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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedans

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  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367
    At this stage in the game, I know of no special mechancial issues related to the W203 cars. The worst I've heard is the occasional noisy front suspension bushings, but most of the rest of what got the car in trouble early on has been taken care of by way of running production changes. The electronics of ALL German cars should be considered suspect - they all buy from the same suppliers, and all have defective approaches to quality control and overseeing production engineering. They need to adapt Japanese habits, or start buying from altermative suppliers, but seem reluctant to do either.

    For these reasons, yes, I recommend the official MBUSA extended warranty. How much it costs depends on what you buy - we got the full-boat 3 yr extension to 100k [7/100 total] for less than $1700 in 2003 for a 2002 C240. The least expensive source appears to be the dealer in Chico, CA - use the MB website to get a contact.

    Prices have no doubt gone up, but there are a few of things to keep in mind:

    -The most complicated and trouble-prone of the electronic doo-dads are specifically not covered under the extended warranty [from year 5 on]. These include the notoriously awful COMAND system and the sound system [radio, CD, etc.]. Everything else that matters is covered.

    -You can buy the extended warranty from ANY dealer at ANY time within the first year of ownership; at day 366, that opportunity goes away. Thus, you have time to shop around for the best price, as long as you don't exceed the first year.

    -Dealers will like to tell you there is one price for the warranty. Nonsense. There is an "MSRP" just like the car itself, but any dealer is free to discount it as much as they desire to build business. My selling dealer agreed to match the lowest price I could find anywhere, and they stuck to that bargain at the 11th month. Shop around. Start with your local dealer, then give the folks at Chico a try - that will give you the basis for a comparison. Site rules seem to prohibit my telling you the name of the F&I lady at the Chico dealership, but you'll figure it out.
  • mdamronmdamron Posts: 2
    Unlike you, I still own my 2001 C320, I have a major problem with my electric system. My car is garage kept and not driven for several days at a time. If I don't start and drive the car daily the car will drain all the power from the battery down to were the door locks won't even work. The car has been in the MB shop now for over 4 months (with them trying all sorts of relays and seat modules with no success, and they want me to pay for all these trial and errors since they say electrical parts are none returnable) any suggestions that I can use to get my car fixed. I thought that my next step may be an attorney.
  • dfc3dfc3 Posts: 87
    I posted this on the C350 vs. C280 board as well, but figured it might be better here:

    Right now, I drive a 2004 Volvo S60 T5. I'm trying to decide whether I want to purchase one of the new 2006 C-class vehicles to replace it. The new engine/transmission combo for the 2006 C-class line is making me give it serious consideration. I'm trying to find out if there's enough benefit to make the move. I'd welcome all opinions!

    The tough part is that the Volvo S60 T5 is perfectly fine. For some quick comparisons (the first number is the Volvo figure, the second is the 2006 MB C280):

    Cylinders: 5 vs. 6
    HP: 208 vs. 228 (2.5L vs. 3.0L)
    Torque: 236 ft lbs 1500 RPM vs. 221 ft lbs 2700 RPM (the Volvo is turbocharged...)

    I like the Volvo's ride, power, and smoothness. What I don't like is that the S60 is not quite as compact. The turning radius for the S60 is 38.7" (the C280 touts 35.3" - which would be better for me in the area I live). The width of the S60 is 71.4" vs. the C280's 68.0".

    Yet these are minor points - given my car is only 2 years old.

    Thoughts? Opinions? Other facts?

    TIA.
  • karlzunikarlzuni Posts: 20
    Question for the group. Just looked at C230 for my wife. Is it true that in the 2006 C230 the only all leather color is black? TIA
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367
    The ride of the C, as well as smoothness and overall refinement, have it all over the Volvo, at least as far as I'm concerned. The rest of it is economics and what your priorities are.

    The C280 is the value in the W203 line; in my opinion, the C350 is way too expensive for what you get - will be a great used car 4 years from now, but too pricey new.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367
    Yeah, for whatever marketing reasons, the C230 [which for this year actually has a 2.5 liter version of the new family of 4-valve V6s] is only being sold here as a "Sports Package". And yes, that means only a black interior.

    It also means a firmer ride, very low profile summer z-rated tires that will be gone in less than 20k miles, and staggered tire sizes [different sizes for the front and rear tires] that can't be rotated. Everyone's tastes are different, but I think this is silly. The C280 makes more sense to me, for not much more money if you exercise some restraint with the options.

    Anyway, the short answer to your question is that you can have any color interior you want, as long as it's.......black...
  • dfc3dfc3 Posts: 87
    Hmmm.... different size tires for the front and rear; wild.

    Anyway... thanks for the update on the new C230. The new C280 doesn't have a sport edition; only the luxury edition (which is fine for me). To go the next rung up, the new C350 has both - but you're getting up in the $40,000 range.

    I've researched the C280 - as it would most likely be the next car for me - from what I know so far. There are quite a few choices in options, styles, colors etc.

    Overall... I'd guess the whole C-class is a better value in 2006 with the new engine and transmission. Its pushing into the E-class territory a little more, but with much lower prices.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367
    Well-equipped C280s have MSRPs in the $37-38k range, but many are less, and in any case, dealers are already discounting in competitive markets. I believe the C350 to be overpriced and simply a poor buy, especially relative to the performance available in the C280.

    If the C230 were offered in our market without the sports package, it would be a very attractiive buy; as it stands, I wouldn't be interested.

    All of the Germans, but especially BMW and MB, force things on you with their "sports packages" that I find unacceptable, the most obvious of which is staggered tire sizes, often with unidirectional tread designs and tire compounds that will be gone in 15k miles. Lexus is about to do the same thing with the new IS350. This makes the car great on the track, and seems to impress the people who write for the car magazines [I read them all], but doesn't do much for real people driving in the real world. I avoid them like the plague.

    I can get a C280 with just met paint and the fold-down seats [no sunroof and no other useless junk] on EU delivery for $31.5k. Right now, unless something changes between today and next spring, that is the default plan.
  • Greetings -- Just joined the forum. I have a 2002 C240 sedan. It will need a brake job soon -- 69,000 miles (all interstate) on original brakes (I drive easy). Am experienced restorer of vintage German and British cars, and am considering doing it myself, especially since local dealer quoted me $650 for front pads and rotors, and another $560 for rear pads and rotors. Before I tackle this job, are there any unique things I should be aware of, or are Benz's much the same as Porsches and other Euro brands? I have found factory replacement front pad sets as little as $70, and rears for $55, with front rotors going for $50 each and rears for $35 each. At those prices, paying a dealer over $1,200 seems almost criminal. Thanks in advance.

    Ross
  • I'm about to custom order a 2006 C-230--my other serious consideration is the Acura TL (I'm a BMW survivor of TWO painful long-term disasters) I'm looking for compelling info. to convince me one way, or the other, other than "It's a Mercedes". Pricing is nearly the same on my quite equipped 230--could go with the C-350, but seems silly to buy a Mercedes without all the "bells and whistles" which would put the car out of my budget :confuse: ....thoughts anyone? :confuse:
  • I'm in the same boat as you, and have decided on the Mercedes. It's just a quality car. It's very safe, tighter turning radius, easier small size, built for the autobohn in handling and comfort, classy,and fun to drive with good resale. PLUS, the gas mileage is better.The 230 is definalty the better bang for the buck. You can always buy extended warranty within a year after you buy it.

    I have only driven an rsx-s and was highly impressed, but it doesnt come with head side air bags, big no no. Im sure the TL is nice but the turning radius and bigger size doesnt appeal to me.

    I value HANDLING and comfort, and the Germans have just nailed it. Good luck in your decision, what color do you plan on getting?
  • I have a 2003 C230 and cannot locate the oil filter. Can someone help me?

    Thanks!
  • dfc3dfc3 Posts: 87
    I'll add my 2 cents here. I haven't bought a 2006 C-series car; but certainly plan to test drive one. The new engine and transmission combo have got rave reviews for the C280 over on the C280/C350 board. I've done some research and found that it seems a notable improvement on the current (previous?) C-series. In addition, as the previous poster mentioned, the turning radius is tight and the car is compact without being small. This "should" give a feel for easy maneuverability combined with decent power (for the C230) and smooth shifting.

    Good luck! Personally, I'm leaning toward the C280 though.
  • I have about decided on the Mercedes--even though the TL has "rave" reviews, it still seems to be a supercharged Honda, and has that "big car" feel. I love the size of the C-230.

    I might add that I live in Puerto Rico, where space is very, very tight, and the size of theC230 is just right...the taxes we pay (are you sitting down) add about 26% to the full suggested retail price, which is what we pay...in fact, I'm paying a premium of $700 over MSRP, bringing the price of the car with lighting, sunroof, & elec. pacakges, to over $44K. The TL is $46K.

    I am actually leaning towards white, since this saves about $850 with PR excise taxes. My dilema is that I don't like the way the Ash interiors appear behind the blue glass with the white exterior, and the black is such a severe contrast...I'm disappointed that Mercedes doesn't have attractive leather color choices, such as the Dakota that BMW has...this would convince me to pay the premium for full leather, for sure. I also like the Barolo red in pictures with Ash interior, however, there is no car here at my dealer to see in person.

    My other concern is that I've read that the car is underpowered, and lacks torque, especially low end...I drove a used 2005 Komp. at a dealer, and was impressed, however, there is no 2006 C230 available for test driving (which is typical here). What is your opinion in this regard? MT has a great raving review of the C350, however, this car is over $50K with PR taxes, and unaffordable for me at this point.

    As things look now with this gas fiasco, I may end up buying nothing, as my increased payment budget is going to be unfortunately consumed paying for gasoline.

    Any thoughts you have would be appreciated!
  • You bring up my other quandry--C230 vs. 280...I am definitely an aggressive driver, and have had a number of sport tuned autos--Passat, Z3, etcl, even though the roads here in Puerto Rico are awful...At the same time, however, I wish the engine in the C280 was that of the C230...I shy away from the C280's interior, which seems more like a car my father would buy, not me. Again, C350 is my ideal car, but too pricey for me with the high PR taxes.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367
    All MB engines feature a filter that is accessible from the top of the engine, in a round cannister, usually black plastic about 3 inches in diameter, with a four- or six-sided screw top embossed wth the torque instructions for tightening. I can't be any more specific than that without a picture of the engine to look at....I would recognize it instantly if I had one in front of me.

    (I'll search the internet to see if I can find a pic of the engine to verify.)

    It looks like it's on the driver's side, near the firewall [back of the engine].
  • dfc3dfc3 Posts: 87
    I can't respond to the relative lack of torque question. I haven't even seen a C230 yet - more yet test drove one. I have seen the new C280.

    I understand what you mean, though. The C280 only comes in a sedan, not a sports version, which is fine for me (I have 2 young kids). To get a sports version, you'd need to move up to the C350. From the reviews, that seems like a great car, and its still on the same chassis as the C230/C280. But... I'm even shying away from the C350 on price - and I'm in the U.S. It doesn't seem worth paying an extra $4,000 for the added engine power (which is essentially what you get for it). Mercedes-Benz must have a higher markup on the C350.

    You might want to check out another board. There's one under the Mercedes-Benz discussion boards called "C280 and C350" or something like that. Someone there may have bought a C230.
  • I just purchased my first Mercedes Benz. I got C230 with Metallic Paint, Automatic transmission, Heated front seats, Sunroof Package, Lighting Package, Driver's side power seat. MSRP is $35,905. Invoice is $33,446. I got 9% discount from MSRP. I paid $32,673.55 plus $77 for tag and 3% Virginia sales tax. Total out the door price was $33,828.61. I originally considered SLK, CLK coupe and E class, Audi A4 and BMW 3 coupe. I loved the A4's ride, but I wanted to stay away from VW/Audi reliability problem. BMW 3 looked nice, but the model has been out in the market for too long. It would have been nice to get CLK coupe or E, but I think C230 is good enough.
  • These vehicles do not have oil dipsticks. You must depend on the dash display. Is there an aftermarket oil dipstick that will work for this vehicle? I'm from the old school. I like to see what my oil looks like.

    Thanks!
  • I believe we are allowed to give the name of the dealer, but not the salesperson. Good luck with the car! Did you specifically want the Lighting Package (seems to be a rare option in the DC/NOVA area--but I think the bi-xenons definitely improve the looks of the front end).
This discussion has been closed.