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  #1  
Old 12-27-2006, 12:15 PM
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C230 coupe, 2007 C230 sport 7 speed auto

Our family is looking to possibly purchase a starmarked C230 coupe, as well as a new C230 sport or C/E350 Sport with the 7 speed auto. Any issues on these cars to be aware of up front? Our 98 C230 has the early electronic 5 speed auto, and it has needed a lot of attention from the dealer - is the early 7 speed auto a potential problem area?

Thanks for any input.

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2003 Firemist Red/grey leather SL 500
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2006, 01:23 PM
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I hear the 3.5 liter V6 is a real nice engine. Very fast and linear power delivery.

My tech / neighbor across the street (works at Penske Mercedes in Covina) tells me the new engines (V6 and V8) are very reliable.

I also remember reading that the ML350 is faster than the outgoing ML500.

BTW, are you going to sell any of your cars to purchase the new one?

I'm first in line for your 300E.
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  #3  
Old 12-27-2006, 02:22 PM
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There was an interesting post a few days ago about a person who purchased a used ML (don't know if it was STARMARKED) and they needed a new key, but since the car had been through it's alotment of eight keys a new key was going to be over one-thousand dollars because it needed new computers etc.

So do a search for that post and find out how many keys the used vehicle has been through on any used MB your interested in.

And with the present body style 203 C-class no longer being produced deal for a great price on any 2007 C-class your interested in.

What year C-coupe are you interested in? I'd probably stay away from a used C-coupe if reliabilty were the single most important factor.

Tough I personally think the 2007 C and E are very fine cars.
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  #4  
Old 12-27-2006, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suginami View Post
BTW, are you going to sell any of your cars to purchase the new one?
Hi Paul:

I will probably be buried in my 300E, but we are thinking of selling the C230 and getting a new C or E, probably a sport model. Still studying our needs and wants as to which model - C230 sport, C350 sport, or E350 sport suspension option. The practical side says go with the 230 sport for the mpg and fold down rear seats, MBtex, etc. The other extreme would be the E350 for the extra roominess, and the C350 sport would be a compromise.

We are looking at doing a LOT more driving over the next couple years, and our existing C230 is still tight, good looking, comfortable, with good mpg (34-36 hiway), but is at about 120k miles, and MAS, Trans, A/C controller, etc are all likely candidates before 150,000 I am told. We will be doing 20-25k miles per year, so can expect about $5k in repairs over the next 12-24 months if parts fail at their predicted rate. Hence the quest for a new car.

We got stuck with one of the early 5 speed electronic transmissions, and it took 6 tear-downs at the stealer to get it mostly sorted out. I don't want to be a beta tester on MB's latest trans offering if there is any hint of problems with the 7 speed auto.

Chris's GF is looking at a 2004 0r 2005 C coupe. Wants safety and quality, appreciates reliability but our luck with Honda products hasn't been great, and that matches her experience as well, so she is a little shy of the H brand. She is looking for a Starmarked car to keep for the period of the warranty, and the $20k price range seems good to her.
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Last edited by JCE; 12-27-2006 at 07:35 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2006, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCE View Post
Hi Paul:

I will probably be buried in my 300E, but we are thinking of selling the C230 and getting a new C or E, probably a sport model. Still studying our needs and wants as to which model - C230 sport, C350 sport, or E350 sport suspension option. The practical side says go with the 230 sport for the mpg and fold down rear seats, MBtex, etc. The other extreme would be the E350 for the extra roominess, and the C350 sport would be a compromise.

We are looking at doing a LOT more driving over the next couple years, and our existing C230 is still tight, good looking, comfortable, with good mpg (34-36 hiway), but is at about 120k miles, and MAS, Trans, A/C controller, etc are all likely candidates before 150,000 I am told. We will be doing 20-25k miles per year, so can expect about $5k in repairs over the next 12-24 months if parts fail at their predicted rate. Hence the quest for a new car.

We got stuck with one of the early 5 speed electronic transmissions, and it took 6 tear-downs at the stealer to get it mostly sorted out. I don't want to be a beta tester on MB's latest trans offering if there is any hint of problems with the 7 speed auto.

Chris's GF is looking at a 2004 0r 2005 C coupe. Wants safety and quality, appreciates reliability but our luck with Honda products hasn't been great, and that matches her experience as well, so she is a little shy of the H brand. She is looking for a Starmarked car to keep for the period of the warranty, and the $20k price range seems good to her.
Well, if you are going to be buried in your 300E, let me know where the graveyard is and I'll show up with a shovel.

I think I'd stay away from the W211 E class. Yes, I know they've been out for almost 4 years now, but they still have the Bosch supplied computer controlled "braking by wire" braking system, and they have been so problematic that MB is not using the system on future models. The W221 S class has forgone with this system, and is using a convential hydraulic braking system. The W211 cars still have a master cylinder with brake fluid, but it is used only as a back-up should the computer controlled system fail.

The complaints have been rampant that it does not produce a normal braking feel, and coming to comfortable stop is next to impossible, so I've been told.

The C class chassis is due to be phased out this year, with the new C class bearing a close resemblance to the current S class. I suspect that the current C class chassis is pretty well sorted out, and deals should be had.

I'd go with the C350. Mileage should be in the middle to upper 20's anyway, which ain't too bad, and it should be lightning fast.
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2006, 09:07 PM
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I have a 97 C230 that was purchased Starmark. Original trans at 140k. I had a LOT of electronic work done during warranty, 61-100k. I have spent $300 for a MAS in the last 40k miles. You have a rock-solid car, and I would keep it and put the miles on it. Just do maintenance
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  #7  
Old 12-27-2006, 09:10 PM
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Also.......these cars like to be driven. Car average 8k a year when I bought it, and needed a lot of work - bushings, seals, etc - due to age, that were covered under Starmark. I have averaged 30k a year since I bought it, and funny, it has cost me all of $300
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  #8  
Old 12-28-2006, 01:11 AM
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I've been looking into a '05+ W203 sedan as a far-on-the-horizon replacement for my 300E. Mbworld's W203 forum is a decent place to get info on the chassis, but there's a lot of young tuner-type posts to sort through. Some of what I've found:

-The '05 C230 gets better gas mileage and has more low-end torque, if in-town driving is important. The V6 in '06+ cars is much more refined, trades less low-end torque for power higher in the rpm band, and gets worse gas mileage. And it has a better exhaust note.

-The only complaint I ran across with the 7-speed is that it's not very well suited for the low-torque 2.5L V6. Lots of complaints about gear hunting, and just feeling sluggish compared to the 5-speed/1.8L I4. Doesn't seem to be as big of a problem with the 3.5L.

-The C350 should be very fast, and may even get better highway mileage than the C230 because of the taller gearing.

Anthony
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  #9  
Old 12-28-2006, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suginami View Post
I think I'd stay away from the W211 E class. Yes, I know they've been out for almost 4 years now, but they still have the Bosch supplied computer controlled "braking by wire" braking system, and they have been so problematic that MB is not using the system on future models. The W221 S class has forgone with this system, and is using a convential hydraulic braking system. The W211 cars still have a master cylinder with brake fluid, but it is used only as a back-up should the computer controlled system fail.

The complaints have been rampant that it does not produce a normal braking feel, and coming to comfortable stop is next to impossible, so I've been told.
The 211's no longer have SBC. As of model year 2007, the E-Class has the same brake system (ABR) as the W221.

As for the "rampant" complaints, most of my clients don't even know they have SBC. It's certainly true, that from a business standpoint SBC has been an absolute disaster for MB, but I've never had a client complain about the way the car stops or feels. The numerous recalls include software updates, wiring upgrades, and in some cases, replacement of the hydraulic unit. The performance, or "feel" is unchanged. To MB's credit, the warranty for the SBC hydraulic unit has been extended to ten years with unlimited mileage.

By far, the most common complaints pertain to various noises inherent to SBC. Actually, the overwhelming majority of SBC complaints I've heard about come from this, and other MB websites. I'm guessing that in most cases most of the complaints come from people who have never driven an SBC equipped MB.
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  #10  
Old 12-29-2006, 01:21 AM
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Thanks for all the info - especially about the C230 with the 7 speed being a bit of a mis-match. What it will come down to - if the trans is OK and there aren't any big QC issues on these cars - is how much my wife wants the extra 3 mpg on the C vs the E.

Anyone have any pros or cons on the C coupe?
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2003 Firemist Red/grey leather SL 500
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1987 Smoke Silver/burgundy mbtex 300E Sportline (SOLD)

Click to see 87 300E

Last edited by JCE; 12-30-2006 at 01:27 AM.
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  #11  
Old 12-29-2006, 11:27 AM
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My aunt has a c-coupe. Interior is full of cheap plastic, and that's enough for me. I also don't think it's very mercedes-like, but that's my opinion.

I agree 7 speed on the 230 doesn't do what it should. Why, I have no clue. I can tell you after I had one as a loaner last week, my 97 c230 4-cyl was peppier from a start, and revved better.
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  #12  
Old 12-29-2006, 01:23 PM
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The '05+ interiors are MUCH nicer than the 2001-2004 interiors. Higher quality materials and a cleaner, crisper design. (At least IMO.)
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  #13  
Old 12-29-2006, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will_w202 View Post
My aunt has a c-coupe. Interior is full of cheap plastic, and that's enough for me. I also don't think it's very mercedes-like, but that's my opinion.

I agree 7 speed on the 230 doesn't do what it should. Why, I have no clue. I can tell you after I had one as a loaner last week, my 97 c230 4-cyl was peppier from a start, and revved better.
Funny. My 2003 Coupe has no cheap plastic in it. Got 50,000 miles on it and not an issue with any interior pieces breaking or falling off. Not sure if because I have leather that maybe the pieces are different or something. Too each his own though. We take very good care of ours so that may be why.

As for being Mercedes Like? It is the same as the Sedan's are. How is it not Mercedes Like? What because it is a hatchback and people in the USA do not like them!
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  #14  
Old 12-29-2006, 09:26 PM
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Believe me, her 03 interior is not the same as the sedan. It has hard plastic in various places. I know of no other Benz that does. It looks like a Chevrolet with the scratches on it.

To each his own. My 202 has none of this. Also, she has rusty paint chips from rocks on hers. Mine gets chipped and only shows bare metal, and NEVER rusts. I sound like my granddad, but it's true - they DON'T make em like they used to (Thanks Daimler Chysler)

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