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Mercedes-Benz CLK (2005 and earlier)

pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
edited August 2014 in Mercedes-Benz
"A Hatchback With a Three-Pointed Star"

image


Here's a direct link to Edmunds' First Drive of the 2002 Mercedes-Benz C230, by D. John Booth.


Please post your comments below. Thanks! ;-)


Pocahontas
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Hatchbacks Message Board

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Comments

  • mfarmer2mfarmer2 Posts: 67
    A hatchback with class! I like the looks all around.

    Mary
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,813
    8 seconds 0-60?? I would expect much more to compete with the 3-series or even all the upcoming pocket rockets. Unless they can bring that number down to less than 6.5, then my money can be better spent elsewhere.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 53-car history and counting!

  • I can't help but thinking that this will end up being a "girl car."
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Absolutely LOVE the looks of this car!! It's so perfectly flowing and the rear is sporty. They need to do something about the cloth pattern though. The big yellow ovals everywhere is very unattractive. Kudos to Mercedes for finally offering us a European flavored hatch unlike anything else on the market. I'm also glad they decided to keep the supercharged four hooked up to a 6 speed manual instead of offering the weak 2.6 liter six with an automatic. The panoramic sunroof is an innovative idea as well. One this is for certain: I expect to seriously consider this car as soon as I graduate from college. Can't wait to see it in person.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,813
    There doesn't seem to be many comments flying around this particular board. But, I have to ask anyway, what is appealing about this car?

    I can see from those couple of people that have posted positive comments that they like the looks of it. Do the looks and the badge really justify that $30K pricetag?

    I gotta admit, I loved it when I saw it as well, but once I read about it, I was thoroughly disappointed. For that much money, I'd rather sign up for the Mazda RX-8 (for instance).

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 53-car history and counting!

  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I keep hearing all these comments about disappointment. What is there to be disappointed about? You either like the uniqueness of a sporty luxury hatchback or you don't. The appeal is that there is nothing else currently on the market like it. The star on the hood is just an added benefit. For hatchback lovers, it's an awesome car. The C230 is not trying to be a Mazda sports car, so its pointless to compare them (I currently own a Mazda RX-7 so am well aware of its appeal). Comparison on price alone is always a stupid idea. A better comparison would be between the Acura CL and the C230. They both are in the same price class and are both coupes that offer a compromise between pure sportiness and luxury. In that comparison, I would be willing to trade the smoother V-6 power and utter blandness of the Acura for a sportier and more uniquely-styled hatchback that offers superior cargo flexibility. I would prefer that Mercedes offer the car in the 20K price range, but realize that's a tall order for a luxury marque that doesn't want to tarnish the image of its more expensive cars. And when you consider that the coupe has the same exact engineering put into it as does the C-class sedan, than it makes perfect sense that it wouldn't be priced 10K less than the sedan. If you suggest that the coupe isn't worth the 30K price, than you should also be ready to suggest that the sedan is not worth it either. They are the same exact car! I think it all boils down to American's perception of the hatchback as nothing but a cheap economy car. I'm hoping that will change, but only time will tell. Thankfully, Mercedes has decided to take the plunge with a worthwhile entry.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,813
    Why wouldn't you compare on price alone? Don't you want the most for your money? Maybe you have a wad of cash to throw around, but most people don't. If I'm paying $30K for a car, I want the best car that the money is going to buy.

    I would look to compare a compact 2-door with a hatch at the rear. The CL doesn't really fit that description. The RX7 (for instance) has incredible performance, but it also has leather interior and power everything. I consider that on the edge of luxurious. But, I mentioned it mainly for its performance.

    OK. Let's compare the Acura CL then. I'll take that in a heartbeat. This Mercedes isn't even close to the sportiness of the CL. For $30K, you can get yourself the CL S-type. 0-60 in 6.4 and a manumatic tranny. Not to mention a fairly roomy backseat and a large trunk.

    Better yet, how about the Mini Cooper S that's on its way. All leather 2-door hatchback distributed by BMW. I think this is most likely the same target audience as this Mercedes. The Mini Cooper will most likely be a bit smaller, but, for the superior performance to be had, the classic heritage that goes along with the model, and the $8,000 price break over the Mercedes, I'd sign up for the Mini first.

    If you look back, you'll see that my disappointment comes only from the performance of the Mercedes. For that much money, I want something with leather, a good name with good reliability, and performance that will rival the other $30K luxury coupes out there.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 53-car history and counting!

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,813
    Do I think the sedan is overpriced? Definitely.

    By the way, looking at those pictures again, yes, the Mercedes has "superior cargo flexibility", but the Acura has more actual cargo space. With the back seats in the upright position in the Mercedes, there appears to be but a couple of cubic feet left in the rear. the Acura's trunk is much larger than that.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 53-car history and counting!

  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    You made a good effort at your comparisons, but it was lacking in the finer details. I would also like to point out that what you consider is worth spending your money on is not necessarily what other people consider is worth their money. Different people want different things. You obviously want the fastest accelerating car money can buy. I, however, want an all around good performing car. Having fast acceleration numbers doesn't make a car sporty. The CL Type-S was recorded at 6.8 seconds from 0-60, respectable, but that doesn't make it sporty. The manumatic tranny is far from sporty; it's simply an automatic with a lever you slap forward or backward. BORING! Anyway, the CL is considered to be a competent but far from sporty car to drive. It's not considered a "fun" car to drive due to the fact its handling is hampered by a 63% front weight bias. As Car & Driver states, "It lacks the necessary balance and fluidity that we want from a sporting car". I think that sums up the Acura. The shorter length of the Mercedes ought to make it more nimble than the long Acura, not to mention its rear-drive characteristics. Nimbleness and good handling qualities combined with good performance is what makes a car sporty. Handling is purely a guess at this point, but considering the C320 sedan with the sport package was considered to have just as good handling as the BMW 3-series, than it is likely the coupe will be just as good. As for your suggestion that the Mercedes has little cargo room with the back seats up, you obviously have never owned a hatchback. You clearly cannot state what you did by just looking at a picture. When you consider that my small Hyundai Accent hatchback is rated at 16 cu ft with the rear seats up (which trounces the Acura's 13.6 cu ft), than it only makes sense to assume the larger Mercedes will have just as much room. In other words, you were VERY wrong. The Mercedes also has a roomy rear seat as Edmunds stated.
    As for your comparison of the Mini and the C230, it was off as well. The Mini is more than just a little smaller than the C230. Do you realize the Mini is smaller in length than the Chevy Metro hatch?? It is about 2 feet smaller than the C230!! No comparison size wise there. The Mini literally has no space behind the rear seats. And what superior performance are you speaking of? Initially, the Mini will have only about 115 hp with a supercharged 160 hp version a bit later on. The C230 in comparison has 190 hp. The Mini may be small but it will not be light. Expect them to be equal performance wise when comparing the supercharged engines. If you think you can get a Mini in the first year for 21K, I think you will be sadly disappointed. Expect dealers to gouge heavily and bring the price right up to the C230. At that price, the Mini is not worth it at all for what you get. You do realize that the C230 has power everything standard and leather is optional right (29K without leather, 30K with)? That price is rather common for a compact car from a luxury division. Anyway, lastly, the RX-7 had fantastic performance but was also troublesome and very expensive (engines rarely last more than 80K before needing a rebuild and the turbos failed often; not exactly cheap maintenance for the performance gains). Prices in 95 were 36-42K, well north of the C230's price. Even if there is an RX-8, it will cost around 35-40K because the Miata is already up to 26K.
    In conclusion, this new Mercedes hatch may not offer top-notch acceleration, but it won't leave you embarrassed either. It offers a good combination of style, substance, safety, and competent performance. Overall, I feel it offers plenty for the dollar. Others may not agree, but that's my personal opinion.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,813
    I drove the Acura. I thought it handled VERY well. I was impressed with how little body roll I encountered when cornering. I try not to take magazine reviews all too seriously unless I find that I always agree with them (and I don't)(not to mention that Motor Trend claimed it had "rear-wheel handling in a front-wheel car").

    We, obviously, don't have weight figures on these, but if 190 hp is taking the Mercedes to 60 in 8 seconds, I have to assume that it is significantly heavier than my 626 which can hit 60 in under 8 with its 170 hp. But, that's a very generalized statement because we also have to consider gear ratios and torque. In any case, when my $20K 4-door sedan can out-accelerate a $30K Mercedes, I've gotta think that's pretty humbling for the Mercedes driver. And, if you've ever driven a newer 626, you'll also know that it handles very well.

    The Mini is also supposed to come fully loaded with leather and power everything. "New levels in subcompact safety and luxury" is what BMW states. If you're saying it is so incredibly small, then why wouldn't it be a great deal lighter? If its not lighter, then its obviously of a more solid construction (and I doubt that for the price).

    Mazda is claiming that the RX8 will come in under $30K.

    As far as the cargo room, do you think there is a possibility that the "roomy" back seat of the Mercedes is taking up that seat-up cargo space? Neither of us have seen it in person, so neither of us can claim anything. The reason I said "there APPEARS to be but a couple of cubic feet left in the rear" is due to the photo of the back seat. The tops of the seats look like they are a few inches away from the glass of the rear hatch.

    If any trouble was had with the RX-7, I have to attribute that to owner issues, not engineering. We've owned an RX-7 in the past, and I've worked on my share that have had 140K and over. Not to mention, just look on Ebay, you'll find plenty with high mileage. The Rotary engine is proven to be very reliable.

    Obviously, we're not going to convince each other that the other one is wrong. And, neither of us is. We're both of different opinions. I was simply looking for an answer why this car is going to be so expensive. I don't think there is an answer. Its just an accepted fact that anything with a Mercedes badge is going to cost more than a similar vehicle without one. I've never owned a Mercedes, so I really can't claim that its worse or better than anything else. I've merely ridden in them and thought nothing special of them compared to a cheaper car (well, nothing that nice aftermarket leather seats could change, anyway).

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 53-car history and counting!

  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    That's how hatchbacks are generally. The rear glass is usually rather close to the rear seat headrests. My Accent's glass is close to the rear seat and yet it is rated at 16 cubic feet. You cannot deny that's a lot of room as it beats any mid-size sedan and even some full-size sedans. What you aren't taking into account is that the cargo space of a hatchback is a lot taller than is a sedan's and the steeply angled rear windshield stretches over a large area, allowing more space than you would think. I guarantee that the Mercedes will have at least 13 cubic feet if not more. Heck, even the puny Metro had 10 cubic feet.
    The reliability problems I was referring too was with the twin-turbo RX7 of 92-96. The older non-turbo rotary engines are VERY reliable. I own an 84 and it runs great (except for the carbuerator). However, the newer rotaries were under too much stress from the 2 turbos and tend to blow their apex seals around 80-100K, requiring an entire overhaul. The turbos were also very troublesome. Engineering problems ranged from too much heat under the hood cooking vacuum lines and causing premature cooling system hose failures. There were lots of recalls on this car and they were plagued with electrical problems. They were awesome cars, but not meant for long-term reliability. Read the RX7 forum in the sports car section and you will hear of rebuilds way too early from both those who race their cars and those who just use them daily.
    The Mini will be lighter than the C230 I'm sure, but it also won't be some little 2000 pound car either. It was engineered to be as safe as a much larger sedan so it has a bulky structure and thick sheetmetal. I expect it to weigh around 2400. The C230 should weigh around 3100. The power to weight ratios of the 2 supercharged cars will be about the same. Thus, they should be about equal performance wise. I think the 8 second guess is a bit high (Edmunds usually quotes slower times than the car magazines); it should be capable of 0-60 sprints in the 7-7.5 area, plenty fast. We will just have to wait until the official test results come out.
    As for Car & Driver's opinions, I tend to believe them most of the time because all of my experiences and opinions have closely mirrored theirs. Example: the Mazda 626 was considered a very bland family sedan with a soft suspension and average handling. Supposedly Mazda improved that in 2000, but I have driven a 98 626 ES-V6 and agree with C & D's findings. I drove one with the 5-speed and found it utterly lacking in any kind of acceleration. I didn't push the car past 4500 rpms, but up until that point the car had less pep than the 4 cylinder (although it was much smoother and quieter). The car had lots of brake dive, weak brakes, and rolled considerably. My mom's 92 Accord EX handled much better. It's a nice looking competent family car, but sporty it is not. All I gotta say is you have one big preoccupation with acceleration numbers. There is a lot more to a car than its 0-60 number. Lastly, when even Hyundai sells a car nowadays for 24K, you should be happy Mercedes still offers something below 30K. You must still think we are in the 80s when 28K was considered expensive.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,813
    Maybe to you, 28K was expensive back in the 80s and now its a drop in the bucket. Unfortunately, there are still alot of us out here who can't afford that kind of money. Well, I could afford it, I just find it difficult to pay half as much per month for the car I'm driving as the house I'm living in (and lets please not put down my house).

    I'm absolutely in shock about C&D and your experience with the 626. Mine is a '99 LX-V6 and I (and anyone else who drives with me) am entirely impressed with it as a family sedan. When I can eat up an Accord off the line and then take a sharp offramp at 80 with little tire squealing, then I'm pretty happy.

    I would be much more inclined to the Mercedes if it was down just around 7 secs. or better. Am I obsessed with acceleration? Somewhat. But, I know that is just part of the package. If that was my only consideration, I'd still have my V8 dodge dakota (and, talk about storage capacity!). But, as I've said before, I bring up acceleration here continuously because if and when I am willing to fork over that half a mortgage payment every month for my commuting/weekend fun machine, I want it to be the best I could have gotten in EVERY area. And, from their preliminary estimates, the Mercedes hatch is going to lack in AT LEAST ONE of those areas. Get it?

    Thanks for the info. on the turbo RX7s. I'll have to read that board. I was real close to buying a '93 a couple of months ago and am still considering it. Maybe that will change my mind.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 53-car history and counting!

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,813
    And, considering that you found the Mazda "utterly lacking in any kind of acceleration," and it has been tested to get to 60 in 7.6 (wish I could find THAT review), then why in the world would you spend $30K on a car that is being estimated at slightly better than 8?? Even if it comes in at 7 1/2, you think that kind of acceleration is "lacking." So, why would you spend that kind of money and think that the car lacks in ANY respect? Oh, right, I forgot, you don't think that's a lot of money.

    Well, I guess I'll just have to be content in the fact that I spent less than $19K on MY car.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 53-car history and counting!

  • totalnettotalnet Posts: 67
    From Autoweek review of the car:

    Mercedes claims that the C230 Sport Coupe hits 60 mph from a stop in 7.5 seconds, measured under the German standard of two occupants, full luggage capacity and a full fuel tank. Top speed exceeds 149 mph-not bad for a three-door hatch.

    Also in the article they claim MB USA say the price will begin at $26K. Cargo volumn of 10.9 cubic feet with rear seat up. 38.8 cubic feet when the the rear seats are down.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,813
    good post.

    That is an impessive top speed. Sounds to me like they could have changed the gearing a bit and gained a little more down low. but, then again, maybe that's an easy job for me to do. Hmmmmmmm......

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 53-car history and counting!

  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Stay far far away from the 93 RX7s. They were a nightmare reliability wise! It was the first year for the redesign and they ran into all sorts of problems. A lot of people in the forum suggest getting a low mileage 95 as that was the best year. As for the acceleration of the 626, what I was referring to there was the lack of low-end torque. The 2.5 V-6 only has 161 lb feet at a high 5000 rpm, less than some four bangers (by the way, the V-6 is back down to 165 hp). As such, it is slow to accelerate until you get to around 5000 rpms. In comparison, the 626 four cylinder achieves its max torque at a low 3000. That meaty low-end torque is what made it feel peppier than the V-6 in around town driving even though it is actually much slower overall. If you push the car to the high redline, I'm sure it will have respectable acceleration. But driven how most people drive it, it is lacking. It just doesn't give the impression of having good pull unless you rev the hell out of it. A low-end high torque engine is always more enjoyable than a top-end high horsepower one, and it will outlast a high revving engine as well because you don't have to push it to get the power you need. In the case of the Mercedes, the supercharged four is rated at 200 lb feet from 2500-4800 rpms. That long-lasting meaty low-end torque span will give this car strong off-the-line and mid-range acceleration (I think it will be faster than what Edmunds stated anyway). I guarantee you would not be disappointed. Anyway, don't think I am dissing your car. The 626 is a good family sedan. The leather and wood is nice, the 2000 and newer models look elegant, and the rear seat is spacious and comfortable. They just need to give the car a more powerful V-6 and four cylinder that will allow it to compete better with others in the class.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    Just one small suggestion: if you have a long message, it will be easier for people to read if you break it up into smaller paragraphs.

    Participants will be more likely to read your entire post if it's easy on the eyes. And now back to the subject of the 2002 Mercedes-Benz C230. Talk later. ;-)

    Pocahontas
    Host
    Hatchbacks Message Board
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,813
    The supercharger is definitely a nice addition to any car. The readiness of the power is apparent. Pretty much the reason I've always been skeptical of turbos (the main reason I didn't buy the Rx7 and why I'm hesitant about the WRX). I've often thought that I would be much happier with the supercharged 2.2 from the Millenia, but that's a different story.

    The supercharger is why I'm looking forward to the Mini as well. I hope both of these vehicles turn out with higher numbers than advertised at this point. I don't see why they shouldn't.

    By the way, I definitely do rev the hell out of my 626. Its does well from around 3500 to redline (a respectable 7000). Probably explains your lack of enjoyment when not taking it past 4500. But, I do want something sportier. Probably if I had gotten the leather power seat, I'd be keeping the 626 and adding a lot of mods to it (not that there are many available).

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 53-car history and counting!

  • totalnettotalnet Posts: 67
    I been trying to pull up some numbers for SLK230, since C230 will use the same engine. The SLK230 weight 3055 lb and C230 weight 3300 lb. I can't find any tested 0-60 numbers for SLK230. I think Mercedes said 7.2 secs for the manual.

    I like the number on the low end of torque of this engine. The WRX is 217 @ 4000 RPM. But that just the torque, the WRX has more hp and it's 4WD. I can't wait to test drive both cars. BTW, the WRX weights 3085 lb and gets 0-60 around 6 secs area.

    I think I will check up on the reliability of the supercharged engines of SLK230 and the late model C230 Kompressor.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,813
    The WRX is definitely a nice car and I was considering it, but after reading more and more about Turbos, I think I'd rather get a car without one.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 53-car history and counting!

  • totalnettotalnet Posts: 67
    What about turbo? Reliablilty? Or do me mean the turbo lag?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,813
    I'm just unsure of their reliability. I mean, I know that certain manufacturers, like Volvo for instance, have been using them for decades and they have become very reliable. But I've just read so many horror stories here on the boards from owners of other turbo vehicles. I've never owned one, so I guess it just makes me a bit nervous.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 53-car history and counting!

  • totalnettotalnet Posts: 67
    Well it really depend on the engine. The WRX's engine has been turbocharged for couple of years before coming here. Ofcourse, I don't know what it's track record has been.

    Supercharging an engine is pretty demanding too, not as demanding as turbocharging. But MB has been supercharging their engines for years. Going get a chance to drive a supercharged E320. Wonder how the smaller C230 compares.

    Was at the local book store and saw that UK car magazines now have articles on the C230. BBC Car has a short preview piece. I agree with them on that if you are getting the car with the sun roof, you should get the car in a darker colour. :-) The top of the car, from the windshield to below the spoiler, is black. But I really like silver. The second chose is complete black. Well I guess I will have see them in person.

    I bought CAR magazine, but I won't read it yet. Will read it on the 14 hours plane ride to the land of Mercedes-Benz. No, not Germany, but Hong Kong. Hong Kong, where more people own more MB per capita than anywhere in the world.

    I also bought Road & Track and Sport Compact Car. R&T has a review on the WRX. SCC is going to be long read for me. 8 cars shoot out and preview of Z and SE-R plus an article on the new SE-R's QR25DE engine.

    Oh, it going to be a lot of compact sport cars to choose from in the coming years. I am still very happy with my 95 200SX SE-R. Going to move up for my next car. I am looking at the C230, CL Type-S or the hinted IS Coupe.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,813
    Yes, I would trust a Mercedes supercharger about as much as a volvo turbocharger. Like you said, we really don't have much data yet as to the reliability of Subaru turbocharging.

    I'm planning on moving up, as well, but I'm thinking that $30K is a little beyond practical reach. I'll probably be waiting until a couple of the recent vehicles are a little more in my range (i.e. Volvo T5, Licoln LS, CL-S (doubtful that will drop enough for me in a year, but definitely my favorite of the bunch)). Or, I will be looking at the new pocket rockets, although they will probably not be comfortable enough for me to drive 100 miles a day in.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 53-car history and counting!

  • totalnettotalnet Posts: 67
    I myself will give it sometime before buying my next car. But the C230 is currently on the top of my list. I will wait a year on the C230. There been report of built quality on some of the newer models of MB. Also I will see how the well the car will sell. I don't like driving a car that everyone else is driving. That's why the new Integra/RSX was never on my list.

    Will have to see how much all of the options going to cost. Like the other C-class, a CD player is not even standard. Hope there is a package that include the CD, leather, and sun roof. If not, adding up everything and this car could cost over $30K.

    The more I look at the rear C pilar, the more it look like the one on the 318ti. I will dig up the spec on the 318ti. The 318ti is just too tall for it's length.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Hi all, I know some of you have been waiting for the '01 C-class's offset crash test results (even though we already know that it receives a "good" and a "best pick"). I'm happy to report that tomorrow's Dateline NBC Tuesday at 10pm EST/9pm CST will be airing the results of the crash test, just in time for tomorrow's MB Tuesdays chat at 6-7pm Pacific/9-10pm Eastern! Please check your local TV listings.

    Also included in this round of IIHS crash tests will be the Hyundai Elantra, the Honda Civic, the Dodge Grand Caravan, the Ford Focus, and the Dodge Stratus. Note that all of the models that are being crash tested have been substantially or completely redesigned, and are model year 2001 vehicles. Dateline is only covering the IIHS test and has no say in the results.


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    I'm afraid that you'll be disappointed if you expect the CD changer to be included in a package. MB doesn't offer it since some customers don't listen to CDs and would rather save the few hundred dollars. If you order the COMAND option, the in-dash GPS map CD drive can also play audio CDs.

    As for build quality, none of the new C-class owners (don't forget that it has been on sale since fall of 2000) have reported any trim/fit and finish issues. The '01 C-class has been on sale in Europe since Spring of 2000. Don't forget that these cars have waiting lists. For example, the C-class waiting list in Canada is currently 6 months long.

    Hi all, I know some of you have been waiting for the '01 C-class's offset crash test results (even though we already know that it receives a "good" and a "best pick"). I'm happy to report that tomorrow's Dateline NBC Tuesday at 10pm EST/9pm CST will be airing the results of the crash test, just in time for tomorrow's MB Tuesdays chat at 6-7pm Pacific/9-10pm Eastern! Please check your local TV listings.

    Also included in this round of IIHS crash tests will be the Hyundai Elantra, the Honda Civic, the Dodge Grand Caravan, the Ford Focus, and the Dodge Stratus. Note that all of the models that are being crash tested have been substantially or completely redesigned, and are model year 2001 vehicles. Dateline is only covering the IIHS test and has no say in the results.


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    Thanks for the information. Keep us posted on what you find out...!

    ;-)

    Pocahontas
    Host
    Hatchbacks Message Board
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    image

    Don't miss the weekly MB Tuesdays chat at 6-7pm Pacific/9-10pm Eastern! All MB fans/enthusists/owners/potential owners are welcome to participate. Hope to see you there!

    Click on the link below to enter the chat at the times above. Note that the link to the chat is always near the top of this page, just under the discussion topic title:

    http://www.edmunds.com/chat/mercedeschat.html


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    I took these pictures of the C230K coupe on display at the '01 Pacific International autoshow here in Vancouver. I did get to sit in it front and back, BTW, and the rear was comfy for 2. There was the same amount of room back there as the C-class sedan (read: more than adequate). The unique twin moonroof is definitely a positive as it makes the interior feel airier, and larger than it actually is. Lots of interest in the car, BTW, and I was lucky to be able to get these shots. I can't wait till it arrives! A test drive is definitely in order...


    More autoshow pictures here:
    http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumIndex?u=137587&a=12386777&f=0&sp=0

    image


    image


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    image


    image


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards

  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    I'm sure people here will really appreciate them! ;-)

    Pocahontas
    Host
    Hatchbacks/Station Wagons Message Boards
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Great pics! Thanks. The car looks just as good as I expected it to (love the wheel design)! One question, could you tell how the twin sunroofs worked? Does just the front glass panel retract while the rear one is just a see-through stationary piece of glass?
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    The leading edge of the front piece actually pops up and acts as a wind deflector, whereas the rest of the roof slides upwards (so as to not take up headroom inside). The rear most piece is stationary, IIRC, but provides a nice amount of light for the rear passengers. If I was in the market for this car, the twin moonroofs would be a very desirable option indeed! There are retractable rollerblinds to shield out the sunlight in case you don't want the light.


    This may help:

    image


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards

  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    When are these cars supposed to be released and is there a waiting list in the US?

    What kind of MSRP should an automatic, with CD changer, navigation, metallic paint, moonoof and leather have? I read rumors that a model with every possible option would still be under $30K.

    That sounds like a good price for people who are willing to live with the hatchback design in return for the ability to more easily afford a new Mercedes.

    I'm guessing 3 year 36k mile leases should be available for well below $600 per month with little down payment.

    Does anyone have a good idea of all the standard and optional equiptment and equiptment packages?

    Does Mercedes include free scheduled maintenance in new models?

    Does anyone know if the new BMW hatchback is also coming to the US soon?
  • tmundartmundar Posts: 70
    WARNING! This is a rant. WARNING! :)

    What do you mean by "willing to live with the hatchback design?" Hatchbacks get no respect due to some silly American image thing. A hatchback is much more useful then a sedan or coupe. You can carry more luggage and people in a hatchback than you could ever imagine doing with a sedan. I would personally pay more for a hatchback than a sedan. When I was searching for a used car, I wanted a 5-door hatchback or wagon that didn't drive like a wet noodle. I ended up choosing a Saab 900, and I am very happy with the car.

    And as far as hatchbacks being viewed as cheap, do you think that Corvette drivers are "willing to live with the hatchback design" for the excellent price and performance of their cars. My father-in-law was looking at the hatchback Corvettes because he wants a sports car that he can fit his string bass into (which he cannot do in his Camry, but can in his Probe). I have carried 8-foot lenth 2x4s and 27" TV sets (in the box) in the back of my wife's Tiburon.

    Willing to live with a hatchback? HA! I am unwilling to live with the sedan design.

    End of rant. :)

    Tom

    P.S. For some reason, there is no subject line in the message posting form.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,813
    but, I can carry all that stuff in my sedan.

    That's all. Just pointing that out.

    I like hatchbacks, too.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 53-car history and counting!

  • tmundartmundar Posts: 70
    I can see how you might be able to get the 2x4s in a sedan (fold down the rear seats and the front passenger seat) but how do you get the TV in there? And can you close the trunk? (It was raining when we picked up the TV). We also transported a 6' by 3' kitchen table and 4 chairs in the Tiburon (although for this we did have to tie the hatch closed). :P :)

    Tom
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,813
    and close the trunk? nope. But, I certainly couldn't cover it in the back of my pickup truck either and you can't exactly say that a pickup is lacking in carrying space. So it all depends on how you look at it.

    I have fit large boxes in my back seat by moving the front seat forward. I just can't remember what those things were. I know I could get a 27" TV back there without the box. :)

    BTW. To connect it to this topic, I still wouldn't spend $30K on a relatively slow hatch.

    But, all this is why my wife now has a Forester. So i can still drive a sedan if I want.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 53-car history and counting!

  • totalnettotalnet Posts: 67
    If Mercedes just kept the C230 the same length as the sedans, I think more people will like it. Having a longer back end will make it more like the liftback of sports coupes like the Integra/RSX, Eclipse, and Celica than the chop off hatchback of the 318ti.
  • bill_1bill_1 Posts: 97
    Ah but Mercedes didn't really design the C hatchback for the American Market. It is primarily designed for Europe where they really like Hatchbacks. Note that globally the 318ti was a big success. I suspect that regardless of what happens over here the C Coupe will be a big success in other countries. Certainly it will give people shopping Saab 9-3s another option.

    Personally I like the look of the Coupe.. the very short overhangs at the rear help give it a very purposeful look (IMHO).
  • totalnettotalnet Posts: 67
    You are right that the hatchback is design for Europe. So that made me wonder why MB did not make a longer coupe with the either a liftback or a trunk? Or the CLK is suppose that be that car?

    Why go after the Saab 9-3? It's not a hugh market. But you could mean the group of buyers who's interested in the Saab 9-3. Which I read is the young profession women. But didn't BMW try to go after that group with the 318ti?

    Speaking of the 318ti. In the video section under Auto Shows, Edmunds had a preview of the 316ti and 325ti. It said the 325ti which has a inline 6 with 192hp. That pretty much matches the C230 in hp. It said BMW might be offering the 325ti in the US.

    Maybe with both MB and BMW offering hatchbacks, owning a hatchback won't have such a bad image.
  • tmundartmundar Posts: 70
    Wow! I never realized that I was a young professional woman! What is this American preoccupation with image? American seem to make an inappropriate number of purchasing decisions based on the image of a product rather than the actual properties of a product. I see all of these SUVs being driven around by soccer moms and insecure men because a minivan doesn't project that rugged image.

    I have lived in the US for my entire life, and I think that Americans are completely silly. I enjoy European cars far more than American cars because traditionally American cars try to isolate the driver from the act of driving (automatic transmissions and sloppy suspensions), while the Europeans develop cars that involve their drivers in the act of driving. I considered buying a BMW because of their excellent driving characteristics, but I decided against it because everyone and their dog has a BMW in my neighborhood. I also didn't want to deal with the image baggage involved with a "Beemer". I already have to deal with meatheads who want to race me in my 23-year-old Porsche 911. I ended up buying a Saab because it is practical, handles well, and partially because it is different.

    Tom
  • bill_1bill_1 Posts: 97
    Regarding a larger C class coupe and Saabs...

    Well the reason Mercedes didn't develop a car specifically for the US is that they wouldn't have sold enough to justify the development costs. The market in Europe for Hatchbacks is large enough for Mercedes to develop one for their market and then risk the cost of adjusting it to meet US safety and emissions specs, but even if the C230 was a smash hit in this country (Say 30% of C class sales) it wouldn't be enough to cover the costs of developing the car specifically for the American Market. Mercedes has to make the most effective use of the cars it has in every market it can; thats why we will see the A class eventually.

    What I meant about the 9-3 is that there are people in this country who buy the Saab 9-3 because they want a reasonably sporty near-luxury car, but they recognize the utility that a hatchback provides. Also the C230 and the base 9-3 are similar in price, size and many performance aspects (though the 9-3 is a FWD as opposed to the C230's RWD).

    As for the BMW 325ti; I hope they do bring it over. If we can get Juguar and Lexus to offer Hatchbacks as well perhaps we can get rid of the stigma : )
  • totalnettotalnet Posts: 67
    Well the Edmund's first drive article mentions that Mercedes wants to attract more young female buyers with the C230. Well the automakers created these images and lot of Amercians have taken to it.

    To most in the US, Mercedes or BMW has always been brand you buy as status symbol. To show the world that you have made it. One of my cousins has a SLK230, which most of time is garaged and she commutes in an SUV!

    One reason I am interested in the C230 for next car is the image of the brand. I also want to move up from my 200SX SE-R. I want same fun to drive, the same or more power, and some luxury. Had a chance to buy a friend's 318ti. The hatchback was so much more useful than the trunk on my car. The only thing that stopped me from buy it was my wife. She said it just doesn't looked right with the front same as the other 3 series, but it's short rear.

    Once in while I drive my dad's Avalon. I can't believe how much this car isolate you from the road. It makes realize how much more fun my car is than if I have not driven the
  • tmundartmundar Posts: 70
    Maybe car companies target women because women are less likely to buy based on image, and more willing to take a look at a car's practical attributes. I don't mean to imply that women are unaffected by image, but men seem to be the driving force behind most image based purchases. For example, I am sure that more couples shop for a SUV because the man would feel emasculated by driving a minivan then women worried about being viewed as a "soccer mom." In fact, I have taken to calling SUVs "Macho Minivans."

    Why would your cousin commute in an SUV when the Mercedes sounds like a much better commuting car? There are some things that SUVs are good at, but transporting one person to work and back is not one of them (unless it is something like a RAV4 or CR-V).

    I have to agree with you about the styling of the 318ti. I prefer the styling of hatchbacks that look like they angled the bottom of the rear window out to the end of the trunk lid (like the Saab 9-3) instead of the ones that look like they just chopped off the trunk and made the rear open up (like the BMW 318ti and Honda Civic).

    Um, wait, this message board is about the C230 so I should probably include something about them. I do like the styling of the C230. I think that it looks sleek and purposeful. It looks like it was designed as a hatchback instead of just cutting off the trunk as in the 318ti. Too bad Mercedes-Benz doesn't make a 5-door hatchback. :)

    Tom
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    " It looks like it was designed as a hatchback instead of just cutting off the trunk as in the 318ti. Too bad Mercedes-Benz doesn't make a 5-door hatchback. :)"

    Um, that's because it was designed as a coupe right from the start! MB didn't simply decide to shorten it. 5 door hatchback? Never...that would compete with the sedan and MB doesn't want that. Having a hatchback is already very untraditional for MB, but they understand that it is necessary to break into a new market segment. I do like the C230K coupe, even though I'm not in the market for it. Comfortable seating both front and rear in my experience. There was a lot of interest in it (and interestingly even from the older folks in their 40's and 50's) at the autoshow, and I have absolutely no doubt that it will sell.

    According to the dealer info. which I have seen, since the structure of the car is essentially the same as the C-class sedan, the excellent IIHS 40mph offset crash test results will also apply to the coupe and the station wagon. Your dealership should already have the options and option pricing for the C230K coupe (I've already seen it), but the MSRP is still to be determine.

    BTW, IMHO, the new 3-series hatchback is ugly. The boy-racer IS300-ish clear taillamps and seperate circular headlamps don't look good to me. The C230K coupe is far more elegant, and classier.


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards

    P,S. AMG is already working injecting their magic into the coupe. Don't forget that it has been on sale in Europe for a few months already.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    image

    Just a reminder that the MB chat is on tonight (6-7pm Pacific/9-10 pm Eastern). Hope to see you there!
    http://www.edmunds.com/chat/mercedeschat.html
  • totalnettotalnet Posts: 67
    Well she drives her Montero SUV so she can drop off and pick up her kid at school and her husband drive some sedan. She treats her SLK like some classic car and takes it out once in while. Maybe it's a Chinese thing. You know Mercedes is called Benzie by some Chinese and owning one is totally a status symbol. BMW doesn't even come close in that term. Go to a place like Hong Kong, and the majority of the luxury cars are Mercedes.

    I am actually hoping the C230 coupe won't become a hugh hit. So if I get one, I don't see too many of those around. Here is something I just notice. The headlights on C230 are little bit different than the C sedans. The small and large headlights are merging smoothly together on the sedans. While the coupe looks like two circles place on top of each other.

    The first two things I notice about the new 325ti were the clear taillights from the IS300 and front round headlights looks from the Integra. Maybe they are going after the boy racers this time. To me, the only 3 serie coupes and convertables good looking. The sedans and now new the hatchbacks just don't look that great.
  • My wife and I placed a deposit with our delear back in December on a C230 and have been receiving updates regularly. On April 7th we viewed the option pricing so I would imagine all dealers have that info now. MSPR as we all know, is a closely gaurded secret right up until release of the car with MB but I'll be sure to share what I learn.

    We flew to Detroit to see the car (very stripped model) and were surprised by the crowds gathered arond it but it certainly generated alot of interest. We are buying it to complement our ML and look forward to the sportiness, performance, exclusivity (it will be rare on the road) safety, reliability and most of all, it appeals visually to us.

    I think MB will garner the success and hit the target markets they are looking for. We are 30, homeowning young professionals who will most likely continue to purchase thier products as we mature. Had the new C-Class been available when we purchased our 2000 ML, I think it would have been our entrance into thier product line. The industry is becoming so competitive that it is important to attract younger buyers who will develope a loyalty for the luxo makers. (ie what Saab & Subaru have) Waiting till people are 45-50 no longer can substain a production car line. These types of daring but properly placed new vechicles will go far to cement relationships and sustain long held image and brand recognition.

    thanks for tolerating my thoughts.
  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 356
    The coupe on display this week in New York City's Auto Show is in (my assumption) the "Paprica" color.

    Unfortunately, it was also behind a guardrail and on a rotating display..."hands off".
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