I have just returned from a holiday in the South of France and we rented a new C -class Mercedes. (We have an E220 Estate and a Porsche at home) I have not been so disappointed for a long time and my wife was most critical of the jazzy curvy fascia. The seats are not as good as the previous C class - a wonderful car - and not as comfortable as on our 124 E. The main criticism is of engine noise and roughness of the 200K engine. This is just not good enough for a car of this price. BMW engines are far smoother and quieter. Also we had a major failure on the car - it showed 2540 kms on handover - which could have caused a serious accident. When we first stopped after collecting the car the car would not lock - electronic key. By fiddling with the position of the key and starting the engine a couple of times I managed to lock it. When we wanted to drive off the following morning ther were no instruments at all - all blank, but the engine started. Again fiddling with the key and going through the starting sequence enbaled us to get going. Once or twice the car would not lock a s previously. However when returning to the airport to drop the car off at the rental depot we were in the outside lane of the autoroute doing about 140kph when everything electrical stopped. All instruments failed, no indicators, air conditioning switched off, radio dead etc. The engine stayed running but I could not indicate to get to the hard shoulder. Eventually after upsetting a few other drivers and a scary few seconds we managed to stop. Again fiddling with the starter and key got us all alive again. This would never have happened on previous Mercedes - I have had 8 of them. The quality of the product has fallen - possible because Daimler Chrysler have made some bad business purchases and they are trying to save money. I've now ordered a BMW.
You may not expect a German writing here about his car. The reason is dooyoo in Germany is down. They sent us over here but I cannot imagine why. Most people are not fit enough to write in English. I'm not good at it any more, if I was ever. At least I lived in London for 5 months several years ago and I had longer stay in the USA some years later. Back to my car: I bought the C 200K in March 2000 on the first day of sales. We could not see the car that day but I had seen a camouflaged car on the Autobahn in January that year. Our slogan for the car was " and suddenly all is different! " at least close to that. Well, they were correct with this one. Fortunately there was a traffic stock an d I had 15 minutes to examine the car from three sides. That day I decided to buy this car, no matter how much they would charge for it. Later in may we could see the car in the showroom. I did like it even more after sitting in the driver seat and touching the upholstery. They did not have my favorite colour combination (black with grey seats) but they had black cars and other cars with the grey seats. I just had to combine those two in my mind. The car was not to be delivered until June. I wanted to pick it up in Bremen were they assembled them, you can also pick them up in Stuttgart, but Bremen is not as far from Kassel where I live. It must be possible to pick up a car for UK there too, since we had British company at that place. A father and son picked up their green CLK convertible. The Coupé and the SLK are also produced in Bremen. I had a pleasant ride back home the car was always faster than it should, because the engines noise is very low. In a construction area I had to use the standard cruise control, otherwise I would have received a speeding ticket. You shall not drive at 75 mls an hour when they allow only 50. The top speed of the car is 147 mls/h I alrea
dy drove that fast later in June. that sunday before a Bank Holiday in Germany gave me the empty roads I needed for a full speed drive. My average speed was close to 125 mls/h and that meant pull the hammer down. The car is able to do this velocity with an easyness that is wonderful. It can handle high speed curves as if it runs on tracks. The gas consumption was 25 liter @ 200 km please excuse me for not putting this in miles per gallon. I reach the 10,000 km tomorrow when I'm driving back home. I had only 1 minor problem with the car. The left hand side direction flashlight (I do not know the exact name for it) was not flashing on a signaled left turn. Instead the right one did. Unfortunately you cannot see this from the inside of the car. When I realized that I drove to the Mercedes-Benz Center in Kassel and they could not fix it immediately. It was on a saturday where they had only an emergency team at hand. I got a free rental car of the same type and was allowed to drive as far as I like with it. They would even bring my car on a truck back to me anywhere in Germany (maybe also in other countries) and pick up the rental car after the repair. This was not necessary though. My average mileage is 10.5 liter in town traffic and between 8.5 to 10.5 on Autobahn. Everything else was allright. I hope it may help you even if you merely cannot read my words in your language. btw, my wife got a twin car to this one in Elegance design.