Buying my first Mercedes! C CLass Estate advice

cymro

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Hi, I am currently looking at buying my first Mercedes. I am specifically looking at an Estate C Class. It will be a fresh used car - 07 or 08. I have seen a few that are very appealing, but having read reviews am seeking some advice from the people who matter - Mercedes drivers! I have seen a C320 CDI Avantgarde SE and also a C220 CDI Elegance SE Auto. Reviews online seem to point at these models being plagued by electrical issues, and also I have read some comments in other forums about the gears going and £4000+ repair bills etc. I was wondering if anybody could share any knowledge about the world of the C class estate - does it happen to be a problematic car? Any advice would be very welcome. Thank you.
 

Alex M Grieve

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B Class d200 Sport Premium Plus (66)
Hi, I am currently looking at buying my first Mercedes. I am specifically looking at an Estate C Class. It will be a fresh used car - 07 or 08. I have seen a few that are very appealing, but having read reviews am seeking some advice from the people who matter - Mercedes drivers! I have seen a C320 CDI Avantgarde SE and also a C220 CDI Elegance SE Auto. Reviews online seem to point at these models being plagued by electrical issues, and also I have read some comments in other forums about the gears going and £4000+ repair bills etc. I was wondering if anybody could share any knowledge about the world of the C class estate - does it happen to be a problematic car? Any advice would be very welcome. Thank you.

Welcome to the Forum Cymro (not Welsh are you?)?

I bought one of the last of the W203 C Class Estates in June 2007 - just as the new W 204 range was coming into the showrooms.

Two years later it has had no faults and looks and runs like a new car.

I am a great believer in buying the last of the outgoing model - prices softer because replacement new model available, all the problems sorted over the years of the model run, none of the likely snags of the new model in it's early months.

A car of that era would be well worth looking for - I suggest 2 years old with up to 20,000 miles. You might well get one for half the original list price.

Good hunting - keep us posted.
 

dolphinhouse

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I'm also interested in getting a C220 Estate - probably as a lease car to replacement my outgoing company car :(

I've also read a lot about dodgy automatic gearboxes, and reliability problems on various forums - however, I'm also realistic, in that the main reason why people look to internet forums is to solve problems that they've experienced - the majority of happy people will never come here.

Personally I'm torn between Sport & Elegance at the moment, is the Sport really worth the extra?
 

Alex M Grieve

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B Class d200 Sport Premium Plus (66)
I'm also interested in getting a C220 Estate - probably as a lease car to replacement my outgoing company car :(

I've also read a lot about dodgy automatic gearboxes, and reliability problems on various forums - however, I'm also realistic, in that the main reason why people look to internet forums is to solve problems that they've experienced - the majority of happy people will never come here.

Personally I'm torn between Sport & Elegance at the moment, is the Sport really worth the extra?

Once you have chosen the model in the range, the trim level is also a matter of choice. You get the same mechanical package with the base model (formerly known as Classic in some models). The differences are then in the number and selection of toys added on.

So "worth the extra" is what it would be worth to you. For example, when I had a W211 as a company car, I opted for Avantgarde as I wanted Xenon lights (brilliant, in every sense) and I intended to have leather upholstery. Otherwise, I could have lived with a Classic, and had I been constrained on budget, I would have done.

Your call - but a nice problem to have.
 

dolphinhouse

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I was thinking more from the perspective of handling - I prefer the traditional bonnet mounted star - which means Elegance (although I'm sure some idiot will try to snap it off), but also want good handling which suggests Sport.

Decisions, decisions... don't get me started on COMMAND, iPod, Xenons, etc...
 

Alex M Grieve

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I was thinking more from the perspective of handling - I prefer the traditional bonnet mounted star - which means Elegance (although I'm sure some idiot will try to snap it off), but also want good handling which suggests Sport.

Decisions, decisions... don't get me started on COMMAND, iPod, Xenons, etc...

Hi again.

I get from A to B as fast as most and have never had any problem with MB handling, or adhesion. Unless you are Tiff Nedell, put the anti-slip technology off and take amphetamines, I think any of these cars would do well.

Some are less comfortable with the firmer ride in the AG and sport models, and prefer the Elegance - try them all. Sales people are keen to sell - good ones are keen to sell you the right car for you.
 

Rory

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Others have mentioned the changeover from W203 to W204 in mid 07 so you need to settle on which one you're looking for. The model lines changed slightly so that in W204 the Avantgarde line was dropped and basically replaced by Sport, although it was made a bit more "sportier" (body styling etc) than the Avantgarde used to be.

"Plagued by electrical issues" is news to me (I have a late 04 W203 which has been, touch wood, faultless) and I haven't seen lots of electrical issues being discussed on these forums. The only generic issue that I'm aware of is that some W203's have a tendency to drift left - basically the issue seems to be that the cars are very camber sensitive. They seem to vary, and the great thing about buying a used one is that you can try it and see it it does this to an annoying extent.

The only issue I've seen crop up a few times on the newer W204 is that some C220CDi autos have apparently incurable vibration in the drivetrain.

When you're buying the car, make sure you specifically ask the question "is the car for sale because it's been returned by the owner due to a recurring fault" or some such similar wording. Of course the salesman will say laugh and say no, but that question might help you in the future if his answer turns out to have ben a lie.
 
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cymro

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Thank you all for your comments and replies - so glad I found this forum. Maybe I can extend the question - is the C320 CDI worth the extra? I think there is a £2000 difference between the C220 CDI - both are Avantgarde SE with comparable mileage (the 320 is on around 27,000 whilst the 220 is at 17,000). Glad for opinions as always.
 

Rory

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is the C320 CDI worth the extra?

That's an impossible question to answer. The 220CDi would be a fair bit more economical, especially on long journeys, and would probably be a bit cheaper to insure and tax (I've lost track of road tax levels, but might be worth looking at the 320CDi tax as it could be horrible).

I have to say that when I bought my car I initally went for the C220CDI but that had sold however they had an identical C270CDi and they did it for (so they said) the same price. I'd checked and insurance and servicing was the same. I'm really glad I got the 270, it just makes the car that bit more effortless (320 would be sublime, I imagine) and, to be slightly snobbish, it lifts you above the everyday C220's that are more common.
 
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cymro

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and would probably be a bit cheaper to insure and tax (I've lost track of road tax levels, but might be worth looking at the 320CDi tax as it could be horrible).

Thanks for your reply.

I never considered this :Oops:!

I think the car is insurance group 17 - but I have no idea about road tax. Does anybody know of a link where I could find out which road tax band the 320 / 220 is in - just checked the listing and nothing is mentioned. So many things to consider!
 
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Rory

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There's a road tax look-up here: http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/road-tax/# - it look OK actually, assuming the data is correct.

For insurance, you're probably better calling your own company and asking for quotes. Or use one of the comparison sites. Watch out for things like cars above a certain group needing a tracker.
 
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cymro

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Thanks - brilliant! Not too bad - and not that much worse than a 220. Insurance has come up on an online comparison at around £250 with Swiftcover - so also not ridiculous! Hmmmmmmm!!!!!!
 

outsmartsmart

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Just a quick reply from me with experience in a 2006 C220CDi Avantgarde with sports supension and sitting on 17" rims.

I found this package to be perfect; handled well and no bone-crushing ride. If this was the sports setting then I'd definately avoid the 'comfort' type as it still wasn't exactly touring car sharp!!!

The 220CDi engine I would personally say was perfect for the car, more than adequate to pull, no slouch, quiet and averaged 40mpg'ish with me without trying too hard.

Trim level is all about personal taste but I can't stand 'mahogany wood' so always had Avantgarde with the grey birds-eye maple and/or aluminium trim in all three Merc's I've owned.

Currently running an E320CDi sallon and it is no slouch so can only imagine what a street sleeper stealth vehicle a C320CDi must be................go for it!!!!
 

survey

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I have a 2008 220CDi Estate Auto in Elegance trim, with 16" wheels and 225 tyres. I have found the handling exceptionally sharp - in fact sometimes almost too sharp! Very direct steering, good suspension, good acceleration and powerful brakes. And this is in C Mode rather than S mode. The ride is excellent - very comfortable but not at all slushy; just enough comfort to assist the sharp handling without detracting from a good performance. The 220 CDi engine is a peach; it pulls very well and has bags of torque for fast overtaking. Mine has only 11000 on the clock and is returnig increased mpg each fill-up; currently averaging 42.1 measured on a tank-to-tank basis from new (the on-board computer is approx 5-9% optimistic.
 

pugwash

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i have never driven a C220 cdi but I have driven a C270 and I own C320 cdi estate. The 320 diesel seems very quiet and has lots of power when needed. I haven't had any problems with it and would certainly buy another.
 

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Don't discount the new V6's as they are super smooth and the 7G gearbox now seems to be stable after the initial software problems. My C230 (2.5L) avarages 30 mpg and will comfortably do 36-37mpg on a motorway run. The engines now only have 1 spark plug per cylinder and are therefore a lot easier and more cost effective to replace.
 

st4

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Don't discount the new V6's as they are super smooth and the 7G gearbox now seems to be stable after the initial software problems. My C230 (2.5L) avarages 30 mpg and will comfortably do 36-37mpg on a motorway run. The engines now only have 1 spark plug per cylinder and are therefore a lot easier and more cost effective to replace.
It will be smooth and linear the petrols but they do depreciate more.

Maybe a sounder buy once over 3yrs old, 30k miles and if you do not very many miles.

A 220cdi probably offers C230 or even C280 in gear performance with better than C180 fuel consumption. A C320cdi is a rocket ship and offers C180k economy with C350 performance. Theres a lot to like with the newer oil burners.
 

G.O'Rilla

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I've just ordered the new C250 CDi which looks to be a good compromise between economy and a lot of power - trouble is, no-one I know has ever driven one...... apart from car magazines and you know how reliable their opinions are!

The combination of 201hp,500nm and 55mpg looks a good one to me. I chose the manual box as it's aleased car anyway.
 


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