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Effortless.

 
Old 10-07-2007, 12:31 AM
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2008 C350WZ
Effortless.

Effortless. That's how I'd descrive the 3500cc/7-speed powertrain of the C350. Admittedly, I'm easely impressed because for the most of past 8 years I've been driving the 5-speed manaul 176 HP Jetta VR6 (and, occasionally, other cars raning from 200 to 248 HP - the latter a > 4500 Lb SUV).

Nonetheless, I'm still amazed at how smooth and always in the right gear the C350 is. As I've posted in other threads, I've been driving quite conservately, almost always below 3000-3500 RPM and most of the time under 2500 RPM (for the break-in period I vary the engine speed but try hard to refrain going past 3500 RPM). This car is just so easy to drive... truly effortless, I think.

Ironically though, this own trait I find it to be quite a disatvantage sometimes, as it is just too darn boring and uneventful to drive (under 80MPH)! I may have gotten a Mercedes, but I still wish for some 3-series "feel", at least some of the time. But since the performance DNA is already in the C350, I think something as simple as a Remus exhaust might just give it the right "tone" without having to twice break the California speed limit to resurect the adrenaline. I dream of an Autobahn curving its way to Nurburgring circuit .

Admitedly, the feel of "spirited" driving I sometimes long for - and don't always find in the C350 - probably does not improve performance at all, and it's just that: a grin-inducing feeling.

Suffice it to say, in my un-profession/un-expert opinion, the C350 is an uncanny blend of performance and practicality, allbeit biased towards the latter, for both the powertrain and compliant suspension.

Last edited by qwerty1024; 10-07-2007 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 10-07-2007, 02:36 AM
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its always good to hear excited enthusiasts! nice!

I think you brought it back to reality for a bit there. Stop comparing to the 335, and compare to 98% of cars on the road. PWN with vengence!
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Old 10-07-2007, 04:33 AM
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I heard the US market 204 C350WZ will have a governer at 155mph rather than 130. Hopefully so, let us know when you find out.
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:24 AM
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Good observation. Although it does not the power of a BMW 335i, that does not mean that it is not a very good drive train, with good power. I enjoy driving it and find it powerful enough for all but the most spirited driving.

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Old 10-07-2007, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottyGams View Post
its always good to hear excited enthusiasts! nice!

I think you brought it back to reality for a bit there. Stop comparing to the 335, and compare to 98% of cars on the road. PWN with vengence!
I tried to refrain from showing how really excited I am about the W204... but frankly, I'm absolutely "stoked"! How much so? I can hardly wait to get up in the morning to go drive... anywhere. How bizzare can I get with this?? Hmmm... I'll admit to going on the mbusa.com and configuring the C350 to my near-liking, then looking and pondering upon it on the screen... and then only to tell my self that IT IS ALREADY IN MY GARAGE Yes, it is a bit infantile and

But really, it all starts from the moment I walk to car and see its looks. Then, I totally love the way the door opens, closes and how I "sink" behind the wheel into the near-perfect seats (I think they are perfrectly firm, by the way - a bit more lateral support would not hurt). Once inside, just about every control is within easy reach: it all just feels right.

And I am memorized by the suspension: predictable, compliant, responsive and it absorbs rough sections of the road without electrocuting the spinal cord. Anyways... I could go on and on, but I'll stop - for now.
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:30 AM
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2008 C350WZ
Originally Posted by Untertürkheim View Post
I heard the US market 204 C350WZ will have a governer at 155mph rather than 130. Hopefully so, let us know when you find out.
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Old 10-07-2007, 11:46 AM
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Regarding break-in, I believe you can safely drive up to 85mph, since the guidelines for break-in in Europe dictate 130km/h as the max speed.
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Old 10-08-2007, 10:28 AM
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2008 C350
Originally Posted by Untertürkheim View Post
I heard the US market 204 C350WZ will have a governer at 155mph rather than 130. Hopefully so, let us know when you find out.
Wow...nice if that turns out to be true. Although I'll probably break the 130 mark once or twice at most in mine.
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Old 10-08-2007, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Untertürkheim View Post
Regarding break-in, I believe you can safely drive up to 85mph, since the guidelines for break-in in Europe dictate 130km/h as the max speed.
Here's my break-in question...I tend to drive aggressively and want the car to respond to me when I need that quick downshift. And, if the 7G "learns" how you drive in the first 1000 miles, how can I teach it to shift into lower gears if I can't drive the car the way I want to because of the break-in period?
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MBTex View Post
Here's my break-in question...I tend to drive aggressively and want the car to respond to me when I need that quick downshift. And, if the 7G "learns" how you drive in the first 1000 miles, how can I teach it to shift into lower gears if I can't drive the car the way I want to because of the break-in period?
I don't think you can. MB transmissions are known to be reluctant to downshift. It's not a fault; they are built like that on purpose. If there is less shifting around then the ride is smoother giving you a better ride quality. The only way to encourage a down-shift is to stomp on the gas pedal (aka. kick-down). When I first got my Benz this annyoed the living daylights out of me but now I actually kinda like it.
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Old 10-08-2007, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by LaicepsYdobon View Post
I don't think you can. MB transmissions are known to be reluctant to downshift. It's not a fault; they are built like that on purpose. If there is less shifting around then the ride is smoother giving you a better ride quality. The only way to encourage a down-shift is to stomp on the gas pedal (aka. kick-down). When I first got my Benz this annyoed the living daylights out of me but now I actually kinda like it.
So does the W203 also have the 7G tranny? It was always my understanding that it does adapt to driving habits and will "go" when it learns to go.
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Old 10-08-2007, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by MBTex View Post
So does the W203 also have the 7G tranny? It was always my understanding that it does adapt to driving habits and will "go" when it learns to go.
My W203 does not have a 7G tranny rather a 5 speed but it does have the adaptive feature. The computer looks at the way you are driving and adjusts the transmission shifts accordingly. So, when you are cruising around 40mpg going to the grocery store the transmission is "lazy". Shifting between gears happens below/or around 3,000rpm and downshifts are avoided until necessary. When you are having a spirited drive on the highway gear changes happen past 3,000rpm so you will get maximum torque. When slowing down and stepping on the gas again there is a good chance a downshift will occur; unlike in the first scenario. The car doesn't "learn" or "remember" for the long run. It's more of an instant thing. Once you turn the engine off and turn it on again the car does have no recollection of how you've driven in the past.
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Old 10-08-2007, 02:34 PM
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OK, thanks for the info.

I found some articles on it online. It apparently will decide to shift directly from 7-5-3 if it needs to for the car to accelerate using 2 shifts instead of the normal 4. I think I'm going to be very pleased with it, especially if it doesn't need to be "trained"
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:05 PM
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Search for "ECU reset" or "tranny reset".
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Old 10-08-2007, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by MBTex View Post
OK, thanks for the info.

I found some articles on it online. It apparently will decide to shift directly from 7-5-3 if it needs to for the car to accelerate using 2 shifts instead of the normal 4. I think I'm going to be very pleased with it, especially if it doesn't need to be "trained"
Oh I'm sure you are going to love the new tranny I'm really looking forward to it also. I can't wait to cruise at 80mph with the engine at 2200rpm. My car is pretty quiet now at 80mph (engine at 3200rpm) but I can't imagine how quiet its going to be at 2200rpm.
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Old 10-08-2007, 07:20 PM
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After spending the weekend driving the new C ... after having traded in my e90 ... I'm amazed at the sport/comfort compromise. It's so much nicer. The other thing that strikes me is how much sheer grip the car has compared to my e90. Admittedly, the tires on the C are brand new, and the tires on my e90 had 25k on them.

The difference, and here's where it gets hard to describe, is that the e90 you could sense the limits and feel like you could easily correct once you were over them. But those limits, on the stock RFT bridgestones felt very low. It was very easy to kick the rear end out around any corner, wet or dry. That might also be a manual transmission vs auto tranny thing too.

Contrast that with the C that just feels like it's going to stick past where you feel comfortable driving it ... maybe that's the lack of bolstering on the seats? ... or maybe it's the light steering feel.

I'm not saying it's better or worse, I prefer the C with high amounts of grip and an easy going ride.

Oh, I wanted to add, I haven't had a chance to poke my head under the C to look at the suspension but maybe it's a case that the C's suspension allows better geometry? The 3 series suspension, I know from tearing it apart myself, is very rudimentary.

Last edited by oblu; 10-08-2007 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 10-08-2007, 10:54 PM
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2008 C350WZ
I, too, am impressed with the C's grip you described. It really sticks to the asphalt with little body roll, putting enough load on the driver where the seat's (lack of sufficient - in my opinion) lateral support makes one grab a firm hold of the steering wheel. The car is certainly better than I am, though.

I've not driven an E90 so am glad to hear you comment on it also. The echo of my endless debates of a "328i or C W204" still linger in my head ...
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:03 PM
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2008 C350WZ
Oh, and here's how the Chassis specs are described on MBUSA:
Front suspension Independent 3-link with antidive geometry and stabilizer bar.
Rear suspension Independent 5-arm multilink. Stabilizer bar.
AGILITY CONTROL suspension To help perfect the pleasure of handling, the damping is automatically varied at each wheel as needed. Our engineers also made other adjustments to ensure optimum response to vibration — enhancing the vehicle's predictability when driven hard. Lowered, stiffer sport suspension.
I'm not an automobile-engineer, but I sure like the way it feels
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:14 PM
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Great stuff guys! It keeps getting tougher to wait!
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by qwerty1024 View Post
Effortless. That's how I'd descrive the 3500cc/7-speed powertrain of the C350.

Perfectly said.... EFFORTLESS!
I couldn't agree more.
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