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
#1518 of 1636 smartypants C230
Aug 18, 2003 (3:06 pm)
My girlfriend bought a pewter 2004 C230 sedan with automatic and the sport package last month. I've driven it quite a bit (a bit more than she has, since she prefers I drive when we're together), and it's a lovely car, but I wouldn't buy one for myself: it thinks a little too much!
1. The rain-sensing wipers were fun at first. I don't mind that they sometimes click on for no apparent reason, but when it really begins to pour I can't wait the extra few seconds as the car figures out that this requires full power.
2. Every time I make a sudden stop at speed (for example, when the car ahead of me on the highway slows unexpectedly) the car adds more braking. The brakes are already powerful enough - now I get the emergency stop I didn't request. What if I only wanted to brake half-way?
3. It also brake-assists and uses engine braking (downshift) for regular traffic stops. I find that the fact that it downshifts to first or second every time makes for jerky starts in traffic. Most other automatics I've driven don't try to act like manuals. That's why people buy automatics!
4. It tries to guess what I mean every time I hit the gas, so after several weeks of driving the car still surprises me with it's gear-shifting sequences. Things got really wierd when I accidentally put it in "C" mode ("C" stands for comfort. It was formerly "W" for winter) for a couple of days. Then you'd press the accelerator and it it pretty much say "dude, I don't want to go anywhere right now, can't I just sit here and think for a while?" In those two confusing days as I considered calling Mercedes service I made a lot of use of the D+/- mode shifting for sanity's sake.
The other stuff (automatic door locks, lighting schemes, etc.) I have some control over, and I can forgive the "auto" climate control for going overboard sometimes, but between me, my girlfriend, and the damn car (OK, they're both beautiful, but just a pain in the ass sometimes), there's a lot of learning going on. What happened to the simpler good old days? Am I the only one who thinks this car is too smart for itself?
Perhaps I'm used to my stick shift Subaru, but this is kind of ridiculous! There's a lot of good stuff - the engine is quick, the car is sporty and stiff, and simply looks good, but I sometimes feel more like I'm on a bucking bronco than I'm in tune with this ride. Am I the only one?
Aug 19, 2003 (2:06 pm)
I find your comments interesting. I have a 2000 model and was unable to get the auto-sensing wipers, but after your post feel glad I did not get that option. Also on the C230, auto climate control was not available - the fan speed and direction have to be set manually. Back then I found this to be a disappointment, but again after reading your post I am now glad it is manually controlled on the 2000 C-Class.
These cars are unique with their own personalities. I think it's a matter of finding something you like and can live with, and am glad to hear you're going with something else, as the C may not be what you're looking for. Best of luck in your search.
#1520 of 1636 "C" or "S" for automatic transmission
Aug 20, 2003 (12:43 pm)
smartypants, the "C" stands for "Cold" (not "Comfort"), it will start in second gear, explaining the behaviour you experienced. I'm do a lot of highway driving with sudden stops, have not experience the brake-assist kicking in.
(2004 C230 Sport Sedan automatic)
#1521 of 1636 C / S and other comments
Aug 24, 2003 (10:56 am)
regarding the earlier assorted comments:
I now have the auto sensing wipers on a new ML and I think is a nice option over the simpler option that was on our older ML. It was smarter than I would have guessed during a drive through the desert in the last week of July in a wierd monsoon-type weather situation. I do not, however, leave the wiper in automatic setting all the time--I just use it if it's raining.
On none of our cars, from either ML or our C320, does the brake assist become an obtrusive safety feature: all "luxury" class autos must have this as well as many othe features to compete in this class of car so it is not a feature that is unique to MB.
And, ditto above abour correcting the info about the "C" option . . . on our '02 "C" is the "W" or "Winter" option that, when selected, causes the car to start off in 2nd instead of 1st to reduce the torque to the rear wheels in wet and slippery situations. I always know when it has accidently been acctuated--such as by a detailer--but my wife can never tell the difference between it and the "S" or "Standard" setting so it really is not a big deal and obviously is completely under the control of the driver.
#1522 of 1636 Tire Wear/ Coupe Moniker
Aug 25, 2003 (9:23 am)
Bob: I'm sure that if my wife drove my car I would get better mileage out of my tires. Yes, I do drive very hard (I live in a rural area with nice curvy two lane roads on which I exercise the car's cornering ability. I haven't found the limit yet and probably won't.) Also, because I drive hard I keep a close eye on my tire pressure and usually keep it 3-5 lbs above the recommended level.
As far as the "Coupe" designation: Americans are not as fond of hatchbacks as are the Europeans. The name "hatchback" has been a dead end (see BMW's attempt a few years ago) and seems to designate a cheap little econobox, not exactly the company M/B wanted its new car to be associated.
#1523 of 1636 price for 03/04 C230K Sedan?
Aug 25, 2003 (10:24 pm)
Hi guys, I am new to this chat board. I was wondering if mbforme or somebody else who just bought the C230K sedan near invoice price could give me the dealership names.
I have been calling dealerships around my area and the best price after adding options like CD changer and auto transmission is 31,400.00 + taxes. Is this is a good price or should I look around further?
Aug 28, 2003 (2:07 pm)
I just bought a 2004 C230 Sport Sedan and got it about $1000 over invoice (Stevens Creek MB, San Francisco Bay Area). You should be able to get a 2003 for $500 *below* invoice. I think in San Jose you can get a good deal, since there recently opened another MB dealer (Bahnhoff) I guy from Bahnhoff was not really helpfull and I like the people from Stevens Creek MB. Ask for Karin Sheenan (works only Tuesday and Wednesdays), she is very friendly and should be able to give you a good deal.
Aug 29, 2003 (9:24 am)
What about the dealer on the east side of the 101 between Palo Alto and SFO (Mountain View?)? I live on the east coast but was always wondering how they were, as I travel out there on business from time to time.
Aug 29, 2003 (9:52 am)
You're speaking of Autobahn, known to me for most of the past 30 years as Autohaus Brugger - the name on the franchise when it was in Redwood City.
These guys are competent enough, and the salesman I have been dealing with for 4 transactions since 1976 still works there [Franz Krieg], but they have never been the place to find a rock-bottom deal. Lowest prices seem to be in San Jose [see above] and, of course, any place in Southern California, where the presence of real competition results in the most price-sensitive market for these kinds of cars anywhere in the world.
#1527 of 1636 c230k 2004 $26995
Aug 29, 2003 (4:06 pm)
in our paper for auto,sunroof, 6 disc cd. is this a good price?