Handed down by a family member, it is solid and keeps going even after 175,000 miles. Engineering is excellent and has the whole family rethinking MB for their next car. It has to have high octane gas but the mileage is excellent for it's amount of power being 6 cylinders.
I love this car, it is not the fastest car I have ever owned but is more than fast enough. It is not the best MPG car I have ever owned but gets far better mileage than any other car I know of with similar performance. It turns heads even though it is a 5 year old design, I love the Mars red color. I haven't had it long enough to really evaluate reliability, but have talked to several owners who have had now significant problems including one who's daughter has been driving one since she got her license and with 156k on it still loves the car. Mine is a one owner and has only 40k miles on it, it looks, drives, and smells like a brand new car. My Mileage has averaged about 20 city, 30 hwy.
Bought it used at 13k miles in 2/2006 and it's 62K now in 6/2010. No problem whatsoever (but I don't race or abuse it though, always garaged), solid and well-built, it's powerful when needed (thanks to the Supercharger), fuel economical when driving conservatively (4 cylinder topped 36mpg in 2 hour trip on secondary hwy with A/C set to 1, backseat fits 2 adults almost 6 feet tall (my car pool). Panoramic roof fills the car with openness, trunk is so roomy and practical with both backseat folded down, styling is subjective (just the right balance- I love it!)
If you want to waste $30,000 then this is the car for you. I traded in a KIA Rio and thought I was taking a huge step up but I was mistaken. In the 6 months I have had this car it has been in the shop 7 times for various problems including alignment problems, electrical glitches with the ESP system, transmission and the lost goes on. The car is full of squeaks & rattles. I wish I had been smarter and purchased a car based on it's actual merits not on the logo on the hood. Save yourself $10,000 and countless trips to the dealer and buy a Honda or Toyota. Mercedes is only a name now. There is NO quality behind the shiny hood emblem in my opinion.
After driving SUV's for years, I recently purchased C230 coupe. Our oldest daughter had just turned 16, with the additional car for our daughter I decided to trade in the last of my SUV's for this Mercedes. I can only say that as a mother of 3, driving had been limited to vehicles that would be large enough to haul all our kids, their friends and whatever else we could squeeze in :). When I was a in my 20's I bought what I could afford, then came the kids-practically was the focus- now-I drive for FUN! I do have a problem though, our 16 year old wants me to "share"..