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C350 vs. CTS

 
Old 09-22-2007, 03:40 PM
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2008 C350 Black/Black Leather, P2, 18" AMG, Pano, illuminated door sills, chrome handles, long wait
C350 vs. CTS

Just got back from driving both cars. I drove a fully loaded CTS with direct injection (304hp) and the C350 right after that with 268hp.


Looks
The initial curb appeal of the CTS did catch my eye. It was sleek and very modern looking...until you look at the details. The very plain body work, the VERY cheap looking door handles and locks, the flat backend with strange edges sticking out...interesting but not good for long term looks from any angle but the front.

The C350...I'm biased, its one of the most beautiful sedans on the road right now...I think it looks great from every angle, especially in black.


Interior
The CTS has a lot more luxurious look to its cabin. The upper dash and door inserts are 'mushy' and of good quality, but the buick-esk wood strip and cheap looking carpets (get in, look down to the left of the chair...) There is also a lot of cheap fabric that covers the parts of the chair that don't touch your body. The one advantage is the air conditioned seats which I really liked. The navigation screen seemed nifty, but hard to use, and the dash board really looked busy and difficult to use since there was duplicity all over the place so you'd have the button to do something on the touch screen, the lower dash, and on the steering wheel. So it was hard to get aquainted.

The C-Class does not have the most luxurious interior. I love the attention to detail with the black headliner (CTS doesn't offer this) and the look and feel of the interior. It had the duplicity, but not the confusion as the CTS did. My dealer said they are going to start making C350s with leather October 23 so I can't comment on the seating except it was supportive (lacking ventilation) and comfortable.




The Drive

The CTS had a Chevy feel to it. My parents have had 3 suburbans, and I felt a direct correlation to the steering of the newest suburban and the 08 CTS. Linear, but not precise. I got onto a highway and literally stood on the gas. I wanted to see how it felt off the line. After about a second of thinking, it responded and felt decently fast. The turning radius was very small. The saleswoman wanted me to test that out and it was...very small.

C350's steering is just about as light, but a lot more precise. The car is smaller and it feels it. Much more direct as far as acceleration, and a lot faster feeling. (of course I couldn't get over 60 on these roads..but still). I didn't test the turning circle But the over all impression was that it was an anemic S Class instead of the bloated Buick.



Overall, The C-Class is a package deal. It feels and drives just as if the same thought that went into every line was in the driving dynamics, instrumentation, and the whole interior. The CTS wouldn't let me stop thinking what other car the buttons were borrowed from, or the Pontiac red and blue instrumentation. It had interesting things like the pipe lights and interior ambient lighting, but everything about it seemed like it was put in place for the shock value, the 'rich look' if you will. I'd rather spend my money on a car that has understated class than ostentatious flash.

Which is what I did.

I noticed about everything I could when I drove both of them if you all have any questions.
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Old 09-22-2007, 08:55 PM
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in the CTS, did you feel the gas pedal was too far to the right? my knee was always bumping into the (too wide) center stack to get my foot onto the gas pedal, that part of the ergonomics was just not right.
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Old 09-22-2007, 11:38 PM
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2008 C350 Black/Black Leather, P2, 18" AMG, Pano, illuminated door sills, chrome handles, long wait
Yes I did! I thought the seat may be too high or something but I'm about 5'10" 145 pounds so I'm normal and I felt it was very strange they would overlook that.

After thinking about what I said about both cars, I was very biased, but I was really hoping for the CTS to be a better car I just was very unimpressed. And while looking at the STS and DTS close up, WHO would buy those cars?! They are such whales...towncars with squared off styling. Such a shame.

I was looking into the CTS because my car that I ordered a MONTH ago, doesn't have a build date yet (because of the leather) and the earliest it will be built is October 23. On the other hand, I could have a fully spec'ed CTS within 3 weeks.

too bad it was such a disappointment. It was all I could do to act more excited than I was to the saleswoman.
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Old 09-23-2007, 12:13 AM
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2008 C350 Black/Black Leather, P2, 18" AMG, Pano, illuminated door sills, chrome handles, long wait
We talk about the C350 a lot here so here are some other points that I've remembered about the CTS...

1. The gadges were hard to see because of the angle, the turning signal arrows were halfway hidden because of the plastic surround.

2. The rear-view mirrors were shaped like they dropped a mirror and used the pieces they found on the floor. very odd shape.

3. Double-View sunroof was very nice. Didn't open it but was one big central piece of glass that brought the front to the back and the back to the front. Unlike the segmented one in the C350.

4. I liked that they had an option for chrome wheels...although I didn't like their styling.

I'll probably remember more as I think about it. Goodnight!
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Old 09-23-2007, 02:07 AM
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the one major advantage of the resale value for MB vs. other cars feels like it's going away...esp if Lexus gets included in the surveys. also, it's a crime that MB and BMW continues to charge for options on many basic items that Lexus/Infiniti/Acura include as standard options for similar prices(including leather seats and power seats). once the longer term reliability and cost of ownership is factored in, i fear that MB resale value could turn into what's happened to Jaguar or Saab, ie. same/worst than Chevy's. the jury's still out, but the trend is not looking too good...esp when I'm seeing MBs going for 50% of MSRP after only 2 or 3 yrs vs. 4-5 yrs previously. the obvious good news is that it allows us to buy cars for big discount after the first few yrs. of course this also begs the question of whether they were overpriced to start with.

btw, if it's any consolation, my friend just got a showroom condition $127k MSRP 2006 Maserati 4 dr w/ 20k miles for $70k even - that's almost as bad as a 2006 S65 price drop after 1 yr.
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Old 09-24-2007, 10:00 AM
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2008 C350
Originally Posted by Peyton View Post

I was looking into the CTS because my car that I ordered a MONTH ago, doesn't have a build date yet (because of the leather) and the earliest it will be built is October 23. On the other hand, I could have a fully spec'ed CTS within 3 weeks.

Oct 23? Say it ain't so...why the hold up on the leather seats? Seems pretty basic to me.
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Old 09-24-2007, 12:50 PM
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Good useful comments. Nice perspective.

TEAShea
from Nebraska
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Old 09-24-2007, 01:28 PM
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2008 C350 Sport, 2007 ML320 CDI
I'm new to the forum. I just ordered a C350 Sport - build date is 10/30/07.

I, too, decided to look at the new CTS (all-wheel-drive version) before deciding on this purchase. The front-end and interior looks are what got me into the showroom. But the more I looked at the interior, the less I liked it - it was as though some marketing person at GM said, "put stitched leather on everything - buyers will love it!"

On the drive, I noticed what seemed like an eternity before the transmission would kick down. The worst parts for me were the rattling glass roof (would drive me insane) and the fact that my right knee cap kept hitting the side of the console - just in that spot that is like the funny-bone for your knee. I think it was a five-minute test drive at the most. I cannot remember the exact price of the version I tested, but it seemed way too high - something like $46K.

I think it will sell once the inevitable incentives hit, and I hope GM has success with this model. To my eyes, it looks better than the old one, but the side view is so similar to the old one that I wonder if people will notice that it's a new model.

I'm glad I tested it - but it just wasn't for me. The dealer really wanted me to get the C350 and bring it over for a back-to-back drive. My knee cap and I didn't feel the need to pursue that invitation.

With the CTS, I came away thinking that it looked great on paper, but all the pieces just didn't seem to gel to make a great car. On paper, it had more features, etc. than the C350, but the C350 just felt far greater than the sum or its parts - as though it was all designed and engineered as one vehicle, instead of just a bunch of good, random, individual parts stuck together.

But I do have to give Cadillac's advertising people kudos for their TV commercial's tag line: "When you turn your car on, does it return the favor?" What a great line.

Last edited by Kieffer; 09-24-2007 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 09-24-2007, 01:40 PM
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2008 C350
Saw the ads for the first time on the CTS this weekend...I liked them myself. The car looks nice and it appears the MM screen is similar to the MB. Haven't done any research on it, but it appears to hold up to the Caddy name.
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:05 PM
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2008 C350 Black/Black Leather, P2, 18" AMG, Pano, illuminated door sills, chrome handles, long wait
Thanks Kieffer, that was my thought exactly, C350 cut from one idea, CTS lots of ideas, too many directions.

The cadillac people...to their credit, told me my car (not trade in, but because I was coming from my car) would give me a $1000 credit, plus they'd take off another $1000 just for buying the car. Thats before test driving it or negociating one thing!

C350 people wouldn't budge at all. Then finally gave me $300

I thought that was funny. Plus they said they'd get me whatever car I wanted in 3 weeks or less. And they'd give me more money off it took longer than that.

Tempting...since my C350 is probably a month an a half away...
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:19 PM
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2008 C350 Sport, 2007 ML320 CDI
That is tempting.

I got $1,003 off my order, but it was only because the same dealer did the worst delivery possible on our 2007 ML320 CDI. The sales manager was amazed that I came back. But thankfully the sales person and finance manger responsible for that debacle are off messing up deliveries at some other dealership!
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:46 PM
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2008 C350
Peyton I might consider this if I were you....that is a long time to wait just to have your car built. You dealer must not have been able to get your car into their Sept allotment at the factory. You ordered just a couple of weeks after me and your car will be built a month later...

Don't know if I'd wait....might look at the BMW, Lexus or Infiniti as well.
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Old 09-24-2007, 09:06 PM
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2008 C350 Black/Black Leather, P2, 18" AMG, Pano, illuminated door sills, chrome handles, long wait
MBTex...

Interesting you say that. I am one of the mind that would get what I want no matter the cost/wait. It has been unreasonable, but I keep looking at it thinking its the perfect looking car in its class, I can get it with every option, and design/performance wise, its perfect. And I've always seen Mercedes as the top of the luxury heap so I kind of think its worth waiting for. (not ultra luxury...Rolls Royce is there...)

But its the perfect car for me, just a shame it has to take so long to get here.

Would you still look elsewhere knowing that? Maybe I've become a jaded fan-boy.

meh.

Thanks for your input
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Old 09-24-2007, 09:46 PM
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The new CTS is very impressive, especially with the new interior and the direct injection V-6
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Old 09-24-2007, 09:59 PM
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2008 C350 Black/Black Leather, P2, 18" AMG, Pano, illuminated door sills, chrome handles, long wait
1SICKLEX why do you say that? I thought the direct injection V-6 was rather puny. and very unresponsive. The looks...are so so, the front looks good, but most of other angles are very tired to me.

Thats just me, but what were your driving impressions?
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Old 09-25-2007, 10:10 AM
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2008 C350
Well I know how you feel Peyton. This is the car I want, and the wait has been unpleasant. I don't know if I could wait yet another month. As much as we like the MB there are other options.

Still, despite that (and my previous post), I'd encourage you to hang on if you can. At least you have a build date now, which means you should have a set window for delivery (I'm guessing late Nov). And there is the chance that the dealer could find you one before yours arrives...
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:30 AM
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I drove the CTS, and didn't notice that my knee hit the console. I actually thought that the car was quite nice for the price. It certainly has lots more gadgets than the C class.

I haven't driven the C yet, but hope too soon. I just wish that the interior of the C had less hard plastic surfaces.

Competition is Good!
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:58 PM
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Thank you for pointing on CTS. I didn't consider it seriously after driving couple years ago. It was underpowered with bad handling. The new one looks much better, so I'm going to visit a dealer to test it. Good thing is that CTS has memory seat, rear parking assistance, keyless go and LED light. I do not consider CTS interior much better than C, at least on picture. So I'll check it out in person.
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:05 PM
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I was in San Francisco this past weekend and a CTS pulled up next to me and I couldn't help but stare at his beautiful car! This car has very nice curb appeal and I've heard a lot of people praise the interior even more. It sounds like the new CTS is loaded with new tech stuff (i.e., Tivo like settings for XM radio!!!) Very cool! Does the newest S-class even have this feature?

Apparently, there is a concern about vibration and wind noise but mostly vibration in the steering wheel at 50+mph. Anyone else hear of this?
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:24 PM
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2008 C350 Black/Black Leather, P2, 18" AMG, Pano, illuminated door sills, chrome handles, long wait
Yes, the new S class does this, and has for 2 years now. The new C class does as well ;-)

It has a 30 GB hard drive as opposed to the S-Class's 20GB, and the CTS 40GB.

HOWEVER, the actual formatted space on the CTS' HDD is smaller than the C350. The C350 has 4GB for music, the CTS has 2. Thats 1000 songs, or 500.

and of course the ability to 'pause' the music or radio when you get a phone call, and resume when you end the call....right where you left off.
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