#248 of 1636 C230 impressions after a couple of days
Aug 03, 2001 (8:30 am)
I've been driving the C230K for a couple of days now, and I have to say I'm quite impressed. This is _a lot_ of car for the money. Things I noticed right away where: good power, quiet, fit & finish are top quality, lots of attention (3 people have stopped me as I was parking and asked what it was). There is a little bit of an acceleration hole from about 2000-3000, with the auto. anyway, but above 3000 it pulls strongly (the torque makes it feel like there are a couple more cylinders than there actually are).
Two complaints (no car is perfect after all):
The seats (I managed to get leather before the embargo) seem to "bottom out" sometimes if you go over a bump or hit a pothole. There is definitely some shock absorption going on with the seats, but it feels like there needs to be a little more bolstering between the bottom of the seat cushion and the seat frame (at least for big people like me over 200lbs.). I've seen Boxster owners complain about something similar in the seatback and one person even went so far as to pull the front cushion of the seat back off and place a folded towel behind it -- not necessarily a solution I want to entertain.
Rearward visibility is limited -- I didn't realize how big those C pillars are! The mirrors are good, but could be a bit more aspherical (even on driver's side) to help with blind spots. But, there's nothing wrong with craning your neck around for a quick "check six" when changing lanes.
Overall, I'm ecstatic. Everybody at work seems to think I won the lottery or something. When I tell them the car only cost about $4k more than a Jetta GLX, they can't believe it. Hopefully, these won't be littering my neighborhood in 6 mos. the way the A4 Golf & Jetta do, but I wouldn't be surprised. As far as I'm concerned, Mercedes hit a home run. Cars like this will definitely help with their Buick-like customer attrition rate (read: death .
FYI, the large pillars are essential for the kind of stringent rollover protection that MB builds into all of their vehicles. My M-class has wide C-pillars too. At least you know that you'll be safe if your car rolls over (provided you wear your seatbelt, of course). MB and Volvo are perhaps the only two companies who launch test their cars by launching it sideways off a sled, causing it to roll 4-5 times; you may have seen this in the M-class: Stayin' alive TV commercial.
Driver's side aspherical mirrors are apparently illegal in the US, but Europeans have been enjoying it as standard equipment for eons.
There is a lumbar support discussion topic in the Aftermarket & Accessories message board. Perhaps you would be interested in checking it out; Obusforme makes some great ones. Here is the link to the topic: /direct/view/.ef020d4
Hope to see you in our weekly MB Tuesday chats at 6-7pm Pacific.
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Last Saturday I saw a commercial for the new MB coupe and checked our close dealer to see if they had one in. They did and we tested a silver, leather, auto and sunroof. After coming home I decided I wanted to buy it, but it was a demo and not for sale until September after a few hundred test pilots!
Since this is not what I wanted in my first new MB, I called every dealer in Mass. I found a black with black leather, auto and sunroof that a dealer would sell. I am having the CD added and picking it up on Cape Cod tomorrow. (1 1/2 hour drive). The only price concession I got was $100 on the CD. Oh well, if I like it as much as others on this site, the price issue will fade. Just had the same experience two months ago on an Acura MDX, so I am getting used to it.
I will post my thoughts after I have had it awhile.
I see no one has posted since I did on Friday so I will give you a few impressions after a couple of days:
I drove home in an intermittent rainstorm and really like the rain sensor that comes with the C2 package. It seems to work just right. I just discovered the sun glasses holder in the glove box and it was a nice surprise. We found there is wind buffeting at about 40 MPH with the sunroof completely open. Closing it to the first position stops the racket yet it is still quite nice. I can't make the remote garage opener work with my garage units. My Acura MDX unit works fine so I would appreciate any advice on what to do. I am using a trunk storage pack I had in my old Volvo to store all the things there doesn't seem to be room for. i.e. road atlas, owners manual, etc. The car seems fast (not quick), quiet, smooth and taunt. I notice a little random noise over very rough roads, but not much else. The controls in the dash are complex and not very intuitive IMHO. The tach is out of the line-of-site and not very useful. I can shift by sound, but would trade the tach and speedo positions if I could. I got the optional $920 CD player for $800 and found it uses the same cartridges as the one I saved from my 97 Volvo. That's the good news, the bad news is: no single play unit, it takes ups a lot of the glove box and is the same unit I paid $700 for with a Volvo emblem four years ago. I think it is a $350 Apline changer? The storage shelf for the two extra cartridges is a nice touch.
Other than these comments I agree with the few other owners' posts about the negative and positive aspects of the car. My wife and I are thrilled with it. It looks good in black as it blends with the sunroof and other black trim. I had read in the C series sedan forum that some C class cars are being built in Brazil or Argentina? I was glad to see ours was made in Germany. The fit and finish seem up to Teutonic standards. The only quality flaw I have found is that the storage lid in the lower console binds on the bottom of the facia. I am sure this must be unique to my car. On the other hand, the black paint is flawless! Much better than my equally black Acura MDX.
In summary, We love getting the sport package options in an entry level car. We can't believe We are driving a MB for $30,100! It seats four, stores 39 cubic feet, feels like and convertible, looks great and you get the same service and goodies as if we had bought a $90,000 S class. How can you lose?
I have not had any sounds from the sunroof itself. It seems solid whether open or closed. I just found that with it fully open, there was wind buffeting at about 40 mph. We solved that by closing it to the first(half way) position. Other than that no problems so far.
#256 of 1636 My test drive (I also own a C320 Sport)
Aug 06, 2001 (7:23 pm)
I decided to take a test drive since my wife's lease on her Lexus RX300 is expiring in October. I was a bit leary of the 230 engine since I test drove a 2000 C230 and found the engine coarse and not luxurious. They have definitely made an improvement in the engine. The car feels exactly like my C320. I actually think it handles a tad better. The engine, though not as refined as the six, is adequate and pulls strong. It has a nice sound at higher RPM. There were NO sqeaks at all from the sunroof. Unfortunately I did not open it during the test drive since it was 95 degrees out. The A/C worked great and I was fortunate to reserve a White/Oyster Leather C2/C4 arriving in three weeks. No tele-aid but I don't care as I have NEVER used it in my C320 OR my C280.
I think Mercedes has hit a home run with this car. Numerous critics mentioned that the BMW 318ti never did well and with good reason. The car was UGLY and the interior was cheap!! This baby Benz is built to the exacting standards of other Benz products and it feels JUST as good as my C320. One more word... I test drove an RSX 5 speed last week. Granted the car is cheaper (but is considered a competitor). The RSX felt like a TOY compared to the C230 Coupe. NO ESP, NO TRACTION CONTROL, NO SIDE AIR CURTAIN etc!! Take a test drive and you'll agree.