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.
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
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).
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.