1998 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 180 Elegance 1.8
Dignified, relaxed and comfortable
Nothing major at all. Not one major garage visit
* A bit of graunching coming from the front corner.
* Kickdown never really worked properly (I picked it very cheap), but the transmission is fine otherwise. No bumps and/or clunks. On the rare occasion that I need a bit of extra oomph, I just shift it manually. Both the car and I are content with this situation.
* All the other bits and mechanical gubbins are there and are functioning as the engineers intended, as they will probably will be for quite some time.
* It's not a fast car by any stretch, but perfectly adequate. Hummed along happily at 160 km/h when a French ferry strike necessitated covering the ground quick between Roscoff and Le Havre, loaded with four adults and all their cheese and wine.
* Rust is a thing. Gotta keep an eye on it... all the old faves - arches, sills, stone chips etc, This is my second W202; the first fell to wire worm in the end.
* Super light power steering lacks the "feel" that motoring journalists tell us that we need, but it just makes it so easy to zip around and park. Whenever I get into my girlfriend's Puma, it feels like I'm wrestling with a Morris Oxford.
This car's USP is comfort, it has neither the desire nor ability to do the Nurburgring. I'm OK with that.
So I've got a 4 door five seater with four airbags, ABS, traction control (which you can't turn off, which is fine because I don't want to do that) cruise, A/C, electric everything and lots of good wood. It as solid as the proverbial and as comfortable as a bed. 28/35 MPG (imperial).
If it wasn't for the booted Opel Kadett rear end, it would look like a 4/5th scale W123.
And that's a good thing!
A relaxing, comfortable cruiser, that 16 years later still makes you look like you mean business.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 5th February, 2014