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Test drove a c250 coupe...impressions...

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Test drove a c250 coupe...impressions...

 
Old 09-17-2011, 09:06 AM
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Test drove a c250 coupe...impressions...

The local MB dealer got 4 or 5 C250 coupes in this past week so I stopped by yesterday to take a peek and to take one for a spin.

Disclaimer:
These are only my OPINIONS of the car...so don't come and argue with me about them...if you had a different experience please feel free to post about it.

The Good:
MB nailed it with the styling of the coupe. I wasn't too fond of the styling based on the pictures I saw (very accord coupe looking to me). But it person she's a beauty. The interior is a night and day difference from my car. Quality of materials and lay-out of the interior is spot on. Plus it still has plenty of room.I saw all three interior color choices. The black is very sharp and sporty looking. The black tex seats have white stitching which looks really good. The tan interior was my least favorite...but not THAT bad. My favorite was the ash (light grey). The contrast between the ash seats with the black dash and door trim looks great. None of the coupes there had the upgraded lighting package but I actually prefer the standard headlights (the upgraded headlights with the C-shaped light is a little over-done for my taste). Redesigned taillights are also very nice.

The Not-So-Good
While MB hit a home run with the styling...unfortunately the performance of the car falls short. Now I obviously knew it wasn't going to be a rocket bc it's only a 4 cylinder but I at least expected the engine to run smoothly...not so. There's a good amount of lag when you go from a dead stop. So don't expect to push the pedal in and go. Acceleration was pretty good once it got moving though...probably on par with my current C300 sport. But it runs into more trouble when the gears shift (I test drove an auto). Transitions between shifts are very choppy...the car actually jerks even at low and high(er) speeds. Doesn't make for a satisfying driving experience at all. I test drove an A5 right before I drove the C250 and the A5's 4cylinder engine is by far superior. Power and acceleration kicks in immediately when you step on the gas (no lag at all) and gears shifts are extremely smooth.

The other thing I wasn't crazy about is the pano roof (which didn't surprise me bc I had the same complaints about the pano roof on the previous model year). From the outside it looks cool...I especially like the color contrast on the white cars. But from the inside there is a significant amount of wind "echoing" (for lack of a better word) when it's open. Cracking the windows helps a little but it's still annoying IMO. Pano roof is standard so you better learn to love it.

I was also disappointed to see that the C250 coupes only have a single exhaust pipe. It can be fixed/modified but I thought it would've come with duals from the factory. MB does appear to be on par with other cars in this class though bc the A5 and the 328i coupe also only have the single side exhaust.

Price:
The one I was interested in had an MSRP of $42,200 (premium package, nav, and 18" amg wheels). The best they would do on a lease was $2500 down and $590 a month for 36 months. WAY too much for that car IMO (especially considering the choppiness and lag of the engine)...I'd much rather spend a little more and get an E350 coupe instead. I do realize that they will be priced higher bc they were just released and there aren't any incentives yet...hopefully prices drop after being out for a few months

Overall:
MB did a really nice job with this car...BIG improvement over their last attempt at a c-coupe. BUT while the design and styling are spot on...the driving experience is sub par...at least on the C250. I'm sure the C350 coupe will be a completely different story...but those will also be significantly more expensive.
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:44 AM
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Thanks for sharing your impressions NJBNZ. The 2.0L turbo in the A5 is an industry-standard setting engine and a tough act to follow. As for the single exhaust, as there is only one cylinder bank as in the Audi and BMW, why go through the expense and WEIGHT of a twin exhaust?

One wishes that MB offered the C300 in Kompressor form, to increase performance, torque and efficiency inexpensively. FI is the only way to go.

And while we are at it, use REGULAR gas, prices for Premium at some SoCal gas stations was $5.25/gal. last week.

Last edited by Acapulco Bill; 09-17-2011 at 10:00 AM. Reason: regular gas
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:36 AM
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I was in LA the end of last month and never paid more than 3.xx for gas. I think premium was in the 3.90 range at most stations..i was paying 3.60ish for regular.
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:07 AM
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Labor Day weekend, in San Diego, along I-5, a 76 station was $5.25 for premium, and at Costo Premium was $4.09. Filled both my V12 and the M3. Besides the blackout.
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Old 09-17-2011, 02:02 PM
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by NJBNZ View Post
The local MB dealer got 4 or 5 C250 coupes in this past week so I stopped by yesterday to take a peek and to take one for a spin............BIG SNIP......

The Not-So-Good
While MB hit a home run with the styling...unfortunately the performance of the car falls short. Now I obviously knew it wasn't going to be a rocket bc it's only a 4 cylinder but I at least expected the engine to run smoothly...not so. There's a good amount of lag when you go from a dead stop. So don't expect to push the pedal in and go. Acceleration was pretty good once it got moving though...probably on par with my current C300 sport. But it runs into more trouble when the gears shift (I test drove an auto). Transitions between shifts are very choppy...the car actually jerks even at low and high(er) speeds. Doesn't make for a satisfying driving experience at all. I test drove an A5 right before I drove the C250 and the A5's 4cylinder engine is by far superior. Power and acceleration kicks in immediately when you step on the gas (no lag at all) and gears shifts are extremely smooth.

The other thing I wasn't crazy about is the pano roof (which didn't surprise me bc I had the same complaints about the pano roof on the previous model year). From the outside it looks cool...I especially like the color contrast on the white cars. But from the inside there is a significant amount of wind "echoing" (for lack of a better word) when it's open. Cracking the windows helps a little but it's still annoying IMO. Pano roof is standard so you better learn to love it.........ANOTHER BIG SNIP

Overall:
MB did a really nice job with this car...BIG improvement over their last attempt at a c-coupe. BUT while the design and styling are spot on...the driving experience is sub par...at least on the C250. I'm sure the C350 coupe will be a completely different story...but those will also be significantly more expensive.
I would say that if anyone would even THINK about a 4-cylinder version of this heavy car, they should drive one before ordering anything. MB's past 4-cylinder models that I have driven have been nasty cars, ruined by the engines. The first ones were W202 service loaners (admittedly a while back), in 2.2 and 1.8 versions and the engines were noisy, rough and gruff and vastly inferior to the 158hp inline six in my C280 which I couldn't wait to get back into. The last loaners were a few of those awful W203 hunchback coupes with the supercharged 2.3 also found in early SLKs. Terrible exhaust note, BTW.

I think cars like the new coupe costing 40K plus need a power plant more suited to their marketing niche and 4 cylinders boots it downmarket.

I do agree about the Pano roof. Before I specced out my car, I looked at a Pano roof car and didn't like the idea of the roof perched on top of the car when open. Plus, when it is open, there are too many dark corners revealed to collect dust and dirt around the edges of the opening. I passed.

It does look good if you never open it, though.

BTW, I'm paying $4.01.9 for ethanol free Chevron premium. Not a bargain.
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:22 PM
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Good write up on the 250..i agree...The new dash is a home run...Looks like a E class Dash..HUGE improvemnt!
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Old 09-18-2011, 06:08 AM
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Nice review!!
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:22 AM
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MB C220 Sport W204, 18" AMGs, Grey lthr, xenons, p'ktronic, HKardon, Comand nav.
Smile

As a comparison here in UK we pay 1.369 PER LITRE for 95 octane gas - thats about $2.163 PER LITRE or about $8.652 per US gallon. Just be grateful....!

And you wonder why we have more 4 cylinder cars here in Europe and diesel engines also - gas mileage!!!!

There will be a 4 cylinder S Class in Europe soon and most manufacturers are down sizing engines and adding turbochargers, getting more hp from less every day.

Gas and diesel is finite so make the most of your V6s and V8s.....
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:58 AM
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To me and maybe me only, any 4-cylinder engine, turbo or not, does not belong to luxury brand like MB BMW, etc. If I really want a 4-cylinder to save gas/money, I'd look for other brands for example Nissan Sentra or Toyota Corolla.

High end cars a heavier, so 4-cylinder has to work harder to get the car going, therefore sounds noisier, rides rougher. All those will downgrade brand image.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:24 AM
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2012 E350 4-matic SPORT
they def do look sweet, but i would not get it
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:02 PM
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They are all doing 4 cylinder only becuase of Gov't Regulation and CAFE....!
I agree they dont belong in these premium care..I mean cmon do i really want a 4 banger when i drop 40-50k
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:30 PM
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Thanks for the info OP.
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by C300CA View Post
To me and maybe me only, any 4-cylinder engine, turbo or not, does not belong to luxury brand like MB BMW, etc. If I really want a 4-cylinder to save gas/money, I'd look for other brands for example Nissan Sentra or Toyota Corolla.

High end cars a heavier, so 4-cylinder has to work harder to get the car going, therefore sounds noisier, rides rougher. All those will downgrade brand image.
Typical North American thinking. In my opinion cubes don't make luxury.
Clever engineering , ride ,handling safety, comfort & efficiciency do.
Car manufacturers who do not recognise this are dead or dying.Pure fact.
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:46 PM
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Good review, I guess we have to wait for the C350 Coupe.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Carsy View Post
Typical North American thinking. In my opinion cubes don't make luxury.
Clever engineering , ride ,handling safety, comfort & efficiciency do.
Car manufacturers who do not recognise this are dead or dying.Pure fact.
I have to agree, maybe just an Australian thing but I wouldn't have put a deposit down on the new merc if it were a giant engine fuel guzzler. I test drove the CDI, faster to 100k (62mile)/hr than the 250 petrol.

I went in what I thought was an impossible task. Luxury "sporty" car with good fuel economy and good performance, all the gadgets I want and at a reasonable price.
The 250 CDI is more fuel efficient than a "proper" eco horrid box @ 5.2L/100km (prius is 6.8L/100K? & better than my current golf diesel @6.2L/100km) meaning it avoids the luxury car tax in Australia ($4000 saving), has faster 0-100km/h than the entry level A5 which is the same price (7.1s on the merc vs 8.0s on the A5) and the standard offerings also keep it well under the competition, in AU anyhow (seeing a big difference overseas in standard offerings)

In short without the new styling, the look, feel and economy I would have been a 3 series BMW or new Audi driver. I'm glad Mercedes have put this option up, even 2 months ago I wasn't even looking at them. I'm sure I'm not the only one in this situation.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by tanktube67 View Post
Good review, I guess we have to wait for the C350 Coupe.
In stock right now.
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by C300CA View Post
High end cars a heavier, so 4-cylinder has to work harder to get the car going, therefore sounds noisier, rides rougher. All those will downgrade brand image.


BTW, Pano roof is standard on all C-Coupes or all C-Classes starting w/ 2012 MY's? Either way, that is NUTS!
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted by K-A View Post
BTW, Pano roof is standard on all C-Coupes or all C-Classes starting w/ 2012 MY's? Either way, that is NUTS!
The "Vision" pack is standard in AU, i ordered without but it's going to cost me 3 months until delivery. Vision pack = sunroof, Harmon Kardon stereo upgrade (just puts a name to it and gives it more bass & power) and the upgraded xenon headlamps with lamp washers.

I agree nuts, especially in Australia, the sunroof is never completely covered, the motorised cloth cover for it still lets sunlight through, not a great option in my opinion but it's one of those subjective things, you either like it or you don't!
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:15 AM
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i also test drove a c250, but i didnt like the speed factor. granted i know its not a super fast sports car, i still felt my c300 was snappier than it.
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:48 AM
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Maybe MB can try smaller V6 like some other brand, such as Infiniti G25, or long time ago Lexus E250. Although power is down, it should be still smoother and quieter than any 4 cylinder, am I right?
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by hvtopiwala View Post
i still felt my c300 was snappier than it.
Yes I definitely agree...my C300 is quicker and more responsive from a dead stop and the shifts (mine is auto as well) are MUCH smoother.
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by tharsis View Post
The "Vision" pack is standard in AU, i ordered without but it's going to cost me 3 months until delivery. Vision pack = sunroof, Harmon Kardon stereo upgrade (just puts a name to it and gives it more bass & power) and the upgraded xenon headlamps with lamp washers.

I agree nuts, especially in Australia, the sunroof is never completely covered, the motorised cloth cover for it still lets sunlight through, not a great option in my opinion but it's one of those subjective things, you either like it or you don't!
Sunroof and Panorama roof are entirely different. The standard glass sunroof with manual sliding shade is very useable. This discussion is about the extra-cost Pano roof.
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by RLE View Post
Sunroof and Panorama roof are entirely different. The standard glass sunroof with manual sliding shade is very useable. This discussion is about the extra-cost Pano roof.
Sorry in my previous post by Sunroof i ment Pano roof, I didn't think there was a "sunroof" option so I mistakenly called them the same thing.

I didn't like the pano roof with the cloth shade which is still somewhat see through, in a hot climate it's not awful practical.
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Carsy View Post
Typical North American thinking. In my opinion cubes don't make luxury.
Clever engineering , ride ,handling safety, comfort & efficiciency do.
Car manufacturers who do not recognise this are dead or dying.Pure fact.
Well now, hang on there just a minute. You can't compare Australia with North America because the population, driving conditions and most of all the taxes and duties to bring in anything not built in Oz are very different.

My friend SJB and his wife spend three months per year in Sydney (she is a native) where they keep an apartment and he has plenty to say about taxes. They can't even rent a car anymore because of the outlandish costs so ended up buying a used car which sits for nine months.

BTW, I would love to spend some time there as a tourist but the costs are just too much compared to going elsewhere.
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