My first Mercedes and it has been a fine car. Our dealer is nothing but first class. I enjoy driving this car so much that I had to buy my wife her own new E 320 (2004) as nothing really compares to driving a MB. Considering the new 2006 ML 350 as a replacement but recent nagging latent design defects and poor support from MB USA are making me look at BMW. The steering wheel leather is falling apart, the headliner has pulled away from the C pillars, and the rear window regulators/motors have gone out several times. And this car is always garged, no one rides in the back, and is treated like a baby. It should hold up much better, like a Honda or Toyota.
Exterior styling, sun roof, lots of wood trim. The C 230 has just the right mix of freeway acceleration and cruising power at 75-80 along with great fuel economy.
Overall reliability is less than ideal. Solve the window regulator/motor problem that I understand is rampant on many MB models. Ditto the heater/AC vent blower motor. And why does every repair from the dealer start off with $500? Send MB USA reps to charm school.