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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedans



  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    John, I think you offer excellent advice. I have had chemicals spot my paint many years ago. Glad I learned on something temporary, like the minimal cost vehicles I had when I was in high school and college on Cape Cod.

    Currently I use Rain-X, again I am very careful to never let it touch anything except the windshield (and window) glass. Perhaps it is my imagination, but it seems my windshield pits less if I use it. I don't suppose it offers much protection against sand and rocks in reality, though.

    Nhtocc, if your dealer is Transatlantic Motors on Falmouth Rd. in Hyannis, you might want to ask for the service rep. Brian. He was very helpful to me back in 1996 when I had my C220 serviced when I was visiting my parents (I think you mentioned you were on the Cape?).

    Good luck, I look forward to hearing your results!

    - Paul
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    If Windex or vinagar or ammonia do not work, there are glass polishes. Not just cleaners, but with micro-abrasive silica in them that are used for heaqy duty cleaning every once in a while. I periodically use the Zaino product ( In a pinch, toothpaste (non-whitening) works wonders too for cleaning both glass and paint as it is also a micro-abrasive product. You just have to clean the toothpaste off afterwards. The car products are better fomulated to just wipe off.
  • nhtoccnhtocc Posts: 6
    Hey, I read the manual and found that I can stop the easy access entry/exit function so that the seats and steering column do not move every time I get in and out of the car. I think this will lengthen the life of the motor in the seat.

    Thank you also for windshield advice. I will try some of these products.

    Yes Paul you are correct I am on the Cape. Did not buy car from Trans Atlantic but have been there for a checkup on something and they did treat me very well. Will heed your advice and ask for Brian when I go back. Thx!
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,329
    this is OT, so you can email me if you want to, but I'm visitng the Cape next week and was wondering if you could give me some pointers on any must sees or must eat at restaurants? We're going to do Martha's Vineyard one day, Nantucket one day, we plan to trek out to Provincetown as well...any other suggestions? We're staying at an Inn in Centerville. Thanks in advance.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • vfchangvfchang Posts: 4
    Not sure if this has been posted. But, for those with the mysterious outside rearview mirrors drift, there is now a partial fix. MB has come up with new controllers. They do not completely eliminate the drift; but, they have reduced the need (by about 50-75%) to periodically re-adjust.
    Separately, for those with the Bose system and CD changer, do you have to set your fader control almost completely to the rear to get some rear sound bias? I recently had my dealer install the changer and have had to change the fader setting in order to get a rear bias. This was not the case before installing the changer. The dealer claims this is normal as the system in another car sounds similar. But, I find this hard to believe/understand. Thanks for any insight.
  • I have been using Mobil 1 10W-30 in my C320 since 5,000 miles. Would the 5W-30 grade be a better choice for the winter months, given the change in season coming up? Or alternatively, should I stick with the 10W-30 for the winter season? I live in New York where the temperatures reach a low of about 0-5F on the coldest days. Should I consider using 5W-30 even in the summer months, where the hottest days are 95-100F?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363 OK for year-round use, especially so with any synthetic. And this simplifies things if the car is not ready for an oil change when the seasons change.
  • jpnwdcjpnwdc Posts: 42
    I'm trying to decide between the C320 and the BMW 325i. With year-end 2002 prices on the C-Class they're about $3,000 apart. Anyone else go through a similar comparison? I know the 330i is more comparable from a hp perspective. However, the 325i seems peppy enough. The C240 does not.

    Here are my initial thoughts on this, but I'm interested to hear other opinions.

    C320 Advantages over 3-Series:
    - Ride
    - Safety
    - Style (subjective)
    - Trunk space

    3-Series over C320:
    - Sporty feel
    - Handling
    - Price
    - Fold down rear seats come with cold weather package
    - in dash CD-player
    - reliability (from what I've read)
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...though I don't personally believe there is any measureable difference from a safety perspective between either of these cars.

    The only thing you need to do is think about what the price difference is worth to you [I would never pay for a C320 new, under any circumstances, but to each their own], and how competent you believe the dealers are in your area.

    I personally believe the C240 is just fine in performance, so a "stripper" C240 [or more loaded with the yearend incentives] and "stripper" 325 have been on my shopping list, as well. The difference in price for an '03 325 automatic, and a highly discounted [but better equipped, even loaded] '02 C240 works out to about $1000-$1500 in favor of the 3er.

    The 3er is a more mature design, and while not without some lingering issues, promises to be more trouble-free in the short run than the C. Back seat room, and trunk space, favor the C. MB's service plan is superior for the '02 model year, but in for '03s, the BMW will have the same coverage.

    I'll admit to flopping back and forth myself, and that's without throwing in the EXTREMELY impressive and competent Infiniti G35 [if you haven't tried one, you should], and for that matter, the new and also extremely impressive Accord EX V6, which will have a complete safety package and 5-spd automatic with 240 hp for about $26k [and less if you wait for the initial demand to die down]. You can get a nav system with the Accord and still get change back from $28k or prestige factor, but extremely good resale value and very, very nice package in the '03.

    For me, if you have only to choose between the Germans, it would probably boil down to how confident you feel about the dealers in your area...because with either of these cars [but especially the C] you can count on the fact that it will need something besides routine servicing inside the warranty period. Around here, that version of the tie-breaker probably favors MB...
  • ahostahost Posts: 36
    Thanks for posting this. My dealer told me MB was working on a solution for the drifting mirrors, and now it might be there. I will contact my dealer and have them fix it.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    To me it's a strictly a subjective decision. Get the on that puts the bigger smile on your face. I would peronsally get the Mercedes because of the styling, solid feel and quietness and after driving a C320 I would get a used C320. If I was going to get a stick the 325 is a no brainer. IMHO the 3er motor / stick combo is a vastly superior driving machine. Another thing to consider is that BMW offers a euro delivery program that almost gives you a free trip to Europe.
  • jpnwdcjpnwdc Posts: 42
    jrct9454 - I drove the G35 twice and was unimpressed. I wanted to like the car because of the price and Infiniti's reputation for reliability and excellent customer service. However, I felt the interior looked and felt cheap. After a long test drive I didn't find the seats sufficiently supportive , and I was not impressed with the ride. I felt the BMW and Mercedes handled the bumps better and felt more solid overall. It's like anything - you get what you pay for.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    When I drove the 3, I found the wind noise (particularly around the A-pillar) to be very high. I also wasn't thrilled about some of the ergonomics -- in particular, the window switches scattered around the center console. I'm also not a fan of the red dashboard lighting.

    My wife's C is a bit soft for my tastes, but much quieter than the 3 that we drove
  • lg5lg5 Posts: 6
    Has anyone begun to price these...? How low will dealers go.?
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    Nearly 5K mi after our decision between cars that offered side head airbag protection: Cs and 3s were on the top with Passat down a bit. Honda/Accura models were not offering a complete solution when it came to side curtains or bags, at least for '02, and Lexus, Audi and Jag didn't get our interest.

    The C320 and 330i are comparable: kind'a of low to the ground, and nearly identical in all dimensions (wheelbase, overall length, interior room, &etc). Great legroom, even for long legged males, even in the back seats.

    New for the new C-class is rack and pinion steering and more hp available and more attractive styling. The new C's better-looking styling loses a little room inside, compared to older C's, but it hooked us.

    BMW is very dependent on 3-series sales (e.g., about half of all units sold), so they've worked hard on making the best car in the class, but MB matched their best and the 40-60% growth in C-Class sales, compared to flat growth for 3s, about says it all.

    Both engines are pretty neat. BMW stays with the I-6 approach. MB's 320 is a component V6 engine, i.e., the same engine as used in MB's 430 V8, for instance, less two cylinders (same engine as the SL500, less two cyls. and a smaller bore). Same engine as in an E320, etc.

    Also, the 320 engine has the same trans as for MB's V8s, e.g., same as is found in the 349 hp ML55 AMG. So, I think you can count on it being a lifetime trans in the C-Class.

    Most MLs sold sinced '98 are powered by the 320 and that's a 1,000 pound heavier car. The E320, at one time, actually offered the best gas consumption of any other V6, and the 320 engine was in Ward's pick of the top ten best engines for years, with its twin-plug, 3-valve per cylinder design. Huge oil capacity. The engine will probably last forever.

    BMW engines also are in Wards' top ten lists, but they're more in the racing engine genre, e.g., high rev, variable valve timing. It's a 3 liter motor compared to MB's 3.2, so the 330i still needs more compression to get the hp up to compare with the 320, but it still doesn't have the 320's torque.

    The 320 has a few less hp but the 330i's are skinny horses by comparison (i.e., the 320's greater torque means the MB has a lot fatter horses). The 320's torque advantage starts at a lower rpm and remains higher over a longer range than the 330i motor, so it doesn't have to work as hard to do what's required, and therefore should last longer.

    The 320's crankshaft is weighted so it does not have the same feel of the 330i, i.e., the 330i motor will 'feel' stronger off the line; the 320 will feel more substantial and will have a lot more pulling power in the mid and top ranges, e.g., at freeway speeds, the 320 will have superior passing power compared to the 330i, and the 320 loafs up hills without looking for lower gears.

    The MB's all leather seats seem better-- more supportive. The C-class probably will be more expensive for '03 because some items that are standard now may be options at an additional price, e.g, automatic trans, teleaid.

    The new C-Class should be around for another 5 years, so it's early on MB's product life curve and should offer good resale value. Plus, MB's new '03 E-Class will make a big splash in Sept/Oct (for instance, the '03 "E" will be the first full production auto with electronic braking, an original MB development, first introduced on MB's limited production '03 SL500--someday, all cars will have it). The '03 E's glow will draw attention to one of the most balanced of car lines in the auto industry and bring even more attention to MB's latest C-Class. Even though demand probably will keep growing,C's will still look fresh for years whereas the 3s are getting a dated look and feel.
  • eoseos Posts: 27
    I went through a similar decision process 2 years ago, with a 328i and a C280. They were both great cars, just with very different personalities. I ended up getting the C280 (a sport model), and I love it. no regrets.

    However, I also have to tell you that my wife and I bought a 325i for her in May (5-speed, premium package; with the 5-speed, we do not miss the 330's larger engine). The BMW too is wonderful, the engine sound always puts smiles on our faces, and driving the car is a thrill -- but it is also more work than driving the MB. To be honest, I am not sure I would want to drive the 325 every day -- but then again, I don't.

    So you are choosing between 2 great cars. There is no statistically or factually objective basis to select one of these machines over the other. Don't waste your time parsing the minor differences. Go with your instincts, and enjoy the choice, whatever it is.

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...if you need to break this tie on some sort of objective basis, it boils down in my mind to the availability and reputation of the dealer service for each make in your area. The cars themselves are not so superior in one area on another to make it an easy decision.

    In some locales, the BMW dealerships have it all over MB for competence, flexibility, and general helpfulness when things go wrong, as they inevitably will - but where I live, the opposite is true, so the C wins out if there are no other differences that clearly break the tie.

    I think of it as a classic Toyota vs Honda conundrum: if you value refinement a bit more, go with Toyota/MB; if a little extra performance is important, then Honda/BMW.
  • jpnwdcjpnwdc Posts: 42
    Well I went and drove the 325i and the C240 this weekend. I've decided that to get a '02 C320 I'd be spending $40K (incl. taxes, tags, CD-changer) even with the current incentives, and supply of them is very low. I'd rather spend less. The 325i and C240 are closer in price and engine size (although the C240 has less hp).

    The biggest difference I noticed was the ride and noise level, with the C240 being better in both regards. I could actually hear my watch ticking while I was driving on the highway. I also prefer the looks of the C. 3-Series are a dime-a-dozen. However, I'm not sure I can get past the fact that the C240 has 168hp. Maybe it's a guy thing.

    So here I am, trying to balance sportiness vs. ride. My current car (a Saab 9-3SE) has been very reliable but rides like a rollerskate (stiff suspension, flexy body). I cannot wait to get something that takes DC streets without giving me a headache!
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...which will be out in early October. Press has it that both the flexy body and crappy ride are gone, as well as the torque steer and just about everything else that turned me off about this car. No hatch, however, since for some strange reason they thought that this was the reason the car wasn't selling, rather than the long list of other shortcomings.

    Chassis stiffness is up over 200% [!!!], which tells you all you need to know about the old car...not that anyone needs to tell you, obviously.

    Anyway, if fwd is not a special bugaboo [since it is for a lot of people], both the new Saab and the new Honda Accord EX V6 should be on everyone's shopping list. I intend to try both before making any decisions, year-end incentives or not...
  • Just purchased new C240 w/auto, metallic paint, c1, c2, c3 for dealer invoice: 33,983 plus tax, lic.,doc fee.....only disappointment was no std. in-dash cd;(what gives when in-expensive Korean/Japanese cars have as std. equip.?) but factory gave tel-aid at no charge.

    Dealer said DRL not possible; read manual and was able to program DRL.Lot's to read and learn; agree with critics that some control overly complicated.
  • jpnwdcjpnwdc Posts: 42
    Silverfox6 - where did you get a 2003 C240 for invoice? I'm surprised since the '03 models are just arriving.
  • wabendswabends Posts: 102
    Congratulations on your choice. Whatever be the case you will enjoy the car you picked. Our C240 and 325i have both been a joy to drive. Enjoy.....
  • esswebessweb Posts: 51
    I am interested in knowing your take on the rear seat comfort for C, or the 3. For me, having driven Accord all my life, I am looking into getting a German. However, I feel C or 3 are just too small a car compare with an Accord or a Camry with seating of 5. Would it be comfortable seating in the back seat of a C with a baby car seat in the middle from Cincinnati to Chicago?

  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    essweb: I think you'll have to judge that for yourself. Personally, I couldn't imagine being in a car with a baby from Cincy to Chicago, unless the little tyke was locked up in a soundproof trunk. Edmunds shows the following interior specs for rear head, rear shoulder, and rear leg room:

    C240 37.3, 54.3, 33
    325 37.5, 54.2, 34.6
    Accord 38.5, 56.1, 36.8
    Camry 38.3, 56.7, 37.8

    I would consider all of these cars to be fine 4 passenger cars and none of them to be decent 5 passenger cars. It's my impression from my test drive of the 3 series that its back seat was smaller and less comfortable than the C-class, so Edmunds numbers surprise me a bit.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    would be to take your baby seat down to the dealer, put the baby seat in the back, adjust the drivers seat to where you like it, then sit in back and see what you think.
  • car purchased from fleet dept in Pasadena, CA. would have gotten 1500 below invoice on 02 if available; so had to settle for a 03. Dealer sells 11 makes incl. Volvo, Audi,Jag, BMW. Very friendly to deal with.....good luck
  • jpnwdcjpnwdc Posts: 42
    I'm sure this topic has been discussed many times before. However, why is the C320 rated slightly higher for gas mileage than the C240? You would think the bigger the engine, the more gas it would use. Aren't they very similar in design?

    Also, driving around town on test drives, the C240 seems peppy enough. I do read that some owners wish for more hp on their C240s. Is it out on the open road that the C240 "runs out of breath"?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...the answer is gearing. The C240 is geared shorter than the C320, which is responsible for both the poorer fuel consumption, and the perception that it is relatively quick on its feet around town. Also why it can "run out of breath" at higher speeds.

    Gearing can be everything - our '98 E320 achieves actual real-world economy that is better than either of these cars, despite being larger and heavier, because it is geared in a more relaxed fashion.

    MB is under the perception that Americans are interested only in power and more particularly, acceleration - the gearing is always a compromise to balance acceleration, fuel economy, and top speed.
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    MB must offer a range of performance options to compete in this class of car. The 240 may be fine, but if you live around hills, the 320 will be great. The 320 engine in the ML320 can be used to tow 5,000 lbs so the engine has no problem moving the C320 around: with 4 good-sized adults aboard, the C320 climbs hills easily, noiselessly and without pecking around for gears.

    The 240 actually is 2.6L; otherwise, it is the same engine as the 3.2L 320, e.g., the same bore as the 320; however, the 320 has a longer stroke, which accounts for the difference in displacement.

    Both engines have the same trans, firing order, compression, oil capacity. MB uses a component engine concept: the 320, for instance, also is the same engine as the 430 but with 2 fewer cylinders, and with a weighted crankshaft.
This discussion has been closed.