Last post on Dec 04, 2010 at 4:10 AM
You are in the Mercedes-Benz CLK
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class, Coupe, Convertible
May 29, 2003 (6:44 am)
I just picked up my first Benz one month ago. It was a C230 Coupe (2003) that had a "real" sticker price of $29,995. I got it for $23,995. Deals can be had if you look in the right place, or if you get lucky like I did.
Regarding your questions:
1) This car has so much electronic gadgetry that things will go wrong. That is a fact of life for every car in the future. What really matters to me is does the dealer take care of me when there is a problem. If I didn't believe that they would, I was a fool for buying from them.
2) Having no wiper on the rear window has been a non-issue and I live in Michigan, where we have had a very wet and ugly May.
3) I have had several "hatch-backs" over the years. Most of these had metal where MB put this small plastic window. Yes it is slightly distorted, but it is obviously better than trying to look through a piece of sheet metal. I have always had a terrible time backing up and determining how much room I had to the car or building that I was approaching. This small window really helps.
4) As far as leg room, sorry, but I'm only 5'6", so I've NEVER had this problem!!!
I am in my mid-40's and I have never, ever had a car that felt so right in almost every way. This car is entry-level for MB, but it is still a Benz. I have found a great forum site where I have received tons of info. You might want to check them out at mbworld.org.
Best of luck with your decision. Let us know what you did.
#1461 of 1636 Two year old C230 coupe report
May 30, 2003 (6:41 pm)
While my 230K coupe may not have the most miles on this board at 21,000 it is surely one of the oldest. It will be two years old in July as I bought one of the first ones to arrive after calling eight dealers to find one with leather, auto and sunroof that they would sell. It seems all the first arrivals in New England back in 2001 went into demo service. I have owned many cars over the years, but this is the most satisfying based on what I paid, the design, the maker and the fun I have driving it, especially with the pano sun roof open. I have had no "major" troubles with the car and get over 32mpg on the highway. The main thing that did go wrong was the rear sunroof shade got off the track and had to be replaced. I have had good luck in the snow by changing to Michelein Artic Alpins from October through March. I have had some strange electrical things happen, but they always seem to correct themselves after a few starts so I have nothing to take to the dealer. Also, I have trouble with the free maintainence as I don't know when to take it in for checks. The service interval was showing 18,000 miles from "A" to "B" service so I just called them and said "do it". since it was 10,000 miles and they agreed, but it is very confusing to me. I know the "pros" of synthetic oil, but 18,000 miles is a bit much. The dealer service has been excellent, however. So far, so good......I would buy it again!
Jun 02, 2003 (4:08 am)
Glad to hear of your positive experiences. That has been my overall impression since 1995 when I first leased an MB. You still have to watch the dealers on service, but overall I've been satisfied with their work and how I am treated.
Jun 02, 2003 (8:31 am)
If anyone is interested in seeing the performance difference between the new 1.8 and the old 2.3, get the July issue of Car and Driver. It has a short take on a 6 speed manual version. The 1.8 engine is over a half second slower to 60, but they praised the improvements in NVH.
Jun 03, 2003 (7:24 am)
>Regarding your questions:
> 1) This car has so much electronic gadgetry
> that things will go wrong. That is a fact of
> life for every car in the future.
Agreed. One of the reasons why reliability is a problem is because at 12 volts, cars are low voltage systems. Current Automotive R&D is looking at ~42v systems, and IMO, they'll probably going to arrive before 2010. The resulting improvement in reliability should be similar to what we saw ~40 years ago when cars went from 6v to 12v (eg, significant).
> What really matters to me is does the dealer
> take care of me when there is a problem. If
> I didn't believe that they would, I was a
> fool for buying from them.
A most excellent point. From a lifecycle standpoint, the maintenance support of the car is orders of magnitude more important than "the buying experience" as well as if you save a few $K here or there off of MSRP.
For example, my wife has owned Audi's for the past ~14 years and she loves them, but the local dealership's service quality has gone in the dumpster over the past ~3 years. The consequence of this is that Audi is currently not on her list for her next new car.
> 2) Having no wiper on the rear window has
> been a non-issue and I live in Michigan,
> where we have had a very wet and ugly May.
The lack of it has been driving me nuts here in NJ. We're getting lots of tree/grass pollen with the rain, and the back window is a gooey mess. On my older hatches, two sweeps with the rear wiper would clear it out.
FWIW, I do recognize that part of this problem is "my fault" because my C230K lives out in the driveway in the summer because my Porsche gets the garage bay. My alternative is a bigger house, as I've already unsuccessfully tried to steal my wife's garage bay All for the want of a $75 wiper assembly that MB didn't even offer as Optional equipment in '02.
> 3) I have had several "hatch-backs" over the
> years. Most of these had metal where MB put
> this small plastic window. Yes it is slightly
> distorted, but it is obviously better than
> trying to look through a piece of sheet metal.
Good point. Overall, I don't see the rearward visibility to be measurably worse than the same on many modern sedans with high trunk decklids.
>4) As far as leg room, sorry, but I'm only 5'6",
> so I've NEVER had this problem!!!
I'm 5'8", so I also don't have the problem that is of meinauto's concern to offer comment on.
But my build is more torso than legs, so what I've found is that I have headroom problems fairly often in the back seats of many cars. YMMV, but my personal philosophy is that I'm looking at a car that's not a 2-seater, that means that the dimensions of the back seat have to be pratical...good enough to actually accommodate people who you want to remain your friends. The old idea of tossing in a tiny back seat so that the insurance company doesn't hit you with higher rates for a 2-seater doesn't fool them anymore.
The reason I mention this is because it was the poor dimensions of the back seats for why I passed on the RSX and a few others that meinauto had mentioned as being under consideration.
BTW, something else to look at are the contenders' torque curves, especially its width. Several years ago, I was seriously considering a BMW 318TI, until I found that from a torque standpoint it was a "gutless wonder" at low RPM's. I still have a soft spot for the low end torque put out by old VW 8v "Stroker" motor designs
#1466 of 1636 meineauto and huntzinger
Jun 03, 2003 (9:14 am)
One thing I forgot to mention:
When my daughter was born in 1985, we went from a two-door Ford Escort (Ewwwwwww!) to a brand-new VW Jetta. Most people thought "How can that little car handle a growing family?" but anyone who has ever owned one (or seriously looked at one) knows how much room there is in that "little" car, especially in the trunk. That car served us well and never lacked for space until both kids were past the toddler stage and then, time for the mini-van. (Double-Ewwwwwwwww!!)
#1467 of 1636 Small rear seats
Jun 03, 2003 (6:44 pm)
Sounds like that's what GM was doing with the Firebird and Camaro. I used to work in the parts department of a GM dealership during college, and never thought about that. No wonder people couldn't fit back there!
In 1995, I met a lady who was driving a '95 SL320 at a gas station at Big Bear Lake, California. She said the insurance was pretty steep, and would have been worse if she had gone for the SL500.
Jun 03, 2003 (7:03 pm)
It is funny you mention your wife has driven Audis for the past 14 years and loves them, but the dealer's service has gone down hill so Audi isn't on her list of next cars. After driving Mercedes for 12 years, my Mom switched to an Audi A6 last year (for Quattro as the main reason). She's had some small nagging problems with the car that the dealer seems to be giving her the run around by saying she's "imagining things" and "they all do that." Needless to say that my parents' first Audi will also be their last.
Back to the C though, has anybody seen a C320 Coupe w/ the V6? It seems like a screaming bargain for a 3.2L V6 powered MB.
I saw a few C230K Sport Sedans over the weekend. The wheels make the car look so aggressive.
Jun 05, 2003 (12:19 am)
Yep they nailed it with those wheels!! Best looking wheel design on a Mercedes sedan in many years.
Do any of you guys know what changes are in store for the C-Class for 2004?