Mike and Larry,
The Classic is a stripped-down version, steel wheels w/hubcaps, etc. The cost and the hassle of importation of the Elegance model, similar to the US entry-level C-class, would more than offset the savings. European delivery could be a better bet, especially if you combine it with holidays in the old country. Saves you $1000-1500 max on a C-class, eliminates car rental expenses in Europe and you get to test-drive your vehicle the way it's meant to be driven. The major disadvantage is that Mercedes-Benz requires payment in full before actually building your vehicle. The banks would not lend me money unless I provided them with the VIN. I have no way of knowing the VIN because the car would not have been built at the time of payment. Of course, that's a non-issue for those who have the cash in hand. Unfortunately, I am too big to fit comfortably in a C-class, while my wallet is too thin to pay cash for an E-class.
[This message has been edited by Alex Kouliy (edited 09-15-2000).]