I traded in a 2001 Jetta Wolfsburg 1.8T. I chipped and changed the exhaust. This car moved. The power was there no matter what gear you were in. Also, I hit about 140 with this car. Although this seemed to be a tad bit beyond the limits of the suspension it flew.
When I first drove the C230 I was a bit suprised. It did not seem as fast as the Jetta. I had a hard time getting use to the six speed over the five in the VW. However, once I learned were the power was in the C it was there. Also, the car does not feel like it is traveling all that fast until you glance at the speedo. Off the line I would say the VW kills, but the C230 is much better all around. It handles much better, the ride is more stable at speed. I took the C up around 120. This is when I really felt the difference in the ride. The card not only felt heavier but also felt more responsive, (i.e., I felt I still had control of her).
In short, I wish the C had some more power--right now I am looking at the pulley kits, but I am completely satisfied with ever other aspect of the car.
P.s. For those that think of nuts for driving that fast on local highways, I have been to Skip Barber. I also went through some amazing driving schools back when I wore a policeman's badge. So please keep the flaming to a min.