First off, I NEVER, EVER thought I would own a Mercedes, just not on my list of cars. I acquired this one in no small part because my wife thought we needed a convertible for a Sunday car. I thought a Challenger SRT would be a better fit for me, but hey we know how those things go. Found this one at a local car lot and said might as well check it out. The thing had less than 70K on it and other than the usual rock chips in the usual places looked almost new! That alone is a testament to MB build quality. Sure it had issues, the LCD displays for the temp and clock were not functioning and it had a few bad bulbs but easy fixes. THe features available in this car 17 years ago are amazing and yes they all work! after fixing the LCD displays etc. As others have stated, the steering is heavy, the brakes also and it is no rocket moving from a stop, but it can easily exceed the highway speeds with ample in reserve and handles very well. I would not sell the thing now for more $$$. But, be forewarned that it a Mercedes, and that means a couple of things. Parts are expensive and they are not easily fixed by the Saturday morning mechanic. My blessing is I am a mechanic and after owning more than a 120 cars I am used to frustrating myself into a mess. If you are inclined to buy one, check it well! Look for the hidden signs that it was not well maintained mechanically and if possible pull a CarFax. Otherwise BUY IT!
Buy low miles and look for signs of hard driving. Cruises at 100+ with ease , handles well for an old unit. Update ,A/C went out,compressor lockup. Will need complete ac overhaul. However all non Mercedes parts originally so cost is surprisingly low,like any American car. Did change trans filter and fluid to Amsoil synthetic . As well as engine oil. Highway mileage has been 25 mpg at high speed ,80+ amazingly! At lower speeds mileage drops. Still great !
I bought my car for a weekend convertible from the original owner who used it the same way. It has always been kept in an environmentally controlled garage and dealer maintained in its 41,000 miles . It is good looking, drives well and lots of fun.... when it works.
I've owned 60s Alfa Romeos and Ferraris, but none that broke or needed constant servicing like this Mercedes. The transmission module, convertible top computer module, trunk lock, radio, oxygen sensor and dashboard have all died. Did I mention the constant fault lights on the dash? Mercedes says this is typical. I love mine and my wife's Acuras. Each has twice the mileage of the Mercedes and they NEVER break. The ultimate luxury is dependability. If I wanted a beautiful but poor quality car I would have bought a Jaguar.
44000 mile update. I had to replace the A/C compressor and the plastic slot in the dash where I put my sunglasses has cracked in multiple places. The rubber stops for the trunk lid are disintegrating. Rust has showed up on the bottom of the passenger door around the rubber seal, which is really strange since the only time the car gets wet is when I wash it. Two hydraulic valves for the convertible top leaked fluid inside the car and had to be replaced as well as the stainless cables that hold tension on the top. I was advised it is normal for these to fail. Wow, more built in obsolescence.
To be fair, the car has never left me on the side of the road, but that's the nicest thing I can say about the reliability.
47000 update - I've had a couple trouble free years which has been nice. I've been able to hop in the car on nice days and enjoy it with no issues. People can't believe it's 16 years old. The styling and finish have held up well over the years.
It’s now 18 years old and it has been trouble free for over 4 years except it leaks a little oil on the garage pavement. First car in a long time that leaked, and I’ve had older ones with many more miles on it. Not worth fixing, but worth noting.
I just brought a 2000 CLK & I feel like I brought a brand new convertible. I have a ML320 SUV but wanted a 2nd car & have looked at other brand new 08 convertibles that I could have brought for a little more money, however, I would not have gotten the same satisfaction I get out of driving & looking at my Mercedes. It's a head turner everywhere I go. I am the envy of all my friends. I told them that when I turned 50 I was going to get a Mercedes convertible. They laughed because they don't realize that even an older Mercedes is always a classic & you can get them in mint condition. "O'Lordy thank you for buying me another Mercedes Benz.
The body style is always current looking and never gets old.