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Old 10-06-2002, 01:50 AM
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C230 Kompressor motor differences?

First of all just want to say hi to everyone. I am hoping someone has the answer to my dilemma. I am buying a C230 Kompressor. Today... no one at the dealer could tell me why MB decided to go from the 2.3 L motor to the 1.8 L. Now I have no clue whether or not to buy the 2002 or a 2003. This will be my first MB purchase so I don't want it to be a bad choice. The salesman told me that the 2.3 L motor is also the same as what was in some of old 190's. Is that true? Any additional info about what to watch out for in the C230 would be appreciated too.
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Old 10-06-2002, 02:29 AM
JCE's Avatar
JCE JCE is offline
Down to the Wear Bars
Join Date: May 1999
Location: So Kalifornia
Posts: 2,189
Hi, and welcome!

The C230 without the compressor is smooth, but a tad light on power up to 35 mph, and is adequate but not spectacular at highway passing. It does OK for us, but I really appreciate my 87 300E after a day in the non supercharged C230.

The 230 with the compressor has a reputation for being noisey and harsh sounding, and the compressor unit itself is not regarded as up to the rest of the engine quality and durability. The new 1.8 kompressor engine supposedly addresses these problems, but is new, and time will tell. Generally, 4 cyl engines of less than 2 liters are smoother and more quiet than 4 bangers larger than 2 liters. The Australian mag review I read said the new engine has 15% more torque and better gas mileage, but was quieter than the old engine.

There is a discussion and cutaway drawings of the new engine at:

2003 Firemist Red/grey leather SL 500
2015 Palladium Silver/black mbtex GLK 350
1987 Smoke Silver/burgundy mbtex 300E Sportline (SOLD)

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Old 10-06-2002, 12:24 PM
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I bought my wife a new C230 Sedan in 2000 and we both love it. The car has 43k miles on it and has been wonderful to own. The engine is not the model of smoothness, but that is really the only drawback to it that I've been able to find in the 2 and a half years we've owned it.

Great gas mileage, the lowest I've seen is 24 hammering on it around town and 28 on a nice highway trip.

Lots of low end torque, (which gets noticeably better with a K&N installed), excellent passing power, etc. etc.

I've also noticed that the engine is very much unaffected by high ambient temperatures unlike my 95 E320, which turns into a slug when outside temps get high. The C230 just pumps out the power on demand whenever you want it no matter what the temps are outside.

If you can get by the general rough sound of the engine at idle, I think you'll love it, I know we do and we don't have any regrets for not buying C280. That engine is smooth but very "soft" on the low end torque issue.

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Old 10-06-2002, 04:44 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Evansville WI
Posts: 9,616
The engine in the 190E2.3 is in no way related to the motor in ANY C class, night and day difference. The motor in the 190 was a 102 motor, all the 4 cylinder motors found in a C class are 111 motors.

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Old 10-06-2002, 06:53 PM
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Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
Originally posted by gillybenztech
The engine in the 190E2.3 is in no way related to the motor in ANY C class, night and day difference. The motor in the 190 was a 102 motor, all the 4 cylinder motors found in a C class are 111 motors.

Gilly is right, of course. (He usually is...)

The "old" 102 2.3L four cylinder engine is an iron block with an alloy head, but that's about all they have in common. No parts are interchangeable. Your salesperson has no clue.

The 102 engine was mostly (there was a 16V version) an eight valve engine that made 130hp in it's last form. It's a pretty decent engine, but not as powerful as the 2.3L M111 DOHC engine. The 102 also had a single row timing chain, where the 111 is a dual row.

The Kompressor M111 engines are "beefed" up to withstand the additional loads associated with supercharging.

It seems that the M111 Kompressor versions are tough engines, without any weak points save some supercharger failures. Remember that the supe unit is not made by MB, but outsourced from Eaton.

I would buy either with confidence, but given the same budget I would buy a lease return C240 and get the M112 V-6 and extra doors. But, that's me, and the Coupe has it's own points...
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K
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Old 10-06-2002, 11:08 PM
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Thanks for the advice so far guys. So is the 2.3 liter motor better than the 1.8 liter? They have 2 - 2002's with the 2.3 liter , both silver just my luck. But if the 2003 with the 1.8 is better i will get that one instead. My plan was to pick one up with the MB extra one year warranty which the salesman said would give me 5years/100K miles total including service. I am too busy to deal with buying a lease turn in etc. even though I agree that it would be a nicer model Any other advice that i should look out for?
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Old 10-07-2002, 12:27 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 2,561
My friend was in the same position as you a few days ago until he decided to buy the 2003 w/ the options that he wants instead of chooing a 2002. He did say that the C 180 K does feel slower from 0mph. but after it moves it's quite the same.

I love that car... I hated the shape but it's a great car!

My friend got it with leather seats, panorama sunroof, Bose, sport package, etc... oh.. 6-speed standard shift!

He wanted the Bixenons but none had 'em.

hehee I got him into the MB world. He was previously considering Subarus, Corolla, Camry, Mazda, mini, etc....

will be pickin it up on Friday.
2008 BMW 335i Coupe
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Old 10-07-2002, 01:01 AM
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That's what i was afraid of... that the 1.8 would be weaker. One of the 2002's the dealer has is exactly what i wanted.
charcoal cloth
5 spd Automatic
C2 package (panoramic sunroof)
Bose system will come out immediately. (well... 3rd day. Gotta do fiberglass work first 2)
NO C7 package though
That isn't a big deal though since I am going to get new rims. Only reason i wanted it cuz those stock rims are BUTT ugly. oh well...

I am a simple kind of guy. Just wanted something to do my driving in that would be fun. The rear end on the C230 is ugly but overall it's a neat clean little "trendy" car with a fair price tag.
I almost went with subaru WRX, JETTA GLX VR6 etc.... but this MB is just more fun. my 2 cents
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Old 10-07-2002, 01:04 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: England
Posts: 1,841
The 1.8 litre version is far more modern and high-tech, I would definitely go with this. It is also reportedly much smoother (has balancer shafts, I believe). Plus it will fetch more money when you come to sell as it's a newer model.

But I wouldn't complain at the 2.3, though I would expect a discount. These are easily obtainable in the UK with our inflated prices, but you should still have some luck.

good luck!
2.5-16v 1990 90,000m Astral Silver
2.0E 8v 1986 107,000m Black 2nd owner
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