2000 Mercedes-Benz C-Class cdi 2.2 from UK and Ireland


Nearly an old mans car, but styling gets it through!


The tyres seem to wear on the outside too quickly.

The front right indicator bulb has burnt through the metal contact points so the warning light comes on saying the bulb has blown. In fact I just bent the connector over and it started to work again.

The warning indicator came on saying I needed to replace the brake pads. Nothing unusual there except, it happened on my drive back from the dealership where I had just spent £400 on a service! When I returned the car they changed the pads for free (suitably embarrassed)

General Comments:

This is my first Mercedes and although it's a bit noisy (it is a diesel) I am reasonably pleased with it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th July, 2003

2000 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C230 Kompressor 1.8 kompressor from North America


A sport sedan for the elegant, just don't race it


Nothing vital has gone wrong with the car. The Mercedes service plan is extraordinary and takes care of almost everything.

That being said, the Factory-installed CD Changer quit working about a month after install, it was replaced by the dealer at no cost, and we were given a loaner car to use during the service both on install and replacement.

General Comments:

As a rear wheel drive sport sedan, this car delivers. The supercharger provides adequate power though it is fairly peaky, requiring 4000 to 5000 RPM to press you into the seat. The default shift points for the automatic will only drive the car in this range if it's floored from the start, and it's not as impressive there as when using the sport shift to force it into 3rd at 70mph and watch the tach scream up toward the 6800 rpm red-line.

The automatic transmission has its own problems. It works well, but only if you're a fairly sedate driver or have no experience with a manual. It forces downshifts when tapping the shift lever left, double-clutching, and taking random amounts of time to finish its task. If you're really paying attention you can help it shift smoothly with a quick heel-tap of the accelerator, but it's usually pretty jerky. It doesn't allow direct upshifts, instead allowing the computer to select a gear at or below the one displayed under the tach. Here's where the real problem lies. It upshifts when you tap the lever to the right, but it takes a completely arbitrary amount of time to do so: it could be.75 seconds, it could be 2 seconds, and there seem to be no rhyme nor reason to its selection of times. Spirited drivers, do no use.

The Steering column is offset to the driver's seat. I didn't notice this directly, but have wondered for the past year why I felt "twisted" while driving the car.

Seats are firm and supportive, but not as much so as my last car, and for some reason this 4-door sedan has less leg room in the back than my old 2-door SVX LS-L Coupe.

The steering wheel is one of the worst I've ever set my hands on... it hurts my hands when they're at 9 & 3 and the upper spokes push your hands above 10 & 2. Everyone else who drives the car complains about the horn being too hard to push, but I don't mind it.

Mercedes OEM brakes are incredible, end of story.

Mercedes OEM radios (not the COMMAND system) are terrible. They take forever to do anything, they are almost impossible to use without taking one hand and both eyes off the road, and they don't allow adequate volume to listen to cds and radio broadcasts that aren't already recorded fairly loud, nor will they provide proper listening to Carmina Buranna or the Battle Hymn of the Republic. But at least it sounds good.

Handling is nimble and quick, but the body rolls too much to call it "confidence-inspiring." It will easily take most 45mph recommended speed turns at or above 60mph (not that I'm telling you to speed...), but not without a competent driver.

The trunk is adequate, but the CD-Changer is virtually unprotected from luggage, possibly the cause of my premature failure.

Overall, it and all the C-Class Mercedes (except the C240, which in my opinion shouldn't exist) are good cars. Don't let anyone tell you differently. But buy a used one and take advantage of the Starmark warranty. They don't depreciate, but you'll get a better warranty and probably better body styling if you act quickly (the W202's just look better than the W203's).

They can be elegant and somewhat sporty, but don't expect to win an autocross or the opinions of a driver used to driving true sports cars, weather in sedan, coupe, or supercar form.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th July, 2003