First off, I love this car. My mom owned it for ~7 years then gave it to me and it looks good, feels great to drive, and has a very luxurious interior with tons of wood trim and ruffled leather. In addition the engine powers the car effortlessly with very little noise until you get to the upper end of the tachometer. I've never broken the wheels loose in a turn like front wheel drive cars do all the time. The gas mileage is reasonable BUT I have had to replace the head gasket ($1000), the antenna doesn't go up and down, I had the AC fixed a few months ago for $500 and it's broken again. Also the camshaft sensor broke and cost $800. Not impressed with the reliability.
Interior quality and styling, exterior looks (with sunroof popped), power and torque, rear wheel drive!, some manual transmission control, REST, Bose sound system, completely silent inside, fast!
I purchased the car with 163000 at a dealer in Dallas. The car had a small oil leak and transmission leak. I repaired both for under $300.00 and I have enjoyed every minute. It never fails to start and I am getting 24city 34highway. The leather and dash are in excellent condition. Mercedes really knows how to make a car that last. This is a sedan although, with the sunroof and short body with great steering capabilities it feels like a sports car. I would rate the reliability a 10. I would not think twice about driving this car out of state anytime. I is really inexpensive to maintain because it has a 4cyl gasoline engine. You just have to use premium gas, although, the mpg's make it up.
I bought this car with just under 15K on the clock and it now has approximately 151K on it. It has been extremely reliable and is my 4th MB in 25 years. I current own a 2003 E430 as well. I perform most repairs myself so dealer labor costs are not usually an issue. Parts are pricey but that is to be expected for Mercedes.
Keyless entry fuel economy, timeless styling, quality of construction (10 yrs and still no rattles or squeaks!)
Regular gas would be nice and a slightly lower stance. A more robust Combination Switch (I've replaced it twice) and a different location for the power mirror switch. Heated mirrors.
This is a vehicle that I truly enjoy driving because of the way it handles and holds the road. You feel as thought you are really in a car of armour when driving it because it is so well built. I have enjoyed it so much that I just recently ordered me a new C Class 2009 and it should be here around the first part of August. I would highly recommend this vehicle to anyone that is in the market for a mid sized car.
The one thing that I have always looked for in a vehicle is the exterior design. If you cannot get past the outside looks of it there is no need looking inside.
The one thing that I would really like to see changed is around the moulding on the outside trim water seems to stay there for a period of time causing some rust to form. Another thing was the way the seat on the passenger's side had to be let down by cranking a knob on the side which took some time.
I previously reviewed this car and gave it pretty good ratings. But, I finally had to get rid of it. I only drove about 5000 miles a year, but it was costing a fortune to keep it running. I was spending $1000 a year above and beyond routine maintenance to keep it running. This was a weekend driver and was babied. But I had several major repairs, none related to each other. I had all work done at the dealership which was expensive. Although I loved driving the car and liked it's fit and finish and it's look, I sold it and bought a new Infiniti. I've owned older Mercedes, but based on this experience, my 97 C280 will be my last.
Styling inside and out. Plenty of power. Nice fit and finish.