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Mercedes-Benz CLK (2005 and earlier)



  • That says that the wagon has a different rear window angle, no?

    Yup. The catch is that more vertical rear surfaces are less less likely to gather rain, snow or frost, so why did M-B see a wiper as necessary on the C-Wagon? For "looks"?

    I don't see the lack of a wiper as a big issue on this particular car.

    It is a combination of local conditions and constraints...YMMV applies. As I mentioned, I have 15+ years of direct, relevant experience. The slope of hatchbacks such as the C230 will require that you're going 40+mph in a rain or snowstorm to keep it clear of precipitation. If you're stuck in bumper-to-bumper in a snowstorm, it is going to get obscured.

    My point is that this "don't need it" claim is self-contradictory on M-B's need it on both, or neither.

    Since a rear wiper also exists on the A Class, its absence on the C-Coupe is downright conspicuous.

    FWIW, I personally suspect that MB figured that this was a place that they could cut costs a little, keep the "ugly hatchback" accusations at bay and hope that the profile of their targeted customers won't miss it.

    For example, if your car is always garaged, then you don't have to worry about the chore of clearing off heavy morning dews & frosts. YMMV.

    If you're stuck on this, then I guess that you've just eliminated one model from your search.

    Perhaps. I'm more upset at the lameness of M-B's excuse than its absence. I would have been fine if it had been extra-cost option, but it isn't. IMO, if MB is successful with the C230, expect to see a rear wiper on it within a few years.

    Any suggestions on how or where I could get a rear wiper aftermarket?

  • I believe that Mercedes deemed rear wipers unnecessary on their hatchbacks because of the way aerodynamics work. The rain, sleet, whatever form of precipitation naturally flows off the steeply raked window with help of the wind flow. On wagons, where windows are not as angled, the water tends to gather and stay and slowly drip off, which requires the help of a wiper. Furthermore, since the window is more upright, it is more susceptible to water rising from the rear wheels. It's all about aerodynamics once the car is going rather than what happens when the car is stable.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...we have folk who know better than the engineers...

    Believe me, if a $15 wiper were necessary on this car, it would be there.

    I've owned plenty of hatchbacked cars in my time, and each has been different about crud buildup in bad weather. A couple of early '80s Celicas never required aux wiping in foul weather; others were a disaster without constant use of the rear wiper. The angle DOES make a difference, and I'll side with the assumption that the people in Stuttgart know what they are talking about - if they didn't, the EU reaction to this would already be deafening.

  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    I have owned both generations of the Honda CRX-SI which had a very raked rear windows. Each car had a rear wiper and at speed you really didn't need it. When in traffic, with rain or snow the wiper was useful. If your car is sitting outside and you want to backup, you could flip the wiper and clean off the dew/rain/snow off the hatch window. Without the wiper you have to reliey on the side mirrors for rear vision or get out and wipe off the window by hand. I have found that keeping a rear window well coated with rain-x or equivalent will reduce the amount of moisture sticking to the rear window. I think the wiper was left off to cut costs. So it goes in the entry level luxury sporty car market.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...Mercedes does not cut costs on safety. If the wiper were an issue, it would already be a scandal in Europe.

    What everyone forgets is that the things that American customers consider "cheap" about this car are routinely left off of ordered cars in Europe. Leather is rare in this class of car in EU - the cloth upholstery is what most people order. Same with wood, where it is an option, it is ordered by a minority of people. Safety equipment is another story - Mercedes simply doesn't cut corners here...they spent money on standard ESP, headbags, etc. If the wiper were necessary to safe driving, it would be there.

    Look, I think there are a lot of things to criticize about the way MB is doing business these days - this is not one of them.
  • I believe that Mercedes deemed rear wipers unnecessary on their hatchbacks because of the way aerodynamics work.

    Yes, but this is incomplete: the fluid mechanics of non-inviscid compressible flow to apply as a tangential clearing force are only applicable when the car is moving at or above a threshold velocity.

    ...we have folk who know better than the engineers...

    Or perhaps some of us are Mechanical Engineers ourselves.

    Using a semi-laminar flow to blow rain off your rear hatch works fine when its rain. But when accumulated snow blows off your roof, you're pretty much hosed, unless you have a nuclear powered rear window defogger.

  • mlsphdmlsphd Posts: 26
    If you take a look at the C230 option list, one thing becomes glaringly obvious. MB does not consider safety an option. All of the safety & handling features are standard. Differing from other makes, especially at this price point, MB made a decision about what they felt was important to include. IMHO, I feel more confident when side airbags, skid control, etc. are considered essential parts of the vehicle, and the CD changer, leather seating, etc. are options. I'm fine with that hierarchy of priorities.

    My MB station wagon had a standard rear wiper which was needed to clear the window at highway speeds. I agree with earlier posts that if window visibility was a problem, this relatively inexpensive item would have been included.
  • abc246abc246 Posts: 305
    This part does not cost $15! It has a motor, linkage, arm, switch, ect. I feel they left it off to cut cost. My last hatch, a Toyota Supra, had a wiper. If you live where it snows all winter long this is a nice feature. Sometimes snow from the roof slides off on the window. If the car is outside overnight or at work the wiper will clear light snow. During heavy wet snow the wiper can help keep the rear window clean. In spring and fall the wiper can clear frost using the washer. I will miss it.
  • I saw two messages (#568 and 569) talking about extended warranties. I talked to my neighbor who is on her 3rd MB. She never knew there was extended warranties. (A fine example of educated consumers) However, she did repeated said how expensive repairs are and for the price she would definitely buy it if she plans to keep her cars longer than the original warranty period.

    I conducted an unscientific poll by walking around 2 MB lots - most of the newer used cars have around 45K miles on them. I wonder if there is any coincidence - sell them before warranty runs out.

    However, here's the most important thing - is the warranty price negotiable? The brochure said $2500 for the 4yr/50K but I think jjpeter said he got it for $2200. Don't tell me - it also depends on which area of the country you are buying your car.

    Thanks guys. This board ROCKS!!!

    P.S. My car will be born next wk. Just in time for Christmas.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    The cost of the warranty is up to the dealer - he pays a certain level of $, and is then free to charge whatever the local market will bear. On the mainline C forum board, you'll find a number of references to the dealer in Chico, CA, who has built a reputation for selling the warranty at reasonable prices.

    The warranty can be purchased from any dealer in the country...all same-o. Make a few phone calls and save some money.
  • Strictly speaking, so long as a vehicle is equipped with dual outside mirrors, the vehicle's rear window can be blocked, but it is not considered to be a safety deficiency. Otherwise, no one would ever be allowed to tow a trailer.

    And for a cost estimate, Porsche charged $307 for their rear wiper option on last year's 911. IMO, this is not out of line.

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...there is no reason for ABS, ESP, head bags, or side bags, either, to make a vehicle that is considered "safe".

    Clearly, if this item is a show-stopper for some of you, then this is the wrong car for you and should be crossed off your list.

    It's on my list for a lot of good reasons. And my only argument with this thread is that in 35 years of dealing with Mercedes, I have never known them to short a particular model on the basic safety list to "save money". They sincerely believe that the angle of the window and characteristics of the wind flow over this car make the wiper unnecessary. It's not as if it didn't come up - it was specifically discussed in the press interviews at the time of the car's intro in Germany. If there are real-world complaints about this [as opposed to theoretical objections from non-owners], you can believe DB will react appropriately. I've never heard this issue raised in any of the English-language reviews [or translated articles] I've read.

    I've been a tough critic of this company and some of its recent missteps...I continue to believe this issue isn't one of them, but if it is to you, then this car won't be right. Vive la competition...
  • Yes, the picture is real - Karmann came up with it as a concept vehicle for the 71st International Motor Show in Geneva.

    Sadly, MB decided not to go ahead (probably too much competition for the CLK).

    Read more at:-

    Regards, JohnB

  • the convertible is sooooo sweet. don't condemn me for saying this, but i actually think the convertible is a lot prettier than the coupe.
  • jjpeterjjpeter Posts: 230
    That convertable prototype is sweet. Takes away some of the heft of the butt end of the C230K. Looks somewhat like the VW cabriolet. Not that I'm a convertable buyer, heck I didn't even opt for the sun roof on our C230! But this unit would sell, looks even better then the SLK.
  • If there are real-world complaints about this [as opposed to theoretical objections from non-owners], you can believe DB will react appropriately. I've never heard this issue raised in any of the English-language reviews [or translated articles] I've read.

    It would be nice if MB had an obvious email address for product feedback. FWIW, I have heard the issue raised in English...probably in AutoWeek

    I'll add a clause on my purchase contract that states that if MB comes out with a wiper on a future model, they agree that they will retrofit it onto my car for $400. Afterall, all contracts are negotiable ;-)

  • I've bought one of these cars. The lack of a rear wiper bothers me not one bit (though I live in the mountain west). The critics of the lack of this as standard or optional equipment are wrong and maybe lazy too.

    First of all, why leave a Mercedes parked outside overnight? Is it laziness or lack of a garage? If it is lack of a garage, then don't buy a Mercedes. Keep something more plebian outside in the winter. I can't imagine a decision to buy any new Mercedes without a safe, secure overnight garage for the car.

    Now why complain about the lack of a wiper on the rear window when the car has gotten an overnight coat of snow (and the ice underneath)? A great way to damage a wiper mechanism is to try to remove accumulated snow & ice from a parked car by simply getting in the car and turning on the wipers. The right way to do it is to remove the crud with a scraper. Get the stuff off your side windows too while you are at it! But don't rely on wipers to remove an accumulation of snow and ice. Do it right!

    As to a rear wiper itself. Please note the configuration of the car. It has a sloped rear window like the CLK coupe. Furthermore it has that (some may think is "cute") kammback. While these features do not keep falling snow off the window, they should work to keep winter road grime off your backlite. That is what a rear wiper is meant to remove! The Sport Coupe is unlike a wagon. A Mercedes or Volvo wagon, with a more vertical rear window and without any structural "dam" to keep road grime away, is quite likely to pick up a lot of greasy, dirty winter road grit. Nothing in the design of a wagon blocks this goop from your window. So a wiper is fitted to do the job. But on the C230K Sport Coupe, this is clearly not the needed. The rear window is much removed from the source of this road grime problem.

    Finally, do note that the car does have a heated rear window. Even in a heavy snowstorm, this should serve well enough to melt snow picked up while moving slowly in heavy traffic. Use it!

    I can see why Mercedes did not deem the rear wiper a feature that would be needed on the car. If the lack of the rear window wiper will make a potential buyer buy a Daewoo or Hyundai that has a wiper, I say go for it. Geez, you can probably even get a better warranty from the Koreans too. I will take the Mercedes, wiper or not! And I trust Mercedes if they decide I don't need the wiper.
  • tommyp13tommyp13 Posts: 146
    that the "if you don't have a garage, don't get a Mercedes" comment was just a bad joke, and not some misguided a-hole snobbery comment. Many people don't have a garage. If it wasn't a joke, get a life. It's that kind of attitude that makes people dislike MB, BMW, and Porsche owners in the first place.

    I still think that the wiper thing is much ado about nothing, but I don't want to jinx myself when I go through my first freezing rainstorm, so I'll have to say that I'm reserving judgment until I go through some bad weather and still don't need the rear wiper.
  • If the MB is meant to be parked in a garage does that mean when I go shopping I have to find a garage to put it in? How about when I visit a friends house? Should I insist that my MB be parked in their garage. How absurd! Cars are driven outside so what's the concern about where it's parked at night?

    Besides, parking in a garage does not eliminate the fact that some people would feel more comfortable if there was a rear wiper. It's simply a preference. When I test drove the C-coupe I thought, "Hey, where is the rear wiper switch?" Then I realized there is no rear wiper. It didn't bother me that it wasn't there. I also test drove the Acura RSX/S and I don't believe it had a rear wiper either. I figured I would put a little Rain X on the back windshield anyway so I wouldn't need a rear wiper.
  • abc246abc246 Posts: 305
    Roles are reversing. My Silverado cost more than the C230 I am looking at! My Blazer costs more too! By the way, it has a rear wiper with washer. So I guess I will just have to leave the cheapest car (C230) outside!

    Have you been to a Chevy dealer lately? You will be suprised at the number of $40k trucks, some even $50k. I am sure Chevy sells more over $35k trucks than all MB combined in US. It might be time to wake up and consider that many other cars and trucks may cost more than a MB and some poeple maybe buying this car as a "toy", as this Chevy owner would be.
  • No, the garage is not a joke. To invest in a $30K car and not have a garage for it is inane. Do you really want to buy that beautiful, expensive car and let it sit outside overnight? Sorry, get the garage first, 'til then live with the Honda.

    Of course you don't put it in a garage when you go to a friends or shopping. You probably don't leave it out long enough to get buried in snow then. But leaving this car outside at night to collect snow and then thinking that the car is lacking because it does not have a rear wiper is warped. If you buy nice toys, put them away. You don't leave a wonderful car like these outside all night.
  • Guess I'm insane. Got the C230 and parking it in my 6-unit apartment small assigned-spot parking lot.

    Space is tight in the Bay Area, and getting an apartment with a parking space is one thing, covered parking space another, getting a totally enclosed shared parking garage is harder, and having an individual garage (with house attached) is too rich for my blood. I guess I'll have to pay $500k-$1mill to buy a house and sell my $30k car. Shame, I didn't know sun and snow and water and dirt hurts cars.

    Maybe I'll just walk from now on. At least I have a "garage" to park myself in.
  • skobolaskobola Miami, FLPosts: 207
    I calculated a lease price for a silver C Coupe w/o anything else a week before and it amounted to $403/month for 36 months with 10,000 miles/year, $0 down (for MSRP of 26,235). Than yesterday I went to check it again, and the lease for the same car and terms jumped to $483/month!!! Proportionally, the price of a silver with C7 was $414, which jumped to 497! I know that the car is pretty hot, but such a jump is just ridiculous! Any suggestions?
  • jjpeterjjpeter Posts: 230
    Wow, this forum has certainly taken a left turn, into the great garage / rear wiper debate. I guess I'll have to contribute. I don't have a garage, live in the SF bay area and I'm not losing sleep over parking our coupe outside at night. I'd like to garage our baby, but its not possible for now. Put the PermaPlate protection on the car to ward off the effects of the elements. Had Lo-Jack installed to recover it if it is stolen. I doesn't snow here, so I don't need a rear wiper to clear the cars rear window during blizzards. I guess I'm blessed, live in a beautiful place with benign weather, and in a safe neighborhood where leaving ones car outside doesn't cause sleepless nights.
  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    Location, location.

    I have been spending time in way southern California the last couple weeks and the 3 of the 4 cars that were on the local Benz lot last week are still there. I talked to one of the salesman last week and he was quick to offer a $1500 discount. He knew I was from out of state and needed to give me a reason to buy a car so far from home. So shop around and/or be patient. The C230 is still a new and different. 6-9 months from now the demand will probably drop off a little like it does with any car. By waiting you might even get a better car. Benz will most likely have made a few adjustments to the manufacturing process and/or parts used in the cars to address any problems/issues they have found.
  • mdmetzmdmetz Posts: 27
    There are plenty of people in prosperous city neighborhoods who fit the income demographics of an E or even S class owner (let alone those of a C230 owner) who don't have convenient parking access. Personally, I wouldn't keep a car in Manhattan below 96th Street without parking (less for security than for the hassle of finding a space and alternate side of the street rules), but many people pay up to seven figures for garageless townhouses and large apartments in places like Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Georgetown and Pacific Heights, where street parking's somewhat easier than Manhattan and commercial garages are inconvenient. Since many of these people are childless and the C230 is the most compact (and thus easiest to park) Mercedes sold in the US, it wouldn't be surprising if its buyers are disproportionately prosperous and brand-conscious city residents when compared to buyers of larger Benzes. Not everyone is interred lives in suburbs or sprawling instant cities, after all.

    Besides, the C230's comparatively low price point (the average transaction price probably isn't all that much higher than that of a loaded Accord, and is most likely less than that of a loaded Odyssey or S2000, Hondas all) means it will probably be a daily driver for the majority of its owners. Therefore, chances are C230s driven by people who work in the 'burbs will be parked in uncovered lots for eight to twelve hours straight every workday - more than long enough for rain, snow, bird droppings and various and sundry other classifications of grime to build up.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Where did you get your original calculations? Have you tried a different dealer...? Also, here are direct links to Edmunds' PowerShopper and Leasing information which you might find helpful. Good luck.

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • First of all, why leave a Mercedes parked outside overnight?

    Could it be because we have only two garage bays?

    My wife gets one, and I choose to park my 911 in mine, instead of my daily driver (see the photo is in my profile).

    No, I can't add a third bay (long story). I've looked at spending the $3K to put in a "car stacker" lift, but they require 9'6" of clearance and I only have 8'7". FWIW, for the new house alternative, you're looking at $600+K for a McMansion, on a piddling 1/5th Acre lot on fairly steep hillside.

    Now why complain about the lack of a wiper on the rear window when the car has gotten an overnight coat of snow...?

    I'm not complaining about overnight snow.

    Finally, do note that the car does have a heated rear window. Even in a heavy snowstorm, this should serve well enough to melt snow picked up while moving slowly in heavy traffic. Use it!

    You don't think I already do?

    Frankly, the problem is that I have yet to find a rear window defroster that can honestly keep up with bad NJ snowfalls.

    Please don't get me started on those "helpful" manufacturers who decide to put their rear window defrosters on (aargh!!) timers. These timers are a gross disservice for our local needs.

    Driving home in a snowstorm is my biggest complaint for a lack of a rear wiper.

    Consider yourself "gosh darn" lucky that you don't have the winter driving conditions that I have to cope with here in Northern NJ. For example, instead of nice light fluffy 'Champagne Powder' (or anything close to it), our snowfalls are generally consistency of wet concrete and just as sticky. The melt:snow ratio is often as low as a ratio of 1:5 (Powder is 1:15 to as high as 1:30).

    Now add in that over 75% of our winter storms are typically transitional: they start as snow & change to freezing rain, or they do opposite (which is actually worse). You don't know what real fun is until you've tried to negotiate a homeward hilly commute when its 15F (-10C) and driving rain. Please recall that no road salts are effective below ~20F.

    If you're not having fun yet, toss in enough traffic congestion so that it can take 2 hours to go 10 miles. More, if there have been accidents.

    It really is an example of just how different customers requirements can, YMMV. So my suggestion is: "Please come to NJ for a winter test drive and then decide."

    If you buy nice toys, put them away. You don't leave a wonderful car like these outside all night.

    Its not a toy, but a tool.

    I don't really want to rant about this type of attitude, so I'll leave it at that. I buy what suits my needs, and that does NOT include paying extra for perceived image because that might somehow offset my personal shortcomings or massage my ego. It is, and will always be, a tool and nothing more than a tool.

  • skobolaskobola Miami, FLPosts: 207
    The calculations came from the Benz's Build Your Own web pages, which come after one configures the car per his/her liking. Those are the leases offered by MB itself!
    I know that they are not the only way to get a lease, however, I was just disappointed that they are hiking the price up so incredibly high while all the car market is relatively low, so I almost wish that they get burned with their short-term vision and greed, and that people stop considering the car. I thought that I will go for it, but now I believe that I will go back to my Bimmer, namely the 325, which should be in the same price range.
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