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Trip Report - W204 '08 C300

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Trip Report - W204 '08 C300

 
Old 09-27-2007, 03:14 PM
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Trip Report - W204 '08 C300

Well, we are back from our extended road trip through the West in our W204, an '08 C300 Lux. Here's what we experienced:

Route: We left Vancouver WA [think Portland OR] on 8/24, and went first to San Francisco for a week [my mom-in-law's place], then Las Vegas, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, then Monument Valley, Albuquerque, picked up the old Route 66 road through Kingman AZ, to San Diego to visit a friend, back to SF, then Sacramento for more friends / relatives, and then home on 9/24.

Stats: 4750 miles covered [the car now has exactly 5000 miles on it], 26-28 mpg at freeway speeds, temps ranged from 40-115F, altitudes to 9000 feet.

Roads: Everything from Interstates with 75 mph limits [and actual speeds of 85], to back roads with pitted surfaces and extreme twists for miles at a time. Really smooth pavement was rare; back roads in AZ and NM were sometimes very rough. These observations are important to the next point...

The Car: Absolutely fantastic. The best part about the new car is the ride / handling compromise - very absorbent ride over every kind of surface, but handling that is noticeably better in every way over the W203. Another improvement is the larger trunk...we got everything we needed inside, and it is more useable than the previous generation in this respect. Great seats [nothing new here], very quiet, and the quickest car we've ever owned - passing is easy, and speed changes are mostly a matter of just thinking about it. AC was really tested during the SW part of the trip - we saw 115F in Vegas, and never less than 95F for nearly two weeks. Coolant temps never budged over 90C, the cabin was always cooled instantly after a hot sun soak, and so far the car has used no oil at all. And it's tight - no noises inside, no squeaks or annoyances.

Issues: None. That's right, everything works. Our car was built in Bremen in June, and carries a serial number in the 17xxx range. I knew we were running a risk - so far, so good.

Other misc observations:
-Didn't think I'd care about the satellite radio, but now we're hooked.
-The cruise control has a feature that I've never encountered on an MB before - if you speed up temporarily using the pedal, when you ease off, it doesn't just coast back to the set speed [like every other car we've ever owned], but will actually apply the brakes gently to resume the old speed. Disconcerting at first, just something to get used to.
-The grade logic in the transmission is superb - whether going up hill or down, it was always doing the right thing - no hunting, and providing just the right gear to minimize brake use on down slopes. Very impressive.

Summary: The BEST CAR EVER in our household, and I've owned 54 cars total since 1962. DB has its act together again.
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:42 PM
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2008 C300 Sport
Excellent review. Thanks!!!
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Old 09-27-2007, 04:17 PM
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2008 C350 Black/Black Leather, P2, 18" AMG, Pano, illuminated door sills, chrome handles, long wait
Wow that IS great!

I was wondering about the cooling. I live in Lexington KY and we really get all seasons in equal measure and the summers here can be 85-95 for a month or two. Was your mention that the car was 'instantly cool' true or just a matter of speech? Coming from a manual car that takes about 5-10 minutes to cool down I'm greatly interested in this. Also, how long did it take to cool down after say, a day in the sun light? (open parking lot etc)

Thanks a ton! Any review of this car I'm instantly glued to. I need help.
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Old 09-27-2007, 06:56 PM
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Well I am very glad to hear that someone has had such a positive experience with the car after such a break in road trip.

People can find points to pick on any car for all sorts of reasons, but the fact that you love the car so much is a good sign...lets hope it continues for you.
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Old 09-27-2007, 07:25 PM
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Excellent report. I am pleased to know that you are 100% satisfied with your new W204; very encouraging. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:58 PM
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You say you got 26-28 mpg at freeway speeds, how about in town? Or was that an overall average? I am expecting around 20 city driving but curious to know real life experience.

Great review. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us all!
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:12 PM
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Great review/feedback you must've had a blast?
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Old 09-28-2007, 09:32 AM
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Followup answers:

-The AC produces INSTANT cold air. It is the best AC we have ever encountered in any non-Toyota or GM car [makes that, in my experience, set the standard here]. With the vents properly aimed, you start to feel more comfortable right away, and no more than a few minutes to make the whole interior cool. I can't imagine KY conditions testing it any more than we did. It was bloody HOT everywhere we went for the better part of two weeks.

-PURE stop and go driving yields 18 mpg. MIXED urban use gives 20-22 mpg. Our benchmark here is a cold start, followed by a couple of miles of lights, followed by 7 miles of freeway, and then more lights, and another 6 miles of freeway, then home. That kind of run in our W203 C240 typically yielded 20 mpg. The C300 gives 22-23 mpg under the same conditions. [Most of that is better, longer gearing; the 2.6 with the 5-spd automatic had a very short diff, so that the car was turning 3000 rpm at 70 mph; the C300 is doing 2000 rpm at 65 mph.]

-Freeway speeds [65-80 mph] will net you 26-28 mpg, depending on all of the usual factors. On one run from Santa Rosa to Sacramento, [120 miles] with a stretch of 55 mph, and rarely exceeding 75 mph, the computer showed 30.4 mpg, the best we saw on level ground.....and the engine probably isn't completely broken in quite yet.

Last edited by jrct9454; 09-28-2007 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:14 AM
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Great report, I just came from Washington, DC to Portland, OR. My car was fully loaded down, i.e. no room even for a passenger. I did not keep any records I just drove as if I stole this car. With the exception of the horn, which can be easily activated, I have no complaints. The power of the 3.5 is outstanding I found no need for 300 horse power. The ride is so good when doing 90 - 110 mph it felt like 55. As far as gas mileage, I really do not care when the level goes down I stop and fill it up. The Sat radio, I do not like to hear any DJ so after a few hours it was nothing but CDs.
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Old 09-30-2007, 11:53 AM
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Thanks for sharing!
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Old 09-30-2007, 09:08 PM
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Thanks for the fantastic trip report!
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Old 09-30-2007, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jrct9454 View Post
Well, we are back from our extended road trip through the West in our W204, an '08 C300 Lux. Here's what we experienced:

<SNIP>
Fantastic review; thanks for sharing it with us. I'm a little jealous that you have your car and you love it so much. Don't worry it's the good kind of jealousy Enjoy your new car !
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Old 10-01-2007, 03:40 AM
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Great review - John. You still on Edmunds?

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Old 10-01-2007, 04:41 PM
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'14 GLK250 Diesel
I still look in on Edmunds from time to time, but for some reason, haven't done much on their boards in awhile. The focus there is fuzzier for me - lots of interest spread over an incredibly large landscape. I prefer the tighter feel of this kind of forum. And I think Edmunds made a mistake in breaking down their boards into these micro-discussions - I don't have the time or interest to try to find out if a separate board exists for this issue or that issue on the C-Class, for example. I liked it better when there were one or two forums dedicated to each make/model....for some reason, they decided that every topic should have its own place, and I got bored trying to keep track of it all.

Last edited by jrct9454; 10-01-2007 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 10-16-2007, 10:22 PM
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Thanks for the great report. I hope to get my C300 Sport next week. Just sold my CLK 430 to get a 4 door.
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:05 AM
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2008 C300 Sport, RWD, US
John,

Great review. Thanks for posting.

Would like to ask you if you noticed any changes in the riding characteristics of your vehicle. Does it seem to ride any softer after putting 5,000 miles on it?
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Old 10-20-2007, 09:41 AM
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No noticeable changes in ride quality. And, at least with the std Lux 17" tires [same size on all 4 corners], running the pressures at 34-35 psi all around doesn't seem to negatively affect the ride, either.

I continue to think that there are two big improvements over the W203 - the ride / handling combination, and the overall feeling of solidity inside the car [no noises, no rattles].

And I should add that the ride would be both quieter and a bit softer with the new Michelin Primacy MXV4s, rather than the Contis that are std...the Contis are cheap, however.
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Old 10-20-2007, 11:50 AM
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Excellent trip report, thanks for taking the time to write and answer queries.
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Old 10-20-2007, 01:36 PM
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a quarter mile at a time
yeah I noticed that about the cruise control too, when going down steep grades, it will apply the brakes as well.
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Old 10-20-2007, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Peyton View Post
Thanks a ton! Any review of this car I'm instantly glued to. I need help.
Same here! Thanks for the review!
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