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I am considering a 2005 C-Coupe (providing the wife will let me) to replace my battle-worn Mazda Protege5. The Protege is a great car for those considering a cheap run-about, but I am driving 150+ miles every day and have decided that I want to spend my 2.5+ hours in more comfort and space than the Protege provides. I have looked at many cars and the C230 Coupe seems to fit me the best (as I am 6'4" and 275+ lbs.) Are there known issues with the C-coupe that I should be prepared for? I am hearing horror stories from a friend that works for Chrysler regarding the 300/Magnum (E-Class) and have decided that I will not be driving one of those until they get some things worked out. Also, I cruise at about 85...what should I expect for gas mileage...we all know that the sticker on the window is not accurate. I have driven the auto...any opinions on auto vs. 6-speed? How about the panorama roof? It looks good but what is the downside (other than weight?) My Protege has a very annoying wind whistle at higher speeds from either the windshield seal or the sunroof. Many people have tried to find it but none have succeeded. There is also the possibility of a certified 2004 coupe. Opinions of 2004 vs. 2005? Thanks all for your help. My wife and I have both owned 190s (mine was a 2.3-16, hers was plain 2.3) and miss them very much.
 

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The W203 line is nearing the end of its life cycle and the early problems have been worked out.

Gas mileage at 85 with the roof closed should be about 30.

Many people are not happy with the auto for several reasons. With the 1.8 liter, it tends to hunt up and down a lot. I found that the auto MB's have a weird throttle tip in and it takes a lot of thottle to get anything happening. Dpwnshifts can be slow in traffic and sometimes that leaves you in a bad position when trying to merge or turn left in traffic. And the manumatic feature is so slow it is rediculous.

There have been complaints in the past with the shifting of the six speed manual. But that is fixed the the all new transmission in the 2005's.

The 2005's are reported to have an upgraded suspension. Those who have driven them report near BMW like handling while maintaining the MB ride.

I my opinion the panorama roof is a must have. I love it. There were issues with wind noise and creaking with the older cars, but those have been resolved. Something broke in my roof and it now has a 2005 roof. It is much better.

Act fast. There will be no 2006 coupes imported into the US, and I hear you can't order 2005's any more.
 

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Hi rad23racer
I own C230 S.C. since November 2001 (model 2002). It is one of the first cars in the USA. My car has 2.3 l. engine and manual transmission.
Options: Bose system and winter package. I don’t have sunroof –I just don’t like sunroofs. I have two sets of wheels; one with summer high performance tires and second with winter tires.
I like this car a lot. I have over 45500 miles and have no problem at all so far. Very reliable and dependable, drives very well, it’s very sporty; I took it to the track last summer (Lime Rock) and beat Audi TT twice.
Friend of mine has model 2003 with 1.8 l. engine and she is very happy as well.
If you like MB you will be happy with C230 S.C.
Zygmunt
 

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Choosing a C230 Coupe

Hi Rad23Racer

Good advice from the others. I have driven about 25,000 miles in my 2003 C230 with auto and fully equipped. I drive it in Winter mode most of the time as it seems to shift and not 'hunt' much on the way up and down the gears. Good transmission. 6 speed better for sporty driving. Car is solid & reliable. I had trouble with P6 Pirellis, damaged on trip to Vegas via Utah highways(groan), but they were replaced by dealer at no charge after 20,000 miles!! Good, tough little engine with lots of guts but not a lot of low end torque unless you boot it. With Supercharger, very good on mountain roads or in high altitude. Comfortable seats, hard at first but save your butt from nodding off... Great economy, switchgear, steering, brakes, and love the sunroof. I spray it with silicone once in a while and it never causes problems. For the money, it is the bargain of the MBs, using many of the more pricey models mechanicals. I tried the BMW320 here in Vancouver but found it short on performance and too hard riding.
I am 6'2" 190 lean pounds and a cool 62 yr old. I have owned a Porche, three MBS and other sporty cars. I like the C230 very much. It is fairly popular in Canada and may be around longer, as the moderators note, here than in the US. Canadians like hatchbacks--which is what it is--better than Americans. We dont equate hatchback with cheap. We call it utility.
For the money remember also the warrantee. In Canada it is 5 years and 75,000 miles(converting from KMS in Canada), on drivetrain, but that includes a lot of stuff. 4 years or 50K miles on everything. 7500 miles or more between services. This saves money and, the car is not a bad price--even in Canada where we get scalped, screwed and price-clobbered--plus 14.5 percent taxes!
I havent yet seen a better deal!!

Al on sunny Vancouver Island
B.C. Canada 8)
 
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