1998 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C280 2.8L from North America


Fantastic car, only wish the paint had held up


Air conditioner went out in '04 at around 125,000 miles. Other than that, car has required nothing but routine maintenance. Granted, though, my wife drives the car like she was an 80 yr old grandmother, not a 40 yr old man (like I would).

Only gripe I have about things lasting concerns the headlight bulbs. I have had to replace around five of them so far. I don't ever recall having to change that many in any other car I've owned or that my family has owned. I think this is pretty minor, though.

General Comments:

Paint has not stood up too well to the sun, clear coat has pretty much gone away from being parked outside almost all its days. Nights have always been in the garage.

Still starts every time with the original battery. Shifts like a dream, and gets 30 MPG on the highway.

I have absolutely nothing bad to say - the car has been wonderful and still is. I would drive it anywhere without hesitation.

Handling is rock solid and everything still works just as when we bought it new.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th May, 2005

16th Aug 2005, 18:38

I faced exactly similar problem - ac not working and rear bulbs getting fused often. However, I am also faced with starter problem (starting after 2-3 clicks).

20th Jul 2007, 11:34

I need to update my review since it's been a few years.

The headlight problem seems to have gone away, but I, too, experienced the rear tail light bulb burning out every 3-5 days about a year ago. I took it to my local mechanic and he diagnosed a fused electrical something-or-other in the tail light assembly. Anyway, $250 later it worked fine.

The car now has 180000 miles on it. Still rides like a dream, still gets 30 mpg on the freeway. Had to get the O2 sensor replaced at 175000 along with new brakes. The interior still looks great as well; no rips/tears in the leather seats or cracks in the dash or wood. Which reminds me, M-B has really cheapened the C class interior in my opinion. I note that these days, getting wood trim isn't automatic with their C cars. I think that's a shame.

I also need to retract my statement about the paint. I forgot that my wife was in a very minor fender bender that required the hood to be repainted when we'd had the car approx 18 months. The clear coat peeled from the repair, not the original factory job. Sorry 'bout that.

1998 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C230 4 cylinder gas from North America


Nice on the outside only


Tapping sound originated from the hydraulic lifters. All lifters had to be replaced at one week of ownership.

Engine had some strange knocking/clanking sound. Noisy engine.

Oil seepage around the engine head gasket.

Fuel tank had some strange problems. For example, it won't let me fill it up completely with fuel. So I had to keep on clicking the fuel pump trigger.

A/C compressor noise.

Front ABS acted erratically.

Moon roof acted erratically. Sometimes it got stuck and won't close.

Plastic trims on front seats started to crack.

Buttons on the crappy Becker head unit fell apart.

Rear speakers blew.

Front rear view mirror fell apart at around 30,000 miles.

Rear right light bulb often blew for no apparent reason.

I think this car was a lemon.

General Comments:

Nice car on the outside, a real girl magnet.

Handling is nice and crisp.

But there isn't any torque to speak of. Engine feels lethargic and unresponsive.

High maintenance cost and dealer attitude.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th April, 2005

1998 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C230 from North America


A reliable car, but costly to maintain and operate


I have recently experienced several repairs. The ball joints needed to be replaced ($480), the front end suspension bracket snapped ($650), and most recently the air mass sensor ($600). I replaced the front and rear brakes ($800) and had the front end aligned ($80). Under warranty, the dealer repainted both front doors where the paint bubbled up from under the molding.

General Comments:

The car runs great and handles well. I am concerned that this will be the beginning of a string of repairs.

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

Review Date: 28th July, 2004

26th Jul 2005, 15:29

The repairs seem reasonable for the age of the vehicle. Aging luxury cars are somewhat more expensive to operate, although their depreciation cost is lower than on a similar quality new car. Still a great ride!