instead of this fall, but I really like it.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah I hope they can turn it around. By the new products being more reliable, you mean the CLS and SLK? Gawd I hope so. For one thing these two models in particular signal an end of Mercedes skimping on interior materials if nothing else, they'be both up to traditional pre-2000 S-Class standards.

    Ah the problem children, E, ML, C and S all have issues according to the surveys, especally the ML and E-Class. While the ML is obvious, I'm really curious to know what the big problem is with the current E-Class. I assume you work for a dealership in some capacity? What issues have you seen with the 2003+ E-Class? I know the 2003 models have nav problems, but for 2004 and certain for 2005 they should have gotten a handle on the E, because it is probably Mercedes most important sedan from a volume and attention stand point.

    M
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    Yes, I guess you could say I'm on the front line. So far the SLK and CLS, of which I've sold 4 and 2 of, respectively, have been solid. The materials and fit and finish are back up where they should be. The cupholder in the 2000 S-class is probably the darkest moment in mercedes history from a value statement standpoint. With regards to the W211 E class, the first year was a lot of arbitrary little gremlins, which, folks, when you buy the first year of a European vehicle, you will likely have to deal with. not surely, but likely. The reason there was no nav in the '03 was due to a GPS module issue, which also plagued some Tele-aid(onstar) systems. The modules were VIN specific, so getting them replaced in a timely fashion was not easy. The sad thing is, now that all of these past problems have saturated the airwaves, they aren't very prevalent really, anymore. For those of you who hate the SBC brakes in the E, I can see why you might feel that way, they are a little hard to modulate, and the system is very noisy while it's warming up. At this point, the only car in the line that isn't 100% is the old M-class. SOMETIMES they still have an issue or two, but rarely anything major.
    Part of the problem mercedes is up against is that for them to build a car out of the materials they used in, say, a 1990 420SEL, with today's supplier costs, the car would be priced out of even the highline market. People want more fuel mileage, cheaper insurance, quicker repairs, and more features, etc. without the price going up. What that means is more plastic, and lowest- bidder suppliers. That being said, they still use very costly techniques and materials in the building of their car, the only other manufacturer that uses a monocoque chassis is Porche, and their prices reflect that as well. Personally, I would like to see them focus less on volumn, and spend whatever they have to,and charge whatever they have to, to be as bulletproof as a toyota, but continue to dust them on driveability.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yep perception always lags reality, and we all know once the press gets a hold of anything that shows a star falling from grace they are relentless with keeping that story going.

    I'm glad to hear that so far the SLK and CLS have been good, but the real test will be this time next year when CR and JDP does their thing.

    M
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    We'll see how they fare in the surveys. One thing I've noticed a little bit of is, when you're driving a japanese car, for example, and your perception is one of "maytag" reliability, you'll let little things slide. Where as if you shelled out the big bucks for the pioneering, high-tech mercedes or bmw or even audi, ANYTHING and I mean anything that goes wrong will be reported to those guys at CR and JDP with much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth. The world is full of double standards, that's just one of them. But the japanese have realized that they were building their cars a little TOO well, and weren't turning cars as often, or making much $ on parts and service, so they have slacked off a bit. The last JDP I looked at saw mercedes move up about three % points, and toyota(lexus) lose a few with regards to problems per 100 cars.
    The brother of one of my service advisors works at a lexus dealer, and says he's got all the warranty work he can keep up with.
    schadenfreud :-)
  • agarbatiagarbati Posts: 6
    I am a first time MB buyer and here are my questions. I'd really appreciate it if the more experienced MB owners can help me out. I will most likely be selling the car in 4-5 years so a somewhat return of what I put in would be nice.

    1- I'd like a capable engine but don't usually push it that hard. Should I wait for the 350 or go with the 320? Also is the difference between the 240 and 320 worth the 5g price difference?

    2- How much more is the 350 going to cost, than the current 320? Should I wait?

    3- I've noticed very few C owners have leather upholstery. Should I also go with the leather inserts?

    4- Finally, I need some info on options and which ones are worth it. I was going to go with the 6 disc changer, Xenons, Sunroof package, Navigation system. Any I should add/drop?

    Thanks for your replies.
  • benz14benz14 Posts: 2
    Well to every car including the TL, every new car/remodel has lemons and kinks the first year there out and the company takes car of them and so forth. But to be realistic you are comparing Japanese luxury to a higher standard of German luxury. What would you rather say you owned a Acura, Infiniti, Lexus, or a Mercedes, BMW, Audi. Dont get me wrong Lexus has nice cars but like infiniti there cars all resemble there cheaper counter-part (Toyota, Nissan). When most people are going to spend a lot of money on the car they usually go for a name not a value and something not everyone can put in there driveway. The name they usually go for is something more respectable then a Japanese import....
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    You can take my advice with a grain of salt since I sell them, but if I can help, I would be glad to.

    -Like any aspect of retail, the new improved thing will cost more, and the old thing will be there at a better price, but with fewer choices. The last of the 240's and 320's have pretty much been built, so what's out there is it. The good news is benz is sure to put extra incentives on the outgoing cars, so a deal can be had, you just might have to settle on colors and/or equipment.

    -The only options that translate into any genuine resale value are sunroofs, cd changers, and auto transmissions. So buy the smallest engine and trim level you can live with. Full leather, xenons, and nav mean nothing to the used car buyer, they just want the cheapest car they can find, and they won't pay much more for things like that. Those options may give you a better experience driving the car, but are all but lost in trade.

    -The engine upgrades will cost more. The E-class jumped about $1500 when it went to 350 size engine, so I would think at least $1k will be the premium on the c-class cars.

    -the two biggest adjustments you will see in the value of your car is when it goes out of warranty(4 years/50,000 miles), and when you cross the 100k mile mark.

    BTW I drive one also (C230), and they are fantastic cars, haven't had any trouble out of it. Hope I could help...
  • agarbatiagarbati Posts: 6
    Thanks! That was helpful!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Also, you might want to consider the C240's replacment, the C280. It will likely have 225-228hp and perform better than the current top of the line C320. The wonderful thing about Mercedes is that when they do new engines (doesn't happen that often) they really turn the performance up, often times making the base model outperform the former top model. Even the new C230 is supposed to get a 200hp V6. It may only equal the performance of the current C230 in a straight line, but it will be a much smoother drive. Sounding a lot better in the process. Can't wait to see the official details on the 2006 C-Class.

    M
  • kennynmdkennynmd Posts: 424
    I couldn't agree more. A friend of mine a couple of years ago was looking at a 02 Lexus GS430. He went to a high-end only used dealer that sold MB's BMW's, etc. When he told them they gave him 2 keys, one being a Lexus key and the other being a BMW key. And told hime without looking at the car which would you rather have at your garage. Long story short, he chose the BMW 540. I've owned an Acura and currently a LExus so I like the JApanese cars, but name is everytthing if you can afford it.
  • agarbatiagarbati Posts: 6
    OK, I don't want to stir the pot here but I'm really torn between two different cars and need some help in making a decision. One is the coming C280, and the other is the Acura 3.2TL. On one hand the starpower is irrestible, but I've been looking at the Acura and that just makes the decision really difficult. The 3.2 is a very attractive purchase in accessories, looks, and quality. But all said and done you can't compare a Merc to an Acura - they're two very different beasts.
  • kennynmdkennynmd Posts: 424
    Somewhat in the same boat. Never had a MB and always like that 3 pointed star.However the Acura is nice because of the size and price.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well guys it really boils down to what you like and what your priorities are. The TL is bigger, faster and has better standard equipment than the C280. The C350 is really the match for the TL, but with the same equipment its like 10-12K more than the TL. The C280 will only have about 227 hp compared to the TL's 270hp. Goes with out saying the TL will be faster. The C350 Sport will likely match the TL in every performance contest, but at a cost. I think the handling advantage will go to the C350 Sport, but we'll see. Reliability of course goes to Acura.

    M
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    I tuned in to see what kind of reviews there might be from people with actual experience concerning MB's new 3.5 and 7-spd tranny. That is what the thread was all about.

    It was surprising to see how many people--people who have voted with their dollars and obviously have "voted" for other vehicles and should be on other threads--apparently feel the need to use a thread like this to re-sell themselves on their own opinions, decisions and values. Sheesh.

    A lot of the off-topic chatter seems to be about Acura's lineup, which wasn't much when we purchased our '02 C320. They didn't even offer side head curtains: just a little pillow that came out of the seat. The Acuras where closer to the $30K V6 Passats as far as comparing apples for apples.

    Now, Acura may have more than a contender to MB's C-class--perhaps, even a superior car in the eyes of many. Maybe it is "better" because it is a better value, or is bigger, or comes in more colors, or because Japanese are trying harder and German workers are overpaid, etc.

    So,. . . who cares? Why does that become a topic on a MB thread?

    Anyway, hopefully, anyone with actual experience owning a MB vehicle with the new 350 engine will post their experiences. Thanks.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Can we add the C280 to the title?

    M
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,837
    Nope. This is a future vehicles discussion, so we focus on ONE vehicle only, and it's gotta be a future model. The Coupes board is a great place for a 280 discussion.

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  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The C280 is a new C-Class sedan coming along with the new C350.

    M
  • kennynmdkennynmd Posts: 424
    Don't know why not? They are new 06 models.
This discussion has been closed.