This is the "Baby Benz", so rear passenger space is limited.
Parking brake did not release easily. Required stepping on the parking brake pedal and disengaging several times. Mechanic fixed the problem.
Previous owner at 60,000 miles did not change ATF filter & fluid, fuel filter, or differential fluid. Bought parts from Authohaus AZ. Spark plugs should have been changed at 5 years. Replaced all plugs after I bought the car. The plug gaps were way off - between 1.2 to 1.5 mm, should be only 1.0 mm. Acceleration improved.
CD changer stopped working; does not detect CDs. The 7 speaker system sounds mediocre to my ears. [update, comes back intermittently]
Rear seat headrest covers (all 3) keep falling off. Used self-adhesive velcro strips to fix.
Acceleration is not great from dead stop. This is surprising because a 97 Villager with 150 HP can out accelerate the MB C240 from standing still. My guess is the MB's electronic automatic transmission limits how fast it shifts.
Cost of repairs and parts are higher than for previous cars I've owned. While I do my own routine maintenance, this car requires 8.5 QTs of synthetic oil, 2 air filters, and 12 spark plugs (I bought iridium plugs). Had to buy several new tools because of how difficult it was to change oil and spark plugs.
And, it has to run on premium unleaded gasoline. Oh well.
Update: Aug 2011 - replaced with Bosch Iridium plugs, used Mobil 1 ATF fluid and filter, used Mobil 1 differential fluid. Replaced air and cabin filters. Cleaned fuel system with Techron twice in a row. Now car accelerates much better.
Update: Dec 2011 - Bought 4 snows on alloy wheels and it is drivable in the snow.
Update: Feb 2012 - Found information online on resetting an ECU module. Acceleration is much better now.
Update: Mar 2012 - The stereo is now dead, so not even radio. Based on on-line posts, the fiber optic connections are at fault. Will probably replace with a regular system. - Came back in Oct 2012. Probably the cooler weather.
Update July 2012 - replaced all the worn bushings and rear shocks with Bilstein TCs. Now the car does not wallow, ride is much better. Front struts to be replaced.
Update Oct 2017: Still driving the C240. The throttle position sensor (TPS) died and left me stranded with a dead engine for about 30 minutes. But was able to get home, and found a solution online on various MB forums, and bought and replaced it. TPS removal and installation were incredibly difficult due to its location. Replaced drive belt and tensioner. Replaced fuel filter twice, and new fuel pump at 105K. Replaced all discs and brake pads 3 years ago. One front and both rear disc/pads now need replacement. Could be materials or installation, as I do not brake aggressively. Time for new spark plugs, transmission and transaxle fluid.
While I have several complaints about costs and maintenance, I do like this car. The car handles very well on the road with a smooth and even ride. It is a heavy car so its 168 HP is not enough power for good acceleration.
Sound proofing is very good and wind noise is very low on the highway. The engine runs smoothly at highway speeds.
Very adjustable and comfortable leather seats. Love the moon roof and the rain-sensing wipers.
Liked the ability to operate the sound system (radio & CD changer) from the steering wheel (when it worked). But I'm unwilling to spend $500 to repair the system.