This one's a keeper
This was a dealer demonstration car, and was one of the first of the new W203 series with the peanut headlights.
When it was delivered, the alarm had been disconnected (on purpose), there was a problem with the radio/phone interface that required new software, and the passenger door fitted badly.
Since then, 2 or 3 rear brake or tail lights have blown. If a tail light fails, the car will turn the brake light on at low intensity to replace it.
A front tyre was punctured by a large nail and blew out on the motorway. It took me a while to realise what had happened, since there was no steering pull, and the cruise control compensated for the drag.
Unfortunately the car had the tirefit system, and the bottle of sealant had gone hard, so we had to call for a tow truck.
This has been a very reliable, economic and comfortable car. Plenty of power and a very smooth automatic gearbox.
This model has slightly firmer suspension for better corning without sacrificing too much comfort.
It has just had its 3rd Service at 72000Km, about 45000 miles. The first two cost about 250 EUR each, but the last one cost 900 EUR because of the extra parts. Even so, the total servicing costs have been less than for the other new cars I have owned.
It holds it value very well, and I don't have the itch to trade it in. The Mazdas and Opels I used to own always looked old after a couple of years and I used to spend a fortune keeping them up to date.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th November, 2003