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C-Class (W204) 2008-Present: C180K, C200K, C230, C280, C300, C350, C200CDI, C220CDI, C320CDI

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Old 12-25-2008, 07:17 PM   #1
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4Matic vs. 2wd

Okay, so I'm a newbie and I'm curious to hear from owners about the differences between the 4MATIC and the standard 2wd setup on C300s. I'm looking into ordering a car in spring and never thought about considering the 4matic. Are there inherent tradeoffs between the two options (i.e. better grip/handling and worse off steering)? I'm not sure if there are any tradeoffs...hence my post. I live in the SF bay area, so snow is not a issue. I currently drive an AWD vehicle and it definitely feels more "solid" to me. Would the same be true of an MB c-class as well? Thanks and have a great holiday!
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Old 12-25-2008, 08:21 PM   #2
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I have a W203, but other than being a bit more efficient, the W204 4Matic system is pretty similar. We also have a RWD E class I could compare to. The 4Matic gives you far better traction. On dry roads you can drive it harder and you can really put down a lot more power in the turns without the ESP coming on and slowing you down, unlike the RWD E. On wet roads the difference is huge. With snow ... it's just plain fun. The RWD E class is really bad in the snow (im sure the all season tires aren't helping.)
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Old 12-25-2008, 10:05 PM   #3
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no need for 4matic if you don't have winter weather. The 4matic option also includes some extra features which you will never appreciate. I would spend the money on the P2 package or the MM option.
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Old 12-25-2008, 10:49 PM   #4
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The W204 feels very solid with both 2 and 4 wheel drive so no need for a 4Matic in San Fran.
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Old 12-26-2008, 06:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acr2001 View Post
I have a W203, but other than being a bit more efficient, the W204 4Matic system is pretty similar. We also have a RWD E class I could compare to. The 4Matic gives you far better traction. On dry roads you can drive it harder and you can really put down a lot more power in the turns without the ESP coming on and slowing you down, unlike the RWD E. On wet roads the difference is huge. With snow ... it's just plain fun. The RWD E class is really bad in the snow (im sure the all season tires aren't helping.)
I agree with acr2001. Whenever this issue crops up within this forum there are a lot of "no need for it unless its for winter weather/snow" type of remarks. If you apply that same logic then there is no need for airbags unless you plan to have an accident Joking apart - 4matic has benefits even on dry roads so if your budget can cater for it why not...
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by danimal669 View Post
Okay, so I'm a newbie and I'm curious to hear from owners about the differences between the 4MATIC and the standard 2wd setup on C300s. I'm looking into ordering a car in spring and never thought about considering the 4matic. Are there inherent tradeoffs between the two options (i.e. better grip/handling and worse off steering)? I'm not sure if there are any tradeoffs...hence my post. I live in the SF bay area, so snow is not a issue. I currently drive an AWD vehicle and it definitely feels more "solid" to me. Would the same be true of an MB c-class as well? Thanks and have a great holiday!
If you are keen on fuel efficiency , saving the planet & money why have a 4Matic when it is not needed. Why carry around all that extra weight of the diff, transfer case , driveshafts ect for the life of the car ? There will also be extra friction losses from all the added bearings & the differential.Straight line performance will suffer & tyre wear will increase.

Last edited by Carsy; 12-26-2008 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 12-26-2008, 04:05 PM   #7
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If you are keen on fuel efficiency , saving the planet & money why have a 4Matic when it is not needed. Why carry around all that extra weight of the diff, transfer case , driveshafts ect for the life of the car ? There will also be extra friction losses from all the added bearings & the differential.Straight line performance will suffer & tyre wear will increase.
4Matic if i remember correctly adds under 200 lbs of weight on the W204. Performance and fuel losses arent much. In the rain or snow you gain quite the performance advantage off the line
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Old 12-26-2008, 04:35 PM   #8
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If you are keen on fuel efficiency , saving the planet & money why have a 4Matic when it is not needed. Why carry around all that extra weight of the diff, transfer case , driveshafts ect for the life of the car ? There will also be extra friction losses from all the added bearings & the differential.Straight line performance will suffer & tyre wear will increase.
Whilst you are at it don't give rides to anybody and lose weight - why stop there seeing as you are not going to use those extra seats get rid of them saving even more weight...

Joking apart - on the C320 CDI the 0 to 60 actually improves by 0.2 of a second with the adddition of 4matic even with the extra weight, so the straight line performance actually improves. Fuel consumption increases by 0.5 litres every 100Kms not exactly bank breaking or environmentally devastating...
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Old 12-26-2008, 04:50 PM   #9
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I have a '08 2WD C300. I get on average 26mpg at 80mph on the highway. I got a 4matic C300 loaner '09 and I got 19MPG. It's a big difference. FWIW I got an 203 chassis 4matic once as a loaner and hated the feedback in the steering. Seems the 204 chassis has that sorted out because it was MUCH better feeling. IMO I would go with the 2WD anyday.
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Old 12-26-2008, 05:06 PM   #10
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Well since you're in SFO, non 4matic and go to enterprise when you feel the need to head to the mtns.....
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Old 12-26-2008, 05:17 PM   #11
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My 2 wheel drive C Class has a very useful turning circle of 10.84 metres.
How does the 4matic compare?
Usually front wheel drive & 4 wheel drive vehicles have a greater turning circle.
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Old 12-26-2008, 07:33 PM   #12
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I would have to agree that if there is no snow driving the 2WD is a better choice at least in fuel economy. Having said that, for me living in the frozen tundra the 4matic proved its worth in spades the past 2 weeks. With Blizzacs on its like a Pantzer, I go up the hills on packed foot of snow like its nothing. Not even the traction control comes on. Cars in front of me get stuck and I take the unplowed roads that noone wants to travel on and get home safer and faster. I'm simply amazed with this car this week.
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Old 12-27-2008, 01:17 AM   #13
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Whilst you are at it don't give rides to anybody and lose weight - why stop there seeing as you are not going to use those extra seats get rid of them saving even more weight...

Joking apart - on the C320 CDI the 0 to 60 actually improves by 0.2 of a second with the adddition of 4matic even with the extra weight, so the straight line performance actually improves. Fuel consumption increases by 0.5 litres every 100Kms not exactly bank breaking or environmentally devastating...
It's not just the weight but the type of weight...unsprung weight from the additional front end hardware will always reduce the responsiveness and feel of the 4Matic's steering and overall handling...simple physics...
As far as the CDI times improving with 4Matic, it is obvious that torque monster of an engine can put the 4Matic system to work. With the petrol engines in the states, 4Matic will only hinder acceleration unless road conditions are quite poor.
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Old 12-27-2008, 02:30 AM   #14
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This is very helpful form a tech point of view; the view I was lacking. I figured my location would help make the decision, but was hoping for exactly what I got. Thank you!
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Old 12-27-2008, 05:03 AM   #15
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Couple of things I would like to mention. The 4matic does increase the over all weight of the vehicle, this effects the gas mileage and the performance numbers.

Another issue that hasn't been stated as of yet on this thread is the fact that the six speed manual transmission isn't offered in 4matic equipped cars. If this is an option you want than you only have one choice, rwd.

Where I live awd/4wd is a must, so my answer will always lean toward the 4matic cars. It does help on resale of the vehicle as well, but I'm sure this only applies to locations that deal with bad weather conditions.

In S.F. your need for 4matic would be quite slim. To that point you might have to pay a premium just to get a 4matic car in your area, if you could even find one at all.

Last edited by chilledbenz; 12-29-2008 at 01:06 AM.
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Old 12-27-2008, 06:46 AM   #16
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Quote:
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As far as the CDI times improving with 4Matic, it is obvious that torque monster of an engine can put the 4Matic system to work. With the petrol engines in the states, 4Matic will only hinder acceleration unless road conditions are quite poor.
That's what I wanted to say lol

And like others said. If you live in an area without snow there's no need for a 4-Matic. The 2WD feels great lot of traction as well
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Old 12-27-2008, 02:07 PM   #17
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RWD FTW! Even here in snowy Minnesota, I opted for the RWD and put Blizzak snow tires on and it handles great. No regrets. Although, we I head out with the family we take the AWD Endeavor if it's snowing heavy.
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:15 AM   #18
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It's not just the weight but the type of weight...unsprung weight from the additional front end hardware will always reduce the responsiveness and feel of the 4Matic's steering and overall handling...simple physics...
Tell that to Porsche. 911 turbo has a all time all wheel drive system.
"simple" physics can be managed with "simple" traction control system to achieve the "feel"

I didn't drive the rwd w204 but I did came off a bmw 528i rwd. I can tell you that I do miss the inertia but I drive with more confidence now, especially during snowy winter.
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:32 AM   #19
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Tell that to Porsche. 911 turbo has a all time all wheel drive system.
"simple" physics can be managed with "simple" traction control system to achieve the "feel"

I didn't drive the rwd w204 but I did came off a bmw 528i rwd. I can tell you that I do miss the inertia but I drive with more confidence now, especially during snowy winter.
The Turbo with all wheel drive may be the fastest but even Porsche(and all the automotive press for that matter) admit the GT3, which by the way is rear wheel drive, is the ultimate expression of road going 911. It's lighter, simpler, more responsvie and provides better feedback that the Turbo.
Simple physics is not debateable...
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Old 12-28-2008, 03:30 PM   #20
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The Turbo with all wheel drive may be the fastest but even Porsche(and all the automotive press for that matter) admit the GT3, which by the way is rear wheel drive, is the ultimate expression of road going 911. It's lighter, simpler, more responsvie and provides better feedback that the Turbo.
Simple physics is not debateable...
True, but remember that GT3 is derived from its race car, designed to shed every weight possible, including a CF body chassis. not to mention GT3 championships prohibit all wheel drive cars.

and don't tell me you would perfer C300 RWD over 911 Turbo for handling.
I'm not looking to debate physics, just trying to point out that even with all-wheel-drive system, today's engineering and tehcnology is sophisticate enough to retain enough "sporty" feel for avg. road car driver. 911 turbo and even the audi R8 are fine examples of that.

Last edited by webada; 12-28-2008 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:05 PM   #21
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True, but remember that GT3 is derived from its race car, designed to shed every weight possible, including a CF body chassis. not to mention GT3 championships prohibit all wheel drive cars.

and don't tell me you would perfer C300 RWD over 911 Turbo for handling.
I'm not looking to debate physics, just trying to point out that even with all-wheel-drive system, today's engineering and tehcnology is sophisticate enough to retain enough "sporty" feel for avg. road car driver. 911 turbo and even the audi R8 are fine examples of that.
lol...yeah, I love my C300 but don't think I would bat an eye before agreeing to the trade. I agree, technology can and does close the gap but most times it is a simple matter of weight and inertia.
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:18 PM   #22
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I have a W203, but other than being a bit more efficient, the W204 4Matic system is pretty similar.
The 4MATIC system in the W204 is completely different from the system in the W203.
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:18 PM
 
 
 
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