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Mercedes-Benz CLK (2005 and earlier)



  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 356
    I ordered my 230 on 1/7 and was told by my salesman that the car was produced on 2/1 and delivered in March.

    I ordered mine at around the same time, had the 1-10 February build window. It arrived (in NJ) on 2/20/02. It seems that mine must have just caught everything just right (was the last car loaded onto the boat, first one off and right onto delivery truck, etc)

    After waiting through February for a delivery date, he told me last week that the car was built on 2/11 and he would find out an ETA.

    Today he told me that "production was completed" on 3/7 and ETA would be about a month, probably mid-April.

    Something does sound a bit odd

    When I asked what happened to the 2/11 build date and March delivery date he said "that 2/11 was when production began and it was completed on 3/7." This sounds like a lot of nonsense to me.
    That's almost 4 whole weeks to build a car!

    It is. I would ask if they had a production shutdown, major re-schedule or something, for typically, from the time that the chasis starts to get welded up to where the car is driven off the end of the manufacturing line is typically measured in hours, not weeks.

    Anyone have any insights as to whether MB is being straightforward with me.

    You might try visiting the salesman at an off (known slow) hour, and asking to see the numbers in the computerized report. If they're legit, he shouldn't have much of a problem in showing them to you, as he's probably a bit frustrated himself with the delays. He could decline, but its probably worth asking.

  • tariktarik Posts: 344
    Without wanting to take away from your happiness, the extended time to release on your car could have been caused by damage in production. Lots of cars are scratched up or otherwise damaged while on the assembly line, and will have to "stay over" to be repaired in a specialty "damage repair" shop within the factory. Usually they do an excellent job, but are not required to even mention it to you. Just be very careful when you get the car, take your time, check the paint, overspray, and possible waves in the sheetmetal.

  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    I was at the Lexus dealer today in Portland Oregon and they had just stuck a silver C230 out on their usedcar lot. I didn't have time to look at the car so I don't know how it is equiped.
    Probably traded in on a Silly Ugly Vehicle..
  • . . . about the C230 from its buyers (i.e. Edmunds consumer rating of 9.0) vs automotive experts? It seems that people who buy and drive the C230 are quite pleased with it, while the "experts" do not seem to appreciate it. Is it because the professional reviewers have been spoiled driving $120K SL500's and try to compare the two? Just curious. I have already put my deposit down and there is no turning back for me.

  • toyotas1toyotas1 Posts: 134
    Just saw one on the street. That design, that 3-pointed star, the most steaming pile of monkey $#@% Ive ever seen! The engine note sounds like a lawn mower wih a busted chain! Pandering to the masses, still TRYING to stay #1 luxury marque. So sad, so sad. Way to water down the marque, good job.....can anyone say 318ti?
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    This Toyotas troll really gets around....
  • One of my friends is an Indy Racing League driver from Europe. When I mentioned the car, he had only glowing comments about the Kompressor engine. Again, I guess professional drivers have a completely different attitude about the relative noise from the engine versus automotive magazine "experts".

  • jjpeterjjpeter Posts: 230
    I can't imagine Mr. Toyota has test driven a C230, just saw one on the street, now has to let all us owners know his opinion. All I can say is; try it and then come back with some intelligent feedback...
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...yes, it is my opinion that the car gets no respect from the car nut magazines and such because it is compared to more "upmarket" models in the DB line. The amusing irony about that is that most DB mass-market sedans [C and E classes] sold in the EU market are equipped very much like the C-Coupe, including the cloth upholstery that seems to get the auto buff writers in such a snit. And until recently, most gasoline Es sold in the EU were 4 cyl models, a fact little known and unappreciated in this country, with its dirt-cheap fuel prices.

    Mercedes has brought a lot of this on itself. When I bought my first [of 13] Mercedes in 1968, the car I bought [a mid-size that eventually morphed into what is now known as the E] had a 4 cyl engine, manual steering, tex upholstery, crank windows, a manual transmission and no AC. This was pretty typical for the car then in both the US and EU; only the top line S sedans, and to a lesser extent the SLs, were loaded with so-called luxury features, though even these were commonly equipped with steel wheels and wheel covers.

    During the intervening 35 years, Mercedes has spent a gazillion dollars in this country trying [successfully] to convince the American public that this car LINE [from top to bottom] is a "brand" that is to be synonymous with gradually over the years, our market got nothing but loaded cars: leather, alloy wheels, every power option, etc. Now, the presence of something as simple as cloth on the seats sends the press into silly rants - never mind the fact that plenty of EU MB customers still prefer cloth to all of the alternatives.

    It's tough to take one marketing direction for several decades, and then turn in another direction and expect no one to notice. This has all been an AMERICAN marketing "thing": in Europe, the "image" of the car never changed - safe, comfortable, durable, great for high-speed running on long trips, a bit boring compared to some competitors, but dependable and good for the long haul. Any MB below the S class or the sports cars / coupes is the EU equivalent of a Buick to most EU buyers - they don't know they are supposed to regard the Star as a sacred icon.

    So yes, the press is harder on this car than owners are; presumably, most people who buy the car for most of the right reasons [the same reasons that made me make the decision in '68] are happy with their purchase and a bit puzzled about why they should feel like they settled for second-best. All of this would make an amusing case study for Marketing 201, and illustrates for the umpteenth time the Law of Unintended Consequences.

    Just wait for them to bring in the A-Class successor in '04...that ought to start a real uproar...
  • toyotas1toyotas1 Posts: 134
    LOL Twice! You guys are precious.....
  • tommyp13tommyp13 Posts: 146
    I either want to laugh or cry. They usually tend to come off as a Grey Poupon commercial, and talk about how stuffy the brand is. Then they start with, "this car doesn't have X standard and Y option like on the E and S classes". They really stretch what should be expected in a $25,000 car. I think that they have been much more harsh on it than the 240 (much less hp for $5,000 more), which I think deserves it more.

    Which also translates into something more important to me: rarity! Something that Toyotas definitely cannot have. :~)
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Nice post. I agree completely. The C230 actually is a surprisingly well featured car for the price. It's just that the U.S. public has been conditioned to expect a certain set of features, so we dismiss this car as being poorly featured for not having leather seats, even though it has traction control standard, and this boils down to the artificial perception of the MB brand as a luxury brand through-and-through that is subpar if it doesn't have the luxury features.

    I thought and still think the C230 is kind of pricey. But when you line up up against, say, a RSX-S, you see it coming with a number of features that aren't available on any of the competition.

    All that said - I've been thinking that the 350Z could really do some damage to the C230 given how well equipped the Touring model comes. Granted, two seat vs four seat. Still, MB's first value-oriented vehicle on U.S. shores is going to start facing some rough waters.
  • . . . of the United States. When the VAT is taken into account in Europe, many countries price out the C230 Kompressor at nearly $50,000 US. My parents, for example, live in Southern Europe where the C230 Kompressor would cost them $47,000 with similar options that I got. They ended up buying a Peugeot 307 for approximately $16,000. About the same size car (Peugeot has four doors and a CD player!) but about one third the price (no they do not live in France). I do not entirely agree the EU members consider Mercedes simply a well-built car. My Indy Racing League driver from Europe said "Oh, Mercedes, best car in the world" when I told him about my purchase. Mercedes sells a bunch of A Class cars in Europe which might be considered much more accessable to EU members. Even in the Sport Coupe class, Mercedes sells a bunch of "lesser" versions of the C230 Kompressor in Europe. I probably will not remember all of them, but there is a C180, a C200 Kompressor, and then the C230 Kompressor which is the top of the line in this subcategory. So, I simply think the American public is not used to seeing a Mercedes that is only slightly more in cost than a comparable car. You just do not see Mercedes sold in the same close range in Europe (exception is specifically in Germany and a couple other places). Again, a repeat example is that a similar type of car (Peugeot 307) is only one third the cost of the C230. I guess they really consider one of their A class cars (approx $20,000 range in Europe) to compete with the Fiats, Toyotas, etc.

  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    The C230 isn't too bad a value when you factor in the tremendous amount of safety equipment in it. More than you'd find in a Honda/Acura or Toyota/Lexus. Eight air bags, full-range stability control (Toyota/Lexus's VSC is not full-range, nor is Honda/Acura's VSA), seats that supposedly hold up well in collisions, excellent structural reinforcements for collisions from all angles, turn signals in the side mirrors, etc. Those items cost money and won't be found in every vehicle.

    The key differentiation between the 318ti and the C230 is the power -- not just raw horsepower, which is good, but plenty of torque at low rpm's. The 318ti was a pretender when it came to performance, while the C230 delivers very good performance.

    This while having some real room in the back seat, unlike, say, an RSX which has a tiny rear seat.

    Add free scheduled maintenance in the USA and the cost of ownership is actually quite good in the first four years. Plus the level of dealership support will be, on average, better than most others.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    huntzinger forgot to mention, just this week, another C230 HB is parked in our parking lot. Just purchased, from the same dealership. Different color and more loaded with options, but with 16" rims instead
  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    I bought an IS300 SportX over the C230 but I still like the C230. The engine in the C230 does make some different sounds and isn't as smooth as an inline 6 but I found it to be perfectly adequate during the test drive. If Benz puts a 6 cylinder in the car the price will probably be headed well towards 40K which would be a shame.

    wmguan, what do you mean that the VSC in my Lexus is not full range? The VSC seems to disagree with me on throttle angles anytime I try and stick the rearend out exiting a wet corner. It has a little too much range for my tastes. I wasn't able to really drive a C230 hard enough to see how the VSC reacts.
  • ciracira Posts: 37
    Someone on the sedan board just posted the changes that will be made in the c-class for 2003. Most of these apply to the coupe. He wrote:

    This list is from a source at mbworld. It applies to the C230 coupe, but a few of the changes will probably make it into the sedan where applicable:

    - new design steering wheel incorporates cruise control
    - single CD player standard
    - new design smaller/cheaper 6 disk CD changer intro 12/02
    - new high end DSP stereo system incl sub intro 12/02
    - new interior colors TBA
    - window switches moved up 15 cm
    - storage pockets on seat back
    - seat rack travel increase 5 cm
    - seat latch repositon to side
    - rear seat cupholders built-in console side
    - 12V power point in hatchback area

    - several colors retired and new colors TBA
    - new C7 wheel/all season tire option
    - AMG package C9A/C9B intro 12/02 C9B incl 18 inch staggered
    - rear window wiper option
    - redesigned windscreen for pana roof effective MY2002 05/02
    - bi-xeon headlight option intro 10/02
    - new smart key functions TBA

    Of all the changes, the two that seem the most important to me are the windscreen and the smart key because I have heard a lot of complaints about both. The sedans seem plagued by defective smart keys and electrical problems, and I have heard about (and experienced) the wind vortex that can occur in the coupe. For those of you who have been lucky enough to obtain your 230s, have either of these problems dampened the thrill?

    To those of you who offered your insight on my order dilemma, many thanks. Still waiting...
  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    - rear window wiper option

    I thought the car didn't need one? Right, that is why it is an option :-))

    Sounds like Benz has listened to some owners and is making some adjustments. Should make a good car even better.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,586
    Like to see a the 3.2L SOHC V6 as an option. Then an AMG version of the C Coupe!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • toyotas1toyotas1 Posts: 134
    I was walking to my car, and I had to sneeze. I blew my nose, without a hanky, and there it was in front of me, a Lime Green Mercedes C230 Coupe! It was....unbelievable! The door handles were a little....moist.....
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,586
    It isn't a Camry Solara, but most of the owners (and other people) on this board are admirers of the C Coupe. They make different cars available in different colors for different people.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • from magnetophone. (magnetophone "Toyota's New U.S. Division: Scion" Mar 15, 2002 2:26pm)

    It's the little things that makes me smile ... like this magnetophone's post. Don't get me wrong, my wife has a 2002 Toyota Camry SE and we love it, but I am looking at the C230 to replace my old Explorer. I get some great info from this group, but I'm sure we can all do without toyotas1 juvenille comments.
  • Cira, many thanks for the 2003 preview ... it looks like I may wait for these to hit the market. I'm a techy and the new features always grab my attention ... along with my money.
  • Cira, many thanks for the 2003 preview ... it looks like I may wait for these to hit the market. I'm a techy and the new features always grab my attention ... along with my money.
  • tommyp13tommyp13 Posts: 146
    There is a rumor of the 2.3l being changed for a 1.8l. So, not all change is good.

    In other words, if you're basically happy with the '02 version, get it; '03 may be worse.

    I've had no problem with my smartkey or my windscreen, btw. Had the car since late Sept., and only 10 mi away from 10k. Damn, these miles add up quickly.
  • jjpeterjjpeter Posts: 230
    I've noticed the rapid build up of brake dust on the front wheels of our C230. Is this a characteristic of all MBs? Do they use a soft front pad to achieve braking performance? Is there an after market sheild or such that prevents the dirting of the front wheels so soon after they are cleaned. Anyone solve this one or is this just something one lives with?
  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    There are two basic options. Live with or put on aftermarket pads that have less dust.

    I have chosen to live with the dust, but I have waxed the wheels to make it much easier to clean the dust off.

    The dust seems to be European Car characteristic no matter the make or model.

  • mlsphdmlsphd Posts: 26
    I already have the '02, so I am not unbiased. However, in software and cars, I prefer to let others do the beta testing and get the kinks worked out. My last brand new engine type was (dating myself) a '72 rotary engined mazda. Mazda replaced the engine twice, and after I got rid of the car, I got a check from the settlement in the class action suit about engine reliability. MB is a different organization, certainly, but the 230K is a tried and true powerplant, the 180K is a new model.
  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 356
    Mercedes has brought a lot of this [Luxury image] on itself. When I bought my first [of 13] Mercedes in 1968, the car I bought [a mid-size that eventually morphed into what is now known as the E] had a 4 cyl engine, manual steering, tex upholstery, crank windows, a manual transmission and no AC. This was pretty typical for the car then in both the US and EU...

    True, but let's be honest and recognize that Mercedes is hardly alone in this; all the manufacturers have done it, because of the "new and improved" syndrome.

    I recall having a 1979 Honda Civic, and it was a far far, cry from today's mid level (semi-lux) midsize sedan: it had crank windows, a tiny 1.2 liter 4 cyl., no AC, no radio, etc, and the entire car only weighed something like 1160 pounds, less than half of the current 2002 model.

This discussion has been closed.