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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedans



  • ciracira Posts: 37
    At highway speeds I get a significant amount of vibration through the automatic gear shifter (such that it is uncomfortable to rest my hand on - the vibration is not visible). This just started recently (about 4 months after my purchase). Does anyone else notice this? I am trying to determine if this is normal movement.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    Congrads. Sounds like you got a tremendious bargain. Let us know how you like it. I understand completely the phrase back in the saddle again when it comes to Benz's
  • 404c404c Posts: 146
    I would take a guess that your car's engine mounts may be faulty and are therefore allowing additional vibration to penetrate the interior. This is a known problem - with a service bulletin - ask about it at the MB dealer and they'll probably change the engine mounts for you. That should solve the problem.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,386
    While Tooling around on MBUSA's latest iteration of their website, I noticed that there was no Sport Package option to choose on either the C240 or C320 Sedans. Is there no more Sport Package available? I think the 5 spoke wheels coupled with the lower suspension make the C-Class look more aggressive.

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

  • I've said this before, and now again in response to nyccarguy's post: unlike the BMW Sport package, which makes a significant difference, I do not think the Sport adds much if anything to the C ride. I'm not sure I even like its look, and would prefer to spend my money on AMG wheels. For this reason, I think it wise for MB to end it as an unnecessary concession to keep up with the Bimmers.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...for what it's worth, I've always thought the Sport Pkg was a waste...but to each his own...
  • ahostahost Posts: 36
    Did you see: Edmunds recently made two comparison tests of entry level luxury/sports sedans. None of them included the MB C-class! I find that completely unbelievable. If any brand defines luxury, it is MB. It's like making a sports car comparison without including Porsche, or sport sedan without including BMW! What is going on here, does Edmunds have an anti-MB bias?
  • lg5lg5 Posts: 6
    Has anyone driven this new model.? Do any E class owners have any thoughts on the 4MATIC ride vs. 2 wheel drive.? ABout to order a 2003 and not sure of which options are worth it... THANKS!
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363 opinion is that the C is not a "sports sedan", and thus is out of place in most of these comparisons with BMWs and Gs. It's a touring sedan, with comfort and safety put before handling and absolute cornering power. This is why the car consistently brings up the rear in most of the magazine comparison tests - these guys, and they are almost always guys, want handling above everything else, period - and EXACTLY why I chose my C240 over the comparable 325. I wanted silence, a better ride, and long-distance comfort more than that last 5% of absolute cornering power and those "quick responses" that the magazine testers [INCLUDING Edmunds] value so much.

    Just as well they didn't include the C - it would have finished dead last anyway, for the reasons noted above....and this paying customer [as opposed to "journalists" who borrow cars for a few days] could absolutely not care less.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    No customer has driven the car in North America because it's not yet available. You can count on the system being seamless, but it will add weight, and thus lower absolute performance a bit. Depends entirely on how much you want the extra traction - the actual driving experience on past models changes very little from 2wd on dry roads and good conditions.

    If I lived in an area with a lot of precip and/or snow, I think I would opt for it without much hesitation, notwithstanding the weight/performance penalty.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    How about a little comparo of the new C with your previous Benz's? Any preferences one way or another with the E? Thanks
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    It's a little early for real comparisons, so I'll reserve the right to say more when we get some real miles under our belts, which should happen in the next couple of weeks. First impressions, though:

    -As quiet as any car we've ever owned, including the W210 E, which was excellent.

    -Ride quality just a hair short of the last E, but as good as the last S we had [a 126 bodied 300SD].

    -Good seats, about on a par with the best we've had.

    -Performance is about what I expected, which is nothing special, but the short gearing at least has the advantage of allowing you to squirt ahead quickly once you're at speed.

    -I'm not a fan of all the electronic doo-dads, especially the TeleAid thingie, which took three tries to successfully activate and get the display to stop telling me it wasn't alive. Trip computer is fine, but I would prefer a real dipstick to check the oil, thanks. Just my age showing, no doubt.

    But I'll tell you this, for sure: as MBs go, the price we got combined with the car makes me feel pretty good. Coupe owners should feel even better [ I just couldn't live with the firmer ride and extra noise of the Coupe, but it was a close call ] with the extra $5k in their pockets.

    Perspective: our '84 190E 2.3 [delivered Nov '83] was priced at $24,450 before tax; we paid $30,000 before tax, 19 years later, for the C240. You do the math. And there is simply NO comparing these two cars - the distance between the W201 and W203 might as well be the moon. More power, better ride, better handling, quieter, smoother, ABS, ESP, better seats, curtain and side airbags, more trunk, more back seat...I could go on. In this respect, MB's claim to more value actually holds up.

    What's changed in that 19 years, of course, is that the competition has become a whole lot tougher and more sophisticated [the '03 Honda Accord would be Exhibit A]; however, in the end, there is a feel to these cars that I haven't been able to duplicate, so here we are again.

    More as we get some real seat time. There are a couple of swingouts planned for early October. In the meantime, the dealership just called to remind me of my service appt for Monday - I'm trying to get the one predelivery defect fixed, which is a tendency to wander off to the right at speed - the wheel alignment needs the tender mercies of the very competent tech who handles this for MB Sacto. Fingers crossed...
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    Thanks for the review. As a former 201 owner I agree that the car is a tremendeous value particularly given what you paid and I think the the sedan is well worth the difference. Awaiting your future updates. Good luck with the allignment. I'm sure if anybody will get it straightened out (no pun intended) you will given that you know more about it than 95% of the people who work on the cars.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Post #5680, well said! I feel the same way when it comes to Car and Driver and Mercedes-Benz. They recently ranked the C320 Sport next to last, but upon their initial driver they claimed that it came ever so close to matching the 330i in the handling/sport dept, but now it's not even close.

  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    How does the new C stack against your Corolla? I remember you thought quite highly of the Corolla when you got it. Are you finding the new C to be twice the car the Corolla is? I ask this sincerely as my heart wants the C but the stressed out employee of a continuously downsizing firm thinks the Corolla may bring more piece of mind.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...of what we do, and in fact while occupying the same space on the road [exact same length and width] is actually roomier inside both the cabin and the trunk.

    The 5% is use on longer trips - anything over 4 hours can become a trial because of the combination of the firmer ride, extra noise [though this car is noticeably quieter than a Civic], and seats.

    Since we are traveling more by car now, and less by air [just like so many other people you read about], the C seemed like a reasonable investment. Is it twice the car? - well, no. I was willing to pay a premium for what I wanted, but cars like the Corolla and Civic are arguably all the car many people need.

    There have been some teething problems with the '03s, but as always, fewer and less annoying than you would expect from the Germans or Americans in an equally new model. Ours was trouble-free in all important respects, but others have had complaints about dash noises, and recalls for a small number of cars about tires and axle bolt torquing. The car seems to be in shorter supply than you'd expect, and we got a good price for ours as a result.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    Thanks for the honest feedback

    The only thing that I had a real objection to the Corolla was the rear suspensions ride. I have a 5 hr drive home to my family and I didn't think I could endure the way it reacted to our midwestern expansion joints. But I was never sure that it wasn't due to the tires being over inflated.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...yes, it is very sensitive to tire pressure. It uses 195/65x15 tires, to hold up only 2700 lbs [ MB has used the same size on the 124 E and 202 and 203 C, for cars that weigh up to 800 lbs more ], and the factory recommended 30 psi is actually overkill. Everyone is hyper about tire failures and lawsuits, but this car behaved better, and was just as safe, with the tires at 28 psi. In any case, the average Joe was being encouraged by the various "experts" to run up to 35 psi or more, and that is insane, and ruins the ride.

    By contrast, the 203 C sedan is much less sensitive in its ride quality - the factory says 28 front and 32 rear, and we are running 31 all around, with no deterioration in ride. Once you get above about 34 psi, you begin to feel it in the C if you're sensitive [ most people aren't ], but the Germans have a magic about springs, shocks, and sway bar settings that no one else can match. This is why I stay away from 'sport pkgs', whether they come from MB, BMW, Audi, or VW, because they take the one claim to fame these cars have over their competition and degrade it. The prime reason we picked the C sedan is the combination of ride and this size class, only the BMW 325 comes close. The 330 now has the 'sports suspension' as std, with low profile tires and firmer shocks, and it crosses the line for me. This is what I mean about the distinction between a sports sedan and a touring sedan...
  • I purchased this car in May 2002 and about a month later, my wife and I began noticing a strong "musty" odor coming from the AC vents when the vehicle is first started in the morning. The smell quickly goes away as the AC runs. I have taken the car in to the dealer 3 times since we first noticed this and they can not correct the problem. Has anyone else, who owns a C240, noticed this problem? If so, has it been corrected?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...common causes include an evaporator drain that is not running freely, and the need to replace the cabin filter. The former is a prime suspect, but once cleared, the latter is necessary to assure no lingering effects. Just what has the dealer checked in those three visits? I always like to know what they've tried, even if there has been no success - without an understanding of where they're poking around, it's hard to know what to recommend as a next step - except the obvious one of calling for regional service help through your dealer's service manager. Three strikes, and it's time to ask for outside assistance...
  • The first visit, they just put some strong disinfectant in the vents. The second time, they replaced the evaporator, supposedly, and claim they checked the drains and there were no problems. The third time, they supposedly checked the entire system and could not find any problem. They again sprayed some disinfectant/deodorant in the system. I had to suggest that they replace the cabin filter, which they supposedly did, but the smell is back!!
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363 the right areas, so that leaves my last suggestion - time to call in the next level of expertise.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    IMHO the ride quality of 202C sport package stunk. The 203 is much better as is my Audi's.
  • 404c404c Posts: 146
    The only real, permanent solution is to turn the A/C off a couple of miles before you get to your destination. That gives the evaporator a chance to warm up and shed its condensation before the car sits overnight or longer.

    If you stop with the thing nearly ice cold and moist with condensation, the bugs and molds grow overnight and make the "nice" biology experiment that you're breathing and complaining about. In humid areas this is more of a problem than in drier areas.
  • How about pushing "REST" when you leave the car? This will circulate air within the cab for 30 minutes after activation. Clean the system first using one of the available aerosol products so you'll have a good comparison. I don't have the problem so can't say this works for me, but I'm curious if it would help.
  • 404c404c Posts: 146
    Yes of course, use Rest mode - that should do the same thing as shutting the A/C down early while still driving.
  • Thanks, I'll try the REST mode and see if it works. Too bad my dealer did not suggest this to me! Which aerosol product are you referring to for cleaning the system?
  • mleskovarmleskovar Posts: 171
    I haven't needed to use any so I can't comment. Wurth makes a product that I've seen advertised for this purpose and is carried by You could probably go to the auto parts store and inquire as well.
  • beth29beth29 Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 1998 230 C sedan with 27000 miles. I never dreamed I would own a mercedes. I do love this car - comfort, ride,quiet etc; however, the transmission does not seem real smooth, particularly between 1st and 2nd. My husband says he doesn't even notice it. The service department says this has something to do with "warming up the catalytic converter" and should occur the first mile. While it does improve, I must say I still notice it. I did see a review of the 1997 model on Edmunds that references a lag and jerky transmission". Is this inherit in the model or something I should get fixed while the warranty is in effect?
  • I received a letter in the mail from MBUSA yesterday outlining their settlement in a class action suit. It says that my C now has a 10 year/150,000 mile warranty. I'm not clear however if this is a total vehicle warranty or if it only applies to potential engine trouble caused by the oil used in the car, which was the issue in the lawsuit. Anyone else get this letter?
This discussion has been closed.