I bought my March 2006 C220cdi estate from Mercedes Benz Direct in Novemeber 2006. What a shower! There seems to be a total lack of customer care - inefficency seems endemic in the whole Mercedes organisation. I lost count of the times they failed to call me back about problems.
Beware - I have been involved with three Mercedes bought from Mercedes Benz Direct, and all three had poorly repaired accident damage. Two of them were less than a year old - I guess this is why the price seems a little low.
The diesel engine is far less refined than the BMW 320d. Try running them side by side - the Merc is like a tractor, the BMW is much more economical, and the road tax is £110pa on the BMW while my Mercedes is £195! Proof indeed of the relative efficiences of the engines. My car pulls to the left quite strongly, and Mercedes don't want to know.
Finally, my daughter's Mondeo diesel estate (54 reg) is far quieter, smoother, quicker and more comfortable.
After concidering the opposition, I found myself popping down the local Direct Mercedes (Caterham) for a test drive. I drove a 54 C180 Kompressor Classic Auto (facelift). It had very low mileage (18,000) and was on the forecourt for a bargain price of £16,450.
The equipment level, even on the base model, is excellent. Things like all-round electric windows and climate control being standard.
The ride was actually what I expected from a Mercedes, firm and comfortable. Steering was precise, unlike Mercedes I'd driven in the past, and the autobox is smooth and seamless too. I even like the quirky american parking brake, though I'd expect it to be a pain with a manual on a hill start! The engine has really good pull and is quiet, even at speed.
The cabin quality is excellent, compared to the older models.
All in all I was impressed. Although it's important to remember one thing when shopping for one of these... go for one after the facelift (summer 2004). The dealer was totally upfront and reassured me that most, if not all the gremlins had been ironed out on these.
I would recommend buying from Mercedes Direct, or at least someone who can offer a good warranty. Repairs can be extremely expensive as are the servicing costs.
Still, if you want to try owning a Mercedes then this is an excellent place to start. I think Mercedes have made a real effort to win their customers back and look forward to owning one very soon.
I have owned a 2003 C240 elegance auto for the last six months. It's a beautiful car, and looks more expensive and classy then any of its rivals (especially the tacky old IS200 or ugly 3 Series).
I also like the Bi-Xenon headlights (they're clear with three bulbs unlike the nasty usual sash/yoke style), cream leather, and gold exterior. It always turns heads with envy, and looks like it's worth at least £30,000.
It has a silky-smooth 2.6-litre V6 engine that glides through the wind with power. The three-pointed star has a great image, and there's a nice large boot with split/fold seats (unlike the Lexus). It's roomy for front passengers, too.
The standard equipment level is generous for a German marque, with climate control as standard.
It's not all good, however. It makes George Best seem like a lightweight with in-town fuel economy figures of 13-18mpg and 28mpg on motorway. It's also really expensive for parts and servicing!
For a 2.6-litre V6, the performance is poor - 0-60mph is done in 8.9sec for the auto, and the car takes too long to kick down. Handling can’t come close to a BMW, and the build quality isn't too great - the boot and body sounds like it's made from tin. The interior sounds a bit on the cheap side with cheapish feeling controls.
To conclude, the C240 may be expensive to own and not as fast as a 3 Series, but who cares when it's this smooth (to drive and look at)? It's perfect for the executive car park and almost gets five stars.
I bought this car in October 2004 after its face-lift, with satellite-navigation, sports pack, phone pre-wiring, leather, auto gearbox, first company opt-out and buying of prestige model.
The dealer forgot I was picking the car up on the arranged day, and was very poor. In 39,000 miles, it has had three gearbox problems, one replacement, new rear suspension, new alloys due to corrosion, and the air-conditioning took nine months to sort out from new.
In summer, it had to have the windows open to cool down, and the dealer was unhelpful. I'm very annoyed with the service team, who did not understand the problems - I had to go and show them the problems. After keeping the car for three weeks and saying nothing was wrong, they then left off the engine cover on collection. Mercedes has got to sort out build quality and service teams.
Would I buy another Merc? Never!
Order a brochure, find your nearest dealer or book a test drive
Owned for 1 year, as family runabout Pros good size, general build quality, powershift gearbox, good to drive, low costs Cons handling slighly…
Had this car for 90k from new. A 56 plate. In over 2,000,000 miles driven this one has broken down the most of any car I have had. DO NOT get a 2.0…