Upper one? Huh. Lot's of W202 owners have had lower front ball joints replaced, but I haven't heard of many upper ones going bad.
The Hankook Ice Bear tires are popular in Canada and the Canadian specific forums I surf have lots of positive reviews. Not sure how they're different from the Winter Bear, but the Ice Bear is an H or V rated snow tire. They're not extreme condition tires like the Kuhmo KW-11 or Blizzak WS-50, compromising some winter ability to get the high speed rating.
1998 C230 "Black Betty"