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
#336 of 1636 Car and Driver article on C230
Sep 06, 2001 (5:28 am)
Everyone considering the C230 should glance at the C&D Review in the October 2001 issue. In their closing, they ask "Does this C230 Kompressor earn its sports-coupe moniker? Not really." And I don't think it needs to.
They go on saying..."But a 30-something hipster drawn to this fetching, affordable, and moderately fun Benz probably won't be lured away by a used car dating to the stuffy strictly business days." Being that I am in that age demographic (although I am not a hipster), I would have to say that they are right on the money. Why would I buy a used Benz or Bimmer if I can buy a brand-new C230 Kompressor that handles better than the C240 and C320 (again, per C&D)?
C&D pretty much says that if you want a sports coupe, get an Integra (RSX now) or Celica GT-S. But why would I buy those generic cars if I can get a Benz for about $26K? Oh yeah, and they're not a Benz.
#337 of 1636 Yeah, C & D again...
Sep 06, 2001 (7:11 am)
Everyone who reads the buff books [I read them all, and have been reading C&D since they were Sports Cars Illustrated] knows that no MB that is not an AMG car will get much respect. These people judge everything based on cornering power and raw speed.
I am 56, have never been mistaken for a hipster, have owned more enthusiast cars than most of the C&D staff put together [they borrow them, they don't buy them], and I think this car may be MB's best effort in any category outside the new CL. Everyone with eyes has reservations about the rear styling of this car, but that aside, I can't imagine buying an RSX or Celica over this car...and I've owned both Integras and Celicas in my time.
The magazines have a real tendency to get all wrapped up in analysis about the demographic marketing targets for new cars, because the manufacturers themselves tend to obsess about this nonsense. A good deal of the time, it's hogwash. The marketplace often refuses to behave the way the marketing majors predict it will...I'm as much proof of that as you need. I think this is an excellent car, and certainly the best raw value in the MB line.
#338 of 1636 Hey, I like the rear end! (I even have eyes)
Sep 06, 2001 (9:44 am)
Of course, I've got a '90 crx si, which has an eerily similar rear-end treatment. I wonder if anyone at MB used the crx's rear end as a model for how to allow a little more view out of the rear area.
Anyway, I usually like C&D's reviews, and are usually on-target with mine. I hate the editorials, especially Brock Yates, whose ego is as big as the great outdoors. As has been said several times, the rsx and gt-s are different animals than the c230. Try fitting anyone over 5 feet tall into the celica's front seat, and anyone over 4 feet into either car's rear "seat". I really think that the c230 is more practical and more well-rounded than either of the other two.
BTW: I'm 35, so I fit one part of the demographic, though the "hipster" part I don't think anyone wants to be in. Why do they throw these silly words into reviews anyway? Remember when the first reviews came in on the New Beetle, and the word "groovy" was passed around more than Monica Lewinsky at a keg party? They should stick more to car talk and less to describing demographics.
#339 of 1636 Picked up my C230 yesterday- First Impressions...
Sep 06, 2001 (10:44 am)
I actually own a C320 Sport. Geez... if I knew the coupe was going to be this good... I'd have bought two! What a bargain!! My wife LOVES it and though the rear is controversial, the front looks BETTER than the C320 sedan (IMHO). The car has PLENTY of pep (feels like a six). MB did a good job of making this engine sound a bit less agricultural. Granted there are fours out there that are smoother but I LOVE the way it sounds now. The coupe seems to corner flatter than the sedan and feels a bit more nimble even though the weight difference between the two is negligible. I was fortunate enough to get the last one with leather. I also sprung for the CD changer (ripoff), automatic, sunroof and cold weather package. I still think $30k is a great deal for this car. After I drove home, I had to move my C320 and granted it's smoother but I can't justify the $13,000 premium of my sedan over the coupe . It makes NO SENSE. Overall, it's the same car!! I also LOVE the hatch and it looks fantastic in white!!! Enjoy your cars!!
#340 of 1636 jrct9454, tommyp13
Sep 07, 2001 (6:23 am)
Even after reading the article, I am still interested in the C230. Like I said, the two other cars they mentioned do not carry the same panache as a Benz.
#341 of 1636 C230 As Car, not Marketing Gimmick
Sep 07, 2001 (8:21 am)
My enthusiasm for this car revolves as much around the simple fact that it is a hatchback, and the most affordable MB to boot. We have needed for some time, on at least a couple of occasions a year, the ability to carry something that will not fit in the trunk, folding seats or no folding seats. The C wagon starts in the real world at $40k, because of the silly decision to only offer it with the 3.2 engine...so the C230 Coupe looks pretty good to me as a wagon alternative.
In this context, all the hoo-hah about its handling, or sportiness, or lack thereof, or whatever, is just wind to me. That they aimed the car at a part of the market that is notoriously fickle is a marketing problem [or opportunity], but there will be others like me who look on the car as a practical, economical alternative to their sedans.
Having owned MBs since 1968, the "prestige" angle doesn't cut much with me...I got over that 20 years ago. To me, the superior safety engineering and promise of long mechanical life, combined with good long-distance touring comfort, is the reason to keep considering these cars. On this level, the least amount of bucks to get the benefits is in the Coupe.
#342 of 1636 C230 as Car
Sep 08, 2001 (11:00 am)
Yes, John - Many times I wanted to carry something home in my '95 C220 and had to stuff it cross-wise into the passenger compartment, being careful not to damage the MB-Tex. This is why I chose a '00 C230 with fold down rear seats - and I think that the C230 hatchback would be even better. But since I also have an old Toyota pickup now, it's less of an issue. Still nice though when I find something while cruising for antiques out in the C.
I fully agree with you on why to keep considering M-B cars. Although I find Toyota and Honda vehicles also very well-built, I really enjoy the solidness of the M-B product and hope that trait continues for years to come.
#343 of 1636 C230 rear treatment
Sep 08, 2001 (2:12 pm)
I have no problem with the rear of the my C230, it looks like a refined Honda as mentioned in an earlier post. The problem is with the rear flank. If the designers had increased the wheel arch in the rear to match the front it would be spot on.
I've had mine for almost a month now, have had to work too much filling in for a colleague on a long vacation, so have not had the chance for a long road trip. That is the only test she has not had the opportunity in which to shine. She has passed all other tests with flying colors. The best new car I have ever owned and the last one!
#344 of 1636 Never go to Downton LA Motor, the service is suck
Sep 08, 2001 (5:23 pm)
Never go to the Downtown LA Motor to check out the car, it was an insult when I went in today for a test drive, I had waited for 15mins, no one served me, I need to ask someone for service.
Someone called robert served me for 5 mins,when I just say I want a test drive, but probably won't buy or order today, he says he will ask someone to help me, so I waited another 10mins, but nothing happen.
Then I go to talk to him, he says he is serving the other customer "with appointment" right now, cannot help me anymore, it just a waste of my time.
I know I look young and I am an Asian, but I should not be served like that, I felt like ignored and stupid, never mind, this is just a little story wanted to share with you guys
#345 of 1636 well winifred...
Sep 08, 2001 (7:13 pm)
It is a Mercedes, after all.
Come on, honestly- you walked into a Mercedes dealership, tell them that you just want to test drive the car with no intention of buying it- did you really expect them to wait hands on knees on you?
It's a Mercedes dealership- people who buy Mercedes (at least in theory) range from upper-middle-class to downright wealthy. The C230 may cost "only" $26,000, but for that amount of money someone else could buy a minivan or a bigger family sedan- this car is certainly no bargain on the table, either.
You may be upset with your dealership experience- but let's face it- money talks. And if you appear to have none, well you basically don't have a voice.