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Mercedes-Benz C350 & C280



  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Well like others have said the C350 is the one with the most hp so it will get all the ink initially, but look for a "Short Take" by C&D on the C280 or at least the SLK280 in the coming months.

    I hate that the C350 couldn't be had in time for the comparo in the latest issue of C&D.

  • greenteagreentea Member Posts: 14
    Some of the older Edmunds reviews are a bit hard to find but I thought that their piece on the C350 was pretty good:

    The problem that I see for MB is that the C230 reviews are going to bring down the overall ratings for the C-class in general and for the same reason that C280 reviews can only hurt and can never help overall ratings compared to the same reviewer or owner that reports on his or her C350 driving experience.

    If you actually see a "serious" review of these lesser models--which are the same car and engine but with the engine dumbed-down to perpetuate MB's brand of marketing--it probably will be by a reviewer that is trying to show off he "C" in a poor light, such as in a comparo with another car that purportedly offers much more power but at a far lower cost.

    Now, if a reviewer selects the "350" and still finds various little nigglies to report on, then there's nothing MB can do about that because the reviewer is giving his opinion on the best MB can field, irrespective their marketing strategy.
  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    Good point - although so far - the only review I've seen that's focused on the C350, as contrasted to the C-class in total has been MotorTrend. MT's review was strong.
  • ikramericaikramerica Member Posts: 101
    That doesn't make any sense. I actually doubt you'll see the C280 in comparo reviews, as if they wanted to make the C class "look bad" in comparison, they'd use the less expensive C230 with the 200/180 engine. And for the high end comparo, they'll use the C350. A good comparo would be C280 vs. 325i vs. X-type 2.5 vs. Audi A4 2.0T, but you are not likely to see it. They'll take the C230 instead because they'll want to test all manuals for that test, despite most Americans choosing automatics.

    What will happen is people will go into the dealership looking for a C230 or C350 (the ones they heard about) and then think the C350 is too expensive or the C230 is underpowered, test drive a C280 and then debate it.

    The dealership that is delivering my car said they expect to sell nearly zero C350s, and only to people who must have "the best model" though many of them will go for the E350 and spend a little more money anyway. They expect the C280 to sell better than the C240 did, but still the bulk of the sales will be the C230 as long as MB keeps the price down.

    Further, you won't see a C280 review because the mags only care when BMW sneezes, surely not when MB moves to a whole new engine line and 7speed tranny.

    I noticed in the first US mag to show the "2006" models for all makers, with features for changes etc., they left out the C class changes entirely! It wasn't consumer reports, it was Car and Driver, I believe. Nice reporting guys.
  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    Hey, relax! You're taking this WAYYY the wrong way. It was your review (which I called helpful) which got me excited about the C280 in the first place. It was a great review, with a lot of helpful detail. I wasn't trying to insult you in the slightest, in fact I was trying to compliment you.

    Several people, including myself, had asked follow up questions of you in the last 2 weeks - and you hadn't checked the board in a while. I was simply trying to help the most recent poster/inquirer - indicating that I too had asked a follow up question and hadn't heard back. If he was interested, he should check other boards to see if you were around anywhere. The "get attention" comment must have been what set you off.... I wasn't implying that you were trying to get attention, instead that we needed to get your attention.

    I really appreciated the insight and, presumably like him, was hoping (not considering it an obligation) that you were still around and we'd hear more.

    I had a lot of respect for your approach, given the way you described your experience and shared not only your thoughts on your initial 1400km driving experience but your suggestion on options afterward.

    Now, you've seriously over-reacted by attacking me personally, calling me a jerk in all caps - and shredding me repeatedly in your venomous reply. If this is how you treat people who respect your opinion and ask for more, I'd hate to see how you react to your enemies.

    I'd still welcome your insights on the C280, once you get it, but jeez, relax - and lay off the personal jibes.

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,129
    Let's steer clear of ANY personal comments - it's easy to take posts the wrong way since you can't inject tone into them.


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  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    Thanks. Looks like the post I referred to (which was a reply) in my post whihc is now #264 has been deleted, making my reply in #264 look a little strange.

    My whole goal is to learn more about the C280 and C350; others have had driving experience whereas I've only read about them. I'm considering buying in the next few months - trying to figure out which one, if either. I've found the postings here helpful.
  • dbranddbrand Member Posts: 21
    Yesterday I dropped in on my local MB dealer to check on my order. The car was built September 6, we have a VIN, but it is still waiting for a boat ride. They estimate it will be here in about 45 days--an eternity.

    I asked the sales manager how the sales of the 06 C models were going. He said they'd sold many of the 280s, but zero 350s. I asked why, and he said people feel they're just too expensive--and quickly get into the mid 40s if any of the packages or metallic paint colors are wanted. At that price, they just go ahead and buy the E.

    He then asked me if I wanted to drive the only 280 they had that wasn't already sold. Of course I did, so off we went. The car is amazing--even though he told me that my own car would feel much better after I had about a thousand miles on it, and it had "learned" my driving preferences. The car wasn't the 4Matic like I ordered so it had the new 7 speed gearbox, and it was silky--I really couldn't tell which gear I was in--I guess that isn't important anyway but being a motorcycle rider, I always want to be aware of what gear I'm in. I'll have to get over that. The sound system was the standard one, not the HK system I ordered, but it was terrific anyway. The car I drove had the full leather interior in black. Mine is ordered in ash, and I'm glad I didn't get the black--hard to see the detail. And it's all in the details. After we returned, I walked around the car carefully to look at the fit and finish, and it was simply flawless--and I'm very critical. I love the new wheels--compared them with the 2005's and much prefer the new ones. I know I shouldn't wish my life away, but do wish this next 45 days goes quickly. Can't wait. I'm not exactly suffering since after I sold my E, my ex-husband has loaned me the use of his SLK320 until my car arrives. It's a good thing to stay friends with the ex' :)
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I asked the sales manager how the sales of the 06 C models were going. He said they'd sold many of the 280s, but zero 350s. I asked why, and he said people feel they're just too expensive--and quickly get into the mid 40s if any of the packages or metallic paint colors are wanted.

    I'm not surprised. I configured C350 Sport my way on and it came out to $44,645. Thats without the Nav, folding rear seats and rear-seat airbags, things the average buyer will most likely want. With those remaining features the C350 Sport goes for $47,530! No way.

    Everytime I see a C230 I'm looking on the other side of the trunklid to see if it says "Kompressor" and finally earlier today I spotted one that didn't. Yippie a 2006! :) Has anyone driven one of these yet?

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,129
    A reporter for an influential U.S. publication is working on a piece about Mercedes and would like to hear from consumers. He’s wondering whether the recent quality problems are enough to stop consumers from buying Mercedes in the future. He also cites that Mercedes says it has worked hard to fix the various problems and is producing the best quality cars ever. He’d especially appreciated hearing from any long-time Mercedes drivers around who agree or disagree. If you have a story to share, please respond to [email protected] with your daytime and evening contact info., city/state of residence and what models of Mercedes you own/have owned, no later than Weds., Sept. 28, 2005.


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  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    dbrand -

    Thanks for the insights. I'm one of those who started looking at all this because of the C350 review I saw in MT - but thought it was kind of pricey. Then I saw the C280 as an option, and read a review on this board courtesy of ikramerica which sung its praises. I haven't fully decided if I'm going to take the plunge - although its likely - but am now leaning toward the C280. Of course, the test drive would be the clincher.

    Just curious, you and other posters seem to be going for the 4-matic. I'd rather have the 7-speed? What prompted the 4-matic decision?
  • dbranddbrand Member Posts: 21
    I live in Portland, Oregon aka: The Pacific NorthWET. I figured the AWD would be safer because of wet streets, heavy rain, etc., etc. We don't get a lot of snow or ice along the west coast but when we do it's a mess because of the terrain--lots of hills.

    I am also looking toward retirement in a few months and will be going back and forth to the southwest which means going over the Siskiyou Mountains--notorious nasty weather conditions from October through March.

    I also chose the lighting package because I want to be able to see as well as possible, and not be one of these little old ladies afraid to leave home after dark because I can't see well enough to drive.

    And I chose the sunroof package for obvious reasons.

    And entertainment package because even though I'm an old bat, I still love my tunes....
  • pgsmithpgsmith Member Posts: 24
    I actually live in the Southeast. We also don't get much snow here, but because of that they can't deal with it on the roads. 1" of the slickest snow I've ever seen last year turned a 30 minute commute into 6 HOURS due to the high slip and (other) unexperienced drivers. I'm originally from the IL-WI border area and am seldom affected by the snow. That said I've ordered the 4Matic for the following reasons:

    1. When it rains here, it dumps and everyone forgets how to drive (sort of like the 1st snowfall of the year in the midwest) :surprise: .
    2. When it snows here, I like to get through.
    3. When my wife (and toddler) have the car, I want to know they are secure and able to get through safely.
    4. I expect I'll be using the vehicle to travel to the mountains and back to the midwest on occaision.

    I test drove a 7-speed here (they didn't have ANY 4Matics) and loved it. My decision for the 4Matic was just that; I only decided against the 7-speed because to get the 4Matic I had to have the 5-speed. I am not sure why they didn't offer the 4Matic with the 7-speed. I'd expect that it would benefit the fuel economy and I can't beleive it wouldn't handle the power of the engine since it's also available with the C350.

    By the way, my C280 is scheduled to be built Oct 10, based on an order placed in mid August. Do they really have that big of a backlog for "sold orders" :confuse: or did the fact that I modified a unit already on order for dealership lot mean that I slowed my own deliver down?
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    . I am not sure why they didn't offer the 4Matic with the 7-speed. I'd expect that it would benefit the fuel economy and I can't beleive it wouldn't handle the power of the engine since it's also available with the C350.

    Its just a space issue. The new seven speed won't fit in the current E, C or S with the 4Matic hardware. The new M-Class and R-Class both have the 7-Speed with 4Matic as will the next S, C and E. The 7-speed is also present in the new 503hp/465lb-ft ML63 so power isn't the issue.

  • dbranddbrand Member Posts: 21
    In reply to pgsmith's question: "By the way, my C280 is scheduled to be built Oct 10, based on an order placed in mid August. Do they really have that big of a backlog for "sold orders" or did the fact that I modified a unit already on order for dealership lot mean that I slowed my own deliver down?"

    You may be in for a wait if my experience is any indication. I ordered my C280 4 Matic in mid-July, black w/stone interior. I thought the tan interior would be better looking with the black. Then I saw that combination on another car on their showroom floor, an E model, and thought the stone looked, stone. It didn't have any of the richness you'd expect in true tan. So I changed my order so it would have the ash interior--a very pale and warm gray. When I changed the order, my car was due to have been built August 10th. The change bumped my order down the queue to September 10. However it was built September 6, according to the "NetStar" database, which also listed the VIN. The dealer said best case scenario is 45 days after the ship leaves Germany, is when I can expect my car. I'm on the west coast, so it will come thru the Panama Canal and up to Los Angeles, then be trucked up the coast. If you're on the east, I'll bet that your car will arrive sooner than the 45 days quoted me.

    Re the reason why the 7 speed isn't in the 4Matic, is as stated in another message. The 7 speed transmission is longer, and there isn't room. I wish it were in the 4Matic, but nothing can be done about that. I was given a 2005 C230 Kompressor (with the 5 speed) by the dealer, to drive for a period of two weeks when my E was in for a pesky fuel problem (turned out to be bad fuel, not the car's fault). Two weeks is a great "test drive". I ordered the C280 based on my experience with the C230--it shifted smoothly, had plenty of power and I loved the fit and finish. Even though this was a package delete model, solely to be used as a loaner car, it really impressed me. When I went back to driviing my wonderful E, in comparison, it felt like a sled, so I sold it and ordered the C. All we can do is wait, right? And just hope the wait will be worth it.
  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    Wow! Thanks for all the comments. Needless to say, this board has been great for learning from people's experience. I appreciate the insight on colors and options.

    To the last post, the C is, of course, smaller than the other classes. This actually has a sizable appeal to me as I live in an urban area and need to squeeze into places and make sharp turns.

    My goal is to shop around a bit - test drive the C350 and C280 - and see where it all goes. Right now, I drive a 2004 Volvo S60 - which is a fine car. Normally I keep a car for more than 2 years; but I'm really intrigued given the new engine and transmission. In addition, I've been brand loyal to Volvo for a good number of years - so this would be a big switch. Talking about the S60, though, the turning radius is 39', whereas my previous Volvo was a minuscule 32'.

    The C280/C350 are reported to have a turning radius of 35'. Did anyone who test drove take sharp turns to see how it handled?

    I'm not too disappointed about what you're reporting about the lag time between order and delivery in that it'll give me some time to get my finances in order. We just moved to the Chicago area from the east coast, and there's administrative transfers and costs and all. Were you still able to knock a reasonable amount off MSRP given the order and all?

    Glad everyone's happy with their purchase! Keep the insights coming.
  • dbranddbrand Member Posts: 21
    If there are any dealers or car sales people on this blog, they're going to flame me, but I'm a big goes. Regarding price, I went to this very for the dealer invoice price, including the options I wanted. I offered $500 over their invoice price, and of course they pushed back. However I work for a Fortune 500 company with a large fleet department. My employer's fleet director, told me of a MB dealer in the next state who would sell me any MB for the invoice cost. It would cost $600 to transport it to Oregon so I knew if the local dealer wouldn't agree to $500 over invoice, I had a Plan B. I told my local dealer what my alternative was, and we agreed on a number. I have a signed sales agreement with my local dealer (2 miles from my home and office) for $500 over dealer invoice, or in my case a total of $36,895. MSRP would have been $39,075 (both of these numbers include $775 destination charge). The car I've ordered is the C280 4Matic, black w/ash interior and has three packages: entertainment, sunroof and lighting.
  • pgsmithpgsmith Member Posts: 24
    I go back and forth on the size issue as I am moving from a Jeep Grand Cherokee ('97). I'll miss the space but since my other car is also a JGC ('00), I'll make due just fine I am sure. I am sure the C280 will help me adjust quickly and I'll just need to remember to take the bigger vehicle when I need it.

    Believe it or not, JGC's have fantastic turning radii (both ~37.5') and because of that TR was part of my shopping criteria. I was impressed w/ the TR of the RWD C280, of course I have not yet driven the 4Matic as you probably gathered from my previous posts.

    Regarding price, I need to disqualify myself as a reference as I was able to get EP due to immediate family. Whether or not that is such a good deal today, I don't know due to all the "EP" promotions. But my price is fixed and I am limited to negotiating a few extra $ on a '97 SUV w/ ~150k.

    You may want to check on the " Mercedes Benz C-Class: Prices Paid & Buying Experience" posts to get a better idea.

    PS - I miss the Chicago area and 4 real seasons. Good Luck!
  • dancing_2dancing_2 Member Posts: 1
    I'm in the market for a C-280 MB with the following options:
    Metallic Paint
    Sunroof Pkg.
    Heated front seats
    power driver seat
    6 disc CD changer
    What should I expect the pay for it, either purchasing or leasing. I have a down payment of approx. $3,500.

    What is the best dealer to deal with in the Atlanta area?
    The dealer I've been to doesn't seem to want to deal any at all. He says there is not much markup in MB's and no factory holdouts or incentives to the dealer.
    I find this hard to believe.

    Thanks for any assistance.
  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    AG said Wednesday it will cut 8,500 jobs in Germany at its Mercedes Car Group in a bid to return the troubled brand to profitability. The program will target workers at plants in Sindelfingen and Bremen, which produce the C-Class cars.
  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    Took my second test drive in the C350 with seven speed today. Going back with my checkbook tomorrow.
  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    Did you try the C280 as well?
  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    No. I like the better 40-70 acceleration with the bigger engine, and the better highway gas mileage, since 90% of my driving is highway. I am also fairly sure the 350 will run on regular (absolutely it will run on midgrade), since it only has a 10.7 compression ratio.
  • greenteagreentea Member Posts: 14
    Interested to hear about it . . . all I've read so far is from reviewers, e.g.,

    "On our test drive, this stronger pulling power was quickly evident, and much appreciated. The old C320 sedan never felt slow, but you wouldn’t confuse it with a sports car either. That line seems to be blurring.

    "A 0 to 62 mph sprint takes just 6.4 seconds, 1.3 seconds quicker than the previous model. And because of the wide powerband, Mercedes says the seven-speed automatic-equipped C350 takes just 6.1 seconds to get from 35 to 75 mph."


  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    i placed my order a couple of hours ago.
  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    I would call the C350 "sneaky quick". The shifts are almost imperceptable, and the ride was so quiet and smooth, i didn't realize i hit 75 until the sales rep said, "easy boy".
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    i placed my order a couple of hours ago.

    What colors and options did you order?

  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    white/ash w/heated seats. nothing else.
  • mac320mac320 Member Posts: 147
    So no sunroof or electric seats or is that included? The package that includes the all-leather may not be available for Alabaster White C350s anyway--at least in ash.

    Surprising but that is what seemed to be the case at about the time the C350 first showed up on the MBUSA website. I experimented around with designing a new C350--coincidentally, white with all-leather in ash--and that choice was not allowed.
  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    no sunroof =1.5 inch more headroom. All C350 have electric memory seats.
  • ikramericaikramerica Member Posts: 101
    My car came 3 weeks ago, but I picked it up 2 weeks ago because it came too late in the weekend to have it prepped for delivery. :(

    For the first 1000 miles in Germany, I averaged 37mph only. That included super fast and long autobahn stretches. That goes to show how congested and full of construction Germany is. I got 21.5 mpg for those 1000 miles, and that included lots of gridlocked freeways and 100+mph runs. Not the most efficient way of driving.

    Here are gas mileage figures, based on the trip computer, which is relatively accurate, after having the car in the US and driving it with premium fuel under the US chip programming (the reprogram it for Euro delivery).

    If you average 15mph on a trip, very common in city traffic, you will get about 17mpg
    If you average 20mph, you will get about 18mpg
    If you average 25-30mph, you will get the 19mpg claimed city mileage, which is nice, as it really does describe 'city speed' driving on a non-highway commute.
    Highway driving gets you above 25mpg easily, which is what the EPA says too, which makes this one of the first cars I've ever owned where the EPA estimates are accurate!

    And on a flat rear tire (8psi), you get 13mpg around town! Yes, a flat will cut mileage down that much. I had no idea the tire was flat as the car was so balanced, but I had been driving on it for about 4 miles total. There was a screw in it, and it was easily repaired, but now you can see why proper tire inflation is so important.

    I still dislike the Continental tires, though as city tires, you don't hear the loudness so much, and they are a forgiving tire. I will leave them on through the rainy season, then put my 17" AMG rims on for summer with new tires, and get new all season tires for these very sharp stock 16" rims for next rainy season.

    This car is smooth, and just like the 350 was described above, you can get into trouble as you routinely drive faster than you think. This might have to do with the speedometer being in the wrong place. They should swap it with the tach, as that would put the area of both you will look at most in front of your eyes.

    The 4matic is not detectable in normal driving, and the 5speed is fine, shifting relatively well, though you must train it to know you, or you'll get slow shifts. I am sure the 7speed is more forgiving in that regard, but it wasn't too long ago that a 5speed was exotic. My C230K had the 5speed as well, and this one is smoother, but you do have to stomp a little harder if you want an immediate downshift. The manumatic mode is precise and quick.

    You can physically see why the 7speed and the 4matic don't fit together. There is a foot well intrusion in the pax side where the 4matic mechanism transfers the power from the transmission back to the front wheels, and one can see that there is no room or physical way that the two could easily mate with the 7speed.

    As stated, the standard sound system is great. The HK system adds some "sound stage" features, more power, and volume adjusting with speed that the standard audio doesn't have. Thing is, in my experience with the speed sensitive volume in the MB from 1990 through 2005, is it is not good enough and you end up adjusting it anyway.

    The Nav system is great. I liked the old one fine, this one is 10 times better, but for some reason, MB still does not list MOVIE THEATERS on the POI list. They believe that if you drive a mercedes, you only want to see legitimate theater. LOL.

    The trip computer is so much better than the one from my 2002. I also love how if you have the trip computer in NAV mode when you are not following a route, it shows direction heading and the name of the street you are on! I wish I had that when driving in Germany, but alas, the US nav system has no compatible Euro DVD maps. I got lost so many times...

    The interior fit is great, though there is a squeak in the wood on the door when my elbow rests on it that is not there on the metal version of the door in the C230/350 sport. They are replacing the door panel to see if it fixes that, but since mine is blue with a blue leather insert, it's rare and had to come from Germany. Oh well, it's a thing that most people wouldn't notice, but due to my exact height and where I rest my elbow, I notice it.

    This car is not the sportiest car on earth, but I wanted a car with pep, that handled well, that drove well, that was big enough to not feel tight but small enough to feel connected and to throw around. This car is nearly perfect in those aspects.

    I would recommend the C280 to anyone looking for a car in this class, or even those considering an E for the luxury (not the space). The E is no more luxurious than a leather clad C from the driver's POV, and both are striking from the outside, and the C is just more fun to drive.
  • greenteagreentea Member Posts: 14
    When you say, "a leather clad C," I was curious to know if you opted for the all-leather option and if you are saying that it provides a more opulent look compared to the standard package.
  • shankyshanky Member Posts: 36
    I am in Sacramento/CA, and have ordered a MB c350 (obsidian black/stone) with all options excluding all-leather and 4Matic, for invoice price+750 (costco deal). I am a first time luxury-car buyer, and had test drove BMW 325, Lexus ES330 and Avalon Ltd (all 2006) within a span of 2 days.

    The MB test drive was fantastic - smooth ride, effortless and quiet acceleration, very responsive steering, rich interior (interior/exterior looks are much better than the 2006 BMW 3 series). I had test driven the BMW 325 in tight corners at about 40-50 mph (as I did with the MB), and did not notice any "significant/superior handling" that the beemer-fans rave about. I tested the BMW just hours before the MB, and soon as I got into the MB I could see the superior appointments - the different can be instantly felt. It was love at first sight! The BMW had very bland interior, and a straight black front panelling that I disliked (old Corolla look). Plus, I found the driver seats a bit tight for my comfort. Both BMW and MB have horrible cup-holders - the rear ones are too shallow for comfort.

    On a price comparison, loading the comparable BMW 330 with the same options as the c350 gave me a price higher by about $400 for the 330. So the beemer did not have price advantage over the MB (except when you factor the free-maintainence for 4 years offered by BMW versus the $300/year needed for the MB).

    The Lexus ES 330 was cool, but a bit elephantine for my needs. Same with the Avalon, which I found smoother/quiter than the Lexus. Good thing about the Avalon was the new engine (260 hp plus) and the flat flooring in the rear seat (very cool for the center seat). Also, the Lexus/Avalon looks very Camry-ish to me, and I wanted to stand out from the crowd (heh! heh!)

    I did not notice significant difference between the C and S modes (Comfort/Sport) in the feel of the car, except during startup, when it starts in 2nd gear in C mode for a smooth start.

    I love the 21/29 mpg rating since most of my driving is on freeways to work.

    I will opt for Michelin tires though (instead of the standard all-weather Continental). I also plan on getting the wheels chromed. MB's look best when they shine!
  • mac320mac320 Member Posts: 147
    You said, "I did not notice significant difference between the C and S modes (Comfort/Sport) in the feel of the car, except during startup, when it starts in 2nd gear in C mode for a smooth start."

    Unless they changed more than the letters, there would be no difference between the two settings other than what you observed. On our '02 model, the letters are "S" for standard and "W" for winter (for reduced wheel spin when startiing off in 2nd on snow or ice) :blush: .

    The costco deal sounds like a good idea. I would ordinarily wait for the car that I wanted to show up on the lot--even if it took a year--but, I've been on the local lot a few times and they hardly stock any 350s. Odd too because they sold about 50-50 between 240s and 320s when we purchased a "C" in '02.
  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    ikr: Thanks for the post; as usual - quite helpful. I'm curious, though, why you went for the 4-matic rather than the 7-speed, given that you live in an area where weather conditions are not severe enough to really need it. I live in Chicago, and am leaning toward the 7-speed, and we get a lot more snow.... but haven't yet decided.

    I notice the mention on recommending the C-class even in comparison with the E. I'm also one who prefers the C to the E. For me, the E is too big. I live in an urban area and welcome the power and handling, but prefer a smaller car that can fit into parallel parking and maneuver in city parking lots and streets. Most manufacturers associate bigger with better. Once they improve a car, its only offered on the bigger models. Glad to see MB is offering improvements on the smaller ones.
  • pgsmithpgsmith Member Posts: 24
    Thanks for the update, I appreciate it.

    What grade fuel are you using? Do you try to run the lowest grade, stick to the recommended premium, or run mid-grade and what are your thoughts on this? :confuse:

    I've always tried to run the lowest grade that didn't result in detonation on previous vehicles but I've only owned one previous vehicle which recommended Premium (an Acura Integra) and it ran fine on regular unleaded ~87 octane.

    I spoke to my dealer last week and he told me mine is in production, so I'll need to drive vicariously through you until mine gets delivered, if you don't mind.
  • dbranddbrand Member Posts: 21
    The C280 compression ratio is 11.1:1--that's pretty high, and I doubt that you can escape pinging/detonation in anything but the highest octane fuel you can find at the pump. Speaking of fuel, the shop foreman at my local Mercedes dealer suggested that it's a good idea that every 3 or 4 tanks to buy a bottle of Chevron's fuel additive "Techron" and add it to the tank when it's empty just before it's filled. He said that will help keep the injectors clean.

    My car is "on the water" and will arrive in LA port on October 16, I'm told. So I should have it home in my garage by the end of this month and to say I'm anxious would be understating it. This is my fourth Mercedes, and they just keep getting better and better.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Car and Driver has a full road test of the C350 Sport in their November issue. They liked the engine, interior build quality (called it peerless) and the sturdy/solid feel of the whole car. You know the traditional Mercedes stuff. They didn't like the fact that the C350 Sport looks exactly like the C230 Sport. They really harped about that, and the price (45K as tested). They also said the interior had too much plastic and wasn't that inviting, but it had "peerless" build quality? Uh..ok I guess they're saying its well built but not inspired or inviting, kinda like German cars of a few years back I guess. The manual tranny C350 Sport did 0-60 in 5.5 seconds, faster than everthing else in this class except the new IS350. That is pretty impressive imo.

  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    Thanks for mentioning. Several of their complaints seem to be either "sport" specific vs. "luxury sedan" or option specific. For instance, C&D complains about the aluminum interior, but the luxury sedan doesn't have that. They complain about the seat adjustment; but that's an option to improve which may not have been included in the test model.

    In general, its a positive review of the C350 - they even almost apologized for not including it in the comparo of the previous month.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Yeah sometimes Car and Driver does take themselves too seriously, but all in all it was a good review. I really like the comments about the traditional Benz things like build quality and solidity and the "tiger" of an engine. Car and Driver can be very fickle sometimes. Though I too would like for Mercedes to drop that aluminum look plastic. A Mercedes should have wood. They could bring back that dark ash wood for their sportier models. I grudgingly agree that the C350 should have something the way of looks over the C230, but that isn't a big deal imo.

  • greenteagreentea Member Posts: 14
    "Yeah sometimes Car and Driver does take themselves too seriously . . ."

    A "poor man's benz" they say. Not a very nice thing to say but typical condescending car review-type talk.

    It is the first review where I have seen anything bad said about MB's stick. Others' views were glowing, not just so-so, and especially not "rubbery."

    So, what is the data on the IS350, e.g., what is it's torque cure like, and compression and etc. All I have read about it so far is that it is "highly tuned" and that it gets fewer fwy mpg.
  • dbranddbrand Member Posts: 21
    A good friend of mine is founder/publisher/editor of one of the leading car magazines. He also does weekly car reviews for the New York Times, therefore he drives a different new car every week in order to properly evaluate it. When I told him I'd ordered a new C280 he said, simply, "You'll love it.". When I asked why he said "... it will do everything you ask of it, it will be comfortable, a good road car, beautifully finished, will handle amazingly well and the ergonomics couldn't be better... whether top of the line, or the other end, Mercedes still makes one of the finest cars in the world. When he told me this, we were walking back to his car-of-the-week, a 2006 Nissan something mid-sized four door sedan. I asked him what he thought of it. He said, "It's a decent car but it has no soul.".
  • modern54modern54 Member Posts: 5
    Ouch....I have a new '06 C350,and when C&D " we got what appears to be a poor man's Benz."
    That kind of hurts considering I paid over $45,000 dollars for my first MB.

    It also said something about KMART in there yup that makes me feel much better about my purchase.

    I have had it since Aug 27, 05 and have found a few things but overall it is a nice car.

    *I do wish that there could have been some differences to this type and the C230.

    My friend has the C230 and his car looks exactly like mine. but I paid about $15,000 more for mine...I would like the recognition that my car is a more expensive car in someway besides the C350 on the back of the car.

    *I hate the wood grain stuff that comes in the car (to me it is too STUFFY for someone my age-29) I would of went for the aluminium I wish I had a choice.
    *The car is a little plasticy inside...maybe that is what I am smelling inside.
    *The wheels/hubs look slightly cheap.
    *I wish they would get rid of the plastic look a like aluminum handles and trim.
    *I got the Navi package
    The one on my Nissan 350Z was 100% better than this one. on the Benz it takes you the LONGEST way around (and I think it is overpriced for what it is)!!! it avoids the expressways, even if you have it set that you want to get there the fastest. It's a bit of a pain.

    *I have the sunroof package
    It's OK I have never had it on any other car I have owned. The only thing I hate is that the cover over the sunroof opens automatically but when you close the sunroof you have to manually close the cover yourself...odd.

    *Entertainment package
    Very Nice...I had the Bose system on my Nissan 350Z the sound quality was much nicer.

    *It has the 4matic and I can't wait till it snows here in Chicago so I can take it for a SPIN! :)
  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    Modern54 -

    I wouldn't sweat what C&D's opinion is. Your own opinion is what matters. MT wrote a very positive review of the C350.

    For me, I want the performance and stability of MB. Personally, I couldn't even think of mentioning Nissan and MB in the same sentence.

    My only "concerns" are the electrical issues that MBs tend to have - these sort of things just don't seem acceptable in a $40,000 car. I drive a (when new) $30,000 Volvo now - and have had NO electrical or mechanical problems with it - it just doesn't have the handling, comfort, maneuverability, and performance of the C350.

    The other "concern" is that on the SLK350 board, people were having problems with the transmission. Since I'm leaning toward the 7-speed automatic, I'd want to make sure it would work fine in the C350.
  • modern54modern54 Member Posts: 5
    Thank you for your information on the electrical system. I will keep an eye out for that. :D

    As for mentioning Nissan and Benz in the same sentence....The truth is what the truth is my Nissan had a better Navi System and a better sound system (Bose)...than the MB. The Stero System in the MB sounds at best muffled sounding. But I can always have that replaced.
  • otkaotka Member Posts: 3
    I'm in the puget sound market for a C280 and would like to know what kind of deal you got from MB Tacoma. Did you take one from their lot or ordered one? I know there's probably some change in market conditions two months after your purchase, but I want to get a basic idea. Thanks very much!
  • dbranddbrand Member Posts: 21
    I just found an interesting website listing mileage, emissions, cost of operation, for all models for 2006.
  • modern54modern54 Member Posts: 5
    I was wondering my MB dealer that I purchased my car from stated that I could use 89 in my car...if gas prices were too high and the car would run fine...Is that true?

    I have of course heard that gas is gas....but just making sure
  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    try a tank. if the engine does not ping, great. if it pings, switch back. My son-in-law has always used 87 in his--94,000 miles with no engine problems.
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