Last post on Jan 17, 2010 at 6:44 PM
You are in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class
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Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Sedan
#204 of 391 Re: C240 or C280 or C320 [jireh]
Aug 05, 2005 (10:41 am)
If you can get a good deal, the 2005 C240 is still a fine car. It isn't that powerful, but it "feels" fast, and it gets the job done. In germany, most people drive 2 liter kompressor engined MB cars or cdi diesel MBs, and they all get by just fine, at 120mph on the autobahn and scooting around city traffic. My car, with the 3.0L V6, was more engine than most other cars I saw there, E, C, CLK, SLK, what have you. The E200K seemed to be a very popular option, one never sold here, for obvious reasons. Same with the CLK200K.
As for the 2005 C320 v. 2006 C280. I think the C280 has a bit more usable power. The C320 seems to "fight" you a bit to get at the power band. The new 2006 V6 is just a far superior engine to the old 18valve V6 it seems. In case you don't know, for 2006 Mercedes has ALL NEW V6 engines for the C class. It's not just a number change, but new technologies, new sizes, new output, new number of valves, better fuel economy, etc. It's not just a name change this year.
And since even if they are trying to unload them, the C280 will cost less than the 2006 C320, I would not get it. The C280 is the way to go, honestly, but if you got a good deal on the C240 (thousands less than a C280 would be good, not hundreds), then it's up to you. Ask for an extended test drive of the 240 (borrow it for the afternoon errands, for example). Then you'll know if it is enough engine for you.
as for options:
I have the current CD based NAV system in my 2002 C-Coupe, and though some didn't like it, it has never let me down, other than needing to be replaced once. It is a Bosch system, and MB had a load of trouble with them failing electronically, but in terms of getting me where I needed to go, it was great.
The new C class (2005 and 2006 both) have a DVD based system, with a nicer, bigger screen with greater detail. While not a touch screen, it has added 8 "soft buttons" by the screen which for most purposes act like a touch screen, and are more reliable. It is an Alpine branded system, and in the after market, Alpine has been one of the tops. So having it as the brain for the MB can only be a good thing. From the outside, you wouldn't know that Alpine is now the brain, but it should help with reliability.
Unfortunately, with Euro delivery of a C280, you can't use the Nav system in Europe, since the euro DVD does not work with the American system in the C and CLK cars. I really, really, really wish I had it, as I was lost so many times, and I don't speak enough german to get out of situations like that easily. Plus, with so many cloudy/rainy days, i couldn't even tell which way was north by looking at the sun! So i can't comment on how well it works. But I'm sure it has quirks, like they all do, but I'm also sure it works perfectly. Just read the manual and you should be fine.
You will never regret a nav system. It is pricey, costing over $1000 in real costs ($2200, but it adds residual value). For a 3 year ownership, that's about $1 a day. But I say, if you have a choice between that and the teleaid+entertainment package, the nav is a better choice. The piece of mind, the fact you will never again need to get directions or try to find street signs, or regret a wrong turn (it just reroutes you no matter how many turns you miss), all are stress releivers, and in a world full of driving stress, this is a good thing.
The current DVD nav has a SECOND slot for a single CD for music, so both can be used at once. There is also a mini-jack in the glove box to hook up portable music players like iPods, CDplayers, mini-disk, etc. Works great.
My last car had the bose audio and cd changer, but with the iPod, I never used that pricey option, this time I decided not to spend the money on the upgraded audio. The base system sounds really nice, but I am sure the HK speakers and amplifier, with surround features, is super. I love HK, just had to save money somewhere.
Also, any day now, there will be an iPod integration kit for the C-Class. It will even better integrate the iPod, allowing it to be controlled directly with the steering wheel and the LCD screen next to the odometer and speedometer. very nice. I'm still waiting (it will be an accessory, and can be added at any time, not a factory option).
Teleaid - I don't know. Really read up on it and see if all those features are worth it to you. I would likely never use it, especially with a nav system and a cell phone anyway.
Lighting package - it is brighter. but it also blinds the oncoming drivers. there is actually talk of banning these bright lights as a hazzard. of note was that in germany, the land of fast driving and german engineering, NOBODY had these lights on their mercedes, BMWs, VWs, Audis, etc. Rare, and that should tell you something.
I had them on my Audis, and never really saw them as vital, so the last two MBs I've had don't have them. If you want a bit brighter light, there are aftermarket bulbs you can add that are a bit brighter with a cleaner light than the OEM bulbs the car comes with.
Also, the lighting package has the headlight washers, which I hate. They spray fluid all over the front of the car, and cause it to get more dirty more quickly. That's another reason I don't get the lighting package on the MB.
Sunroof package is nice, if you like sunroofs. it also has a rear sunshade that goes up/down with a button, which can really help in sunset conditions.
Split folding rear seats is always a must for me.
Power driver seat (on C240/280) adds memory settings to the seat and more powered features, so if both you and your husband drive, you can set the seat for each of you. Also, power driver seat adds "auto tilting" side mirror for parking. When in reverse, the right side mirror will tilt down showing you the curb, making it easy to park. I love this feature.
If you don't get the upgraded power seat, both seats still have SOME power features, and the rest are manual. it's more of a convenience thing.
The integrated phone package is cool, but way, way overpriced. Just get a cell phone with a speakerphone built in and save thousands! just my 2 cents.
Hope this helps.
#205 of 391 Re: Great post re the C280 experience-- [billp8]
Aug 05, 2005 (10:56 am)
Thanks for the compliment.
As for the Turanzas, there seems to be a difference between the H and V rated tires. The H seems to hold up better, be quieter, with a better ride. My 17" Z rated Turanzas have handled well, worn well, and at first, they were quiet. I have about 20k miles on them and there is a lot of tread left.
They have loudened up over time however, but the C-Coupe, with the sport suspension and less insulation, is not a quiet car. The C luxury sedan is MUCH quieter. And they are still quieter than 16" continentals, the loudest tires on earth?
Having owned quattro A4s, I know what you mean about the dulling effect. Not so on my S4, nor on my A6 4.2, but on my two A4s I owned, they were not as "peppy" as the same car without quattro. but they were still fine cars.
On the current C280 4matic, you can't even tell there is 4 wheel drive at all. It feels just like a very responsive rear driver, except I never had any slippage or lack of control under some VERY rainy conditions in Germany and Luxembourg. Even through slicks at 100mph, the car just kept a straight line with all wheels in contact with the road. i was very impressed, and am interested to see how they perform in snow.
Since I live in LA, I will have to actively seek snow, but now I want to do that! My A4 quattros were always amazing in Ohio snow, even with the summer Z rated tires.
#206 of 391 Re: C240 or C280 or C320 [ikramerica]
Aug 05, 2005 (11:00 am)
Thank you so much for such a detailed analysis.
My dealer has offered me to give a good deal-I am checking it out this weekend. Since I am not very much updated of car details, i was actually wondering why the dealer was trying to get rid of 240 to me!.
If the deal is a real steal, then i might settle for 240 ... else i am goin to 280..
I have also read from the reviews that the rear seats are not very comfortable and the trunk is also not well designed... Is it true?If yes, is it really really bad for anyone to sit in the rear seats or trunk is too smal to fit a luggage?Please advice.
Thank ya'll once again for the input yo uhave provided.
#207 of 391 Re: C240 or C280 or C320 [jireh]
Aug 05, 2005 (7:49 pm)
I don't sit in the rear sit, as I am the driver, but in most compact luxury sedans of all brands, the back seat just isn't a great place to be. Legroom is poor, as is headroom.
If you need more room, you must go to a midsize luxury, or a midsize near luxury sedan. For example, the new passat will offer much better rear seat space than a C class.
As for the trunk, I only used it for 5 days, but I thought it was fine for me. Held a medium suitcase and a duffle bag loosely, could have crammed more in there.
But again, if you want a larger trunk, you need a midsized car, or an econo box. Or a wagon, of course.
As for the "design" of the trunk, not sure what you mean? The small opening? That's true of so many cars now. The interior space? Perfectly good. The shape of the interior space? Pretty wide open, honestly.
Just open the trunk and see for yourself.
as for 240 vs. 280, the C240 is a 2005, so it is immediately worth less than the 2006 model C280 at this point. Add to that the less powerful engine, and that's why he wants to get rid of it. Also, MB is giving some incentives to clear out all 2005s to the dealers, so he could make MORE money on the C240 if he convinces you the deal is good when it really isn't all that good.
But don't be fooled by lease incentives that make it seem cheap. Only go by the sale price, even on a lease. If it isn't at least $3500, if not more, lower than the C280 configured EXACTLY the same, it isn't worth it, as your resale will be that much lower off the lot. The C280 costs $900 more, with a $55 higher delivery charge, so the C280 is $1000 more at sticker price. But it also has a higher residual, and being a new model and a year later, that's why I say you really aren't saving anything if you don't get the C240 for $3500 less than a C280.
#208 of 391 Re: After driving C280 for 5 days - C350 pointless? [ikramerica]
Aug 06, 2005 (4:20 pm)
"I don't understand the C350 . . . I just can't see MB selling too many C350s with the C280 around. At least, not too many C350 luxury sedans . C350 sport, they'll sell a few. C350 luxury, just no point. And if MB offered a C280 sport model, the C350 would be even more of a niche than it is now."
Another take on that: 3,685 lbs. versus 3,703 lbs. That's the slight weight difference between the "E" and "C" class luxury sedans: just 18 lbs (a 208 lb difference for a RWD "C" instead of an AWD but that still is not much difference in weight).
A potential C-class buyer will not necessarily be satisfied with less performance than an E-class buyer that has the "350" as its base powerplant. Just because a smaller footprint automobile is involved, there may be many more potential C350 buyers that will appreciate as good a performance.
Additionally, whether it is "needed" or not, the C350 has a superior engine than the S350 (i.e., the "S" has the same 3.7L engine that powered last years' ML350). That makes the "C" almost seem like a good value by comparison. And, if a SLK does not offer enough utility, its almost logical to consider a C350 as an alternative.
However, your feelings about the adequacy of the "280" probably is why a lot of C320 buyers will continue to be satisfied with their MBs until the next model change, especially when you consider that the redesigned interior does not outclass the outgoing C320's interior (e.g., the primary driver of our C320 likes her interior better: the cupholders were always pretty bad--and they still are--but, now they cannot be covered up; and, she likes the look of the old-style radio better). And, no C320 owner would turn it for a C280 because there is no additional performance to be expected (both provide the identical 221 ft. lbs. of torque at relatively low rpms) and the small increase in the 280's hp is only at a high 6K rpm).
Looking at it another way, unless the mileage was significantly different between the two engines, I don't see the need for the "280" except to give MB the excuse for an additional price-point, and probably also because of Europe's car tax laws that may be related to horsepower. They are the same engines except that the "350" has a little larger bore and MB already will be making 350s for all of the other models anyway so why bother with a smaller displacement setup? How much could MB expect to save on some smaller pistons to make up for all of the additional costs of having two engine sizes?
#209 of 391 Whatever you say...
Aug 07, 2005 (3:27 pm)
You are obviously the expert here. The 3.5L 270hp engine is not overkill for the C and the C280 is a pointless car, and MB will sell a ton of the C350s over the $4000 less expensive 3.0L 230hp C280.
I wasn't giving you marketing hype or anything else. I'm giving you DRIVING IMPRESSIONS after nearly 1000 miles in the car in all weather conditions (except snow) on all types of roads and at all speeds, including heavy traffic and 140mph sprints.
The C280 is a great car.
I've owned the C230K (2.3L) coupe, the A4 2.8 Q (old and new engines), the S4 biturbo, the A6 4.2, the Z3 1.9 and the Z3 2.8, as well as the 210hp Nissan Maxima and a VW Corrado G60. I have a lot of experience with various kinds of cars with various levels of engine performance, and how engines mate with a vehicle.
In my experience, the C280 is as well mated as the S4, A6 and the Z3 2.8, in that the power is always there when you need it and want it, it is never choking or struggling, and the car feels very connected to the road through the pedal. Other than the Maxima, which was fast but floaty, the other cars on that list all were left wanting in various situations. The C280 feels about as spritely as the S4, and that is saying something.
So, IMHO, and it is only MY OPINION, the C350 is a pointless vehicle. It fills a very narrow niche of performance between the C280 and the C55 AMG, and in most driving conditions, you'd be hard pressed to feel the difference between the 280 and 350 engines. Maybe in certain "drag strip" conditions, and above 100 mph to a small degree, but these are not conditions the American driver finds him/herself in.
But to make a statement like "I don't see the point of the C280" is funny, since the C280 is a brand new model and finally DOES have a point, unlike the outdated C240 after the introduction of the C230K sport sedan. The C240 may have been an oddball, but the C280 squarely fits in the range between the "stripped" and configuration limited C230 and the "high end and nearly pointless" C350. It's the "luxury" smoother riding alternative to the peppy but boy-racer leaning C230 (metal trim, 17" sport wheels and tires, sport suspension, etc.)
#210 of 391 Re: Whatever you say... [ikramerica]
Aug 07, 2005 (5:13 pm)
Or, in other words, using your logic, the C240 was a pointless vehicle. Why? Because, the C320 offered in 2001 what C280 only now offers, i.e., a level of power that is acceptable to you in 2005--not pointless now although it probably was in 2001--but, any more power than the "280" now offers is not needed: no one will want it so why even offer it.
Or, do you now see the "280" as an acceptable opulence over the "240" because the fwy mpg are 29 compared to the C320's 26 mpg? Although the "320" would also get better mileage with the 7-spd tranny, you can see on the Edmunds spec chart that the C350 also gets 29 mpg. In other words, the only "penalty" involved in opting for a "350" over a "280" is the $4K entry fee that MB charges (although you would get half back at trade-in according to the Edmunds resale data).
My "argument" above was that I don't think it costs MB a single cent extra to build a "350" instead of a "280." You don't even understand that argument do you? However, I wasn't actually arguing--I was just making a point. But you seem to want to turn innocent conversation into an argument.
And, because you like to argue, you are saying that that if MB didn't charge $4K extra for the "350" you'd still opt for the "280" because any more power is just pointless. I almost hear you saying that if all C-class sedans came with the "350" as its base powerplant, you pass on it in favor of a lesser powered sedan by another manufacturer.
Your reasoning cannot be unique: it must be yet another reason, in addition to those above, as to why MB imports a "280" to the U.S., even though Lexus' 3.5L engine in the new 4-door IS300 has even more hp and torque than MB's 350. Here's the facts of life: if MB sold nothing but C350s but at the price of the C280, they'd sell more C-class cars.
#211 of 391 Re: Whatever you say... [mac320]
Aug 07, 2005 (8:27 pm)
Here's the facts of life: if MB sold nothing but C350s but at the price of the C280, they'd sell more C-class cars.
I think that is true, but they wouldn't be able to make money, I don't think.
Guys lets not get bogged down into why they well what, they're all here....3 V6 models and they should do well either way. The C230 is for people like me who can't think about 40K for a C350 and want the sports package that the C280 doesn't offer.
#212 of 391 Re: Whatever you say... [merc1]
Aug 08, 2005 (7:01 am)
I agree with you in temperament and mostly in substance, with this exception: the "230" should exist--it is fantastic on paper and those who own it talk well about it so it delivers where it counts.
I also can make a case for why the "240" almost could be viewed as a rational engine option. While the 240's block and head technology (and that it even was made on the same assembly line) were identical to the far superior "320," I acknowledge that at least there is an argument to be made in favor of the benefits that a comparitively shorter stroke, higher revving engine can offer (although if there really were such meaningful trade-off between these two engines, why would the "240" have a lower price?).
I think it is a little cynical of MB to cut a piece of the calf muscle out of what is now one of its core powerplants--the "350"--and, for no other reason I can see other than to perpetuate a segmented market strategy where they apparently feel they can make more money despite selling fewer cars. It's un-American but they're entitled and it certainly is a temptation for any company to indulge in that type of marketing strategy when they own one of the premiere brand names of all times, irrespective of whatever product is involved.
Obviously, my thoughts are based on my guess that making a "280" instead of a "350" offers no cost savings to MB whatsoever, and no technical benefit to the consumer. Maybe I am not right about that and that is all I was talking about.
#213 of 391 Re: c class or '06 3 series [innhitman]
Aug 10, 2005 (7:54 pm)
I agree that people should drive both before making a purchase, but disagree that people drive Mercedes just for names sake. In my opinion, the 325i does not even come close to the ride and quality of the C280. I think the C280 has the perfect balance of luxury and performance. The MB had smooth acceleration and had better interior materials. BMW had a ton of cheap plastics. When I floored the BMW, there was a slight hesitation and didn't feel as responsive as MB. I don't understand all the hype on BMW's. I have owned both in the past and by far thought the MB was more solid all around. Plus it's easier to pay invoice for MB than BMW.