Fail Friday: 2004 Mercedes-Benz C230

I was making my rounds around the internet looking for interesting cars and was taken back when I saw the photo above. Was it some kind of European Touring Car? A 24-hour endurance car? The next thing that caught my eye was the price of a mere $5,000. Now I started getting excited. A cheap, real race car for sale in the U.S. that is ready to go?

Well …

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Mercedes-Benz C230 on Autotrader

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1998 Mercedes-Benz C230 with 49k miles

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Andrew’s Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG post had me considering my last car, a W203 2007 C230 Sport. Truth be told, I didn’t like that car all that much. The 7-speed automatic was overkill for the V6, leading the gearbox to hunt around too much and the lack of standard features such as auxiliary input for the stereo and fold down rear seats were bewildering on a car costing over $35,000 new. And while the interior fittings were upgraded in 2005, the overall package left a bit to be desired, especially if you were used to Mercedes-Benzes of yore. I’m a much bigger fan of the C-class that preceded the W203, the W202. While my 1998 C230 only had a 2.3 liter inline-4 mated to a 5-speed automatic, it was a much more well-rounded package with a big helping of that old school Mercedes feel. I dearly miss that car and this 1998 C230 for sale in Florida has me missing it even more.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz C230 on eBay

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2003 Mercedes-Benz C230 Sport 6-speed manual

Almost immediately after the C class was introduced for the 1994 model year, plans were being drawn up for its successor, the W203, which wouldn’t appear until the turn of the century. When it debuted, the styling was a bit of a departure from the old W202 C class, with headlamps adapted from the W210 E class style for this smaller package. The car was panned for it’s interior that seemed a bit low-rent in comparison to its predecessor and a level of quality that seemed out of sync with what the marque stood for. Nevertheless, this was a popular car for Mercedes-Benz, with over two million sold over the course of seven model years. In 2003, Mercedes dropped their 1.8 liter supercharged four cylinder into the C class sedan to form this car, the C230 Sport Sedan. This example for sale in Miami is one of the rare ones equipped with the 6-speed manual gearbox.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Mercedes-Benz C230 Sport on eBay

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1998 Mercedes-Benz C230 with 47k miles

When I look back through all of the cars I’ve owned, one car stands out. My 1998 Mercedes-Benz C230. Offered for two model years in the US lineup, this was the entry level Mercedes of its time, powered by a naturally aspirated, 2.3 liter inline-4 producing 148 horsepower. Not an earth shattering figure, but this car wasn’t about horsepower. For me, it represented the last of the old guard for Mercedes, a time when engineering took precedence over budgets. I miss that car to this day, but on a recent trip to Lisbon, Portugal, it was comforting to see a bunch of these W202 C classes pressed into service as taxis. These are cars with staying power. Those in search for a good one should take a look at this 1998 C230 with under 50,000 miles on the clock.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz C230 on eBay

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2002 Mercedes-Benz C230 Kompressor Sports Coupe

For some reason, the US market seems to prefer vehicles with a trunk rather than a rear hatch, unless, of course, the car in question is jacked up and has power to all four wheels. Case in point the Mercedes-Benz C class Sport Coupe. Brought to the US market in 2002 in an attempt to reach a larger share of the compact luxury market, it wound up leading a short life in the US market, being withdrawn from the lineup in 2005 and replaced this year by a C class coupe with a more traditional trunk. These C hatchbacks were introduced at a time when Mercedes-Benz reliability was waning, as many less than satisfied owners new to the marque found out. Offered with the supercharged (Kompressor) four cylinder engine or the 3.2 liter V6, both engines could be had with a five speed automatic or 6-speed manual. This C Sport Coupe for sale in Texas has Kompressor engine and, thankfully, the 6 speed manual gearbox. In addition, this car has extremely low mileage for a vehicle that isn’t terribly collectible.

2002 Mercedes-Benz C230 Kompressor Sports Coupe on eBay

Introducing the 2002 Mercedes-Benz C230 Kimpressor 2 door coupe! This is a one owner, very well maintained vehicle with only 34k original miles. It runs and drives like new! Still has a new car smell. It is equipped with options such as power windows and power locks, power mirrors, A/C with dual zone climate control, dual front and side airbags, cruise control, AM/FM radio with cassette player, 6 disc CD changer, keyless entry and more! All the options function accordingly! The four cylinder, 2.3L engine runs very good and the 6 speed manual transmission shifts smoothly into gears. The black exterior is very good and healthy condition and the gray cloth interior has been kept very clean. The overall condition of this Mercedes C class is great!

Even considering the low mileage, this C Sport Coupe is a bit overpriced at close to $14,000. It also won’t appeal to everyone, as many Benz buyers prefer an automatic transmission. I would say $10,000 to $11,000 would broaden this car’s appeal, and service records or some kind of window into this car’s history would be a must, to see if it suffered from any teething problems common of these W202s. Even though they are much maligned, I like this little Benz, especially with the 6-speed manual. It might not be the fastest or sleekest looking two door hatchback, but it’s an interesting example of an automakers attempt at reaching a new niche in the market only to retreat a few years later and continue with the status quo.

-Paul

1998 Mercedes-Benz C230

There was a lot of reader interest in the W202 C280 Sport we featured a few weeks back, so I figured it would be worth posting another W202, this time, with a slightly different take on the model. What we have here is a three owner, 1998 C230, that includes the non-Kompressor M111 2.3 liter four cylinder and five speed automatic.

While normally this wouldn’t be the most exciting of cars on GCFSB, there’s something special about this particular car. I was the second owner. The current owner is a long time friend who has cared for it as lovingly as I had. With a growing family, he is parting with this car with a heavy heart, as it was as trusty a trusty, reliable motoring companion for both of us.

I purchased this vehicle from American Service Center in Arlington, Virginia in November 2001. At the time, this car had 32,000 miles and was a Starmark Certified Mercedes, undergoing a 130 point plus inspection. Similar to the E320 cabriolet I posted a few weeks ago, this C230 is painted in the rare, special order Moonstone Gray Metallic (paint code #721). The gray MB Tex (leatherette) interior has worn like iron with no blemishes to speak of and the burl wood trim is in good shape with no cracking.

With it’s 5 speed automatic, this C230 can return in the low 30 MPG range on 91 octane. Features include power moonroof, power windows, power heated mirrors, power door locks and eight way power drivers seat. Car also has keyless entry with window and sunroof auto close feature from the outside. Stereo includes 6 disc CD changer in the trunk. The OEM carpet floor mats are still in the plastic wrapping and have never been used. Instead, I had bought Mercedes-Benz accessory all season floor mats. These are much easier to keep clean, as you can simply wash and scrub them to keep them looking like new.

In June 2006, I drove this car to Montvale, New Jersey to Mercedes-Benz USA Headquarters for the Mercedes-Benz Club of America June Jamboree. My car took home first place through a popular vote in modern sedan class. At the time, the car had about 72,000 miles and the president of the Mercedes-Benz Club at the time, Jim O’Sullivan, chatted with me in the parking lot about my car and asked me to let him know if I ever sold it.

My friend purchased this car from me when I took delivery of my 2007 C230 sedan in July 2007. At the time he purchased it, the car had 82,000 miles on it. One month prior, I had the entire AC system recharged, along with a small return hose in the system being replaced due to a leak. The AC to this day blows ice cold. Recent work includes an oxygen sensor being replaced in the summer of 2010.

Currently this vehicle has 159,000 miles, most of which are highway miles. Routine maintenance such as oil, coolant and brake fluids have been religiously kept on top of and the car comes with a full service history. It has been serviced at the following dealers/mechanics:

-American Service Center (Arlington, VA)
-Keenan Motors (Doylestown, PA)
-Tysons Corner Mercedes-Benz (Tysons Corner, VA)
-German Automotive Group (Springfield, VA)

The car has a few blemishes and dents consistent with its age and mileage, but the paint still has a glossy, deep shine. There is a small scuffing on the front left rub strip on the bumper, which, with a bit of rubbing compound would buff out. The plastic cap on the wiper arm is also missing, as it came loose in a heavy rain storm. The wheels are in very good shape for it’s age, as many similar Mercedes-Benzes alloys have been ruined due to the caustic nature of the brake dust. There are a few chips that could stand some touch up paint here and there, but not many. There are no chips and scratches on the windshield.

The owner is asking $4,900. Those who have questions regarding the car or are interested can contact me at paulshenriques@hotmail.com. I can answer a lot of questions regarding the history of the car and I can link up serious parties with my friend, the seller. Even at 159,000 miles, you’d be hard pressed to find a W202 these days as well preserved as this one.

-Paul

2002 Mercedes C230 Widebody

The Sportcoupe models of Mercedes’ C class fall into that same odd place as the BMW 318ti. Not the most fantastic looks, economy based powerplants and trim. This particular model has had some work done so much so tat it got itself a place in the February 2009 European Car magazine.

The car’s supercharged 2.3 four is pumping out 280 horse power thanks to a Kleeman pulley, Supersprint headers, and Renntech intercooler and sending power through a manual transmission. Elsewhere custom flares are in place to fit massive rims, and big brakes.

Nice interior features include plenty of custom audio work.

The car has 36,282 miles and the seller has a buy it now price of $23,900, bidding sits at a reserve not met $5,000 for now.

Overall the mods make this hatch look good, be advised he seller has zero eBay feedback.

~Evan

2007 Mercedes-Benz C230

The W203 C class Mercedes isn’t the most interesting of German cars out there, but this one has an interesting story. Mainly because it is my personal car. While I’ve only advertised it for sale in the Mercedes-Benz Club of America’s magazine, The Star, I thought it would be a good idea to put up an advertisement on GCFSB before posting to a wider audience. I am not in a rush to sell, but personal circumstances have forced me to speed up the process. It has been a great car, but alas, it’s time to move on.

2007 Mercedes-Benz C230

More about the car:

Purchased new in July 2007 from Keenan Mercedes-Benz in Doylestown, PA. Built five weeks prior to the end of W203 C class sedan production (confirmed by Mercedes-Benz North America). Balance of extended warranty until July 2013 transfers to new owner. Car currently has 26,200 miles.

Features include:

-Granite Gray/Ash MB Tex
-2.5 liter V6, 201 hp, 7 speed automatic with manual shift mode
-Sunroof package: Glass sunroof, power rear sunshade, garage door opener, auto-dimming left side and inside rearview mirrors, rain sensing wipers
-Power driver’s seat/steering column with three position memory
-Dual zone climate control
-Heated Seats
-6 disc CD changer in dash

The wheels were swapped when car was delivered for a brand new set of 2006 C230/CLK sport wheels. In my opinion, the 2007 C230 sport rims weren’t as in line with the styling as were the ’06 wheels. The original floor mats have never been used and will be provided with the vehicle. I have opted to keep a set of rubber Hexomat floor mats inside, as they are durable and easy to clean: www.hexomatsfloormats.com.

This car has been regularly serviced at Keenan Mercedes. The only repair to arise was the replacement of the front brake rotors at 14,000 miles due to defective tempering of the metal in the rotors. This repair was covered under warranty. The car has a brand new rear pair of Michelin Primacy tires (tires are 245 width in the rear, 225 width up front). This car is washed at least twice a month and I have waxed it on a twice yearly basis using Griot’s Garage Best of Show Wax. The car has always been garaged and has been used mainly as a weekend vehicle and for long trips.

This car is fully documented and comes with a binder full of service records, original window sticker, dealer brochure, build sheet, and the like.

My C230 is located in Arlington, Virginia, right outside of Washington, D.C. and is available for viewing by appointment. Interested parties can contact me via the comment section of this post or at paulshenriques@hotmail.com. I am asking $23,000, which may seem a tad high for a last year W203, but I would challenge anyone to find a cleaner, more pampered C230 sport than this. And of course, there is the all important Mercedes-Benz warranty, of which two and a half years is left.

-Paul