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Mercedes-Benz CLK (2005 and earlier)



  • Thanks for the heads-up on the incentives. Just for comparison, what is MB's NORMAL lease rate for non-incentivized cars?
  • Hello all,

    Just a quick question--I want to buy a 2003 C230 and I'm wondering if the Bose system comes with a CD player or do I have to buy the changer--I don't recall seeing one or for that matter a tape option (I don't think I own a single tape)?

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    The Bose upgrade, which in my mind is a complete waste of money, doesn't include any CD capability. The good news is that the factory changer has been drastically reduced in price. The bad news is that a single CD slot in place of the cassette probably won't be standard equipment until the '04 model year. I was hoping it would happen for '03, but as we all know, not so.

    Virtually everyone else in the business has gotten religion on this topic - MB wants to be the last holdout, apparently, but it appears we are less than a year away from putting this to rest.
  • I like the way the Bose sounds in my 2002 C230. I can't compare it to the non-bose set up though. I have listened to Bose for about 30 years, so I guess I'm a fan.
  • The bad news is that a single CD slot in place of the cassette probably won't be standard equipment until the '04 model year.

    True enough, although I'll take a single CD before forking out $800 for a 6-CD changer.

    The irony to all of this is that the stripped down A Class (A140) that I had as a rental car in Germany this summer lists for under $15K, but even it had a single CD slot player.

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...the new changer is a $400 option for '03 [but only if it comes installed as a factory item], but I agree entirely this is silly. Hopefully no more than one more year before the NA market gets a rational solution as std equipment.
  • Hey everyone! I'm back (had a 'puter crash, lost all, changed servers so had a new email address, etc,).

    Had a little early snow here in S/W Va. Performance tires combned w/rwd backing up does NOT work (ESP useless, as usual). I was trapped in the garage, had to back up a slight incline, and didn't make it. Don't have to depend on the C (have awd Suburban as back-up)and don't get a lot of snow so probably won't invest in snow tires, but if you do think about it.
  • I had my wife test drive the 2003 C230 today, last time we test drove, we drove the 2002. I did not notice much difference in performance in city driving. I have emailing the dealer, his first offer on a car(not the one I asked about) was less than the MBUSA list by about $200. How low below MSRP it likely they will go?
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    I went with my neighbor to pick out a new Mercedes last week - she ended up with an 03 C230k for $1,400 under MSRP. The salesman is a friend of mine who used to work at a BMW dealer - bought a couple Beemers from him there.

    The Mercedes dealer had a new C sedan with the Kompressor engine in it. Mercedes just came out with it - it comes with 17" wheels and a 6 speed standard for base MSRP of $25k - I loved the way it drove. What's even more interesting is Mercedes is putting the 320 engine with a six speed in the C coupe for a base of $27k. My MB dealer didn't have a 320 coupe but I asked him to call me when he gets one in.

    I Haven't been able to get that C230k 4 door off my mind since I drove it. I really liked that car, but with 2 new cars in the last year - an X5 and a VW GTI turbo - can't really justify trading the GTI in on the C230k sedan with a six speed - it is tempting though.
  • crikeycrikey Posts: 1,041
    Is it replacing the C240?
  • Rick...if you get too tempted, I suggest you try a test drive in the Sedan with the stick configuration. I tried it ~15 months ago and found the position of the stick around 2" too high.

    Meantime, I've been very pleasantly surprised with how well my C230K with 16" snows has been handling in the messy conditions we're having here in the East.

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    The C320 Coupe, the C230k Sport Sedan and C320 Sport Sedan are all net additions to the line, and replace nothing.

    Both of the new sedans have the firmer suspension of the coupe, plus other "sports pkg" stuff [interior bits, seats, exterior bits] and thus are not considered replacements for anything else in the sedan line. Both the standard C240 and C320 sedans and wagons continue with the standard suspension and interiors.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well Mercedes has done it now! They managed to offer TOO many C-Class models/configurations. Is this right:

    C230 Coupe
    C320 Coupe
    C240 Sedan
    C320 Sedan
    C240 Wagon
    C320 Wagon
    C320 4Matic Sedan
    C320 4Matic Wagon
    C320 Sport Sedan
    C240 4Matic Sedan
    C240 4Matic Wagon
    C230 Sport Sedan
    C240 Sport Sedan
    C320 Sport Sedan

    I'm not sure if the C230 sedan comes in a non-sport configuration. No wonder MBUSA hasn't updated their website, lol. No way the E-Class will ever regain it's #1 sales position in the U.S.

  • crikeycrikey Posts: 1,041
    I'm actually glad MB came out with more iterations of the C-Class. With some models having an MSRP of $25K, it became a bit easier to own an MB.
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    I didn't know about the C320 Sport sedan - is that as inexpensive as the $27k C320 Coupe? I assume it doesn't have all the standard features of the regular C320 Sedan - is it equipped like the C230k Sport sedan except with the 320 engine?
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Do you think I should start up a new discussion for the new 2004 C320 coupe/hatch? Or I could just add "C320" to the title of this discussion. What do you think?


    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host
  • jjpeterjjpeter Posts: 230
    This posting forum isn't recieving much traffic these days. The latest posts have sparked some interest and I'd keep things here, where many of the posters have already bookmarked.
    My .02
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    This board could be renamed "Mercedes C-Class coupes" too.
  • serenoaserenoa Posts: 21
    I have seen several references to the C320 Coupe, but have never been able to find a picture or any specs or discussion. Anyone help?
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    The C320 Coupe is really new -it and the C230 sports sedan isn't even on the MBUSA website yet.

    My MB dealer called this morning and told me they just got a C230k sport sedan in with a 6 speed. I'm going in this afternoon to test drive it. I'll ask for some info on the C320 Coupe while I'm there. About all I know is the C230k sport sedan starts at $25k and the C320 Coupe starts at $27k. 17" wheels and a 6 speed manual are standard on both.
  • 2ndmb2ndmb Posts: 72
    I'm going to test drive a 2004 C320 Sport Sedan with 4 Matic on Saturday. I've read the press release from the LA auto show and it looks like a nice car. The price with automatic, 4matic, heated seats, sunroof, etc is around 41k. I'll report on the test drive over the weekend.
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    My dealer got it's first C230k sport sedan with a 6 speed manual in, I test drove it yesterday. It had a 6 disk changer and sunroof package with an MSRP of a little over $31k.

    I was totally impressed, the sport tuned suspension was near perfect, nice power delivery, very nimble feeling. Overall a very nice, complete package and the price was certainly right.
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    No matter what the body style, I'm interested in following news about the 320 engine (and other features that the C-class models share), so if you put the coupe somewhere else, I'll probably check in there too.

    The 320 is one of automotive's great engines and now that the 350 replaces the 320 in the ML, until is shows up in a Chrysler product, the only other car where the 320 can be found will be the E-class and that's pretty good company.
  • Its also available in the CLK320.
  • drmpdrmp Posts: 187
    Is the throttle lag apparent in the automatic version? I am very interested in this car and want to get as much information (including comaparative ride, off the line pick-up, and road noise). I would probably get a c230 sport sedan automatic BUT w/o the 17 inch tires. Would probably trade the tires with OEM MB 16 inchers. I am not crazy about the looks but I'm very particular about road noise, I don't want to feel gravel type road grains. Dealer doesn't have yet the model that I want.

    I drove the c240 with automatic but was disappointed by the weak off-the-line pick up and the too-soft ride (ala camry) but I am happy with the rest of the car.
  • Is the throttle lag apparent in the automatic version?

    IMO, any engine takes some getting used to, particularly if you're driving a stick and it is Supercharged or Turbocharged, as 'dead spots' are more common. Its learning curve as far as I'm personally concerned.

    For automatics, my wife's car is an Audi A4 1.8T w/auto and there's a little bit of lag here and there. Its been ~18 months since I test-drove the C230K w/auto, and my impressions at the time was that it was very similar to my wife's Audi. Overall, I'd say that a perception of "less lag" is nothing more than concealment by the slushbox.

    I am very interested in this car and want to get as much information (including comparative ride, off the line pick-up, and road noise).

    FWIW, I found the ride characteristics to be slightly different between cloth-vs-leather and 16"-vs-17" wheel packages. Leathers w/16" was the softest, and cloth w/17" the firmest. FWIW, I bought the cloth w/17".

    I would probably get a c230 sport sedan automatic BUT w/o the 17 inch tires. Would probably trade the tires with OEM MB 16 inchers.

    If you're going to lose the 17's, you may as well just not buy the option at all, in my opinion: the other bits within the package are color-coordinated door handles (for any body color other than black :-), a louder exhaust, and a short-shift kit which is irrelevant if you're not getting the manual.

    I'm very particular about road noise, I don't want to feel gravel type road grains.

    I've found that the road feel with the C230K (cloth/OEM 17"s) was "less isolative" than on my former drive, a 1995 Saab 900S with 16" Dunlop SP9000 summer tires. I'm currently running 16" snows on the C230K, and I want to say that the road feel is smoother (less harsh) than my Saab was with 15" snows, which means that the MB has changed less overall between summer & winter tire stocks. So far, I find the ride quality with either tire to be acceptable on my local roads (Northern NJ, with occasional road trips down through Philly into Maryland, etc). Overall, your best option is probably to borrow a car and take it out for a ~60 minute solo test drive, and make it a point to hit some of your local roads that you have "road surface quality issues" with.

  • lukymelukyme Posts: 46
    I have the '02 C230K with auto and 17" wheels. My son drives the car, and we don't get allot of snow in central KY, but we found you don't need much to stick this car. This is the first winter and I suspect the Continental performance (summer) tires are the problem. We had just a couple inches of snow, and the car would not go on just a slight incline. You can get stuck in a parking lot very easy. I disengaged the Traction Control, and was able to get him going again, but I was really concerned about the ability to go in the snow. The tires have only 10K on them but seem very slick with virtually no traction in snow whatsoever. Since we don't get but a few snowfalls each winter, I don't want to go through the trouble of changing over to snow tires each winter. What about replacing the Continental's with an all season performance tire ? Any suggestions.
  • drmpdrmp Posts: 187
    You can do a couple of things to make things more livable. First, put some weight at the rear (sand bag is commonly used, maybe 50-150 lbs depending on outcome). Second, you can air down the tires to minimum safe level. I guess from 32 psi to about 26 psi to maximize road-to-tire surface contact. However with low tire presure, it is not good to drive at continuous high speed due to repeated rubber flex.

    That is what I used to do in my country when the road gets very slippery.
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    The C230k sports sedan has 17" wheels, the sport suspension and 3 spoke sport steering wheel all standard.

    I drove a 6 speed and automatic C230k sport sedans. I like a manual and fell for the 6 speed but the automatic was very nice. Much better response than a C240. The new 1.8 aluminum block engine is supposed to be a big improvement over the previous Kompressor engine. I didn't notice much if any lag, just nice progressive power with no perceptable flat spots.
  • The throttle lag experienced in the Audi IS from the turbo - it takes a while to spool up and provide the boost (characteristic of most turbos - some more than others). The Kompressor being engine driven isn't affected as much, so you seem to get more grunt earlier.

    As far as tires, if you don't get many snows special tires probably aren't worth the cost. But your problem does point out a major short coming of ESP and similar anti-lock based traction controls: they just don't work as well as a good positraction/mechanical system. I've had it on several cars both domestic and foreign and am very leery of their claims. I guess they're better than an open differential, but not much.
This discussion has been closed.