1994 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C280 M104 I6 from Spain


C280 5 speed, drives like a coupe!

General Comments:

I have a 1994 C280 Euro Specs, it's a 5 speed.

I bought the car for 2600 euros, and it had a bad thermostat in it that I didn't realize until 7 months later and an O2 sensor and relay replacement. The motor is good now, and to me the car is like a coupe in that it feels so different compared to what it looks like on the outside. When I sit in this car it feels like it wraps around me... I feel connected to it. EXCEPT (!!), I am disappointed in the steering in that it feels a little to soupy in the turns... at low speed... but at higher speeds above 140 km/h it feels better and better as you go faster.

I also own a W124 (200E 16v) and the C280 is more sporty in the turns with its smaller wheelbase (106 versus 110), although the W124 has at low speed a better road feel.

The m104 in the C280 is a marvel, and with the 5 speed I can keep up quite nicely with the newer cars and all their turbos! Pretty good considering it's 22 years old!

Mine had the wiring harness replaced and most records dating back to 1994.

I owned two E34 BMWs previously and loved those as well, however, the Mercedes just feels better and sounds better with the radio off... not many squeaks or rattles! Also the materials in both cars are IMO better materials. The BMWs I had rode rougher than the Mercs I have, but I feel better getting out of the Mercs even though the turn in on the curves may not be quite as sharp... subject to one's own taste I guess.

I would recommend the 5 speed C280 with the M104 engine... one step further... I would recommend it over the standard e36 although you can't go wrong with either one. Again subject to one's own taste... I have had both and my taste is to go for the Merc with service records... and a 5 speed... gotta have the 5 speed... forget the auto!

The W124 and C280 are excellent for cruising, and return driving pleasure that usually leaves me wanting more! The C280 goes a step even further in back roads with curves, quite sporty, and like I said, it feels like a coupe... not a 4 door.

Both Mercs I own have standard suspension that came with the car. Although I replaced the W124's last year with OE struts and shocks (Boge and Monroe). Tire size on both is 195/65/15, which I think is key to the great Mercedes ride!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th January, 2017

15th Apr 2017, 07:05

Update on my Spanish 1994 C280, my catalytic converter had to be replaced, it had broken and then clogged, causing the motor difficulty breathing correctly. Replaced and put on another (non Mercedes) cat for 470 euros. The car is now just under 24 years old and the noise from the exhaust after fitting the new cat is beautiful!... I find myself with radio off, window half down, listening as I shift through the 5 speed! An expensive fix, but the car is old and needs some TLC... once in a while.

26th Apr 2017, 11:50

Interesting comments, I have a friend who has a 95 C280 and that car is a bit of a stealth... it does not look the way it goes... very understated and excellent durability apparently... the interior of his looks so much better than my BMW e36 that is a 97...

Love my BMW, but the interior just does not look nor feel as good as my friend's W202 C280... Mine also rattles over bumps and his makes very little noise... at all.

1994 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C280 2.8 from North America


True understated luxury on a budget


Too soon to tell.

General Comments:

This little car is an interesting one. The engine fills the engine bay quite well, yet it appears easy to get to the things that may need replacing.

It seems to be able to isolate you from the outside world well enough to forget the speeds you are traveling at. Especially the higher speeds. It's not a super cushy ride, but it also doesn't have that sound of riding in a tin can as so many other similarly sized cars of the same era. When closing the doors, it just feels like a well built machine.

Cars with struts tend to transmit more noise inside the cabin. This one has some of that, but nothing too obnoxious, and it's far better than so many others.

Give it some throttle, and while it won't pin you to your seat, it will move.

There's a difference between quick and fast. This one isn't a rocket when accelerating to the higher speeds it's capable of, but I'm convinced that once you get just into the triple digit speeds, it will gladly hold its own... all day. It is after all built in a country that has the autobahn.

Fast would describe it, but not quick.

The brakes are really good. I tried standing on them from about 60MPH. It WILL give you a head-rush as it slows and stops so quickly.

The interior has held up great for a 21 year old car, and it also feels solid like the rest of the car.

The bottom line is that these are first impressions, and this far, it feels like a well engineered, understated automobile that isn't meant to be flashy or impress anyone with gimmicks.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 19th October, 2015

25th Oct 2015, 03:31

Good review. Please keep us posted as things develop.