2003 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 230 Sport Sedan 1.8 supercharged from North America


Deceptively appealing


55,000 miles: Vacuum hose leak lead to check engine light. Repair cost; $8 for the hose and $400 + for labor.

60,000 miles: Digital display begins to fail. By 80,000, on a warm day the display is not readable. Quoted over $1,000 for repair.

90,000 miles: Replaced driver's side tie rod.

95,000 miles: Replaced post cat oxygen sensor.

98,000 miles: Heating system blower begins to whine. Dealer says bearings are going bad.

104,000 miles: Cam shaft sensor fault leads to check engine light. There is a manufacturer's recall campaign and the dealer replaces the sensors, while also making other mandated changes including installing a new wiring harness and ECU. The car will not start at the dealer. Dealer says the timing chain skipped, leading to bent valves and no engine compression. Estimated cost of the repair $7,280 or they can put a new engine in for $6,784.

General Comments:

Up until recent developments I have really enjoyed this car.

There are a few minor flaws with the interior, but for the most part it is well put together.

The fit and finish of the body is very good, and would be hard to beat.

The car handles great, and while sporty, gets good gas mileage, especially on the highway.

If I didn't mind replacing an engine every 100,000 miles, I would buy another one in a heart beat.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th March, 2011

18th Mar 2011, 22:28

I sorry to hear about your bad luck with your car... cars can be very scary to own... even a cheap car like a 15,000 dollar Honda Fit can run 27,000.00 to own over a 5 year period... Cars are not good investments at all... but I hope you are going to split the cost with the dealership on that engine work... since it was in their care when the timing belt broke... it wasn't in your care... so they should be responsible for at least 1/2 of that work... If they do not agree to that... I am hoping you start channeling a little bit of Linda Blair, and head in the service manager with a little pea soup coming out of your mouth...

21st Mar 2011, 08:50

Yes, I am very disappointed with the timing chain issue. The chain should be good for the life of a well maintained engine. I am hoping the dealer and/or manufacturer will help out with the cost of the repair.

I have read in other blogs that the timing chain on this particular model year has been a problem for some. I'll let you know how things work out in the end.

Other than this major issue, I have really enjoyed the car. So much so I was considering a new one. That purchase is on indefinite hold.

2003 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 230 Kompressor from North America


Worst car


The 2003 C230 Mercedes Kompressor has many issues that the dealer refuses to stand by:

1) At times, when at slow speeds you accelerate, the car does not respond, and the rpm meter goes to 7000rpm+ with the car at 30mph. Very dangerous when you are trying to merge or move in to fast traffic

2) Both the handle pulls on the driver and passenger side have broken off.

3) Interior parts are cheap and fall off easily.

4) Weather stripping has come out along door edges, cheap stuff.

5) Issues with driver side SRS sensors are constant.

6) Driver side lock sensors give constant problems.

General Comments:

This car is not worth purchasing at any price, and should not be on the market (as a product) due to its inferior quality build and parts. Mercedes Benz refuse to standby on their products.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th November, 2010

2003 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C180 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Very nice, impressive


So far nothing gone wrong.

General Comments:

Very smooth to drive, very comfortable. It’s an Elegance model.

Fuel consumption is very high in the London area. So far the best I have got is 23mpg, which is not impressive for 1800 cc car.

Please make sure the car's wheel alignment is correct before purchase, since Merc charge 299 pound to align it, and keep the car for all day. Tried a local Kwikfit; they don't do Merc.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th February, 2010