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Mercedes-Benz C350 & C280



  • ikramericaikramerica Posts: 101
    The MB will perform about the same in straight line acceleration as the BMW with the engine changes, but the BMW will handle better as a "sport sedan" while the MB will handle better as a "luxury sedan" even with the sport package. You'd have to drive one of the new ones when they arrive to see if you like it. I've always found the interiors of the Audi to be best (never been in the latest one though), then MB, then BMW, since I hate the wide center console. But that's just me. Plus my Z3s had really cheap interior materials, so that left a lasting impression on me. that and sitting in a 6 series at the autoshow and seeing really cheap plastic that was getting absolutely destroyed by people getting in and out, something I found shocking on a 70k car.

    As for pricing, I hear this about C class but don't actually see it when I price them all at edmunds. Prices are pretty close. The MB does come out as a bit more expensive, but not a great deal more expensive, when equipped with the same options. Now the E class is really more expensive than the 5, but the C and 3 are pretty close. Stats get skewed because BMW "typical options" list is smaller than MB, putting the prices out of whack. But it isn't MBs fault that BMW drivers skimp on options where MB drivers tend to load them up more, is it?

    Wheels tend to change from year to year, and tires are always a crap shoot as no manufacturer sticks to one brand except for their performance models. We'll see what happens for 2006. C "sport" models will have 17" wheels, staggered width, with summer tires, and an optional manual 6 speed. C "luxury" models will have 16" wheels with all-season tires and a standard 7speed auto (4matic gets 5speed due to space limitations). C55 sports staggered 18". There are plenty of optional wheel packages at MBUSA, all overpriced IMHO. Your dealer pricing will vary.

    Interior will not change. It changed last year and gets rave reviews now. Sport models have sport seats with more bolstering, luxo models have standard seats. All non C350 come standard with 4-way power, 6-way manual seats with lumbar adjust lever, and have optional 10-way power driver seat with memory for seat, mirrors and steering wheel. C350 comes standard with dual 10-way memory seats.

    Bluetooth is currently not an option, though MB doesn't make it clear at all. Why it isn't standard is beyond me, as it doesn't really cost much, and the phone wiring is standard no matter what, including mic and antenna. VW offers it standard on the Jetta. Instead, they have a system which allows you to use a variety of phones with a cradle adapter that hooks to their system. Phone hides in the center armrest top compartment. Then again, Bluetooth is already a dead technology, soon to be usurped by USB Wireless. Bluetooth development has basically stopped, though it's use is only now picking up.

    Sunroof is an option in a package, including other options.

    Xenon is not standard, nor is it standard on a lot of other cars, as not everyone wants to blind oncoming traffic to see slightly better. I'm in that camp, myself.

    C350 has standard harman kardon stereo, C230 and C280 have that optional. All have standard single disc CD, 6 disc optional systems, and the nav system now has a seperate slot of CD so you can use it even with nav DVD in the system.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Shout out to Merc1, have talked with you before somewhere. Stroudman and Merc1, I have read and enjoyed your informative posts on this forum.

    Thanks, and don't forget ikramerica too. His post brought the real meat (engines) to the discussion.

    1. Any exterior body changes?

    In a word, no. That was done for 2005 and the new grille is really distinctive to my eye. As others have noted there will be an all-new C for the 2008 model year so the days of MB's getting one than one facelift during its run are over because they aren't on the 10+ year model cycle anymore.

    2. Any alternative standard or optional tire changes?

    Hard to say as ikramerica indicated.

    3. Any type of interior changes with the dash/console etc?

    Nope. Same as the exterior, all changes were for 2005.

    4. Will the current packages still exist or will they start to add accessories as standard options like xenon lighting, sunroof etc.

    See ikramerica's last post. He has seen the ordering sheet and can tell you that for sure. Of course Stroudman will be able to answer here also.

    5. Looks there there is Ipod compatibility, what about BLUETOOTH?

    No bluetooth, and I can probably guess as to why. Look for Mercedes to Bluetooth on the next S-Class or something similar/better.

    6. Are you guys aware of any good links re: articles online that speak to this new car?

    Well there a few, but they really aren't specific to the U.S. models. A "roadtest" of the new C350 should appear in like the Aug-Sept issues of the mainstream auto press, mags like Car and Driver, Road and Track, Automobile, Motor Trend etc.

    General Article on C350

    There are various "preview" articles on the C350 in the July issue of Sports Car International, the May issue of Road and Track, the May issue of Automobile Magazine, and the May issue of Motor Trend. All of these short preview style articles are pretty much on the same page. The new engine makes huge difference especially combined with chassis changes made on the "Sport" model for 2005.

    7. What is the realistic time expectation when we will see pricing and order info?

    I'd say less than a month, but Stroudman and ikramerica would know best here.

    8. When will the dealers start to have these in the showrooms for demos?

    Also within the month I'd say. I guess it really depends on the dealer itself and how low they are on 2005 models. Stroudman?

    All in all I'd say the C-Class is finally a complete package. The luxury models for 2005 really have a nice interior as I found at drive event from one of MB's competitors.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Very imformative post as always. Though I'd have to say at 65K I've seen 5-Series BMWs just as or even more pricier than any E-Class Mercedes. I've seen two such priced 545i models in recent weeks. BMW manages to start the 5-Series out lower due to the 525i model, of which there is no "E280" for Mercedes to compete with. Though I personally would like to see a E280 and CLK280, but thats just me. That might just be one too many models though for the CLK and E-Classes.

    Blue leather huh? What exterior color?

  • Hi all:
    Hope you can give me some sound advise. I am in the process of buying a new used car. I am looking to get either a C240 or BMW 325. As mentioned, both will be used, from either 2001 or 2002. I have test driven both cars and really like both. I like the C240 because it is classy and offers a very comfortable ride. I like the BMW 325 for it drives very well and it has the cool factor attached to its looks. But beyond looks, I really want a car that I don't need to send into the shop every month for repairs for I do NOT want to be broke from repair bills. I have read many forum posts of both cars from bulletin board sites and have read complains on both cars. All of which makes me worried of course but still...I need a new car and I really do not want to go for the Japanese cars. I don't like any of the 2003-2004/05 Acuras, Infinitis or Lexuses. They just don't have the "prestigious look" that I want. Please advise me as to whether I should go for the C240 or 325?

    Thanks so much.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi - the best place for your question is on our Sedans board. Let's go to your post at this link speedoflight, "BMW 325 or MB C240?" #1, 8 May 2005 4:02 pm and continue with your question.
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    What is this?

    I thought this thread was for MB folks to discuss upcoming models. MB versus BMW versus whatever bs should be on some other thread. I'd take C's outgoing 320 over the 330i but I don't go on a BMW site to pitch my opinions. Why would I do that other than to make myself feel good by purposefully challenging the opinions of others?

    I was hoping to hear from MB owners that had some feedback about their new 350s, and how they like it being teamed up with the new 7-spd tranny. Sure, that would have only been SLK owners when the thread was started, but now we might get some feedback from ML350 owners too; and, some of them may have some very insightful comments if they'd previously owned a ML-, C- or E320 with the 5-spd tranny.

    I do not learn anything about the new C350 with the new 7-spd tranny from someone who bought a new Audi or a BMW or an Acura or an F150, other than they obviously wouldn't give a red herring about my opinion either.
  • bmwcccbmwccc Posts: 234
    Thanks for the replies guys. This helps and points me in the right direction. Can't wait for some more info. on the MB website as well as a test drive.
  • ikramericaikramerica Posts: 101
    I was going to get midnight blue and save the money on metallic, but for 2006, that is no longer an option (color pallet trimmed from 14 to 9 likely to save cost). so it's capri blue.

    growing up my dad had a 450SE (1973) which was blue with blue leather. Kept it until about 1990. I guess that's why I am partial to it.

    i also had a navy S4 with blue/black interior, and that was nice. i'm just tired of charcoal interiors, and the light colors get dirty.
  • ikramericaikramerica Posts: 101
    well, comparing the new engines to what is available from competition may be helpful for some people. sorry this thread isn't specific enough for you. but reading through this thread will give you a very clear view of this car class's history and what changes to expect for 2006.

    and, since this is a future vehicle thread, how could anyone tell you how their c350 or c280 drives? time travel? :confuse:
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    First off, if you have any urge left to look at the audi, I would wait a few more months until the VW Jetta GLI hits the floor. It will mostly be the same car for less money, and maybe lower expectations.
    The C320 you can look at in the stores now is the same look you will get in the '06. As Merc and Ikramerica already pointed out, the cosmetic redeux is already done. The E350 has the same wheel as the E320, so I have no reason to believe they will change the wheel on the C. If you get a car with a sport pkg, you will likely get Z-rated michellin energy tires.
    If you really need Bluetooth, you can have the factory or the dealer install a motorola V600 which is Bluetooth capable, but I tend to discourage folks from spending the money on those toys for two reasons: 1. the pace at which phone technology is galloping is much faster than the cars, versus the price paid for said phone. (upwards of $2K). 2. the sound quality and reception, and limited choices of service provider versus price paid will leave you very unsatisfied.
    If you want to be the first on your block with one, I'm sure the local dealers will be glad to get your name onto the list for orders. We take deposits in order of first come, then when your car gets allocated we call you, THEN you have to give specifics, or you can pull out, b/c by then they will have ordering info, if not pricing. I doubt prices will go up much. C-class prices have risen substantially in the last 1 1/2 years, IMO to accomodate the new motors, so they won't spike at launch. The big dealers in metro areas will probably get their first cars around mid to late summer. The second fiddles, like me, will see them around August or so. It's hard to predict, especially since they launched the M-class earlier than they said they would.
    In the meantime, if you can get out to a dealer and drive the SLK, it is the same platform, even tho it is a roadster, so it's the closest thing to what the C350 will be once it drops...
    Also, I have driven the latest 6-speed manual, and I can say that they have refined it immensely. Very smooth, less notchy, and 1st gear is not so short. :-)
  • bmwcccbmwccc Posts: 234
    Thanks for the reply stroudman. I will take your advice and go test drive the 2005 C320 to get an idea of the body and also drive the 2006 SLK to test out the new 350 engine.

    Seems like BMW has the performance part down but lacks in the comfort area for me. Contrary, MB has the comfort thing down but lacks in the performance arena. Maybe the 2006 C350 will offer both for once and gain a new customer.

    No interest in the audi or VW, just was curious because of the new engine and body style changes.

  • bmwcccbmwccc Posts: 234
    Doubletree, just FYI about getting raped by your dealer. I negotiated a hair over 4.5% over dealer invoice for their profit. Car loaded at invoice was 39,220 but gave 1,800 dealer profit plus 695 shipping plus taxes etc. No trade in or lease, just cash and outside loan. Deals can be done, just need to be patient and work with the right dealer. This price was for a car built or that was coming in and not sitting on there lot.
  • bmwcccbmwccc Posts: 234
    mac320, sounds like you are getting bent out of shape over some additional comments about comparing vehicles. I am assuming you were targeting me but just didn't reply directly.

    So, since I am new to this forum I thought i would introduce myself and let people know the position I am in with the vehicles I am considering. I am on this forum to gain knowledge and insight on the 2006 C350. Yes, I brought up bmw as my comparo option to the MB C350. I reread my posts and am having a hard time seeing if I offended anyone or bashed anyone's ideas about the MB product. I can't say that I have!

    Sounds like you may have way too much time on your hands to worry about my posts on this forum. If they bother you, why don't you just skip them. I imagine if they are not pertinent to the forum, then the hall monitor will redirect me to the appropriate forum.

    Anyway, you might have an issue with this one as well considering i wrote BMW in this post as well. Just ignore it, don't respond, and let it go............

    Happy Mother's Day!
  • bigpapalukebigpapaluke Posts: 108
    Hi Stroudman,

    So if I'm reading your post correctly, the C class will continue to have the manual transmission available in the 2006 model correct? The MB has fallen a little bit off my radar screen because of the lack of engine performance; however, the new engines coming out is making me think I should give these vehicles another shot. The deal breaker for me is the manual transmission, but I am cautious about MB because of the upcoming redesign (i.e. after 2006).

  • ikramericaikramerica Posts: 101
    The C230 and C320 sport sedans will have manual standard. 6speed. 7speed auto will be optional for $1100 or so.

    The C240 and C320 luxuray sedans, 4matic sedans, and all wagons will have 7speed (5speed 4matic) auto standard with no option for manual.

    The C55 has a 5speed standard, unless they switch it to the 7speed like the SLK55 has for 2006. Unclear at this time.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Actually the 2005 SLK55 has the 7-speed already, with some trouble in a few cars on the SLK board.

  • run1run1 Posts: 2
    In a recent R&T "First Drive " column, it appears as though the roofline and rear of the C class may be different for 2006. Does anyone know if this is so, or just a photo angle making it look that way to me ? Also, will the C280 have the same look ? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The 2006 model will have the same look as the current car. Only the engines and some minor equipment are changed for 2006.

  • crtclmasscrtclmass Posts: 1
    I really want to get the new C-350 AWD. But I'm bummed out about the 5 speed Automatic, instead of the 7speed Auto on the rear-wheel drive version.
    Does any one know the difference in performance between the new C-350 AWD and the C-350 rear wheel drive? How about Fuel consumption differences?
    This would had been my first MB. But I just can't see my self buying a rear wheel car where I reside
  • bmwcccbmwccc Posts: 234
    Merc1, ikramerica & Stroudman

    Am I correct in understanding the current 2005 C320 does not have full maintenance covered for 4 years or 50,000 miles???????????? If not, are they kidding and why would they pull that when audi and bmw does?

    So, is the 2006 C350 going to have the covered maintenance?

  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    No it won't. I think it was a bad idea to take it away, also. Not because I think it's that important in the great scheme of things, but because in this American market, you can't offer something like that and then take it away without turning off a lot of people. I think it was either one of two things -
    Either they thought they would forever be slaves to offering it, kind of like 0% rates for GM, so quit while they're ahead, or
    Out of pure arrogance, they figured they don't have to offer freebees in order for their car to sell.
    Either way, and I could be wrong, I think they will eventually have to offer it again, once they are more profitable, if the competition keeps upping the ante. I would be curious to see how much BMW is shelling out now that they're offering brakes, tire rotation, wiper blades and all. That will get expensive.

    If you really like the car, personally, I wouldn't let it bother you much. The car takes a service every 13k miles, so if you only keep it through the duration of the warranty, that's 3 visits. It's worth it, if it's the car you like best.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The car takes a service every 13k miles, so if you only keep it through the duration of the warranty, that's 3 visits.

    This was going to be my point here. Most luxury cars go in for service much more often like every 5 to 7.5K depending on the make so its not like you'll be paying a lot to service a Mercedes.

    That said it does sound a lot better for it to be paid for by MB but when you really look at the service interval there really isn't too much expense involved.

  • ikramericaikramerica Posts: 101
    Full service was canceled for 2005.

    The reason is simple. They could either raise prices or lose the service. The exchange rate for the Euro is so bad, this had to be done.

    Audi and BMW are debating this as well. BMW is also sending 3series built in South Africa to the US market due to the EURO problem and tax incentives from SA. The super strong EURO is having a bad impact on the European manufacturing base. Audi is considering building A4s in Mexico.

    The flexible service system dictates how often you need service in the pre-2005 MB models, roughly 10k for me. MB found that this was actually too frequently, so now most models go nearly 15k without service (except for CDI models). Considering the cars still carry the same warranty and roadside assistance, the cost of 3 service visits over the life of the car (2A and 1B) won't be too much. But zero is always more desirable than not-zero.

    It weighed into my considerations of getting another MB, but ultimately, I decided to order a C280 anyway. But it may turn people toward BMW or other brands if they overestimate the value of such service.
  • bmwcccbmwccc Posts: 234
    Merc1, Stroudman & ikramerica

    Thanks for the feedback guys. You had roughly the same point and unfortunately we may not get that service back. In some respect, if they don't increase the price of the 2006 over the 2005 you are really saving some money here with the upgraded engine. Use that for several service visits i guess. Just hard to swallow when other competitors include them.

    I am excited to see and drive the 2006 and guess will have to wait to see how important the non included service is to me.

  • kennynmdkennynmd Posts: 424
    Since its not offered for free, do some dealers offer it for free just to get a sale? I remember when I bought my ES300 they included the 10k and 15k service for free so they could sell the car.
    On another subject, how are the leather seat inserts? Does it mean that there is some leather on the seats? Are they the MB version of leatherette in the BMW?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Leather inserts are just that. The part on which you actually sit are leather as opposed to the whole seat being wrapped in leather like on the E500, S-Class, SL, and CL. If you order the optional leather on the E350 the whole seat is wrapped in leather as is the door pockets and everything else that looks like leather is leather. Mercedes used to be one of the makes that used leather on everything concerning the interior, but with the M, C, and E320/350 they cut back to just leather inserts like everyone else. Other makes don't tell you that the whole seat isn't leather, instead they say "leather seating surfaces" which is the same thing.

  • kennynmdkennynmd Posts: 424
    Thanks...just the seat itself where you sit? How bout the area where your back would be at? Also, from your experience or others, is it worth the price?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yes, the area where you sit and your back too. Its just outer sections that aren't leather like the bolsters and other trim pieces. IMO, on a C-Class it isn't worth ordering full leather because the leather inserts and MB-Tex (a really durable vinyl) are so well done to the point that most can't tell the difference. I think this combination will hold up better over time than full leather since Mercedes doesn't use the same leather as they did some years ago. Now that leather was the thickest going and held up forever, but it wasn't as "plush" as some other brands so MB gave in and changed it out for the plusher kind used today.

  • ikramericaikramerica Posts: 101
    The leather inserts are only on the FRONT seats for the C and E. So, if you want leather in the back, you need to pay for the full leather package. For $1500, the leather package covers all seat surfaces with leather (front seat, front seat backs, rear seats, door inserts, headrests). Worth it? Well I got it because they don't make blue interiors with inserts. But probably not really worth it.

    But the 2005+ leather is real MB quality, where the earlier leather was more VW/Honda quality. Not cheap, but my 2002 C-Coupe leather is no where near as nice as the current C-Class full leather.

    Up through the late 80s, most of the non-S and SL cars were MBtex. Both of my Mom's 300TDs ('78 and '84) had tex, as leather was an expensive option, and MBTex is very durable for a family. My Dad's '86 420SEL had leather standard (velour was optional), but I think even his old '72 450SE had MBTex.
  • kennynmdkennynmd Posts: 424
    Thanks both of you for the answers...Now I have to wait til the 280 or 350 comes out for a test drive.
This discussion has been closed.