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Terrible Handling on C300 HELP!

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Terrible Handling on C300 HELP!

 
Old 01-31-2012, 07:43 PM
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Terrible Handling on C300 HELP!

Does anyone else think that the C300 Sport handles terribly?

I used to drive an Infiniti Qx4 (SUV) and the handling is about the same which doesn't say much. I recently drove a brand new 3 series and it was incredible. I was taking huge turns at 60MPH and my body didn't even move in the seat. The benz would have put me into the window or into the passenger seat at 40.

Why is the handling so bad? Every time I take a corner at even a slow speed I end up getting thrown out of the seat (slight exaggeration). I know it's not operator error because the BMW was great to drive.

I still have a year and a half on my lease otherwise I would get rid of this thing immediately.

I do not race or pretend too. I simply want to corner comfortably without my passengers and I being swayed across the car. Forget about super quick cornering because I've tried that and the ESP kicked in and I thought I was headed for a wall lol.

ADVICE???????
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:48 PM
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If your body was moving around in one vehicle and not the other, sounds more like one vehicle's seats have better lateral support. Even if the car has a rigid suspension you're going to slide to the outside of a sharp bend at speed unless your seats have the support to hold you in place.
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Vai View Post
Does anyone else think that the C300 Sport handles terribly?

I used to drive an Infiniti Qx4 (SUV) and the handling is about the same which doesn't say much. I recently drove a brand new 3 series and it was incredible. I was taking huge turns at 60MPH and my body didn't even move in the seat. The benz would have put me into the window or into the passenger seat at 40.

Why is the handling so bad? Every time I take a corner at even a slow speed I end up getting thrown out of the seat (slight exaggeration). I know it's not operator error because the BMW was great to drive.

I still have a year and a half on my lease otherwise I would get rid of this thing immediately.

I do not race or pretend too. I simply want to corner comfortably without my passengers and I being swayed across the car. Forget about super quick cornering because I've tried that and the ESP kicked in and I thought I was headed for a wall lol.

ADVICE???????
My answer may not be pleasing to you, as it will challenge your assessment of how to judge "handling". Handling is not measured by your retention in the seat. Actually, if you consider the forces involved, being thrown out of your seat suggests the chassis is able to rapidly change the vector of the vehicle body, in essence leaving the passengers behind in space. You are not being thrown into the door, but the door is moving (along with the entire car) in a new direction, while your personal body's inertia has not allowed you to keep up with the quick change in direction. You are intercepting the door. Usually, the ability of the car to change direction quickly is a hallmark of good handling.

The C300 has been assessed by a wide variety of expert auto testers, from enthusiast magazine to Consumer Reports. The car does not have poor handling; it is highly rated. It does not have, by intent, the more athletic feel of a BMW, as its mission (as for the entire MB brand) is to deliver a more balanced ride and handling blend. If you wish to reduce the sway of the body even further, you can install thicker antisway bars. But, that will increase the lateral forces and have you meet the door with even more force. By objective metrics of lateral g forces on a skid pad, and assessment of the chassis balance for understeer vs. oversteer, it's not a BMW, but it is quite good. The comparison with a QX4 is not valid for comparing actual handling. The differences in weight and the height of the roll center will easily show a huge difference in skid pad results.

So, it is possible that your experience does come down to seat design and how snugly you wear your seat belt if you are measuring handling by how well you are retained in the seat.

BTW, as you seem not to like the car, didn't you take one for a test drive before signing the lease?
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:19 PM
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Reply

Thanks for your advice.

I do like the car for a lot of reasons but I thought this forum is a perfect place to post questions, criticisms.

I did test drive it but as you probably know it is hard to get a good feel for a car on a short test drive with a salesman buzzing in your ear. There are a few things which aggravate me about it (see my other post about the defrosters). I am a highly critical person as I imagine many of us are when it comes to cars. We wouldn't spend the money for a nice car if we were the "point A to point B type".

Thanks again for clarifying as I mentioned I'm not a car expert, rather someone who loves driving an amazing car.
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:23 PM
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This is offically one of the most pointless and incomprehensible threads Ive ever read. Sir, for the sake of Mercedes and everyone that drives one, please lease a BMW for your next car...

The C class is an excellent chasis; what your talking about has absolutley no relevance.
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Vai View Post
I do not race or pretend too. I simply want to corner comfortably without my passengers and I being swayed across the car.
ADVICE???????
If you dont race or pretend to race how are you hiting the corners going 40 or 60? arent you spose to be making turns 15-20 mhp?

Last edited by Normandie4life; 01-31-2012 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:31 PM
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Yeah, it's definitely more of a cruiser than a corner carver. It took me a bit to get used to it but now I love it.

Comparing it the handling to a BMW 3 series and coming away unimpressed is to be expected, to call it "terrible" isn't really fair. Go drive a Toyota Camry for comparison.

FWIW...the 2011 loaner i just had seemed to be softer/more floaty than my 2009. I wonder if they tweaked the suspension to be less sporty.
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:32 PM
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:38 PM
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If handling is a big concern for you, this is a fairly inexpensive mod that will give you the feel you are chasing after.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...QB6jpqmIlzGsBA
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Vai View Post
... Why is the handling so bad? Every time I take a corner at even a slow speed I end up getting thrown out of the seat (slight exaggeration). I know it's not operator error because the BMW was great to drive .... ADVICE???????
In 2008, I test drove comparable versions of the BMW 3##, and the Audi A4 V6 when I drove the C300 Lux & Sport. I've done 1000's of miles of HPDE driving events (was asked to be an instructor), so I warn the salesguy, then delete his presence from my mind as I test the car on back roads that I know well.

All were excellent handling cars. If I had a G meter during the test, I doubt there was more than a few percent difference. The BMW had the quickest response and least roll, and the hardest ride. The Audi was in the response middle.

Unless there were major suspension changes in 2012 that I did not hear about, the car handles great and gives a comfortable ride. I found the seat bolsters adequate, and with the belt tight I had adequate lateral support from the seat. You likely have a seat problem, either your shape and/or a problem getting the seat belt tight ... not sure if inertial grab systems are still used.

Swaybars are crude suspension components that take the independence from the two sides. Kits are usually excessively sized for street use. They will provide a quicker response to wheel input, but they have excessive single wheel joust rates, and will degrade cornering speed on rough roads.

.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by kevink2 View Post
In 2008, I test drove comparable versions of the BMW 3##, and the Audi A4 V6 when I drove the C300 Lux & Sport. I've done 1000's of miles of HPDE driving events (was asked to be an instructor), so I warn the salesguy, then delete his presence from my mind as I test the car on back roads that I know well.

All were excellent handling cars. If I had a G meter during the test, I doubt there was more than a few percent difference. The BMW had the quickest response and least roll, and the hardest ride. The Audi was in the response middle.

Unless there were major suspension changes in 2012 that I did not hear about, the car handles great and gives a comfortable ride. I found the seat bolsters adequate, and with the belt tight I had adequate lateral support from the seat. You likely have a seat problem, either your shape and/or a problem getting the seat belt tight ... not sure if inertial grab systems are still used.

Swaybars are crude suspension components that take the independence from the two sides. Kits are usually excessively sized for street use. They will provide a quicker response to wheel input, but they have excessive single wheel joust rates, and will degrade cornering speed on rough roads.
Going to respectfully disagree with the last portion.
Increased roll couple via anti-roll bars minimally degrade compliance when compared with similar (spring) wheel rate changes.
That’s precisely why most manufacturers fit them as original equipment.

Yes, razor sharp smooth circuit handling and pillow soft pothole ride characteristics are still mutually exclusive IMHO. There’s no free lunch.

Pleased with 10+ inches of fore and aft wheel travel in the workaday GMC.
My modified AMG is relatively responsive and usually goes where it’s pointed. Rides like a BMW though. :)
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by kevink2 View Post
Swaybars are crude suspension components that take the independence from the two sides. Kits are usually excessively sized for street use. They will provide a quicker response to wheel input, but they have excessive single wheel joust rates, and will degrade cornering speed on rough roads.



Last edited by xXHotelCrazyXx; 02-01-2012 at 02:48 AM.
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:49 AM
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Coming from a Porsche 911 and a Cadillac CTS-V I think the MB is superior in handling. And I did race sports cars and formula cars for 18 years. I can take the same corners with the MB as I did with the Porsche at the same speed with the only difference being the seats. The MB seats are not as good at holding you in place as the Porsche or the Cadillac, but are more comfortable on long rides. After three years I am still amazed at how well the MB handles especially for a mid priced sedan.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by kevink2 View Post
Swaybars are crude suspension components that take the independence from the two sides. Kits are usually excessively sized for street use. They will provide a quicker response to wheel input, but they have excessive single wheel joust rates, and will degrade cornering speed on rough roads.
One man's "crude" is another's "beauty of simplicity". And, any good solution can always be taken to an extreme. Your basic point is quite valid, and I've experienced the sideways hop on some vehicles with antisway bars not properly developed for the application. But, in the case of the Eibach antisway bars I've had for over a year, the engineering work was quite good, and I have not yet found the rough enough surface during a turn to experience that potential shortcoming compared to the base condition. It's all been delightful improvement so far!

BTW, they are antisway bars. No need to buy bars to create more sway!
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:11 AM
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SWAYBARS:

Raise your hand if you have:

> done total suspension analysis and modeling
> designed, built, and installed (welded) 5 way adjustable sway bars and mounts
> derived Dr Puhn's formula for sway bar rates (understanding the true rate is twice this bench rate)
> installed sway bars on 6 cars

My hand's up!

Originally Posted by Splinter
Increased roll couple via anti-roll bars minimally degrade compliance when compared with similar (spring) wheel rate changes.
Roll couple does not change "via" the sway bars. The effective wheel rate for an aftermarket sway bar is 2-4X the wheel rate due to the oem spring.

Last edited by kevink2; 02-01-2012 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Sportstick View Post
... I have not yet found the rough enough surface during a turn to experience that potential shortcoming compared to the base condition. It's all been delightful improvement so far
Mabe that's just a track thing I've seen, going 9/10ths and about 1G on track tires.

BTW, nobody I know calls them "anti sway bars", although it's the "proper" name.
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Vai View Post
... I recently drove a brand new 3 series and it was incredible. I was taking huge turns at 60MPH and my body didn't even move in the seat. The benz would have put me into the window or into the passenger seat at 40 ..... Every time I take a corner at even a slow speed I end up getting thrown out of the seat (slight exaggeration). I know it's not operator error because the BMW was great to drive.
I think you should pay attention to how the seat belt works/fits in your car, and how it and the seat allow you to move so much in turns. Then drive an identical car at the Dealer, and then drive the BMW, paying the same attention to the seat, seatbelt, and what's happening to you.

Hope it works out!

.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:48 AM
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Perhaps Vai will choose a more suitable model when his lease is up.


Originally Posted by kevink2 View Post
SWAYBARS:

Raise your hand if you have:

> done total suspension analysis and modeling
> designed, built, and installed (welded) 5 way adjustable sway bars and mounts
> derived Dr Puhn's formula for sway bar rates (understanding the true rate is twice this bench rate)
> installed sway bars on 6 cars

My hand's up!



Roll couple does not change "via" the sway bars. The effective wheel rate for an aftermarket sway bar is 2-4X the wheel rate due to the oem spring.
Notwithstanding your considerable academic and racing accomplishments, I’ve successfully installed upgraded OE and aftermarket anti-roll bars to adjust roll couple since Fred’s book first went to print.
Fact is my current bars are themselves individually adjustable. They’re merely an inexpensive tuning aid.

Seems disingenuous for a man to claim that they’re “crude suspension components” in one post,
and then apparently validate their efficacy by proclaiming he’s “installed sway bars on 6 cars” in the next.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:57 AM
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Ill keep it simple.

Raise your hand if you had any of the following after installing an aftermarket sway bar:

>Tighter handling
>Stiffer ride
>Solid cornering

My hands up!
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by xXHotelCrazyXx View Post
Ill keep it simple.

Raise your hand if you had any of the following after installing an aftermarket sway bar:

>Tighter handling
>Stiffer ride
>Solid cornering

My hands up!
Very good (applause).
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by kevink2 View Post
Mabe that's just a track thing I've seen, going 9/10ths and about 1G on track tires.

BTW, nobody I know calls them "anti sway bars", although it's the "proper" name.
Probably true, as much is different with setting up for the track than even enthusiastic street usage. In that environment, you are likely even more correct. But, I remain confident after a year of real world usage that the Eibach antisway bars have several benefits, and, other than the time/cost of installation, have yet to show a detriment.

If we are pursuing the "proper" usage discussion, yes, that is my preference. I learned English in the days of diagramming sentences and having a single misplaced comma lower the ceiling on an entire essay to a grade of "C". I have nowhere near your automotive technical/engineering credentials, but I can raise my hand for two Master's and a Doctorate, during which I fully absorbed the importance of proper usage of our language. I used to charge my staff a quarter every time they said, "I'm like" to precede a prior quotation or feeling they were attempting to communicate instead of the proper, "I said", "I thought", "I felt", "I believed", etc. I've also dismissed the excuse of "it's only the internet" as a childish cover for lack of educational training and/or discipline, oddly more prevalent than expected among Mercedes Benz owners. However, if I make an error, feel free to call me on it. We are all works in progress.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by kevink2 View Post
Very good (applause).
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:18 PM
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Great insight. I forgot to mention in the original post that this is my second C-class my last one was a 2009 C300 4Matic Sport. I felt like that car handled better but gave a harder ride. Perhaps it was because that model comes standard with 18" wheels instead of the 17" standard on the 2011 and 2012.

And please no wise *** comments about why I leased a second benz if I wasn't happy with the first. The reason was that there was some medical issues in the family at the time so I wasn't focused at all on a new car and as you may know it is much easier to keep the same brand than switch to a different one at a lease end. My next car will be a BMW for sure and now there is a new one in the family so I will be able to really make and educated decision.

Also, please note that I'm not saying the C-class isn't a great car because it certainly is. Every one has a different idea as to what they are looking for in a car.

Can someone tell me the positives and negatives of a larger wheel? I had thought about buying some new ones and idk what size to get for optimal driving (not showing off).
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:23 PM
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Its not a race car. Your not going get bucket seats. The car handles great for what it is. A comfortable 4door sedan. I still take turns as fast as I did in my Supra Powered Lexus, just make sure your butt in the seat is ready for the turn. I was decently impressed MB had a car that took corners decently to being with. I think "the turn" based on how well a SEAT is holding you is not a correct way of judging handling.

Get some Sparco bucket seats in your C-class and im sure your "handling" will improve much more. =D
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by splinter View Post
...I’ve successfully installed upgraded OE and aftermarket anti-roll bars to adjust roll couple since Fred’s book first went to print.
Read it again. The roll couple is an applied force/moment to the car when cornering. The swaybars can be used to change the balance of roll stiffness, changing under and oversteer.

Originally Posted by splinter View Post
... Seems disingenuous for a man to claim that they’re “crude suspension components” in one post, and then apparently validate their efficacy by proclaiming he’s “installed sway bars on 6 cars” in the next.
Not at all. One car had no bars to begin with, and I installed later model oem bars on it, and created a DIY (from instructions) for the Saab forum:

http://www.saabnet.com/sites/900swaybar/

Three other cars were track cars. The first car I just removed the bars when not racing in the summer, as the springs were2X the stock rates. This car had no rear bar, and I designed it and precut the 10ga sheet for bracket parts, welded by a friend. The diameter was 9/16" (.56"). The latest (rx7) I only put them (light upgrade tubular bars from Eibach) on for the summer track season, and switched to oem's for other times to enjoy the beautiful aluminum wishbone type, very independent suspension. The 5th was an old compact wagon that had uncomfortable roll, similar to another case where I installed them on an old Dodge van.

I forgot to mention 2 cases where I removed them. One was a Cobra driven by a race team. It obviously had excessive oversteer, so I offered to disconnect the rear bar and it was a huge improvement. The other was a mountain biking buddy that wanted to take his Civic with me to the road course. I first tested it in a parking lot the day before and found horrific understeer .. not worth the trip like that. I used house wire to tie off his front bar after removing the links. Rolled like crazy but handled like a cat ... he had a blast.

Bars are crude as they effect the opposite side of the car, whether cornering or not. Example, when hitting a brick on the road (dropped from an 18 wheeler you were about to pass on the highway) with one wheel, rather than absorbing it at that wheel, the big bar wants the other wheel to also rise, amking the impact at the primary wheel worse.

I hardly find this "disingenuous".

.

Last edited by kevink2; 02-01-2012 at 03:09 PM.
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