Mercedes-Benz C350 & C280



  • ikramericaikramerica Member Posts: 101
    I don't sit in the rear sit, as I am the driver, but in most compact luxury sedans of all brands, the back seat just isn't a great place to be. Legroom is poor, as is headroom.

    If you need more room, you must go to a midsize luxury, or a midsize near luxury sedan. For example, the new passat will offer much better rear seat space than a C class.

    As for the trunk, I only used it for 5 days, but I thought it was fine for me. Held a medium suitcase and a duffle bag loosely, could have crammed more in there.

    But again, if you want a larger trunk, you need a midsized car, or an econo box. Or a wagon, of course.

    As for the "design" of the trunk, not sure what you mean? The small opening? That's true of so many cars now. The interior space? Perfectly good. The shape of the interior space? Pretty wide open, honestly.

    Just open the trunk and see for yourself.

    as for 240 vs. 280, the C240 is a 2005, so it is immediately worth less than the 2006 model C280 at this point. Add to that the less powerful engine, and that's why he wants to get rid of it. Also, MB is giving some incentives to clear out all 2005s to the dealers, so he could make MORE money on the C240 if he convinces you the deal is good when it really isn't all that good.

    But don't be fooled by lease incentives that make it seem cheap. Only go by the sale price, even on a lease. If it isn't at least $3500, if not more, lower than the C280 configured EXACTLY the same, it isn't worth it, as your resale will be that much lower off the lot. The C280 costs $900 more, with a $55 higher delivery charge, so the C280 is $1000 more at sticker price. But it also has a higher residual, and being a new model and a year later, that's why I say you really aren't saving anything if you don't get the C240 for $3500 less than a C280.
  • mac320mac320 Member Posts: 147
    "I don't understand the C350 . . . I just can't see MB selling too many C350s with the C280 around. At least, not too many C350 luxury sedans . C350 sport, they'll sell a few. C350 luxury, just no point. And if MB offered a C280 sport model, the C350 would be even more of a niche than it is now."

    Another take on that: 3,685 lbs. versus 3,703 lbs. That's the slight weight difference between the "E" and "C" class luxury sedans: just 18 lbs (a 208 lb difference for a RWD "C" instead of an AWD but that still is not much difference in weight).

    A potential C-class buyer will not necessarily be satisfied with less performance than an E-class buyer that has the "350" as its base powerplant. Just because a smaller footprint automobile is involved, there may be many more potential C350 buyers that will appreciate as good a performance.

    Additionally, whether it is "needed" or not, the C350 has a superior engine than the S350 (i.e., the "S" has the same 3.7L engine that powered last years' ML350). That makes the "C" almost seem like a good value by comparison. And, if a SLK does not offer enough utility, its almost logical to consider a C350 as an alternative.

    However, your feelings about the adequacy of the "280" probably is why a lot of C320 buyers will continue to be satisfied with their MBs until the next model change, especially when you consider that the redesigned interior does not outclass the outgoing C320's interior (e.g., the primary driver of our C320 likes her interior better: the cupholders were always pretty bad--and they still are--but, now they cannot be covered up; and, she likes the look of the old-style radio better). And, no C320 owner would turn it for a C280 because there is no additional performance to be expected (both provide the identical 221 ft. lbs. of torque at relatively low rpms) and the small increase in the 280's hp is only at a high 6K rpm).

    Looking at it another way, unless the mileage was significantly different between the two engines, I don't see the need for the "280" except to give MB the excuse for an additional price-point, and probably also because of Europe's car tax laws that may be related to horsepower. They are the same engines except that the "350" has a little larger bore and MB already will be making 350s for all of the other models anyway so why bother with a smaller displacement setup? How much could MB expect to save on some smaller pistons to make up for all of the additional costs of having two engine sizes?
  • ikramericaikramerica Member Posts: 101
    You are obviously the expert here. The 3.5L 270hp engine is not overkill for the C and the C280 is a pointless car, and MB will sell a ton of the C350s over the $4000 less expensive 3.0L 230hp C280.

    I wasn't giving you marketing hype or anything else. I'm giving you DRIVING IMPRESSIONS after nearly 1000 miles in the car in all weather conditions (except snow) on all types of roads and at all speeds, including heavy traffic and 140mph sprints.

    The C280 is a great car.

    I've owned the C230K (2.3L) coupe, the A4 2.8 Q (old and new engines), the S4 biturbo, the A6 4.2, the Z3 1.9 and the Z3 2.8, as well as the 210hp Nissan Maxima and a VW Corrado G60. I have a lot of experience with various kinds of cars with various levels of engine performance, and how engines mate with a vehicle.

    In my experience, the C280 is as well mated as the S4, A6 and the Z3 2.8, in that the power is always there when you need it and want it, it is never choking or struggling, and the car feels very connected to the road through the pedal. Other than the Maxima, which was fast but floaty, the other cars on that list all were left wanting in various situations. The C280 feels about as spritely as the S4, and that is saying something.

    So, IMHO, and it is only MY OPINION, the C350 is a pointless vehicle. It fills a very narrow niche of performance between the C280 and the C55 AMG, and in most driving conditions, you'd be hard pressed to feel the difference between the 280 and 350 engines. Maybe in certain "drag strip" conditions, and above 100 mph to a small degree, but these are not conditions the American driver finds him/herself in.

    But to make a statement like "I don't see the point of the C280" is funny, since the C280 is a brand new model and finally DOES have a point, unlike the outdated C240 after the introduction of the C230K sport sedan. The C240 may have been an oddball, but the C280 squarely fits in the range between the "stripped" and configuration limited C230 and the "high end and nearly pointless" C350. It's the "luxury" smoother riding alternative to the peppy but boy-racer leaning C230 (metal trim, 17" sport wheels and tires, sport suspension, etc.)
  • mac320mac320 Member Posts: 147
    Or, in other words, using your logic, the C240 was a pointless vehicle. Why? Because, the C320 offered in 2001 what C280 only now offers, i.e., a level of power that is acceptable to you in 2005--not pointless now although it probably was in 2001--but, any more power than the "280" now offers is not needed: no one will want it so why even offer it.

    Or, do you now see the "280" as an acceptable opulence over the "240" because the fwy mpg are 29 compared to the C320's 26 mpg? Although the "320" would also get better mileage with the 7-spd tranny, you can see on the Edmunds spec chart that the C350 also gets 29 mpg. In other words, the only "penalty" involved in opting for a "350" over a "280" is the $4K entry fee that MB charges (although you would get half back at trade-in according to the Edmunds resale data).

    My "argument" above was that I don't think it costs MB a single cent extra to build a "350" instead of a "280." You don't even understand that argument do you? However, I wasn't actually arguing--I was just making a point. But you seem to want to turn innocent conversation into an argument.

    And, because you like to argue, you are saying that that if MB didn't charge $4K extra for the "350" you'd still opt for the "280" because any more power is just pointless. I almost hear you saying that if all C-class sedans came with the "350" as its base powerplant, you pass on it in favor of a lesser powered sedan by another manufacturer.

    Your reasoning cannot be unique: it must be yet another reason, in addition to those above, as to why MB imports a "280" to the U.S., even though Lexus' 3.5L engine in the new 4-door IS300 has even more hp and torque than MB's 350. Here's the facts of life: if MB sold nothing but C350s but at the price of the C280, they'd sell more C-class cars.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Here's the facts of life: if MB sold nothing but C350s but at the price of the C280, they'd sell more C-class cars.

    I think that is true, but they wouldn't be able to make money, I don't think.

    Guys lets not get bogged down into why they well what, they're all here....3 V6 models and they should do well either way. The C230 is for people like me who can't think about 40K for a C350 and want the sports package that the C280 doesn't offer.

  • greenteagreentea Member Posts: 14
    I agree with you in temperament and mostly in substance, with this exception: the "230" should exist--it is fantastic on paper and those who own it talk well about it so it delivers where it counts.

    I also can make a case for why the "240" almost could be viewed as a rational engine option. While the 240's block and head technology (and that it even was made on the same assembly line) were identical to the far superior "320," I acknowledge that at least there is an argument to be made in favor of the benefits that a comparitively shorter stroke, higher revving engine can offer (although if there really were such meaningful trade-off between these two engines, why would the "240" have a lower price?).

    I think it is a little cynical of MB to cut a piece of the calf muscle out of what is now one of its core powerplants--the "350"--and, for no other reason I can see other than to perpetuate a segmented market strategy where they apparently feel they can make more money despite selling fewer cars. It's un-American but they're entitled and it certainly is a temptation for any company to indulge in that type of marketing strategy when they own one of the premiere brand names of all times, irrespective of whatever product is involved.

    Obviously, my thoughts are based on my guess that making a "280" instead of a "350" offers no cost savings to MB whatsoever, and no technical benefit to the consumer. Maybe I am not right about that and that is all I was talking about.
  • newownernewowner Member Posts: 18
    I agree that people should drive both before making a purchase, but disagree that people drive Mercedes just for names sake. In my opinion, the 325i does not even come close to the ride and quality of the C280. I think the C280 has the perfect balance of luxury and performance. The MB had smooth acceleration and had better interior materials. BMW had a ton of cheap plastics. When I floored the BMW, there was a slight hesitation and didn't feel as responsive as MB. I don't understand all the hype on BMW's. I have owned both in the past and by far thought the MB was more solid all around. Plus it's easier to pay invoice for MB than BMW.
  • ikramericaikramerica Member Posts: 101
    First, I do believe the C240 became rather pointless after the C230K sedan was introduced with more HP and torque. Granted, the C240 drove well, but it was not powered well, and was more expensive than the C230K. Which is why now the model range is in the right order.

    Also, it doesn't cost MB much more to make the 350 engine. It's a little heavier, so it takes a little more material, but that's about it. For that matter, the 250 engine (called a 230) is really the base engine, and neither the 300 or 350 sizes cost much more to make.

    So it's content and exclusivity, and all that a 350 owner is buying is standard power seats and more HP, and for the experience I had, the more HP is not something MOST drivers are going to use. With the world market not buying large engines at all (my C280 was larger engined than just about anything I saw in Germany), the C350 is just that much bigger of an engine, and bumps up against the C55 in purpose. But it does offer a manual transmission, and the C55 doesn't, so for that, it has a real purpose.

    As for the BMW, well want to talk about lack of incremental cost? The 325i and 330i both use the same engine! It's just been detuned for the 325i, but still a 3.0L. That's even more of a "price point" move than the C230/280/350 line. Why not just sell all 330i's at the 325i price and clean up? Someone at BMW must have an answer to that.

    As for the C320, MB was selling next to zero of that model according to dealers around me. They would receive very few in shipments, and they would sell the slowest. The bulk of sales was in the C230K and the remainder was mostly the C240, since it was luxurious (wood, smoother ride, more color options). And compared to the old 325i, the C240 was slow, so MB knew they had a problem, that neither of their models (C230 with a 4 cylinder, C240 with an underpowered, old tech 6) could compete with the new 6 cylinder 325i.

    Now with the C230 and C280 V6 models, the bulk of sales will still be with the C230, but C280 sales should improve over C240, and robbing sales from the C350, which will remain the niche. But compared to the 325i, the C280 moves into superior realm for most drivers, so there is more reason here than to "perpetuate a segmented market strategy." BMW is the one perpetuating that strategy. MB is now just offering a car to compete on a level (or above) ground with them.

    EDIT: PS - isn't wasn't too long ago that 250hp for a compact sedan was more power than anyone would need. The S4 at 250hp with a bi-turbo V6 (2.7l) was king of performance in the US, ahead of the 230+ hp M3 and higher HP but heavier and slower C32.

    Nothing in terms of driver expectations, daily driving, etc. has really changed in 4-5 years. It's mostly just a pissing contest and car magazine hype, and also influenced by the Japanese V6s putting out dubious amounts of "power" using japanese HP measuring methods at very high RPMs.

    But compare all those amazing numbers to how people actually drive, and without flooring it, I was jumping ahead of everyone on the road in my loaner mazda3 the other day. All that extra power is going to waste out there, eating of fuel mileage and nobody is using it. 230hp for a C class from a generous, modern V6 and a pair of well geared transmissions is a great thing. The fact that you don't have to pay "niche car" prices for it is a blessing.
  • mac320mac320 Member Posts: 147
    Nope. Not buying it . . . your logic is similar to saying that since we only use 10% of our brains, we can do without the other 90%, no problem.

    I think that the "350" probably is the highest embodiment of MB's new technology--designed to be as good as it possibly could be from the start--to herald its introduction, not only in MB's SLK, but also eventually across MB's entire line.

    The other V6 embodiments such as the "280" sacrifice more than just maximum available power. The "280" must run at 11.1 compression to develop 221 ft. lbs. of torque at 2700 rpm. That compares to the 258 ft. lbs of torque that is generated by the "350" at just 2400 rpm and a 10.7 compression.

    If, for example, you generally will seldom need more than 221 ft. lbs of torque in most driving situations, you would still appreciate the fact that even in those situations, a "350" would do the job with less compression and at far few rpms (what? maybe 2000 rpm instead of 2700?), i.e., the "350" will run quieter and last longer than a "280."

    Life is full of compromises, but . . .

    I can see starting with "A" and then adding value to make "B" and charging more for the added value. However, the idea of starting with "B" and then making it worse so you can have "A" to sell at a lower cost (because you added extra effort to decrease the value of "B") just does not abide.

    How about just offering everyone the C350 to begin with and for those that will only pay less, just add a few hammer blows to the hood and trunk to decrease the value and call it a C300?
  • pgsmithpgsmith Member Posts: 24
    Loking at and testing cars to replace a retiring SUV, I was looking for the BMW 3-series. The dealer didn't have the vehicle I wanted and I still had a little time to kill. MB was not on my list of vehicle to look at (lux-boat right??) but the dealership was right next door.

    I stopped just to look at what they had, and talked to the salesman breifly. I decided to test drive the C280 since it was
    1. About in the same price range.
    2. I had time.
    3. It was about the same price as the C240 (which is why I went with the newer model.

    Wow. Talk about luck, I was really impressed with the C280.
    1. Handling was much better than I expected. Definately not a lux-boat.
    2. Performance was great (I'm not at the track).

    Ultimately, after finally test driving a VERY disappointing 325 (why anyone finds them better than an Acura :confuse: , I can't guess) I am ready to make the move to the MB. It is far superior (in my opinion) than the 3-series. The only vehicle I drove enven close was the G35, and for essentially the same money the MB was better and I concider the life of the G35 and unknown.

    Has anyone had a chance to determine the fuel economy of the new C-class?
    I need to decide quickly between the C280, C280 AWD and the C350 (although I am not at the track I am not opposed to more power and like the idea of the power generated with a lower compression ratio, as I might run mid-grade fuel).
  • newownernewowner Member Posts: 18
    I've posted a few things on here and on the BMW forum. I could not agree with you more on your selection of the '06 C-280. I too drove the BMW and was a prior owner of a '04 G35x. From what I'm hearing from the salesmen, the C350 won't be a huge seller. Overall, the C280 is your best bang for the buck. I should be taking delivery of my C-280 4Matic this FRI....fingers crossed. On the 4Matic the MPG is 19/26. W/O 4 Matic is probably 2 or 3 better. What part of the country do you live in? I am in WA where is rains 9 months outta the year so 4Matic will come in handy. Mercedes are built so well but I like having that extra piece of mind. Let me know what you decide.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Come to think of it, I've never seen a C320 Sport during the whole time that car was on sale, it was always the C230K and I suspect that will continue with the new V6 C230. The dealer here has a lot of C280 both rwds and 4matics so just like the C240 was, the C280 will be the biggest seller for those not wanting the sports package of the C350/230. Only this time the middle child C has 228hp and not 168hp and the trickest automatic on the market to make use of all that extra power. The more I think about it the C280 makes all the sense in the world for the C-Class buyer that doesn't want/need/care for the "Sport" setup.

    New Engines all around!

    Good show by MB, only these engines should have happened with the 2005 facelift, but I guess they had to debut slowly which means a lower volume car like the SLK first and then the rest of the lineup......notice how every 2006 V6 (except the S350) is a new generation V6.

    Now watch as the new V8 from the new 2007 S500/CL500 makes its way into the 2007 SL500, CLK500, CLS500, E500, ML500, R500 and GL500 (?). A 382hp CLS500 is going to be a must have car. Can you imagine a 382hp E500? MB couldn't allow BMW's 2006 550i (360hp) to go unanswered. I love it!

    Then there is new 6.3L naturally aspirated AMG V8 with 510hp/464lb-ft torque that is destined to replace all the current supercharged "Kompressor" cars from the E55 to the SL55 sometime in 2007. The ML63 is first, it debuts next month at the Frankfurt auto show. The ML63 and a ML320CDI should arrive in the U.S. as 2007 model late next year. The ML63 might even get here by next spring.

  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Do you think next time they'll just simplify the lineup? I'm reading a lot about the next generation C-Class engines being direct-injection and/or supercharged. The supercharged part doesn't make sense because MB has stated that they are moving away from that practice for several reasons.

    I can see them them adding direct-injection to the new family of V6, which would likely yield another 15-20hp, just guessing. That way the next C280 can be the base car with 248hp and the C350 would have 288hp, and if they could keep the pricing down to say 32K for the next C280 and 36K for the next C350 that might be better overall. That way they don't have a million variants and none of them are lacking hp. However both next gen models would need to be available in sport and luxury trim because the smaller V6 would be gone. Just a thought, and I doubt it will happen because MB likes to (at least in theory) have a C-Class model right around that 30K mark so that will mean a smaller V6 again. Maybe with direct injection they can get 221hp out of the 2.5L next time around?

  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    I would like to know how quick the C280 is. 0-60 times for getting around slow drivers at stops. 45-65 or 45-75 times for passing semi trailors on two lane roads. Is this information available anywhere?
  • mac320mac320 Member Posts: 147
    The "280" probably is better than the "320" as both have about the same hp and torque but the "280" hits is maximum torque earlier and has a 7-spd trans instead of a 5-spd trans. Motor Trend said the '01 "320" did 0-60 in 7.5.

    MT has the "350" doing 0-60 in 6.3. I got the '06-C-Class brochure today but other than hp and torque, it does not contain performance data.
  • nr9nr9 Member Posts: 55
    "How about just offering everyone the C350 to begin with and for those that will only pay less, just add a few hammer blows to the hood and trunk to decrease the value and call it a C300? "

    it makes sense. its called price discrimination

    some refrigerator sellers do that, by placing dents into refrigerators and selling them for lower price.

    that way, you can still sell extra units to people who aren't willing to pay that much
  • pgsmithpgsmith Member Posts: 24
    I'm in the Southeast. While we don't get much winter precip, the rain we get tends to be heavy. The little winter weather we get shuts doun the area for about a week. I occaisionally go to the mts and upper midwest.

    So... that all said, I opted to order a 4matic today for expected delivery in November. I couldn't locate one with the options I wanted locally (sunroof, power seats). They wanted to add $2k to relocate it to the area. I took some of the shipping savings and added the entertainment group.
  • newownernewowner Member Posts: 18
    I just took delivery of my '06 C280-4Matic today. Let me tell ya, the car is awesome. It's been a really dry summer in WA but I am looking forward to the rain so I can test out the 4Matic. The only options I wanted and got was the sunroof package, CD changer, and Metallic paint. The car is solid. The turn radius is great. You wouldn't know the car was 4Matic if it weren't advertised on the trunk! I was so excited to get my car that I either left the owners manual at the dealership, or they forgot to put it in the car. Either way, I am very happy with my car buying experience at Mercedes-Benz of Tacoma, WA.
  • frisconickfrisconick Member Posts: 1,275
    Congrats on your new ride!!! :shades:
  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    I found some quickness results for the C350 yesterday. 0-62 in 6.3 and 35-75 in 6.1. Now I need some actual highway mpg for the 75-78 mph driver. Probably no chance of finding information like that, even from german web sites.
  • greenteagreentea Member Posts: 14
    Where I live, the 75-78 mph driver would acutally have a little bit smaller overall mph over a daily drive after factoring in CHP downtime of 15-20 minutes at zero mph. However, here is some C320 info that you may find interesting for comparative purposes, as follows:

    29 mpg on a 400+ mile round trip to Solvang through LA (that means some stop and go stuff) with 2-persons in the car. That is the statistic that we got a few weeks ago with an overall mph of 51 with perhaps a top speed approaching 78 but not usually not over 70 (except coming back into Ventura).

    The primary driver of our "C" usually gets about 30 mpg on her fwy drive of about 300 miles /wk. Since the 320's E-info on the MSRP fact sheet is 26 hwy, compared to 29 for both the 280 and the 350, my guess is that the 350's efficiency for the same driving situations might be more like 33 mpg or more instead of 30.

    The C350's new 7-spd trans probably would provide at least a 5% improvement over the C320's 30 mpg in the above situations, i.e, 31-32 mpg.
  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    Thanks for the useful information. About the only thing keeping me from placing my order for a C350 right now is that I just have to drive the 2006 Lexus IS350 before I do anything.
  • mac320mac320 Member Posts: 147
    I'll be waiting too but for for the right color C350 to show up on the lot with the options that I want. I am sure Lexus' IS350 will be out by then but I am not interested in that.

    I will be interested to see Lexus' engine specs but I think they will have to be better than Acura's new 3.5L offering to measure up to MB's V6: it is not as clean (I think the EURO 4 emission standard that MB meets is higher than Calif.'s ULEV-2 that the Japanese engines meet), Honda's 3.5L doesn't reach as high a torque at just at 2400 rpm, it does not produce 87% of its maximum torque at just 1500 rpm as MB's "350" does, Honda's engine operates at a compression of over 11 compared to MB's at 10.7, and the Honda's bigger hp number is way out at 6000 rpm.

    My guess is that I probably would experience stellar performance from the C350 without ever operating at much more than 2,700 rpm so hp ratings at over 5K rpm isn't relevant to me. And, Acura's hwy mpg is worse: 26 compared to the C350 at 29.
  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    As long as we are talking engines, let us compare Toyota Avalon's 3.5L with MB's 3.5L.
    Compression ratio-about the same
    Torque-about the same
    HP-Toyota about 12 more but essentially the same
    Avalon highway mileage--31
    How does Toyota manage to do this with an 87 octane minimum, while MB requires 91 octane? Just asking. I wonder what would happen if you put 87 octane in the MB.
  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    OK... its been a few weeks past the interchange between ikramerica and mac320. At the time, it was debated the merits of the C280 vs. C350. Just wondering a couple things:

    1. ikramerica: Do you like the C280 as much as you did at first?
    2. mac320: You mentioned the C350 will likely last longer than the C280 - can you fill in why?

    If I buy either of these cars, I hope to have it a LONGGGG time.
  • mac320mac320 Member Posts: 147
    "Torque-about the same . . . "

    Toyota 3.5L: maximum torque of 248 at 4800 rpm
    ['06 T-Avalon - edmund's web site]

    I am not an automotive engineer. However, my understanding is that measures of hp and torque are only relevant if you know what they are for the rpm levels at which you intend to operate the engine (and that the amount of torque is the more interesting number when it comes to power). At any given level of power, the lower the rpm, the quieter and and longer-lasting the engine will be--e.g., what would the power output be at, say . . . 2400 to 4000?

    I have some comparative info from the MB "C-class" brochure, i.e., the "350" achieves its maximum 258 ft. lbs of torque from just 2400 to 5000 rpm , or 258 at 2400 rpm. So, wouldn't it be more accurate for you to compare torque levels for both engines at the same rpm rather that, for example, one at 2800 and the other at 4800?

    The brochure's power/torque curve graph in the brochure shows that the "350" achieves about 200 of its maximum 268-hp at about 4000 rpm. If you can find the power/torque graphs for any engines that you want to compare, that might provide some information to consider that is more revealing of performance in typical driving situations.
  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    That's a good point. I currently drive a Volvo S60, which reaches maximum torque at 1500 RPM; of course its turbo-charged - so not completely an apt comparison - but I notice that once the turbocharger kicks in, the car accelerates quickly at a low RPM.
  • bthayerbthayer Member Posts: 1
    I just got my 2006 c-280 last week and must say that I am very happy with everything! The car handles great and offers alot of power. Transmission is so smooth!

  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    Regardless of the torque curve, which I don't have for both motors, I still wonder how the Toyota engine manages to pull those number with 87 octane.
  • mac320mac320 Member Posts: 147
    "You mentioned the C350 will likely last longer than the C280 . . . why?"

    My logic is that the "350" requires fewer engine revolutions to produce the same performance, so it should last longer and operate more quietly.

    The two cars and engines are nearly the same in all respects. Even the amount of fuel that each can be expected to use to do its work is the same based on the mpg estimates.

    About the only difference between them is the amount of power that they are capable of producing. The "280" does all that it will ever be asked to do with 221 or fewer ft. lbs. of torque, which is the maximum that it provides from 2700 to 5000 rpm.

    The "350" develops 87% of its maximum 258 ft. lbs. of torque at 1500 rpm. That works out to be about 3.5 more ft. lbs. of torque at just 1500 rpm than the "280 is even capable of producing.

    It seems logical to me that the "350" works a lot less to do the same job and should last longer. I do not know how to quantify it, but as an example: if the "280" operated from 0-3000 rpm with an average of 2000 rpm overall over 100,000 miles of driving, and if a "350" over the same distance provided the same performance operating at 0-2700 rpm with an average of 1800 rpm overall, then the "350" will have required 10% fewer engine revolutions.

    Assuming the above facts, it is logical that the "350" should be able to go another 10,000 miles before having a comparable amount of engine wear.
  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    Your conclusion might be correct, but your logic is somewhat faulty. The reason a RWD C350 will use fewer revolutions over that 100,000 miles is that it is geared differently than the C280--2.82 rear end vs. a 3.07. Whether there would be a difference between the 2 cars equipped with 4-matic would depend on your driving habits, whic the "smart" transmission will learn to control your shift points.
  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    I am not interested in an Acura, and I do like the C350 very much, but I think your MPG comparison was a little unfair. Acura's 3.5L is only used in the RL which is a mid size car with all wheel drive. You should have compared its mpg with the E350 4-matic or at least used the mpg of the C350 with 4-matic.
  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    Thanks - the combination of the last 2 message helps - although the torque measurements are tough to follow when comparing outside the MB line.

    Right now, I drive a 2004 Volvo S60 T5. I'm trying to decide whether I want to purchase one of the new C-class vehicles to replace it. The new engine/transmission combo for the 2006 C-class line is making me give it serious consideration. I'm trying to find out if there's enough benefit to make the move. I'd welcome all opinions!

    The tough part is that the Volvo S60 T5 is perfectly fine. For some quick comparisons (the first number is the Volvo figure, the second is the 2006 MB C280):

    Cylinders: 5 vs. 6
    HP: 208 vs. 228 (2.5L vs. 3.0L)
    Torque: 236 ft lbs @1500 RPM vs. 221 ft lbs @2700 RPM (the Volvo is turbocharged...)

    I like the Volvo's ride, power, and smoothness. What I don't like is that the S60 is not quite as compact. The turning radius for the S60 is 38.7" (the C280 touts 35.3" - which would be better for me in the area I live). The width of the S60 is 71.4" vs. the C280's 68.0".

    Yet these are minor points - given my car is only 2 years old.

    Thoughts? Opinions? Other facts?

  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    I understand your angst. I am driving a 2004 Nissan Maxima. 3.5L engine, 5spd automatic. It has 265 HP and 255 lb torque @4400 rpm. Pull out to pass and it will put you into the back seat. Unfortunately the torque steer from the FWD might put you in the ditch, if you don't hang onto the wheel. My only complaints are the torque steer (the C350 seems to have the same power, but without the torque steer) and after 600 straight miles in the drivers seat, my butt is sore. I really like the C350, but how do I know I won't have the same feeling after 600 miles. The MB dealer is not likely to give me one to put 600 miles on. Also my Maxima gets 29mpg or better on the highway with regular gas. What to do?
  • greenteagreentea Member Posts: 14
    "Your conclusion might be correct, but your logic is somewhat faulty. The reason a RWD C350 will use fewer revolutions over that 100,000 miles is that it is geared differently than the C280--2.82 rear end vs. a 3.07."

    Isn't your logic literally putting the cart before the horse . . . sort of like saying that the only reason a Quarter Horse takes fewer strides in a mile than a burro is because its legs are longer?

    Both engines use the same transmission. The gearing is different to make the best use of each engine. Or, maybe it would be more accurate to say that the relative difference in engine performance is why the gearing can be different.
  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    Sorry, I don't understand your horse analogy. Why is the gearing the same for both engines with 4-matic?

    Anyway the point of the discussion was that the torque curve was not the reason for fewer rpm over 100,000 miles. The gearing was the reason. No one was debating why the gearing might be different.

    My opinion is that they went to the taller gearing to keep the 29mpg highway rating for the bigger engine.
  • greenteagreentea Member Posts: 14
    "My opinion is that they went to the taller gearing to keep the 29mpg highway rating for the bigger engine."

    Of course--that is my opinion too! However, the "taller" gearing is only possible because the "350" is the stronger engine; otherwise, you'd add "taller" gearing to the "280" to achieve and even better 30- or 32-mpg, ad infinitum.

    Accordingly, because of the "taller" gearing, the "350" will require fewer engine revolutions per turn of the screw (and by extension, per revolution of the rear wheels). That is the fact.

    Even so, I am only postulating that fewer engine revolutions results in longer life. Additionally, think that the "350" will operate more quietly at any given speed--because the rpms will be lower--and, also that the "350" will retain its performance longer because it operates at a lower pressure.
  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    Does anyone out there actually own a C350, or is everyone just speculating?
  • pgsmithpgsmith Member Posts: 24
    Alright, I hate to be a so anxious but I have to ask.

    Do you know what you are getting for MPG? :confuse: How do you like it so far?
  • pgsmithpgsmith Member Posts: 24
    Can you help me? I'm still trying to get info on MPG with the 4matic. Based on the way petrol is headed, I'd like to know what I can expect.

    My driving I'd classify as 50% multi-lane moving ~70-75 mph and 50% light city. I would say that I accelerate "briskly" without driving like I'm in a competition.

    With that information also availably do you think I'd likely get the same, better or worse mileage than you're getting?
  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    It looks like ikramerica wrote a helpful review on the experience driving the 2006 C280 - but hasn't been checking the board lately. Several of us have asked questions, but no response. Might be worth checking to see if ikramerica has posted on any other boards recently to get attention.

    Its funny, though, Consumer Reports recently (their latest issue - October) had a big section on car changes - and didn't mention Mercedes' changes/upgrades in the C-class line. OTOH, they did mention the SLK-350 as having a new transmission/smoother ride - and somewhat recommended it.
  • greenteagreentea Member Posts: 14
    CR is to car reviewing as CBS is to objective "news" reporting and honest political analysis. That's just my opinion of their opinion, of course.
  • ikramericaikramerica Member Posts: 101
    Okay, first, I can't say I like it any more now than before, since it's been on a ship for weeks and I won't be able to drive it in the states until about Sep 21. So my first impressions are still the only ones. but it was for 1000km, so that's a lot of driving.

    Economy: I got combined in the 22mpg range in Europe. That's using 87 octane fuel. They rechip (actually reprogram the chip in) the cars when they send them to the US to require 91 octane for some emissions reasons.

    At 130kmh (about 80mph) economy was quite good, in the high 20s. At 110mph (180kmh), the economy was still pretty good. At 200+ kmh, the mileage got noticeably lower ;) My car is a C280 4matic, so the RWD might be better, but the 4matic is so transparent, I doubt there is much of an efficiency hit at this point, nothing like the Audi's thirsty quattro system at least.

    As for "getting around people at stoplights" the C280 has all the power you could really need for that, as well as getting around people going "only" 90mph on the highway, jumping into a high speed traffic lane, etc. The engine revs easily and with the broad torque curve, you aren't really in a bad place when you need power no matter what the RPM. Again, this is a 4matic with the 5speed. The 7speed can only be more eager.

    As for the C350 engine having a longer life, I find that to be a silly argument in the modern car world. For this level of engine your are talking 1.2 million miles versus 1.1 million miles, or something insane like that. Few people ever get their cars to that kind of mileage. The C280 isn't going to explode because you OCCASIONALLY work it a little harder than you would have to work the C350. Most people, even aggressive drivers, barely use their engines' full potential the majority of the time.

    While i see some of merc1's points, I still think MB is going to have a hard time selling too many C350s with the C280 around, and the C350 is really just the answer to the 330i that MB must have (including stick shift option), but the 280 will be a big seller.
  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87

    Thanks for the message. The experience you've had certainly makes a strong case for buying, or at the very least, test driving the new C280.

    For some reason, all the publications are pretty much ignoring the C280. Several have cited Mercedes' electronics problems over the past few years, though.

    Regardless, IMO, the publications passing over the C280 is a good thing - in that it won't have people clamoring for it and forcing us to pay MSRP for the car. Right now, I can almost afford a C280 - just need some flexibility there.
  • greenteagreentea Member Posts: 14
    Some interesting info about future AMGs, e.g., "The drivetrain will debut in the ML63 AMG, which will be shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. After that, expect a C63, an E63, an R63, a CLK63, an SLK63, an S63 and a CL63 . . ."

    I read in another Inside Line that there would not be a S63, but a C63 AMG was mentioned there too:

    What's the downside? Nothing because it is stronger, lighter and much cleaner than previous AMGs. It is actually 6.2L--about 380 cu. inches--and, some new technology that is involved, e.g.:

    "AMG went to work and designed its first all-new production engine in 30 years. An engine with four valves per cylinder, all-aluminum construction, a variable intake manifold made of magnesium, variable camshafts, a lofty 11.3-to-1 compression ratio, and the world's first use of a special low-friction cylinder wall coating called twin-wire-arc-sprayed (TWAS), which is a complicated process borrowed from the company's racing program.

    "It starts with a high-pressure water jet that roughens the cylinder walls. Then two metallic wires and an atomized gas are brought together and high voltage is passed through the tips of the wires, which begin to melt. The gas then removes molten metal from the wire tips and sprays those particles onto the cylinder walls, where they solidify. The cylinder walls are then honed to perfect the surface."
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    For some reason, all the publications are pretty much ignoring the C280. Several have cited Mercedes' electronics problems over the past few years, though.

    Well they aren't ignoring the C280, the car just came out. I'm sure you'll see a writeup of the C280 sooner or later. The C350 hasn't been tested yet either, only a few first drive reports have been shown so far.

  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    All these theories about what MB this engine will show up in next is sort of confusing. I can't see the 503hp 6.3L V8 in a CLK, SLK or C-Class. On other boards the current speculation is that MB will detune the engine for the C/SLK/CLK line of cars. That doesn't make sense to me, to have such a big engine and then detune it. My theory is that they'll develop a 5.5L version of the new 6.3L V8 with about 430hp, but thats just me. The new S, CL and facelifted SL will likely get a turbocharged version of this new 6.3L V8 with about 550hp and more importantly more torque because 465lb-ft isn't enough to improve performance over the current 5.5L SC V8 in those cars, imo. This mean no 7G-Tronic tranny though, only the tried and true (and much stronger) 5-speed.

  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    Sure, the car just came out.... but most of the magazines now have "2006 models - the best, the worst, and what's new". The changes to the C-class and the new models aren't really getting any airplay yet. This is just fine by me, as I hope to move into a C280 soon - but don't want people to be clamoring for it - so I can get a decent price.
  • greenteagreentea Member Posts: 14
    Since the "280" offers very little in improved performance over the "320," I will expect to see more interest by reviewers in the "350" as the engine that replaces the "320," because it is the only option in the class that offers an improvement in performance over what was previously available--the only thing really NEW and therefore -more exciting--instead of just an incremental improvement.
  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    That makes sense; although to me the 2006 C280 provides better value than the 2005 C320 - and at a lower price point.

    Yet... for that matter the C350 has only had one major review - a strong one by MT. All the focus is on BMW, Lexus, Audi, etc.... and they do talk about their new models - although some of them have had their new cars out a little earlier. I think Road & Track just said they didn't have the opportunity to test drive the C350 yet.
This discussion has been closed.