Used 1997 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan Consumer Reviews
Good Reliability but expensive maintenance. Beyond 180,000 mileage expect to pay lots of money maintaining this car. Between 185,000 miles and 200,000 mileage I spent nearly $3,500 in replacement parts such as tie rod assembly, oxygen sensors, Drive shaft flex joint, water pump, radiator, AC compressor, brakes, ball joints and etc.. Very smooth ride and handling.
When i bought my 97' c230 benz it was the best decision ive ever made. This car has never put any extra stupid maintanance cost no matter what. DO NOT LISTEN TO THE NAY SAYERS! Car is great in value perfect for a nice first luxury or retirement car.
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.
I found the car to be three times as expensive to maintain. Brakes, shocks wore out prematurely. Transmission needed rebuilding at 125,000 miles. It was costing me $3,000 a year to keep the car on the road. Dealer service was at best, equal to other dealers.
I bought my '97 C280 in Aug 99. It had only 13000 miles and now only has 34000. It still looks and smells new. I'm not wild about the color (ruby red), but otherwise, it's still one of the best looking small sedans on the road. Quality of the interior is the same as larger Mercedes. Engine/trans is well suited for the car - plenty of power and smooth running. Only had a couple of minor problems, but routine maintenance at a Mercedes dealership is outrageous. I don't need my own personal service advisor and don't want to pay for one.