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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedans



  • empty99empty99 Posts: 1
    Once in a while there a particular model that seems to blend perfectly in value and sense and performance, it is the C230 Kompressor sedan. The little 1.8 twin balance shaft supercharged engine provides light weight and pep to propel the C class to amazing speed and grace and quietness more like an inline 6. Interior quality material and tight finish are very high, the body drum tight, door slams with an MB thud sound, the gearshift feels like a million bucks w/o the cheap plasticky accordion cover like in the BMW 3, nor sloppy like Lexus IS300 (this model interior is clearly dated as compared to Audi A4 and all others mentioned here). I did detect just a touch delay in acceleration from start, and counted twice a slight engine stumbling coming out of slow corners, other than that it is a premium sedan through and through. The 2004 comes w/ full 4 yr maintenance no charge along with factory warranty, which is nice.
  • dlsnyderdlsnyder Posts: 1
    It is 2wd; 4c auto; with 88483; asking price is $9900...would not be purchasing from a dealer... (so no warranty?)
    I have run consumer reports and I would like to hear from anyone who has owned this model...pros/cons and advice.
    From my reading it seems the C280 would be preferable; but we're trying to stay at $10,000 and under.
    We weren't necessarily looking for a MB, but ran across this one and thought we'd do some research
    Would basically be a commuter car but may want to take it on vacation sometime (1000+ miles one way...)

  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    From what I've gathered from owners on these boards the C230 is a good car.
  • billp8billp8 Posts: 56
    For what it's worth, I have a 2000 C230 and have found it to be very reliable. Two of my friends each have a 1998 C230, and their cars have been good to them, as well. A while ago, someone "ranked" the various models of the C-Class on this board, and the 1998 C230 came in "first." It is the last year for the non-supercharged four cylinder engine, so it will be a mite slower than the 1999-2000 cars. The 1998 will have automatic climate control, unlike the latter cars, and will probably have MB Tex "vinyl" seats rather than the leather inserts from 1999-on. It is a good, basic car--which I believe is the way to go when purchasing a used Benz. Service history is very important--I wouldn't buy without seeing it.
  • brucec35brucec35 Posts: 246
    I want the bottom line word from those who know. Is the C class Mercedes going to be a hanger queen that I spend too much time getting to and from the shop? I am hearing word of bad Mercedes reliablity here and there, but is it really the case?

    Had two bmw's and they were problematic and I'm tired of hassling with cars. I prefer German designs and rear wheel drive (the acura TL is the only japanese car that interests me) but not if it's going to be a stressful ownership experience.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    Stick with the TL
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    Mercedes is trying to fix the problems. It must be an embarrassment. However, it remains to be seen until time passes and we can look back at the reliability of 2004 and 2005 models.
  • johngenxjohngenx Posts: 13
    In Canada, the C-Class is sold in Classic trim with steel wheels, cloth interior, no sunroof, etc. It's an effort to keep the MSRP down, as MB prices in Canada are very high compared to the US, in terms of price:income.

    Also, we don't have "packages" of options, but instead you pick and choose from options on an individual basis.

    As an example, my own 1998 C230, I ordered the Classic trim (I want to pick my own alloys, thanks, and like the steels for winter tires) and added a sliding roof, heated seats, and MB Tex interior.

    I do wish we had a wider range of MB products, including C-Class diesels. However, we are getting the Smart foretwo this year, a step in the right direction. However, Smart pricing is very high for the type of car. A well equipped Mazda 3 is the same or less. Too bad.
  • eoseos Posts: 27
    My experience with a 2000 C280 sport model: In nearly 4 years of ownership the radio head unit, driver seat frame, rear struts, battery, fuel level sending units, engine oil seal, 2 headlight bulbs, and 1 rear bulb have all been replaced. The work was all performed under warranty (even the battery, struts and bulbs, which are really wear items), and when needed (the seat replacement was a 2-day job, and the struts, fuel units plus battery and oil seal all together were another 2 day job) loaner cars were made available. The service people could not have been nicer, and when I brought the car in for the fuel sensor problem found and repaired the battery, struts and oil seal problems.

    Needless to say, though, had this work not been covered it would have been quite expensive. No surprise, therefore, that I am contemplating saying goodbye to the car when the warranty expires -- I love the 280's look, but what most folks here have said about German reliability does seem to be true.

    However, what most say about the way German cars drive relative to Japanese or US models has also been my experience (based on owning VWs, Hondas, my current MB and my wife's BMW): they are wonderful to drive. So if I do say goodbye to my C280, I will replace it with another Benz or (more likely) a 325 with stick.

  • carlglovercarlglover Posts: 1
    I apologize if I'm beating a dead horse with this question, but my interest in Mercedes is newly-awakened, so I am not well-informed on basic issues.
    I'm considering the purchase of either a 2000 model C280 or a 2001 model C240, both with fewer than 50,000 miles. However, the Mercedes cachet notwithstanding, I'm not interested in spending a lot of time and money on maintenance, repairs, etc. (Owning Hondas and a Lexus have spoiled me in this regard.)
    Could anyone with direct experience and/or knowledge of these cars advise me? Just how expensive and time-consuming would it likely be to keep them in reasonable running condition? What am I letting myself in for? At what point do diminishing returns set in? Etc.
    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
  • eoseos Posts: 27
    My previous post(#6886) gives the flavor of probable reliability issues for a Y2k C280 -- I think it's clear you will likely not have the level of comfort you've enjoyed with the Honda and Lexus brands. Once your warranty is gone, moreover, maintenance will be fairly steep. I have been told, for example, that the rotors on my car not designed to be turned, but simply to be replaced.

    That said, I have no regrets about having bought the car (though I may trade it in soon, as the end of warranty is fast approaching).

    Good luck with your decision.

  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    I was considering leasing a brand new 2005 C230 next year, but it's less likely now that they dropped the free maintenance starting with 2005 models. At least it would be covered by factory warranty.
    The thought of buying a used model out of warranty seems almost reckless.
  • rcessrcess Posts: 5

    I would be very cautious about purchasing a used 2001 C240. I bought a new one in May 2001, and I’ve lost track of how many times that car has been back in the shop. It has been one electronic problem after another. This is the worst car I have ever owned, and I bought my first new car in 1960. I plan on replacing the C240 when its warranty expires next year.

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...while our '02 C240 has been an excellent car and mostly trouble-free, I would hesitate to recommend a used '01 that did not have a transferable extended warranty. There were simply too many first-year problems with the W203 cars, most of which have solutions now, but that doesn't help if you have to pay to have it fixed.

    Our car was built in Jan '02 at the Bremen plant, about 19 months after production first started, and apart from a couple of very minor problems that were fixed easily, has so far [knock on wood] been very nice to live with. This is our 14th Mercedes, and I too have been buying cars since 1962 [over 50 in all during that time]; the only generalization that works is that the Japanese do a better job of managing their suppliers and subcontractors, which means that there are fewer problems and faster fixes. That said, nothing drives nor is as competent an all-around touring car as a Mercedes sedan or wagon...EXCEPT a Lexus LS...if you can find a used one of those you can afford, that would always be my first choice.
  • dunworthdunworth Posts: 338
    Big recall today on the Sensotronic brake system although it does not affect the C Class. Every survey of M-B cars I have seen in the last couple of years puts them near the bottom for quality, reliability etc. One survey even has Hyundai rated better for quality which is pretty scary.

    Is M-B reliability improving at all? I would love to get a C Class but I want good reliability.

    In Canada we get a really basic C Class sedan for around C$ 38 K but it looks like crap inside without the wood accents. Both my current Japanese compacts are better looking inside. The next model up has the smaller 6 cylinder and a much nicer interior called a Classic I think (the one I would like). I would have preferred to buy the C last year over the Honda we ended up with but quality scares me (the Honda has been flawless). It is such as shame because I have enjoyed driving many premium cars, the M-B is the only one car I have ever wanted to own.

    One of my colleagues, a German, recently switched after 30 years from M-B to Honda and Toyota products (their ML is now a Pilot and the E Class is now a Lexus ES300). She said that Honda and Toyota now represent what M-B used to mean in terms of quality and durability.

    So is resale getting affected by all of this? They still seem to sell for good price up here but maybe because I am in a big city with lots of demand and dealerships for service.
  • r22549r22549 Posts: 42
    Is the C320 the same as the E320....I notice the C has 5 less horsepower...Also is the 4Matic used in the C320 an updated version of the 4Matic used in an 01 E320..?..I thought I read the C320 is new and splits power to all 4 wheels as opposed to the 4 Matic in the 01,02 E which is in rear wheel drive until the car needs it...Thanx for any help...Rod
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    The 3.2 engines used in the C and E are the same - hp differences come from the exhaust system routing, which is more restrictive in the C.

    I'm not a 4-matic expert, but my understanding is that the system now used across the board [all lines available with AWD] is the same - an updated, simplified, and vastly improved 3rd generation technology that indeed moves power as needed to any wheel independently. Someone else can chime in here if I'm wrong...
  • mb280mb280 Posts: 27
    I have an old 1994 C280 with over 170,000 miles on it. Over the years there have been maintenance costs including a recent head gasket repair. I will probably have to replace the wiring harness in the near future.

    Last year I purchased a Lexus RX330. The fit and finish of the Lexus are fantastic. The creature comforts and "toys" can't be beat and it was appreciably cheaper than the C320 AWD wagon I was also considering.

    While I know the RX is a crossover, I anticipated that it would be a fairly decent handling vehicle under normal conditions. Unfortunately, it is not. Driving it on a longer trip is tiring as it is constantly drifting all over the road.

    The C280 may be more costly to maintain but at least when driving it feels secure and handles well and doesn't wander off on it own.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    Well there you have it....
  • merrelmerrel Posts: 45
    I recently visited local MB dlr and had them place new 2004 C230 next to 2005 sedans for comparison. About $800 difference in price with minor exterior/interior changes. Dlr says he gets allowances from MB to dispose of '04 that he cannot give me on '05 model. Not too many professional reviews of '05 model performance and enhancements at this early date. Any advice offered would be appreciated. Thanks!
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    The 2005's don't included scheduled maintenance during the first 50k miles. Not a good move by Mercedes, IMHO.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...are $3000 for most Cs. Discounts on '04s run up to $5000, depending on model and dealer. You decide...
  • jcat707jcat707 Posts: 168
    Are the 2005s on dealer lots yet? Also, recently, my friend has been having trouble with the radio on her C230 coupe. Has anyone else been having problems with the radio freezing up?
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Right now the deals on 2004's are naturally going to be better because MB has to clear them out for the 2005's.

    However, there's plenty of supply for the demand. If someone is set on a 2005 and can also wait a few months, there will be strong discounts on those 2005's. The current C-class is entering the latter half of its lifecycle, and the 2005's mid-life refresh won't send sales through the roof.

    But for now the best deals are on the 2004's.
  • grneyesgrneyes Posts: 12
    I've always been told to put premium fuel in my Mercedes and always have. Is it really necessary? I'm currently driving a 2004 C320 6 cyl.,(not the hybrid fuel version).
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363 is really necessary. Period. The car will run on lesser grades, but only by retarding the ignition timing, to the detriment of available power and higher fuel consumption. MB could not be more clear about this - 91 Octane or better.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Never understood how people who are willing to spend $30-50,000 for a depreciating car can contemplate trying to "save" a meager few dollars by using lower than recommended octane fuel. If saving a few dollars at the fuel pump is so important, why not buy a Honda Civic? Or diesel Jetta? Go figure.

    Just like you should use the recommended oil, transmission fluid, coolant, and brake fluid, use the recommended octane. That is what your car was designed for.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    Makes even less sense as the price of gas goes up when you consider that the additional 10-20 cents is even a smaller percentage of the fuel cost.
  • benzmanbenzman Posts: 4
    I've owned 3 MB's since 1989( after 4 BMW's). A 300E for 75K and 7yrs-then a 96 C280 for 8 yrs-recently bought an '04 C320-4matic. The 4-matic is amazing-you can't spin a wheel if you try. The system is seemless. Love it. I recently drove this car from Pa to Atlanta and back at speeds between 70-80 mph with ocassional bursts to 90 and got 27 mpg in complete comfort and silence.
     However, I want to know if anyone has a complaint about the a/c on this car. It seems when the outside temp gets above 90 degrees this system goes into overdrive and won't stop. My old '96 had a fabulous a/c. This one can't seem to handle it.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Our '02 C240 sedan is the 14th MB since 1968 [along with 4 BMWs since '66, and everything Japanese and German for a total of 52 cars since 1962]; we've just moved north to Vancouver WA [Portland] from the Sacramento Valley. Living in the Sacto area for 9+ years, I can say that we never have had any AC issues with any of our cars, including the current MB. I'm unclear on what your exact complaint is [it's running the compressor a lot, or it's not cooling enough?], but ours works just fine. Of course, our C240 has the std analog dual climate system, not the sexier digital dealie in the C320....
This discussion has been closed.