Used 1997 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan Consumer Reviews

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$772 - $1,862

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Pros
Cons

Great Car +200,000 mileage - Seattle,WA

kaleo, 08/10/2014
17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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.

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Never gets old!

Sam nabard, 09/16/2015
C230 4dr Sedan
14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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.

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Love my car, hate the maintenance.

MattJones, 10/11/2009
10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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.

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Mercedes is not worth the money

Keith, 04/20/2006
8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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.

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'97 C280

Uncle Dan, 06/14/2003
7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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.

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Two Thumbs Way Up

Will, 11/06/2006
11 of 12 people found this review helpful

8 months ago I purchased my 1997 C280 with 138,000 miles on it and I love this car. Since then I've driven 10,000 miles and have enjoyed every one of them. Everyone who drives it says how fast it is at any speed, and even my wife enjoys driving it. Drives and handles like a dream.

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Drive to believe it

MD Asad, 06/23/2002
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

This car is very cool..I bought it when it had done 52k miles...now it is at 75k miles ...I never had any problems... When i bought it i had to change the water pump which was bad and i was not told about it... Other than that i had no problem with the car..... ITs really cool.... If you have good tires the car really handle's great...Tires play a major role in the comfort of the ride... The fuel economy is really good..it gives me 35 miles per gallon and some times close to 38 when i go for long drives..In the city it gives me 22 to 28 miles....

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1997 C230

eclipseproduction, 12/04/2008
6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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.

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Great when the Check Engine Light isn't on

c280owner, 01/15/2015
C280 4dr Sedan
9 of 12 people found this review helpful

Have owned a 1997 C280 for 10 years now, bought it used in 2005. In that time 3 engine coils have gone bad, had to replace CATS, spark plugs, brake pads, repair a dry rotted fuel line, the headliner is peeling off, but it drives like a dream! Crazy how much I love driving this car. To help save on inevitable repair costs I have started to do my own maintenance. Expect to spend 1K a year in maintenance costs (but heck... it's paid off and much cheaper than a car payment) and buy a OBD2 unit... you'll need it. This is the only money-pit I have ever loved... if it only drove like crap I would have junked it years ago.

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Safe

benz, 04/04/2010
7 of 9 people found this review helpful

Bought to drive for awhile, however the car was in a roll over, I could not even think it was rolled over, by the looks of it after. It was hardly messed up, with just a small crack in the windscreen. A few dents here and there, but in all it looked good for just being rolled over and slamming into a tree. No one was hurt at all in fact all the doors opened just fine. This really is a safe car. One thing I did not like when I had this car was the fact it leaked fuel. When you would put fuel in, I have read in other places on the net this is a problem with this model. I think MB should do a recall. Other than that I was a great car. Had to replace the water pump. Did it myself with a new part.

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Best Graduation Gift ever

Taylor J, 01/04/2016
C280 4dr Sedan
5 of 7 people found this review helpful

My dad got me this car as a graduation gift 3 years ago. The only major issue I had was a belt replacement so far. I just recently took it on a trip from south east GA to Orlando Florida, a nearly 5 hour drive and the comfort level was just amazing. I think this car was the perfect Suprise gift for me because of the fuel economy and the durability of the car itself. I'm a college student and I drive the hell out of my car but for the most part it takes a lickin and keeps on tickin.

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9 yrs of ownership

yjmontreal, 08/23/2006
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Expensive maintenance. C$500 Air Mass meter. floaty ride (I need sport shocks). Many features that are standard on less expensive car are not standard. (i.e. CD, intermittent wiper, TSC etc). Interior build quality/material is very good. Everything is still tight after 9yrs. Currently experiencing little foul play in suspension (steering wheel is little shaky at speed). Good fuel economy, but requires premium grade (I tried regular and noticed right away that the car didn't like it). Torque available only after 3k rpm. Don't like the single wiper, and wiper blade is expensive to replace. Transmission is very slow to respond. Lack of side airbags

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mercedes-benz

Samfitfit, 05/03/2002
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

When I tried to start the engine in the cold morning around -5c, it will not start the first time. It was okay when I started the second time. The car did not run smoothly ,always on the first gear, without proper , at least 3 minutes, warmup. When I pressed the gas pedal hardly on the stop light, the transmission did not respond quickly. It states in the 1st gear and takes some time to go to the seond gear. Also, I heard a 'click click' sound from the 1st gear to the second gear. It runs perfectly under normal driving conditon.

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Baby Benz

Jake, 02/24/2006
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

This has to be one of the best cars I have ever owned, I bought it in August and have had only a few problems, but it's a 97, have driven this car many places around the country and have never had a problem, 7 hour road trip is nothing in this car. When dealing with maintenance take it to the dealer they know what they are doing and if you tell them your on a budget they will work with you!

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Comments of my 1997 C230

sharon, 07/10/2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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.

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Good News

michael, 07/28/2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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.

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blast the 1/4 mile-- NOT

1stMB, 07/22/2002
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

great entry level MB-- just dont get into a hurry merging into traffic. Also, be aware of the shrinking cabin area. After some time, I am convinced that something causes the vehicle to slowly but surely decrease its interior space, thus severely cramping all occupants. Perhaps it is the "new" wearing off. And, if you're a large cup purchaser at the convenience store-- get ready to change your drinking habits, or wear your beverage. Still no real cup holders! All in all, sophisticated and comfortable, just don't plan on taking the kids and spouse on a road trip in this one-- opt for the larger E class!

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satisfied

satisfiedc280, 12/19/2002
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I bought this car with 50k miles and now have 85k & am completely satisfied. No problems other than check engine light came on once but when checked, only a smog sensor had gone out. Since I live in GA, that was not a prob. Ride is smooth and passing others is rather fun. It has served me well and I would buy another.

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Definitely not a performance car...

anon123, 08/05/2003
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

But what do you expect from a weak engine in a Benz? Car has been pretty reliable except the transmission failed once. Sturdy construction, got hit by a truck on driver's side and got scratched and dinged, but no real damage.

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If only it down shift faster

GTS348, 03/01/2003
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I got it used last year and so far there is no problem. The only thing I had to replaced is the fan belt. The car runs runs good, I tested 0-60 at 7.5 seconds! Better than M-Benz's data after it breaks in. The Fuel Econ is 21 per gallon. It has last interior (parts) noise than my brother's 97 BMW 528. It has more room than a BMW 3 series. However, the seat up and down feature does not move the whole seat. The 5 speeds transmission works good at high speed, it speeds up fast even with the last gear. But the transmission down shift to slow, the kick down has a 1 second delay! Also, the auto climate control does not respond as fast as it should be.

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'97 C280 Sport - An excellent buy

SMPIndy, 11/04/2003
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I purchased this car used with 45K miles. It was in excellent condition and still runs smooth. I added a 6-disc CD Changer but had to put it in the trunk. Car has handled quite well although maintenance can run high dollars...but then again, if you are buying a MB you need to realize that going into it. The car is fun for both myself and my wife to drive, but I use it for work. When I have more than two people, seating can be cramped in back seat. Other than that, the car runs smooth and sweet.

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High Mileage wonder

Jose Figueroa, 07/04/2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I've owned 3 Mercedes before, the basic 190 models. This but far is a more superior small sedan. it is well crafted German engineering. The suspension is phenominal, even with the high mileage, wind noise is all but extinct. It handles well, and is a pleasure to drive.

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Excellent C230

williamog, 10/14/2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I've already put over 2000 miles on this car. I love the design and the standard features. I was nearly in an accident just minutes after purchasing the car. I had to take evasive action that I know my other car could not have handled. This is a great handling car!

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Great car

lprivee, 11/02/2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Bought it used at 41k. Now has 87k. Two problems, needed disk brake pads at 65k and an emission sensor that cost me 865 dollars to have replaced before the car would pass the smog check here in Nevada.

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Nice little Benz!

One Blessed Lady, 02/05/2018
C230 4dr Sedan
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Make sure you check out the car history and the mechanical and electrical components before purchasing. It's a great riding car.

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Best C-Class

Christian, 04/25/2006
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

The 1997 C280 Mercedes-Benz is the best C-Class out there. I drove my friends 2002 C240 and it was horrible. I test drove a 2006 C230 and it was just OK. The C280 is a car that wants and needs to be pushed and driven hard, that's a rare event with some modern cars. But I can't wait to upgrade to a 2006 SLK55 AMG

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Bang For The Buck

JMoney, 03/29/2007
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

I have recently bought my '97 mercedes C280 sport, and find it to be an amazing vehicle. I feel that when I drive it everyone is looking at me. I love the style of car inside and out. The car handles very well and has great acceration. The ride and braking is very smooth. The car seems to glide down the street. Though repairs are pricely I haven't run into any problems other than the 40 dollar antenna. I like all the inside accesories and how they are designed and where they are place. The only set- backs this car has is that there is little room in the backseat and is not very good in gas mileage especially at premium gas prices. But hey, it's a Benz!

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Couldn't afford to keep it

Uncle Dan, 03/21/2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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.

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It Should Have Been Better

Tipper21, 07/11/2002
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Had a few minor defects at the beginning but the real problem has been long term reliability. Left me stranded twice between 52,000 and 58,000 miles-once for a failed air mass sensor and intake flapper valve and second for a bad fuel pressure regulator.

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Transmission or Soup du-jour

Reza Hollakoohi, 09/16/2002
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

So I buy this C-230 last Friday for my wife ,every thing is fine. Saturday we take it for lunch so far so good, we go to see a movie and come back to find out on the way home that the transmission is slipping than jerking and a hard shift up. Heading home disappointed ,I let the car rest till Monday soan take it to the nearest dealer and On the way the check engine light comes on and the trans mission is Stuck in the first gear ,asking why ?? you've got me !!! with only 77k on the clock you would think a Geo Metro or Kia Sephia would give you more run for the money than a baby Benz ,what's up with that? And what ever happened to German Engineering ??

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No Problems

long-time owner, 10/09/2002
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Bought the auto at 50k; merging onto 100k now and no problems. I take it to the dealer to be serviced on time, feed it quality products, and have enjoyed every mile. I have found it to be a good entry level MB - even the cup holder is still working properly... transmission should be more smooth on first gear when down shifting at slow speeds. Cold, cold air even in Georgia. If you require that good kick of power uphill though, go for the C280's engine.

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In Mercedes misery

OMG in Houston, 11/29/2002
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

So far this vehicle has been fraut with electrical and mechanical problems from dash lights burning out to water pumps going out on the highway during rush hour. Service at the dealership is horrible with oil changes taking up to 5 days. This is my first Mercedes and definitely my last.

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The last of the mighty inline 6

MBC280, 02/12/2003
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I bought my car with 80k and have 115k and havnt really noticed any problems. Its reliable and maintenance isnt as hedious as people make it seem.

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Great Fats Car

MB Lover, 08/18/2003
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Car rides beutiful for a v6 and is releibable. Just perform service as needed and the car will take care of you

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Excellent Car

d_t, 12/14/2003
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Bought car at 40K miles from dealer put another 9K and it is an excellent car and I had no issues and mileage is great. Definitely will recommend the car.

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$ and comfort nightmare

Hardy, 05/19/2003
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Bought last year with 84000 miles. My.right shin hits dash.Now looking at $850 to replace bushing in lower control arm plus $1800 to 2100 to replace leaking head gasket. Excellent Mercedes Mechanic said the gasket is a common repair to the C 280 and no guarantee it wont happen again.Already had to replace a worn bushing on shifter arm.

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New to me in 2018

Scott - WA State, 02/21/2019
C230 4dr Sedan
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I bought this car as a one owner loved car with 103k miles for $1200. It was a steal. I've driven 5k miles so far and love the car so much I'm planning to sell my SUV. I was building my house and could put 10' conduit in by doing the back seat! I had to replace a coil and my mechanic charged $175 - not bad. The oil change was $100 with synthetic. I don't fill the gas all the way because of the aformentioneded gas leaking when topping it off. I took her for a 600 mile trip and set the cruise at 75 - sounded awesome and didn't even take it off cruise for 2 mountain passes! I've been driving it for 2 weeks in a big snow storm - has dumped 2 feet of snow. Been stuck 2x but dug out easily... do need to drive it and be ok with some sliding as pushing through deeper snow or climbing snowy/icy hills - also always plan your drive in the snow and never park facing up hill. It did come with snow tires. I am satisfied enough that, like I said, am selling my 4wd suv. The interior is like a new car and everything works like it should. I am braced for some higher maintenance, but I've paid for over half of the purchase price in gas savings over my SUV... so if need to can junk it... but I don't anticipate that and it's such a beautiful car! I've owned over 30 cars (new and used - from a beautiful BMW 740 to Jeeps, Subarus, Hondas, Toyotas, plus more) and this is the first I'm reviewing because it hits all my sweet spots. Now to see how long I'll keep it - but definitely have made a car connection!

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