Had to get myself another Mercedes after various stints with a BMW 323i first, then a Suzuki Swift and last a Toyota Harrier. I needed to downsize from my Harrier to something more economical, while still giving me the comfort, refinement and reliability I seek.
My first Merc was a slow C180 W202 model, which really put me off. After reading the good reviews that the C180K receives in Mercedes Enthusiast and What Car magazines, I decided to consider it among other options such as C240 and C270 CDI.
After a slow but fun period of looking at different cars, I finally bought a black 2003 example with a very modest 35k km on its odometer. Apparently it had only been used as a wife's runabout to do grocery shoppings etc. It had a full MB service history and in an absolutely standard condition.. even the Continental tyres were the ones that came with the car when new.
My 'new' C180K is really different from the old C180; the engine doesn't leave me wishing for a bigger engine and it pleases me even more when filling up at the gas station. Very efficient, in my opinion, for an entry-level exec car. It averages 10-11 ltr / 100 km, which is really good for Jakarta traffic.
Ride and acceleration are very smooth, as expected from a Mercedes Benz automobile.
Downsides are: not as roomy as the old W202; fragile visor mirror covers (both left & right sides' plastic hinges broke after parking on a very hot day), squeaky brakes (probably due for a change) and funny noises / vibrations from behind the instrument cluster at certain (low) rpm range. Can't trace the source of the last problem.
Overall, I'm pleased with the car and looking forward to put many happy kilometers in it for the next few years. My next car would be the new C200K W204 *fingers crossed*