Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Team-BHP Reviews > Long-Term Ownership Reviews


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 21st April 2015, 14:57   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 93
Thanked: 149 Times
Default My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review

This is my first attempt at writing a full-fledged review. I have no intentions of making this a photo blog, so please bear the text heavy version of the review.

My first car was purchased in 2002 - Fiat Sienna 1.2 Petrol. From then on, every 3 years, I have changed my vehicle irrespective of the running or the ownership experience. So, on the way I bought the Ford Fusion 1.6, the Honda Civic 1.8s, Skoda Laura 2.0 L&K. With great pride, I can say that none of the cars gave me any headaches or complains. The only rule each time was to buy a genuine upgrade. After 3 years with the Laura, I wanted to move to a 30L range. Since my monthly average distance is not more than 600 Kms, I was never the one to be stuck with diesels.

Pre-requisites:
Automatic
More than 5 speed gear boxes
At least a 1.8L engine
Best in class safety
Lots of gizmos

Within the first 1-2 weeks of research, I realised that none of the cars below 30L were a real upgrade and most of them were slow moving in the market (Teana, Sonata). Low sales usually translated to limited availability of spares, an issue that I faced with the Fusion. The other options like Superb, Fortuner, CRV and Camry were ruled out since they did not offer me any substantial feature or kit upgrade over the Laura. In fact, both the Japanese cars were poorly kitted and felt vague when compared to the excellent build of the Laura. The Hybrid version of the Camry was very good but that launched after my new Merc purchase.

I was forced to move my budget to 35L and this gave me some more options to view - Passat Highline, Audi A4, Volvo S60 D4, BMW X1, BMW 320d. Now, here it makes sense to talk about all in some more detail.

Audi A4 - very similar to the Laura with identical engine and electrical. The steering was too light for my liking.

Passat Highline - loved the gizmos but was iffy with the looks. Again the VW family had many same parts shared

Volvo S60 D4 - Striking but frightening single digit sales just made me put head over heart. Incidentally my colleague bought this and he is not too thrilled.

BMW X1 - The mid trim was poorly equipped and the legroom was terrible.

BMW 320d - Wife did not like the interiors. Even I thought that they were not as well put as the A4 or the C200

Merc C200 Elegance - Average specs and kit, liked the looks though; great safety kit.

This is where I started panicking. If at 35L, I could not find a car to my liking, anything beyond that price point would severely shake up my financial planning. I almost abandoned my new car plans, when I got 3 remarkable offers.

Audi A6 2.0 TDI Base: 6L DP + 60000 EMI + 1L yearly bullet
Merc E200 Elegance (pre face lift model): 5L DP + 60000 EMI
Merc C200 Avant Garde: 2L DP + 52000 EMI + 2 year extended warranty.

Believe me when I say this, I'm in love with the A6. The quality of materials, the bells and whistles and its size were big smileys for me. The only downers were the high EMI and the lack of premium features in the base variant - no BOSE system, no sunroof, beige seats, no electric adjustment of front co-passenger seat from the rear, no touch pad. The E Class Merc in comparison was much bolder, but it did not make sense to buy an older model. Finally, the C Class - smaller but infinitely better built than the Audi. It felt an ideal mix of modern and old school with a ride quality to match.

In the end, the 4L (37.5L OTR for the Merc) price difference between the bigger cars and the C pushed me to the pointed star. I still remember the warm, heady feeling when I stepped out of the showroom after booking the dark grey colour. It would be unfair not to mention the sales and service staff of the Merc Showroom (Auto Hangar). They were fabulous, knowledgeable, corteous and always ready to accommodate.

Finally, about 2 weeks later, I got the car keys along with a big cake. It was my daughter's first outing since she was born and what a way to get her home. The huge sign in the showroom announced my daughter's name and her first car. This was a nice gesture.

Last edited by Rehaan : 4th May 2015 at 12:13. Reason: Adding some formatting before moving out...
Khushrav is offline   (22) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 21st April 2015, 14:57   #2
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 93
Thanked: 149 Times
Default Mercedes Benz C 200 Avant Garde - Ownership Review

In my first few days of regular commute, one thing that stood out immediately was the silence in the cabin and the zero vibrations at stand still. I refused to use the owner's manual and thus learnt more about the car each time a new situation occurred - using wash wipe, eco start-stop, hill assist, setting up the bluetooth telephony. There is a funny story - for the bluetooth set up, i had to use the central knob and gently pull it with my finger to move to the second row of menus. I did not know that a push and pull option existed. I kept rotating the dial to reach the menu but it just did not budge. Finally, I resorted to an online forum and thus succeeded.

It has been 2 years and about 11,000 Kms. Of these, almost 9,000 Kms are in Mumbai city traffic. The average speed on the MID shows 16 Km/h. Below are my observations


I LOVE:
• The silence when the you enter the car and the doors are thud shut.
• The impossible to feel shudder at the start and in idle.
• The relaxed acceleration, never letting you feel out of control. The BMW 3-series acceleration was superb but it a pretty harsh ride. Not ideal for Mumbai city traffic.
• Impressive braking, even at high speeds or during emergencies. A small story here - while doing a test drive, it started pouring heavily. My sales person got excited and asked me to move to the passenger seat. While he took the wheel, he wanted me to see the immense braking power and the sheer safety of the car in skiddish conditions and at high speeds. We took a relatively empty road which is usually used for early morning driving school students. He asked me to recline my passenger seat and be at absolute ease. Then he slammed the pump. At close to 100 Km/h speed in horribly wet conditions, he rammed the brakes. And WOW, what poise. Without any fuss, it stopped. Because the car realised that it was a hazard braking, the doors unlocked, the seat moved in an auto upright position, the hazard lights were on. WAH, what drama. Was mighty impressed.
• Incredibly small turning radius.
• Pre-Safe ready.
• Full sized spare (big gripe with the BMW, Volvo).
• Crystal clear audio sound quality.


I DON’T LIKE:
• Even on the highway, the car feels strained post reaching relatively high speeds even in the seventh gear. Do not have any issues with the stability though.
• Too many buttons make it feel old, the COMAND system feels sluggish and un-modern, the sound quality is clean though coming from 8 speakers, each and every note and acoustic sound is audible. When I asked for a software upgrade during my regular servicing, they quoted Rs. 96,000 for that. OMG!!
• Prohibitively expensive cost of any accessories or extra fittings (a sat-navigation system cost Rs. 100,000).
• Average display shows Lites per 100 Kms, not Kms per Litre.
• The volume does not have an display indicator.
• Limited AC throw for the rear seats, though the cooling by itself has no issues.
• No rear camera.
The front and rear sensors keep beeping due to pedestrians getting too close to the car.
• The Parktronic feature is terrible and very cumbersome to use. I have never been able to successfully park using this feature even once.
• No place for 1 litre bottles in the front.
• Expensive cost of service and repairs (each panel will cost you Rs. 25,000 for a paint).
• The fuel efficiency is about 7 Kmpl and on highways it adds another 4 Kmpl. This is think is average but not terrible by any stretch. The Laura with a diesel engine gave me 8.5 Kmpl so this is not completely off.


Maintained Costs:
Zero except for some paint work on scratches. In the two years, I have not heard any constant rattle, creak or niggle. The second year insurance with zero depreciation cost me Rs. 45,000.

A bit about the servicing: In one word - Superb. The staff is polite, ready to assist and informed. The service centre at Andheri East is up to date and inventories are never an issue. Even the follow up with the rep and the staff is prompt and responsive.


Driving Experience:
Within the city, it is a boon to drive this due to its light steering. Even when taking a full turn, the front wheels fall over ever so slightly, making the turn almost amazingly short.

The large bumps and craters do not feel as bad as was the case with Laura. It may not be as enthusiastic over corners as a BMW but anyone familiar with Mumbai will realise that there are not too many twisties in the city. Having said that, overtaking on highways or when short bursts of speed are needed, there is ample power on tap. I've never felt short on that front.
Most of the buttons are laid out within reach and nothing where I have to shift my gaze off the roads. The info if it were available on the windscreen, a la BMW, would have been a delighter.

For the back seat passengers as well, the ride quality is smooth and extremely WOW. Even at above average city speeds, have never complained about it being harsh. Additional features like rear passenger blinds, electronic steering adjust, electronic rear sun blind are a boon. BTW - the memory function also adjusts the rear view and the steering position as set. The rear view mirror and the wing mirrors have auto dimming option. Believe me, it is a huge feature; something that I have started taking for granted.

Under the boot, the entire set of tools and repair kit are firmly placed and it also a a big hazard light in case case of emergencies. If you want to see the gauge of the steel used, lift the hood. It is heavy and the material used is super thick. Thankfully there is a hydraulic pump to do the heavy lifting.


Other Important bits:
- Safety & related equipment: I'd give it 5 stars. Never has it given me a feeling of being unsafe. With airbags all around, plus active and passive safety, I feel assured while driving this car.
- Usage pattern: 20 Kms daily in dense traffic
- Overall build quality, fit & finish, paint quality and panel gaps: 5 stars, no panel gaps or any odd sounds. But admittedly, I never have really abused my cars.
- Wheels & tyres - 18 inch Michelin rims, superb grip and great stopping power. Actually, the last one is a bit of worry. At one time, I did a hard stop due to the car in front of me that suddenly changed lanes. While I did stop pretty comfortably, the biker behind me rammed into my bumper and scrapped the paint. No significant loss but the insurance claim was for 1.18L Thankfully, I had to just pay 2000 for that.
- The upholstery is black and feels premium. However, it is prone to show off dirt and smudges pretty fast.
- Interior space & comfort...The front seat with its 8 way adjustable memory aided seats are superb even for longer journeys. The back seats have sufficient legroom but for 2 full sized adults only. The third one will be cramped due to the HUGE transmission tunnel.
- Overall opinion on the engine: 3.5 stars. It is not quick, almost lazy. But with my type of sedate driving, it does not give me reason to complain. The eco mode does switch the engine off but in the stop start traffic of Mumbai, it is not very effective.
- Butter smooth gearshift & clutch even on the few occasions that I have driven it in the manual mode.
- Overall NVH levels are at the levels of a library inside a church. Love it
- Suspension & ride quality is sublime. At cruising speeds it is a pleasure to drive this car.
- Steering this car is fun since its super easy in the city. Even my wife who is an occasional driver, can effortlessly maneuver it.
- Family opinions: Wife - love the snob value, mother - does not like the rear blinds since she feels claustrophobic, daughter - this 2 year old can operate the music system; its that simple, my nieces - love the sunroof and the drama that accompanies it's opening and closing.
- The cabin lights are excellent and are very powerful. For general reading, maps, dim cabin, all my needs are met.


To sum things up:
As an overall package, the C may not have the style of a Jag or the guts of a BMW. But it has dollops of charm and presence. Most salutes feel crisper, most doors open wider, the smiles are broader. In it's own way the world reasserts that you have arrived.

Does it feel WOW to drive this car – at most times. Do it feel WOW to own this car – YES.

Would I buy another one few years later? Maybe, but with one eye on the wallet.


Steering and MID view:
My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review-steering-mid-view.jpg

Shows FE in liters per 100 km, instead of Km/L:
My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review-shows-fe-litres-per-100-kms.jpg

Dashboard is nice, but a bit cluttered:
My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review-dashboard-great-fit-but-clustered.jpg

Easy ingress:
My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review-easy-ingress.jpg

Powered passenger seat with memory:
My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review-powered-passenger-seat-memory.jpg

A closer look:
My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review-closer-look.jpg

From the rear view:
My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review-rear-view.jpg

Front sensors:
My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review-front-sensors.jpg

More buttons:
My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review-more-buttons.jpg

Love the glow:
My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review-love-glow.jpg

Low rear seats:
My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review-low-rear-seats.jpg

A parting shot:
My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review-parting-shot.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 4th May 2015 at 12:26.
Khushrav is offline   (25) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 21st April 2015, 16:47   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
arnabchak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: MH-04
Posts: 1,319
Thanked: 1,084 Times
Default Re: Mercedes Benz C 200 Avant Garde - Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khushrav View Post

My first car was purchased in 2002 - Fiat Linea 1.2 Petrol. From then on, every 3 years, I have changed my vehicle irrespective of the running or the ownership experience. So, on the way I bought the Ford Fusion 1.6, the Honda Civic 1.8s, Skoda Laura 2.0 L&K. With great pride, I can say that none of the cars gave me any headaches or complains. The only rule each time was to buy a genuine upgrade. After 3 years with the Laura, I wanted to move to a 30L range. Since my monthly average distance is not more than 600 KMS, I was never the one to be stuck with diesels.
Dear Khushrav
Nicely put review.
However, I guess your first car was the Fiat Palio in 2002 and not the Linea.

Linea was not even available at that time.
You had a good garage and happy to know that the ownership has been good throughout.
arnabchak is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 22nd April 2015, 11:09   #4
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 93
Thanked: 149 Times
Default Re: Mercedes Benz C 200 Avant Garde - Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnabchak View Post
Dear Khushrav
Nicely put review.
However, I guess your first car was the Fiat Palio in 2002 and not the Linea.

Linea was not even available at that time.
You had a good garage and happy to know that the ownership has been good throughout.
Good catch, will correct. The first one was a the Fiat Sienna 1.2. Thanks bro.
Khushrav is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 4th May 2015, 12:24   #5
Team-BHP Support
 
Rehaan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 22,367
Thanked: 22,586 Times
Default re: My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
Rehaan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th May 2015, 16:14   #6
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,740
Thanked: 89,250 Times
Default Re: My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review

Great summary! We owned the W203 C220 for 100,000 kms, and my brother-in-law drives the same gen as yours. Having driven both cars extensively, I can tell you that they are completely different in character. Where the W203 had a heavy steering & was cumbersome to drive in the city, yours has a light, effortless unit (too light at high speed though). The W203 rode way too stiff, your car is softer. Not much of a difference in cabin space though...I find the W204 to be cramped at the rear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khushrav View Post
Even on the highway, the car feels strained post reaching relatively high speeds even in the seventh gear. Do not have any issues with the stability though.
I think it might be because of the super tall 7th gear. Try manually keeping it in 6th gear. You'll feel a marked difference in top-end punch.

Quote:
Average display shows Lites per 100 Kms, not Kms per Litre.
Though it's far from ideal, I soon got used to it.

Quote:
In the two years, I have not heard any constant rattle, creak or niggle.
Mercedes does build its cars well! I didn't have a single rattle even after 100,000 kms.

I hope your Benz serves you reliably through the years. My W203 was particularly nasty in the 30,000 - 60,000 kms mark with lots of replacements & repairs. Surprisingly, it was super reliable afterwards. Perhaps, the quality of the replacement parts was better than OEM.

Drive safe. Wish you many happy kms!
GTO is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 4th May 2015, 17:03   #7
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Noida/New Delhi
Posts: 415
Thanked: 810 Times
Default Re: My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review

Same Pinch!

I have the exact same car in the same color combination! Even the floor mats are the same!

Just a few points:

1. Are you sure the tyres are 18"?? Mine is on 17" and they are identical.
2. Whats the status of brake pads? My odo is at 5450km after 14 months of useage. Average fuel consumption is around 9kmpl. She is driven in delhi only with zero highway use.

All the best and hope she serves you well!

Rohan
RohanDheman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th May 2015, 17:33   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
FINTAIL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Bombay / Poona
Posts: 1,098
Thanked: 1,110 Times
Default Re: My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review

A very well written review!

By any chance; do you face any cold start issues- in the winter?

Thanks- In advance!
FINTAIL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th May 2015, 18:58   #9
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 93
Thanked: 149 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RohanDheman View Post
Same Pinch!

I have the exact same car in the same color combination! Even the floor mats are the same!

Just a few points:

1. Are you sure the tyres are 18"?? Mine is on 17" and they are identical.
2. Whats the status of brake pads? My odo is at 5450km after 14 months of useage. Average fuel consumption is around 9kmpl. She is driven in delhi only with zero highway use.

All the best and hope she serves you well!

Rohan
The tyres are indeed 17". The brakes are superb. As you would have read in the review, too good for other cars

9 KMPL is pretty good. I'd be happy if it gave me that consistently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FINTAIL View Post
A very well written review!

By any chance; do you face any cold start issues- in the winter?

Thanks- In advance!
I stay in Mumbai so the coldest it gets here is about 13 degrees. Hardly weather to cause any problem.

Last edited by Eddy : 4th May 2015 at 20:18. Reason: Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing one post after another on the SAME THREAD!
Khushrav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th May 2015, 20:00   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
FINTAIL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Bombay / Poona
Posts: 1,098
Thanked: 1,110 Times
Default Re: My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khushrav View Post
I stay in Mumbai so the coldest it gets here is about 13 degrees. Hardly weather to cause any problem.
Parking space must be rare in Bombay- You must be parking her on the road, no? Assuming that you DO park on the road; exposed to all elements-

On the coldest winter morning; parked on a footpath or something; does the car crank for just a little greater amount of time?

Asking all this, because:

A] Our location is similar.

B] I'm forced to park my cars outside.

And C- I'm buying another Merc. When- well; that depends.

Saw a fair few W211's. Uninspiring. However, guess I'll wait for another 4 to five years- and buy a (relatively) cheap 2015 onwards W212.

This one was particularly tempting; but I guess, not now. I want the facelifted W212.

http://olx.in/item/mercedes-benz-e35...tml#d4fe52cbab

Last edited by FINTAIL : 4th May 2015 at 20:03.
FINTAIL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th May 2015, 20:08   #11
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Goa
Posts: 63
Thanked: 46 Times
Default Re: My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review

Exact same colour, my favourite for almost any car. C220 CDI elegance. Wish you many happy miles.
vineshpikale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th May 2015, 21:17   #12
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Delhi-NCR
Posts: 892
Thanked: 4,604 Times
Default Re: My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review

Dear Khushrav, thank you for this informative and pleasant to read positive review of your experience with the 'C'. The posts on Team BHP and my discussions with associates (on the 'E') often decry the Merc and clearly your experience has been different in both reliability and after sales service. I am eager to hear from other Mercedes owners on their positive experiences in the areas of reliability and after sales experiences especially from the NCR region. Happy motoring Khusrav. Best regards, Narayan
V.Narayan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 5th May 2015, 09:40   #13
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Noida/New Delhi
Posts: 415
Thanked: 810 Times
Default Re: My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review

Quote:
Originally Posted by FINTAIL View Post
On the coldest winter morning; parked on a footpath or something; does the car crank for just a little greater amount of time?
Allow me to answer sir on the cold start part since i have the exact same car in Delhi and the lowest it gets here is about 4-5 degrees in peak winter. Have not faced a single cold start issue till date. She fires up in the first crank. Just that i make it a point to idle her for 2 minutes rather than 1 in winters.

Hope that helps!

Rohan
RohanDheman is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th May 2015, 10:04   #14
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sydney/Cochin
Posts: 289
Thanked: 154 Times
Default Re: My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review

That was a very informative and concise review. Initially I thought without the 'spice' of pics the review could be boring. But it was not even a bit so; even though a few outdoor pics wouldn't be out of place. The C class had always been a sensible choice.
Joe M is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th May 2015, 13:41   #15
BHPian
 
batterylow's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Driver seat!
Posts: 569
Thanked: 677 Times
Default Re: My Mercedes Benz C200 Avantgarde: 2 year ownership review

Congrats on your new ride and wishing you a million miles of motoring bliss


Looking at the rubber floor mats I think there is market potential for floor mats that actually look good and also do their job of keeping the car clean.
batterylow is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ICE for 2003 Mercedes-Benz C200 Kompressor aalaap In-Car Entertainment 8 3rd November 2013 12:20
Mercedes-Benz to launch C 230 avantgarde tomorrow. sidindica The Indian Car Scene 17 11th January 2012 12:09
Now C this mercedes - 2011 C class 200 CGI avantgarde with panoramic sunroof sidindica The Indian Car Scene 28 13th August 2011 01:50
2009 Mercedes Benz E350 cdi Avantgarde (w212) vs 2010 BMW 530d (f10) PlatzdaTurbo The Indian Car Scene 60 27th October 2010 12:05
Report: Mercedes Benz launches the C200 with CGI technology in Mumbai Dippy The Indian Car Scene 16 14th July 2010 14:20


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 12:29.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks