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Old 13th August 2007, 10:33   #1
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Default New Mercedes C-Class (w204) driven!!

On August 4th, I had the pleasure to attend the launch of the all new Mercedes-Benz C Class (W204) in North America. The event took place in San Francisco at Left Space Studios.

Here is a short review on the car:

The Car:
At first glance, the car looks gorgeous from the front. Angled lines on the hood and a very aggressive front bumper give it a sports saloon feel. The new C-Class is longer, wider and taller than the old one. According to the information I personally received by Mercedes-Benz at the event, this car has been extensively tested in the hot climate of America, the very cold climate in Sweden and on the roughest terrain in Namibia. The car was originally designed and tested virtually. Only on the later stage were the prototypes built. The car was tested for 15 million miles virtually. This is for the first time that any company has used the virtual world so exhaustively for research and development. More than 200 prototypes were destroyed in crash testing. The sport edition comes with an AMG bumper, a lip on the boot and AMG alloys as standard on the exterior.

The Performance:
The one I drove had the 3.5 litre, 24 valve, V6 with an output of 268 bhp. The engine felt powerful yet quiet. At a touch to the throttle, the engine delivers the needed power to the rear wheels. I drove the car on some really steep roads and not even once felt any lack of power. The traction control does interrupt as soon as the wheels start spinning. The noise from the chrome tipped exhausts is enjoyable at higher rpms. Mercedes-Benz says that this engine has been tested for 500 hours at redline rpms and thus is very reliable. The ride is fantastic. The suspension adapts itself automatically to the road surface changing the forces being applied on the shock absorbers. This ensures no compromise in handling and ride quality on bad roads. The car comes to a standstill from 80 mph 0 mph in nearly 4 seconds, according to Mercedes-Benz.

Interior:
The interior has a very royal feel to it and it does not feel as if one is sitting in the cheapest Mercedes-Benz sedan available in the market. At the touch of a button, the centre dashboard opens to pop up a screen providing a wide range of selection from Sirius(R) Satellite Radio to satellite navigation system. The car can even be equipped with a program where you can receive emails. The back seat is way more comfortable than the last generation C Class comprising of enough head room and leg room.

The bad side: Frankly, I did not find too many shortcomings with the C-Class, as I was busy enjoying the drive rather than looking at its faults. A few of them are:

The internal rear view mirror appears to be too close to the driver and the front passenger due to the angle of the windscreen.
The side indicator knob and the cruise control knob are too close to each other, and I ended up touching one or the other unnecessarily a lot of times.
The rear taillights could have been more aggressive, but again it depends on individual taste of design.
The ride was hard, could have been softer.

Prices start at around $36,000 for the C350.

Overall, a very good car. I suppose, Mercedes-Benz have worked very seriously on this one, as the last generation was not all that good with customer satisfaction and reliability. This one does feel like a real little Mercedes, full of quality and luxury.







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Old 13th August 2007, 10:50   #2
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Neat review there Stratos! This is an important car for Mercedes. I'm sure they must've worked overtime to make sure none of the gremlins from the previous C180 make their way here.

Personally, I am not a fan of the car in photographs. The styling looks to forced on. Something you'd expect from Mazda, not Mercedes. However lets see how it looks in the flesh.
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Old 13th August 2007, 11:32   #3
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Actually Robin, this car will look very good in the flesh.
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Old 13th August 2007, 11:38   #4
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Fantastic first impression Nish. And this car will be the Mercedes will be looking to put themselves at the top in the entry level segment of the German giants. BMW have started off well. Lets see how this does. Most important of all will be reliability and peace of mind after buying the tri pointed star
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Old 13th August 2007, 11:49   #5
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The front looks more aggressive now and a lil less classy... Very nice review stratos. Lovely pics
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Old 13th August 2007, 12:02   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rishibravo View Post
The front looks more aggressive now and a lil less classy... Very nice review stratos. Lovely pics
Probably because all the C classes you see in the pics have the AMG front bumper which is very aggressively styled.

cya
R
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Old 13th August 2007, 12:07   #7
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Will this be making its way to India any time soon (end of this year/Q1 next year) ?
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Old 13th August 2007, 13:41   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babhishek View Post
Will this be making its way to India any time soon (end of this year/Q1 next year) ?
i was told by the staff at autohanger the mercedes dealership in mumbai that the new class would be makeing it way to india by the end of this year. they did not mention anything of the c class sports makeing its way here.
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Old 13th August 2007, 23:40   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stratos View Post
The side indicator knob and the cruise control knob are too close to each other, and I ended up touching one or the other unnecessarily a lot of times.
Closer than current C? It took me some time to get used to it but I don't think I will ever be comfortable with it. I am so used to the Honda/Acura layout of having cruise control on the steering wheel that I find the Merc layout awkward.
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Old 14th August 2007, 01:12   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayavi View Post
Closer than current C? It took me some time to get used to it but I don't think I will ever be comfortable with it. I am so used to the Honda/Acura layout of having cruise control on the steering wheel that I find the Merc layout awkward.
Thats just perception, BMW's have similar layout as well and it suits me better (doesn't pain the thumb).


However, they did not showcase the non-sporty models with the traditional grille (which will be the only one we will be getting I suppose). Most reliability issues were on the higer classes if I am not mistaken. C (or was it E) was most reliable.
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Old 14th August 2007, 01:25   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Thats just perception, BMW's have similar layout as well and it suits me better (doesn't pain the thumb).
But still, I think a thumb operated cruise control button is much more convenient than a stalk operated one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
However, they did not showcase the non-sporty models with the traditional grille (which will be the only one we will be getting I suppose). Most reliability issues were on the higer classes if I am not mistaken. C (or was it E) was most reliable.
2002 - 2006 C-class is the most unreliable car and E had fewer problems compared to S. C class quality started improving beginning model years 2006.
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Old 14th August 2007, 02:17   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
However, they did not showcase the non-sporty models with the traditional grille (which will be the only one we will be getting I suppose). Most reliability issues were on the higer classes if I am not mistaken. C (or was it E) was most reliable.
yes 1100d thats the model we shal be getting here the non sporty traditional grille. the reliability issues were with the E class 2000 to the 2004 models. they had electrical trouble. even the earlier model c class had issues with the linkage. the 2006 onward models had all problems rectified and have lesser troubles.
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Old 14th August 2007, 02:21   #13
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So one things certain. People buying used Mercs should avoid most cars manufactured from the Daimler Chrysler merger till 2005.
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Old 14th August 2007, 02:26   #14
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i suggest they should be careful and not avoid completely. also if the cars are mumbai registerd you should be careful that it is not one of the cars that had been submerged during the floods from last year. there were almost 200 mercedeses of various models that had been submerged.
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Old 14th August 2007, 12:12   #15
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Sweet, Stratos! I was waiting for a first-hand TB report of the new C. From what I have heard so far, its bigger and "softer" compared to the current C. Also, this is supposed to be back to the golden days of Mercedes' build quality.

Quote:
The back seat is way more comfortable than the last generation C Class comprising of enough head room and leg room.
Very imporant. And much needed for chauffeur-driven types.

Quote:
• The ride was hard, could have been softer.
Still?

Quote:
the 2006 onward models had all problems rectified and have lesser troubles.
I can personally vouch for that. My 2005 C220 has only 5% of the problems that the petrol 2003 C180 did. Leaving for Goa tommorow in the 220.....something I would NEVER do in the C180.

Last edited by GTO : 14th August 2007 at 12:14.
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