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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.
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?
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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).
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Do you know what you are getting for MPG? :confuse: How do you like it so far?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.