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Mercedes-Benz CLK (2005 and earlier)



  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    I guess I'm left to wonder how much better it could get..? Yeah, that's a good price. As to whether it's the car for you, among those extremely different choices, only you know that. It's certainly an excellent value in this class, but only if you plan to hold on to it for awhile - short-term resale on the Coupes is very poor.

    Do not sign anything or turn over any money without a complete [at least 10-20 miles] acceptance drive of the actual car you will be buying. Make sure everything works, and pay special attention in the Coupe for interior noises. Check the tire pressures before leaving the dealer for the test drive - make sure they are set to the factory recommended levels, and not elevated for storage and shipping [this is all too common]. Make sure the car is vibration-free at speed, and that it tracks true and straight [no wandering or pulling] - wheel alignment has been an issue, though this is something easily remedied by a competent dealer.

    Aside from alignment and interior noises, most of the rest of the long possible list of worries are things that aren't necessarily going to show up on a short drive - electrical anomalies and the occasional oil leak on the new 1.8 engine. But you can do yourself a favor by testing all of the common electrical components [seats, stereo, CD] just to make sure there is nothing really obvious.

  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and glad to see you're already getting some good feedback here.

    You may also want to check out some of the Buying Articles from our Tips & Advice section. In particular check out "10 Steps to Buying a new Car."

    Good luck, and please keep up posted on your purchase. Happy shopping! ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • jmalik1jmalik1 Posts: 21
    Thanks jrct9454 for your response. I did go ahead and purchase a 2003 Capri Blue C5 pkg (Oyster leather) with auto transmission and CD changer for $25K even. I drove it back from Houston to Fort Worth and have been driving it since. At 600 miles I haven't observed any rattles or noises or any other issues (hope it stays that way). I think I got a very good deal and am really hapy about that. Will post updates periodically. Thanks.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and thanks for sharing the details! We look forward to your future updates. Happy motoring!

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • mbrubembrube Posts: 1
    I just picked up my C230K yesterday and I love it already. Orion Blue, Oyster Leather, 6 disc, C2...everything I wanted and my dealer came down to $26K even! My first Mercedes and I'm already impressed with the service, quality and value!

    My question is it necessary to put premium fuel in the car? I've heard different stories and want to know the truth.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363 that this car, like all gasoline MBs, requires premium fuel. Period.

    It will run on regular, but with retarded timing and a real risk for long-term damage, especially with the supercharged engine. MB strongly cautions you against doing this except in cases where premium is temporarily unavailable. They mean it.

    91 Octane is part of the price of admission to this kind of car.
  • berrillberrill Posts: 3
    Hi I purchased a new C Class coupe in 2002, it’s the new spec 1.8 litre compressor motor, evolution spec.

    I purchased the car from new; it now has 8,000 miles on the clock. Due to my frustration I have given the car back to the dealer and they are giving me a new 2003 model, unfortunately I have to pay in an additional $ 4,000.00.

    It seems as if most of you are extremely happy with your cars, so this gives me faith that my new one will give me years of trouble free motoring, I would love to hear your comments on the problems I have had.

    Here they are, remember this is a new car.

    EPS failed
    ABS failed
    BAS Failed
    The boot has to be slammed to get it to close
    Starter motor replaced
    Ventilation control knob ceased
    Sunroof wind deflector jammed.
    Ineffective air conditioner
    Doors unlock whilst driving
    Occasionally when pulling off the engine idles roughly, as if it’s operating on one cylinder, pressing the accelerator has no effect, the engine works fine after turning it off and on again
    Seatbelt sensors failed to detect the passenger was not wearing their belt.

    The worst problem must be the constant rattles that emulate from the sunroof and the hatch back where the drawstrings attach to (Please e mail me if you have managed to solve these problems)

    Fortunately after reading your comments it seems as if there are many happy customers out there hopefully my second Coupe will be better please feel free to e mail me on with your comments
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...among your long list of problems [most of which are well known, just not all happening to the same car at the same time] they have addressed the myriad complaints from Coupe owners about the pano roof and redesigned it for the '03 cars. In theory, a dealer can rebuild the roof on an earlier car from parts that are now available to solve the problem [s]; there are stories on that suggest that some indeed have gotten their noises and malfunctions with the roof successfully fixed.

    I considered a Coupe before buying our C240 sedan - but I was adamant that I wanted a car without the roof option, because my one test drive in a pano-equipped Coupe indeed suggested that this was going to be a source of problems.

    The electrical stuff is just the usual litany of things that can go wrong with these cars - though not all in the same vehicle, usually. All of the German car makers are in love with electronic gadgetry - and none of them have shown the Japanese skill for picking reliable suppliers for this stuff. It isn't just MB - Audi, Porsche, VW, and BMW all have variations on the same theme.
  • My wife owns a 2003 C230K coupe and has experienced the "squeak" problem. The car was an early build 2003 (October 25, 2002) so it still had the original (2002) design roof that had its problems. The Mercedes Benz dealer was able to rebuild the roof to resolve the "squeak" problem. However, after 2 months the "squeak" reappeared and the car went back to the dealer. The dealer indicated that it was out of adjustment, adjusted it, and so far, the roof has been quiet. Like so many things, it is a brand new design that problems do not appear until they get it out there. One thing about Mercedes is that if they have a problem, they seem to always get it fixed. Sometimes though you just need to be patient and keep working with them.

    I know that if my squeak reappears again, they will address the problem and if they can't rebuild the one in the car they will replace it with another new roof. That is one reason why I continue to buy don't have to fight them to fix a problem, they just fix whatever needs to be addressed.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    To mbrube- Welcome to Town Hall, and congratulations! We look forward to hearing more about your C230K experience. ;-)

    To berrill & others experiencing problems- For additional feedback, you should also post (copy/paste) your problems in our MB C230/C320 Problems & Solutions discussion. For future reference, look for this discussion in the Helpful Links on the left side of the page. Good luck.

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • tsberkey4tsberkey4 Posts: 40
    Hey, everyone. I've been on the Hyundai Santa Fe board for a year now (and still think that is one of the best buys in the entire automotive world), but I didn't expect to be posting on the MB board for many more years of my life... until I got an offer I couldn't refuse. I picked up my C230K coupe last night. It is Alabaster White with Oyster Leather, has the 5-speed auto, CD changer, and (of course) the coolest moonroof ever. Sticker was $29,995, sold for $23,995. I am like a child with a new toy! I can tell by the excitement of the messages that I have read that I am not the only one.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and thanks for sharing the details! We look forward to hearing more.... Happy motoring!

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • tsberkey4tsberkey4 Posts: 40
    Thanks, Revka. It has been five days now, and I think I have died and gone to heaven! And this is just the Baby Benz??? How much more could they add to the driving experience? On second thought, I don't want to know until my kids are grown and I can afford it!
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    Congrats and welcome to the MB family! I hope you continue to enjoy your experience, I'm pretty sure you will. I drove and leased my first MB in 1995 and have been like a kid with a new toy ever since. Lots of value for a very reasnoable price, great warranty, you can't go wrong. And best of all it has something other cars don't: it is, and always will be, a Mercedes (well, OK Daimler-Chrysler now - but Mercedes still gives a certain impression other cars can not).

    Be safe & have fun!!! :-)
      - Paul
  • tsberkey4tsberkey4 Posts: 40

    Thanx for the welcome. This car just feels like what I've always wanted a car to feel like but never had the courage to get. You are right about the fact that it is a Mercedes. This coupe is drop-dead gorgeous, and living in a medium-sized town with no Mercedes dealer for 25 miles, I have never seen so many heads turn!

  • deepdropdeepdrop Posts: 89
    Hi everyone,
    We have a "98 E320 wagon which we love and it still has 1 1/2 years of starmark warranty left on it. However, the C230 sports coupe is really nice and gets better mileage too. We could pretty much sell the E wagon and buy the C coupe as an even swap. I'm not sure the hatchback is big enough for us though. They always seem to have lots of room at the dealership, but we have a baby and a dog, so there would be a car seat, stroller, etc. Has anyone with a family used the C230 sports coupe and has it been big enough?
    The dealer offered us a pretty good price. It's an "03, black, C7 and C5, heated seats, and CD changer for 26,665. I would imagine that since this was his starting offer, he would probably go a little lower even. I calculated MSRP at 30,220 and Invoice at 28,157.
    If it were large enough to work for us, we'd end up with a much newer, but smaller car without spending anything. Any idea which would be worth more 4-5 years down the line, the "98 E320 wagon or a "03 C sports coupe? I"m guessing the wagon has pretty much done it's depreciating and so would probably be worth more even in 5 years.
    Sorry for all the rambling but I'm having a tough time deciding on this and would really appreciate anyone's thoughts.
  • tsberkey4tsberkey4 Posts: 40
    My own opinion:

    My children are now grown, with one driving her own car and the other soon to be (17 and 15). For all of their dependent years, we had mini-vans and four-door sedans. I honestly cannot imagine having a two-door coupe in your situation, not because of the size but because of the (in-)convenience. For a couple of thousand more, you could have the C230 sedan, which looks just as nice, has the same everything, but also has four doors, which will become increasingly important as your child gets older.

    Again, just my opinion. I hope it helps. Either way, you're still driving a Benz-- Life is Good!
  • hungshyhungshy Posts: 74
    My comments might hurt most MB fan, but I do really like to tell you better find any other MB model instead of C230 Coupe... Please check this board carefully and other place on net. Ask your friend for anyone has experience on C230 coupe. I know two friends of fried have that car and totally painful for one year because its non reliability. Had benn in service for over 16 times in one year, so fially they asked dealer to buy back. It's really not the only two case. I can see my naighber driving loaner every other month and four times in the first month. So I can image what's on her car. I heard MB is going to discontinous on this model. So I do hope C230 seden could be your right one. It look better and with better features.... Good luck.
  • joest1952joest1952 Posts: 1
    We're down to the wire and must decide Memorial Day between these two good choices. I like the MB best but similarly configured the MB is $6000 higher. It's hard to convince myself the MB is worth that much more.

    YOUR advice SOONEST!


    Joe S.
    Houston, TX.
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    I've followed "C" class groups both on Edmunds and on other nets since May 2002, when we got our C320, and owners of the coupe love their MBs. The engine is now offered in the sedan and the sedan-buyers also have been happy with their decisions. Check the boards thoroughly as he suggests but I know what I've read and I think you will find there is no finer car available in its class based on what you'll read from real C-owners.
  • zman21zman21 Posts: 46
    Just got a Pewter Silver w/ MSRP of $29,300 in Southern California. I got it down to $25,400 (+ttl) with 5.10% long term financing. I only have 30 miles right now so not much to say except I LOVE MY 1st BENZ! Let's keep posting here.
  • meineautomeineauto Posts: 6
    To all C230 owners: I'm in the market for a new car and have been thinking of the C230. However, I'm not entirely sure because of the mixed reviews that I've been reading. Is this car reliable and would you recommend buying it? How do you deal without a wiper on the rear window? Does the "plastic" window distort your view when backing up? Does anyone find the dashboard too close to your shin? If I don't get the C230, my other choices would be the BMW 325 Coupe (too pricey), or Honda Accord Coupe, or Acura RSX-S Type. I'm not too crazy about these cars, but I don't know what else to look at that's a 2-door/coupe.

    To jmalik1: Hi. How did you get the C230 for $25K? If I purchase this car, I want the same color and options that you have, except with the manual transmission. I haven't spoken with any salespersons yet, but after looking on-line at various web sites for prices, the cost is more than what you paid. How did you do it? Thanx!!
  • tsberkey4tsberkey4 Posts: 40
    I just picked up my first Benz one month ago. It was a C230 Coupe (2003) that had a "real" sticker price of $29,995. I got it for $23,995. Deals can be had if you look in the right place, or if you get lucky like I did.

    Regarding your questions:
    1) This car has so much electronic gadgetry that things will go wrong. That is a fact of life for every car in the future. What really matters to me is does the dealer take care of me when there is a problem. If I didn't believe that they would, I was a fool for buying from them.
    2) Having no wiper on the rear window has been a non-issue and I live in Michigan, where we have had a very wet and ugly May.
    3) I have had several "hatch-backs" over the years. Most of these had metal where MB put this small plastic window. Yes it is slightly distorted, but it is obviously better than trying to look through a piece of sheet metal. I have always had a terrible time backing up and determining how much room I had to the car or building that I was approaching. This small window really helps.
    4) As far as leg room, sorry, but I'm only 5'6", so I've NEVER had this problem!!!

    I am in my mid-40's and I have never, ever had a car that felt so right in almost every way. This car is entry-level for MB, but it is still a Benz. I have found a great forum site where I have received tons of info. You might want to check them out at

    Best of luck with your decision. Let us know what you did.

  • crvolscrvols Posts: 23
    While my 230K coupe may not have the most miles on this board at 21,000 it is surely one of the oldest. It will be two years old in July as I bought one of the first ones to arrive after calling eight dealers to find one with leather, auto and sunroof that they would sell. It seems all the first arrivals in New England back in 2001 went into demo service. I have owned many cars over the years, but this is the most satisfying based on what I paid, the design, the maker and the fun I have driving it, especially with the pano sun roof open. I have had no "major" troubles with the car and get over 32mpg on the highway. The main thing that did go wrong was the rear sunroof shade got off the track and had to be replaced. I have had good luck in the snow by changing to Michelein Artic Alpins from October through March. I have had some strange electrical things happen, but they always seem to correct themselves after a few starts so I have nothing to take to the dealer. Also, I have trouble with the free maintainence as I don't know when to take it in for checks. The service interval was showing 18,000 miles from "A" to "B" service so I just called them and said "do it". since it was 10,000 miles and they agreed, but it is very confusing to me. I know the "pros" of synthetic oil, but 18,000 miles is a bit much. The dealer service has been excellent, however. So far, so good......I would buy it again!
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    Glad to hear of your positive experiences. That has been my overall impression since 1995 when I first leased an MB. You still have to watch the dealers on service, but overall I've been satisfied with their work and how I am treated.

       - Paul
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    If anyone is interested in seeing the performance difference between the new 1.8 and the old 2.3, get the July issue of Car and Driver. It has a short take on a 6 speed manual version. The 1.8 engine is over a half second slower to 60, but they praised the improvements in NVH.
  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 356
    tsberkey4 writes:
    >Regarding your questions:
    > 1) This car has so much electronic gadgetry
    > that things will go wrong. That is a fact of
    > life for every car in the future.

    Agreed. One of the reasons why reliability is a problem is because at 12 volts, cars are low voltage systems. Current Automotive R&D is looking at ~42v systems, and IMO, they'll probably going to arrive before 2010. The resulting improvement in reliability should be similar to what we saw ~40 years ago when cars went from 6v to 12v (eg, significant).

    > What really matters to me is does the dealer
    > take care of me when there is a problem. If
    > I didn't believe that they would, I was a
    > fool for buying from them.

    A most excellent point. From a lifecycle standpoint, the maintenance support of the car is orders of magnitude more important than "the buying experience" as well as if you save a few $K here or there off of MSRP.

    For example, my wife has owned Audi's for the past ~14 years and she loves them, but the local dealership's service quality has gone in the dumpster over the past ~3 years. The consequence of this is that Audi is currently not on her list for her next new car.

    > 2) Having no wiper on the rear window has
    > been a non-issue and I live in Michigan,
    > where we have had a very wet and ugly May.

    The lack of it has been driving me nuts here in NJ. We're getting lots of tree/grass pollen with the rain, and the back window is a gooey mess. On my older hatches, two sweeps with the rear wiper would clear it out.

    FWIW, I do recognize that part of this problem is "my fault" because my C230K lives out in the driveway in the summer because my Porsche gets the garage bay. My alternative is a bigger house, as I've already unsuccessfully tried to steal my wife's garage bay :-) All for the want of a $75 wiper assembly that MB didn't even offer as Optional equipment in '02.

    > 3) I have had several "hatch-backs" over the
    > years. Most of these had metal where MB put
    > this small plastic window. Yes it is slightly
    > distorted, but it is obviously better than
    > trying to look through a piece of sheet metal.

    Good point. Overall, I don't see the rearward visibility to be measurably worse than the same on many modern sedans with high trunk decklids.

    >4) As far as leg room, sorry, but I'm only 5'6",
    > so I've NEVER had this problem!!!

    I'm 5'8", so I also don't have the problem that is of meinauto's concern to offer comment on.

    But my build is more torso than legs, so what I've found is that I have headroom problems fairly often in the back seats of many cars. YMMV, but my personal philosophy is that I'm looking at a car that's not a 2-seater, that means that the dimensions of the back seat have to be pratical...good enough to actually accommodate people who you want to remain your friends. The old idea of tossing in a tiny back seat so that the insurance company doesn't hit you with higher rates for a 2-seater doesn't fool them anymore.

    The reason I mention this is because it was the poor dimensions of the back seats for why I passed on the RSX and a few others that meinauto had mentioned as being under consideration.

    BTW, something else to look at are the contenders' torque curves, especially its width. Several years ago, I was seriously considering a BMW 318TI, until I found that from a torque standpoint it was a "gutless wonder" at low RPM's. I still have a soft spot for the low end torque put out by old VW 8v "Stroker" motor designs :-)

  • tsberkey4tsberkey4 Posts: 40
    One thing I forgot to mention:

    When my daughter was born in 1985, we went from a two-door Ford Escort (Ewwwwwww!) to a brand-new VW Jetta. Most people thought "How can that little car handle a growing family?" but anyone who has ever owned one (or seriously looked at one) knows how much room there is in that "little" car, especially in the trunk. That car served us well and never lacked for space until both kids were past the toddler stage and then, time for the mini-van. (Double-Ewwwwwwwww!!)

  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    Sounds like that's what GM was doing with the Firebird and Camaro. I used to work in the parts department of a GM dealership during college, and never thought about that. No wonder people couldn't fit back there!

    In 1995, I met a lady who was driving a '95 SL320 at a gas station at Big Bear Lake, California. She said the insurance was pretty steep, and would have been worse if she had gone for the SL500.

      - P.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,327
    It is funny you mention your wife has driven Audis for the past 14 years and loves them, but the dealer's service has gone down hill so Audi isn't on her list of next cars. After driving Mercedes for 12 years, my Mom switched to an Audi A6 last year (for Quattro as the main reason). She's had some small nagging problems with the car that the dealer seems to be giving her the run around by saying she's "imagining things" and "they all do that." Needless to say that my parents' first Audi will also be their last.

    Back to the C though, has anybody seen a C320 Coupe w/ the V6? It seems like a screaming bargain for a 3.2L V6 powered MB.

    I saw a few C230K Sport Sedans over the weekend. The wheels make the car look so aggressive.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

This discussion has been closed.