1997 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reviews - Page 2 of 3

1997 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C-280 6 cylinder from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 6 cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired40000 miles
Most recent distance50000 miles
Previous carPorsche 911

Summary:

Perfect

Faults:

My fan clutch failed at 43,000 miles -it cost $100 to replace.

The oxygen sensor failed at 49,000 miles - it cost about $75.00 to replace.

General Comments:

I am pleased with this car. It is roomy for it's size. It is not a sports car, but it handles well. I would recommend this car to anyone.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th September, 2004

1997 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 180 1.8 from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.8 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
10.0 / 10
Most recent distance60000 kilometres
Previous carHonda Legend

Summary:

A suave, pristine machine

Faults:

Absolutely nothing.

General Comments:

This car is a dream to drive, the handling is exceptionally good especially around twisty mountainous roads.

Two seconds behind the wheel lets the driver feel the solid quality, with doors that close like bank vaults and an overall feeling of indestructability.

The car has a very tight feel about it, and in my opinion is far better finished vehicle than the Honda Legend.

The fuel economy is good, despite the 1.8 litre producing an impressive degree of acceleration.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th October, 2003

23rd May 2005, 07:55

I to have a c180 elegance model and have had one or two minor problems mainly brake wheel sensors 2 replaced and a water pump replaced, but in my opinion it is not as well built as my previous Mercedes 190E which in all ways I feel was a more solid car.

1997 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 220 classic diesel from Belgium

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission diesel Manual
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.6 / 10
Distance when acquired50000 kilometres
Most recent distance115000 kilometres
Previous carHonda Aerodeck

Summary:

Practical

Faults:

Bulb behind speedo.

Cloth seats don't clean well after kid's have spilled loads of food etc...

(maybe no surprise there though)

Air-con fault via hose not being connected properly by passenger seat, leading to pools of water around the floor of the back-seat!

General Comments:

The car is excellent for general use for my family (3 kids) being an estate it has good space for long journeys and although a classic model, comes with air-con.

As the model is a non-turbo diesel, performance is really poor except when upto speed on the motorway. The must have auto. box would be disadvantage with this engine, as at least the engine is not sapped, especially at junctions etc..

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd October, 2003

1997 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C36 AMG Inline 6 from North America

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission Inline 6 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired38000 miles
Most recent distance70000 miles
Previous carAcura NSX

Summary:

A high performance bargain! YES

Faults:

Air mass sensor has gone out twice, the fix was FREE from the dealer. But to save money on towing costs, buy one ($230) and keep it in the car to swap, using a screw driver.

A/C control lights went out, $6. plus $80 labor(scum).

Transmission needed to be rebuilt at 66k. DARN! just passed warranty! No word FREE here, cost $1700. Which is not bad considering what kind of transmission it is (5-speed auto with quick shift program).

Note: If you can, buy the dealer extended warranty.

General Comments:

This was truly built by AMG. The motor was taken apart and put back together by AMG.

You get what you pay for! Maybe even more than you'll ever know.

C36 AMG, have fun!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th January, 2002

28th Sep 2005, 13:19

I own a 1996 C-36 AMG. Mileage was 92k when purchased about a year ago. Now has 102k. This has been the best car I have ever owned. It is equipped with the MUCH more reliable 4 speed auto trans. Handling is very sharp, turn in is good, and tracks like it is on rails. Power is quite strong, 268hp and 290ft-lb of torque. Power delivery is very smooth due to the high torque curve. To this point I have encountered none of the dreded wiring harness or MAF sensor issues, although it did require an ignition control module replacement.

As with all low production, rare cars, careful inspection is vital before buying. The cost to have the car checked by a competent tech is the best money you will ever spend.

This car is the first official product of AMG and Mercedes. It is of the highest build quality available at that time. The motor is completely hand assembled and tested by ONE person with a daily quota of ONE motor per day.

The car gives me a smile every time I drive it and well received wherever I take it. The value for money is great. The cars sold when new for $52,000, and the cars can be had for under $20,000. I paid $16,000 for mine in 9+ condition, mechanicly and cosmeticly. If one is patient and finds a good clean example, you can't go wrong with a C-36. Good luck!

12th Mar 2006, 21:33

Hey... Just wanted to ask why you switched from an NSX to a C36?

I bought my 97 C36 (with a lot of mileage! 145,000 miles!) 2 months ago & I'm very happy with it. It's mechanically & cosmetically perfect! But I found a 97 NSX with low mileage for a very reasonable price, $24,000...

Would you advise me to buy it or stick with C36?

Thanks.

13th Mar 2006, 10:02

I had a 1998 C230 (the basis for your car) for two years from new. It wasn't horribly unreliable, but it had things go wrong that simply shouldn't, like a power seat failing at 10K miles. Unacceptable for a Mercedes.

The mid-late 1990's until recently saw a dramatic decline in Mercedes quality as Mercedes tried to compete with Lexus and other Japanese brands while swallowing Chrysler.

My advice, assuming you don't need four doors, is to get rid of the C36 and get an NSX, a much more reliable car, tire issues aside.

3rd Dec 2009, 00:32

The last comment is a very bad advice...

30th Dec 2009, 17:27

Yes, horrible advice...

8th Feb 2011, 00:56

Hey guys,

I was wondering what you all think for an 1997 C-class C36 with 150K, cosmetic and mechanical condition? Seems pretty good for $ 3350.00.

It's an old car thinking it's 2011, but that's why I am asking your opinion, and also do you know if there is any way to change their head lights because it has the old style ones, pretty ugly...

Average review marks: 7.8 / 10, based on 13 reviews