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      07-20-2007, 12:17 AM   #1
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Drove the W204 C-class yesterday

And i'll be driving it again at the C drive event hosted by MBUSA for the launch of the new C. And I can actually say that it's a car I wouldn't mind driving again, though I don't terribly miss the experience I had yesterday. It's a great car.

I went to Calabasas Motor Cars to drop a co worker off as that's her boyfriends place of work. Upon pulling into the dealer I noticed the new C300 sprt. and though I'd go check it out. Low and behond a salesman pops up(totally unplanned of course :wink. First I ask for a brochure, then my co worker(who's totally cool) asks if we can drive the car, without hesitation the guy went into the dealer to grab the keys. Upon his return he opened the car up for us, got in and examined the contents of the interior. First thing I noticed was a rather snug roof line that doesn't seem to extend as far upward as in the W203, leg room was bountiful. Interior trim and materials were all top notch, looking as if they fit the car of the C's price bracket.The COMMAND system was pretty easy to use, almost laughable in simplicity, anyone who doesn't get the ease of this system I'd probably make angry with laughter(me laughing at them). Especially cool is the ability to play DVD's and rip MP3's that can stored in the cars media system for future play, a boon for any tech freak/geek or music lover.

Onto the good stuff, how it drives. Well, quite interestingly, especially for the class this car competes in, it's typical Benz with a sporty touch to it. Just a touch, you see, because though it handles flat and with enthusiasm, it never grabs you by your shirt collar and demands your attention. Almost everything the new C does is with leisure as you'd expect from an MB. Floor the accelerator, feel what speed?(MB hallmark- no sensation of speed) All you see is the speedomter moving ever so quickly upward the speed range, but you must keep mind to watch ahead of you so the pretty thing doesn't end up smashed. The steering is more than decent providing good feel(more than decent, but only good) but not as razor sharp as a 3er. The suspension has firmness to it but it never disappoints with jarring behavior, something that would be very un-Benz-like. Taking corners is an enthusiastic affair with no hint of noticeable body roll whatsoever. Only detractor from the driving experience was probably the engine and transmission, both of which felt lethargic compared to the N52 in the comparable BMW 328. The whole time I drove the car I had the tranny in sport mode, and using sport mode in the E90 328 is a completely different experience, which is reduced down to the fact that the N52 revvs with a vengeance that's lost in the 3.0 V6 in the Benz. I have yet to drive the 3.5 engine C, but I don't expect it to be a revelation , especially next to the N54.

So all in all the W204 is a great car, no leaps and bounds in any which direction but more than adequate to the selected audience. Those looking for a finely crafted automobile that's not crammed with useless features/tech, won't ruffle their feathers to and fro, and looks the part of an established individual, and handles with the alacrity you'd expect of a German sports sedan. No 3er, but I don't think MB ever wanted it to be, but most definitely a welcomed return to tradition for MB quality.
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      07-20-2007, 06:55 AM   #2
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I saw it at the NYIAS from the side view at first, and thought.. "hey, that's a nice looking car". Then I walked around to the front... The grill evoked images of a Mack truck to me.

I do understand about the pedestrian safety rules in the EU, and making the cars have a taller hoodline, but they could have done a bit better job, especially how they made the rest of the car look pretty decent.

The one thing I noticed was the upscaling of emeneties on the new C. Almost as if they want to bring a lesser class to the US, much like BMW is doing with the 1er. "Hey, let's make the US entry level car bigger and schmancier, and then insert a new entry level offering".
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      07-20-2007, 07:21 AM   #3
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Great review..
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      07-20-2007, 11:24 AM   #4
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I forgot to add that the brakes are super touchy, very assuring but slightly awkward, nothing MB won't be able to fine tune with time.
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      11-02-2007, 04:42 PM   #5
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I'm starting to like the c300 over the 1 series
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      11-02-2007, 05:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAnhDy View Post
I'm starting to like the c300 over the 1 series
Why?
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      11-02-2007, 06:13 PM   #7
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I like the c300 as well. NOt more than the 135i, but if the 135i costs more than I want to spend and I dont know how I feel about the 128i, I think that the c300 is my next choice.
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