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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedans



  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Yes, the water-based paints chip more easily. No, it is not a German car phenomenon. Yes, every web discussion site is filled with complaints on this topic. Each owner group [Honda, Toyota, Mazda, MB, BMW, Audi, etc. ad nauseum] is convinced that their particular make is unique in the respect, and a sure sign that Fill-In-The-Blank's quality has gone downhill since the good old days, etc.

    Oil-based enamel and acrylics WERE great paints; they are gone forever from the factories of mass-market manufacturers. Might as well accept this...air quality standards cannot be met with these kinds of paints, and that is that, until the technology evolves some more, as it no doubt will.
  • John - Appreciate the info and the link to the mbspy pages -- your posts are always appreciated. I've bookmarked this site for a while but was unaware of the engine info. Sounds like a winner, V-6 power and inline 4 fuel economy.

    Checked Sunday and local dealer here in Central Fl has 2x6 speed sport C230K 1 in Pewter, 1 in Black with C2 package and in dash CD player...which is darn close to the spec I would select. Noticed torque seems to be produced lower down (192 ft pnd at 3500 RPM), which usually gives me the impression (and it may not, indeed, be just an impression) of a more responsive and fun to drive car. I must say the wheel and tyre combination did not thrill me; I suppose they are targeting a younger (ahem) market with these, which is fair enough. They did seem a little on the "over the top" side to me, but they certainly fill the wheel wells with a purpose. Methinks may have to book a test drive...

    One passing observation on the seeming surfeit of model choices, one rather suspects a "freshening" of the C class styling in '04 is in the works as it would make sense in the middle of the product cycle (01 to 07). I seem to recall someone in another forum ( saying that the C would also get the in dash CD player in '04 that many have complained about (I've gotten used to the trunk mounted CD in mine -- and I use the cassette tape player for pre-recorded comedy tapes -- but call me a philistine:)

  • Rich,
    In reference to your comment on the wheel/tire combo, you are right, if it wasn't for the look of those rims, I would never have given the C-class another look. I'm 28 years old and I always loved the body style, but thought the wheels in 16inch guise were a little too wimpy. Plus, I needed to have the manual and thought the 6spd C240 was still too sluggish. But, I loved the C230's throttle response and placed my order down for one back on 1/29/03.

    But to back up your comment, I do believe this look was targeted towards people like me and it worked like a charm!!
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    The usual tinkering with details - fascia, trims, bumpers, maybe new wheel designs...and my bet is yes, the indash single CD will finally become standard, with the glovebox changer continuing as optional.

    For a model of how this is usually handled, look to the difference between the '97 and '98 W202s, or the similar tweaking for the W210 E at midlife. IMO, these kinds of fiddlings can go either way - I liked the latter version of the W202 C, but preferred the earlier version of the W210 E...not that DB sought my opinion, of course.
  • ahostahost Posts: 36
    I recently noticed that my 2003 C320 (auto) does not roll backwards when I stop, e.g., for red on my way uphill, even if I let go of the brake (with the car in D). This is true even on very steep slopes. This is clearly a nice feature, but I wonder if it is in fact a feature. My 2001 C320 did not have this feature, and in my memory my 2003 C320 did not work like that in the begining (but I just might not have noticed it). So, is it a feature, do other C-class cars also work that way? Or did something happen to my transmission?
  • Tony...anyone with the acronym "vr6" in their moniker must be an enthusiast.

    I like the combination of engineering and styling that DB uses on the C class (and all the models to be fair) and believe its the runaway "best" combination for me. Sure, there will be a few mechanical problems, and it will cost a little more, but, to drive the car, makes up for it...

    Agree with you re: the younger market, I succumbed to having the Laurel wood trim and autobox on my "old" '99 C Class. The thing drives like a tank (I should know - my group at work designs tank simulators) but unfortunately also stops and corners like one:( I guess I was being sensible -- after all anyone who bought a "sports" model that I owned would naturally assume it had been thrashed.

    I almost leapt off my seat when I read that the C320 was going to be offered in '03 with a 6 speed. Cool, said I, this might be the car I can finally convince The Boss that I can buy...
    of course the other problem was separating me from 40 large in order to buy as you say there were the cuddly 16" rims.

    Now, I next discovered a C could be had attached to a Kompressor 1.8L DOHC engine with 16V heads, I thought, Ach du Lieber.

    So here is what I am hoping to find on a test drive of a C230K (all are comparisons with my car:)

    o Stiffer ride
    o Snappier throttle reponse
    o Faster 0-60 time
    o Ability to downshift into the gear *I* want, and mash the throttle when *I* want, and hold the gear *I* want through a corner
    o Revvier, looser engine (hard to describe but I guess I attribute this expectation to years of reading Road and Track about Italian DOHC engines...

    Of course, as the man said, "there is no substitute for cubic inches", but he didn't have to pay for it (who said that anyway?) and I suppose you could just get a C320 and just mash the throttle, but I'm now thinking there is a big dip of just plain driving enjoyment with the smaller K engine, and the challenge of hand, eye, foot, and general mechanical coordination required to
    drive smoothly. Not fast mind you, that's for the race track, just smoothly...

    Oh, I need to admit somewhere in here that I turned 44 this month, but in my defense I *do* own a vintage '67 Cooper S that I drive for fun...

  • nycanyca Posts: 232
    on another board, someone commented that the E class in-dash 6 CD unit would not fit in the C. Can't comment for sure on this, it would be a bummer to not see that, since Audi and Lexus have it, you can even get that on "non luxury" cars now. Also, I haven't read any "fresh rumors" on the issue about a 2004 C350 replacing the 320, the engine from the current ML and I imagine the 2004 E also. Its so hard to get reliable leaked information!
  • I, too, was pretty stoked to find out that all of the C Class models would have a 6spd manual (except the 349hp C32. . .GO FIGURE!!??). And I was thinking the C320 sport sedan with the manual was going to be the way to go, BUT I didn't want to drop 40 large on my next vehicle either.

    Sooo, I figured I'd test out the C230 Sport Sedan and look for a lot of the same qualities you were looking for. Here are my findings:

    Stiffer Ride--ABSOLUTELY!! The sport tuned suspension in conjunction with the Z-rated tires provide an extremely entertaining ride. Forget what you know about the plain jane, plush C320 or C240 ride, this one rocks. Cornering is spirited and grip is awesome. Keep in mind that you get a little more road noise and are well aware of any potholes or road imperfections, but it is definitely tuned the way I like it.

    As I said in my previous post, the throttle response is excellent. There is a tad bit of turbo lag in first gear (due to the MB supercharger), but with the proper amount of rpm, you can eliminate this all together. Second and third gear are a BLAST!

    0-60 Time--7.6 seconds. The C320 Sport Sedan is supposed to be 6.9. . .soooo, I don't know about you, but .7 seconds is not worth $9000! I would imagine the C320 would be a little more quiet on its way to 60, but I enjoy a little engine note when I'm revving it up!

    The ability to downshift is of course always there with the manual tranny. That is the only transmission that I have ever owned and have always loved feeling as one with the car and having the car do what I want, when I want.

    Now in the "revvier, looser engine" category, I did find that I was hitting the red line a little quickly in first and second gear. I kinda wish it had a little more play. I had to shift a little earlier than I normally would, but I would imagine this is attributed to the close gear ratios of the 6spd. I'm not sure if this is what you meant, but that was my take anyway.

    I found the car easy to drive smoothly in stop and go traffic, but I found it to be a lot more fun on those interstate on ramps!!

    Let me know how your test drive went.
  • jdisanjdisan Posts: 28
    Just got a quote of $31,800 for a c230 sedan optioned with an MSRP or $32,733. Ordered car. Anyone doing better? Worse?
  • I ordered one at the end of January; MSRP $31,985, my cost, $31,000. I have not heard of anyone getting more than about $1000 offer MSRP.
    Congrats on your order.
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    Assuming things haven't changed much since '00, you can make a deal on a $40K C320 and that will put the difference between the two models much closer than $9K. It may not be worth the extra money to everyone, but . . . it's nice to have the same engine that drives an E320 which is very close to the same weight as the C-Class.

    Even if the 0-60 time is just 0.7 sec slower than a 320 (more than 10% slower), the higher torque of the 320, even at low rpms, provides great mid-range performance in the kind of driving that you can appreciate in many normal driving situations, and it quietly loafs up very steep hills without having to peck around for the right gear. I'm not knocking the 4-cyl, but if you're looking for some excuses to spend more money, the 320 is a great engine.
  • I just picked up my C320 on Saturday. I will have to get rid of my "post" name, Saabber, now that I finally got rid of my Saab 9-5SE. The MSRP on the C320 was $39,190 which is basically the base model with the C2 luxury package and CD player. I paid $300 over invoice because the dealer (which is in south florida) had five models in stock in the same interior and exterior color. (I also got a free 20" stereo TV from a dealer special). It is very strange to hear all of the stories about the backordered C230 Komps, because the dealers in S. Florida have many of the 230 sport models in stock (my dealer had about 10 in stock). I even saw a couple of 320 komps as well, but I did not know if they were for sale. The 230 Komps. are all selling at near MSRP.
    The real difference between the 230 Komp and the 320 is more like $5,000 (if you take into account that you can actually buy the C320 for near invoice). I am not sure whether I overpaid to get the C320, but I test drove the 230 Kompressor, and I was not impressed by the cheap looking interior and the hesitation on acceleration. Also the bigger tires also substantially increased the road noise. The look of the sport model is much nicer, but I bought the C320 because I wanted a better overall driving comfort experience (inside) rather than the mere prestige of impressing people because I have a car that has an impressive outside appearance. I really do think that the 230 Kompressor is a good deal, but the 230/240 and the 320 are really in different classes for performance and interior comfort. Just my opinion, of course.
  • In reference to your Sedan Comparison & 320 vs 240/230 comparison posts, let me clear some things up. First of all, I was letting richjenkins, post #6311, know what my impressions were after test driving (and thus ordering) the new c230 Sport Sedan. Let it not be misunderstood, I DO LOVE the 320 engine. In fact, before the new sport sedan hit the market, I was going to talk myself into buying a used '01 c320, but just couldn't pull the trigger on an automatic & I just wasn't a big fan of the 16inch wheels. My point with the 0-60 time was whether or not I could justify wanting to spring the extra dough for the C320 sport sedan for only a .7 second difference. Trust me, I do realize that including in the mix the extra amenities (standard Bose system, 10 way power seats, etc.) and the bigger, faster engine, the price could easily be justified. And you are right, a comparable equipped '03 C320 sport sedan would run $38570 (which you could not buy for close to invoice), while my C230 MSRP is $31985; leaving a difference of $6585, not $9K, my bad!

    And lastly, in reference to saabber's comments on the interior of the c230, I love the textured aluminum. You called this interior "cheap looking", well this is the same interior (different AMG leather aside) that MB uses in the C32 AMG for over $51K. The aluminum look is supposed to look sporty, and I really dig it. In response to the driving experience, you and I were definitely looking for two different types of ride comfort. The c230 is more harsh and does have more road noise (but I like the sporty ride), but I find the c320 to be a little too plush and lacking of feedback.

    But lastly, I love the c320. I think it is an awesome car, and in sport sedan/6spd guise, definitely a vehicle I would drool over. I just couldn't justify the extra $6500.

    Happy motoring!
  • jdisanjdisan Posts: 28
    As an update, I have the dealer at $31,500 on a $32,733 MSRP c230 Komp Sedan. I checked with other dealers (actually had them competing against one another) so really doubt I can do better.

    I must say - $31.5k for a car as good as this with the prestige (and service) of MB is pretty impressive. They will sell a lot of these I think to those looking in this "sports sedan" category who really want the type of ride that goes with that genre, as I do.

    I may order in the am!
  • Hi all - Interesting debate.

    I saw a couple comments from drivers of C230K who talked of hesitation -- I must say I'm a bit surprised. I thought the point of a supercharged engine was that the forced induction was mechanically driven i.e. the increase in air pressure above ambient was ALWAYS taking place hence there "should" be no lag associated with pressure build-up vis a vis a turbocharger, correct?

    Not being a mech E, could someone else comment about this? It might stand to reason that the supercharger would pump more air at progressively higher RPM, but wouldn't it be tuned to provide the required boost at XX RPM and the excess be vented to a waste gate of some kind?

    This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine on my current '99 C class; you basically have to decide to accelerate about 2 seconds before you *really* need to in order to time the engine/transmission finally giving you enough power to get you going.

    As the interior, I see Tony's point that the textured alum trim would appeal to the younger folk; yet I find it strangely gratifying to polish the wood trim in my Silver car...I guess its some kind of wierd imagined personal connection with the brand heritage of Mercedes Benz; I mean, Stirling Moss' 300SLR was silver and had wood trim, right?

    All the best...

  • You bring up a good point. I just figured this was due to the supercharger; however, I do want to point out that this slight lag only occurred in first gear from a dead stop. Now, I am not sure if this is only true in the car I test drove; but, like I said, it could be eliminated all together with the proper heel/toe action. While in motion though, just mash the gas and the C230 responded without a hint of hesitation. You will not have to plan your acceleration, just lower your right foot and GO!

    RJ, I am still waiting to hear your impressions after test driving the car, now get off your butt and head down to your local dealer and drive the thing!!:)
  • Noted! Will get down to the MB dealer within a week or two...rj
  • lasereyelasereye Posts: 1
    I called around all over Florida and there are dealers willing to sell the C230 sedan $600 to $1000 over invoice and others very adamant about holding the line( ST. Pete--all white cars and a ripoff and catering to the over 80 crowd, Gainsville--even worse, Tampa--the pits with stale coffee, Chevy mentality and dirty furniture). Remember they still get 3% of MSRP holdback from MBNA and if they can move a car off the lot quicker it helps. Also there seem to be many C230 Sport Sedans especially with Manual in Black (not the best color for Florida's hot sun) in South Florida. Anyway I ordered from the internet manager at MB of Orlando (Jimmy Adams) a C230 with C2, C4 and got it for about $600 over invoice.

    I heard some better deals are available in Miami but that is further from me.

    After all,it is just a car, it will depreciate, and there are many more just like it if you look for it.
  • Bad luck today. Somebody backed into my 2002 C-240 in a parking lot. The hit blew out the entire right rear lens assembly. Because honor is dead, the person who hit me did not leave a note or wait around to admit fault. So now I must figure a way to repair the car.

    Does anyone know of a good online resource for Mercedes parts? Tail light bulbs, tail light housings, body panels... etc. I would like to get a clue of what the cost to repair is going to look like before I take it to a local shop or a Mercedes dealer.

    Also, any thoughts on whether to have it fixed at Mercedes or a local shop would be good as well.

    Thanks for the help.
  • mleskovarmleskovar Posts: 171

    Here's a start...there are many more if you search. I had a dent in the roof that the MB dealer wanted $1200 to fix and I had it repaired as new for $350. Also try salvage yards for parts. Panels for a new C class will be hard to find new.
  • Willy,
    Not sure if you are still checking the board, but I was wondering what was the status of your C230. I found our at the end of Feb that my production date was moved back to March 20.:( So, I will not see my car until 3 1/2 weeks after that. I was bummed to hear that, but, I guess good things come to those who wait. I am expecting my car around April 10th. What's up with yours? If you tell me you already have and you're driving it today, I might be sick!!!

    But, if you do, I would love to hear how it's going.
  • robtroxelrobtroxel Posts: 103
    I have a very troublesome 01 320. (20 dealer visits) It's been in for most everything discussed in these boards. I will say that when it's not in the shop it performs very well in acceleration. Actually the 01s are noticeably quicker because of the rear end ratio which was changed on the 02s to taller gears for economy and noise improvement. It's about 3 to 4 car lenghs to 60 or .4 sec. I've emerged from toll boths next to 260 hp G-35s and have actually stayed even or slightly ahead to 85 mph at which point I stop the contest. Makes me wonder about the rated hp of these car verses what I see in the real world. At any rate my 01 is departing this summer as I go back to a boring efficent and reliable Japenese car. Regards to all
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think it's a simple case of the Japanese over-estimating and the Germans giving a geniune, slightly conservative rating. A lot of Nissan's cars aren't as quick as their HP ratings would indicate. I'm shocked that the G35 Coupe (280hp) is no faster than the 225 hp 330Ci.

  • wc68wc68 Posts: 23
    Well my car is built already got the vin #. It takes only one day to build. I should get my car in about 6 weeks. Why did your car get pushed back on production? The wait is killing me. By the way what color did you get? I saw a C230 sport sedan in black opal and it was beautiful, I hope Pewter looks just as good. Let me know any updates on your car!!!
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    It would be interesting to overlay the torque curves . . . that info is available for the 320 engine but not the others. To explain the real differences in power, MB's 320 probably has more torque than the G35's engine can develop in the 2.5-3.5k rpm range. Seems surprising given the Nissan motor's larger displacement: 0.2L larger.

    Perhaps Nissan's motor is tuned for regular gas but it probably takes premium as the compression is pretty high at 10.3, especially compared to the 320's 10.0. The Nissan motor has a shorter stroke so it probably would require higher reves to achieve the same torque. An interesting comparison would be a C350, using MB's latest 3.7L engine that powers base model MLs: it also is just 0.2L larger than Nissan's 350 (about the same bore but with the 320's stroke) and puts out a torque amount at 3K rpm that requires about 4.8K in the Nissan motor.

    As for the 320 versus the 330i (which is a 3L engine), the 320 develops a higher torque than the 330i motor, beginning at a lower rpm, and over a wider range, and at a lower compression. The 330i motor still may develop more torque in a more usable rpm range than Nissan's motor which also would explain the real world driving experience versus what you'd expect by simply comparing peak hp and torque ratings.
  • Willy,
    I got a call this past Saturday from my dealer and my car has been produced! It's currently at the dock in Germany waiting to get assigned to a boat. When it is assigned, I should see the car in three weeks. He did give me the VIN as well. Now I am really excited! I'm counting down the days. To answer your question, my car is white with the charcoal interior. I have yet to see a white sport sedan, only Pewter (which does look awesome), silver & black. I loved the silver, but my last two cars have been that color.

    By the way, has anyone else seen the new C230 commercial. The one where the guy in the black 230 is being chased by motorcycles, black helicopters, etc. . .AWESOME!! The 180 he pulls on the bridge is just cool. . . .I know, I need help!
  • hansenhansen Posts: 18
    I own a 2002 c320 sedan and I truly love the car. When I went car shopping, the first place that I visited was my Infiniti dealer to see the G35. Based on the numbers, I was so sure that I was going to buy that car. I remember getting into the drivers seat, trying to ignore the cheap looking interior, and I took that car with the dealer next to me up to a canyon road and punched the accelerator. I was so sure that I was going to go into"warp speed". What a disappointment!!!!!! (As I got over my unfulfilling test drive, the dealer made it a point over and over again that he could not come down from MSRP) I tried a few other cars and loved the c320 and bought it two days later. The c320 felt just as fast with better handling and smoother ride.

    When I mentioned this on the G35 message board - that I felt the acceleration was not as sizzling as the numbers would have you believe, I got a fair number of hostile responses. I wasn't being malicious or mocking, but I was genuinely surprised at how hostile everyone became. I am glad to see that I am not the only one who chose not to believe the very decieving numbers.
  • Hansen,
    Congrats on your purchase of your 02 C320. I'm happy to hear that you saw the light on your purchase, and did not become clouded by those touchy Nissan, er, Infiniti dealers/owners. I, too, checked out the G35 sedan and was not impressed. The power did not seem as overwhelming as the numbers would have indicated and you mentioned the often criticized interior, but I feel as though the exterior (especially the rear end) will not age well either. And taking into account the fact that the Infiniti's don't hold their value nearly as well as your Benz will, you made a very smart decision.

    Stay away from those Niss/Infi boards!:)
  • robtroxelrobtroxel Posts: 103
    I appreciated all of your comments and must agree about the G-35 sedan interior and rear end style. I went to drive one and didn't bother to leave the lot for the test drive after a quick appraisal of the interior.

    I took delivery of a loaded C320 in Nov 2000 which has been a very poor example of quality control. As they say, it costs to be first having paid full list, but I wouldn't mind that if the problems were not there. Its good to see that the later cars are looking a lot better in the quality dept.

    Finally I saw a 320 at the dealer that have been rear ended at 50 mph and you would be impressed with how the passenger compartment stayed intact with the front doors still operable. I understand that the driver walked away with a stiff back and a keen appreciation for the solid body that gave in all the right places to protect passengers. In the end maybe this is what its all about.
  • ahostahost Posts: 36
    I posted a question some time ago about the car not rolling backwards on a hill when in D. Now I found out why. The transmission had accidentially been put to W mode, and it seems that when the car is in W mode, it cannot role backwards. That's maybe a useful trick: when you stop on a steep hill, put the transmission in W, then it won't role backwards when moving the foot from brake to accellerator. I guess it doesn't harm the transmission?
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