"I bought this 1995 C280 used with 84k miles. Now has 130k. This car has been excellent overall and is wonderful as a city or highway driver. The only downsides are it is slightly more expensive to purchase a Mercedes than another used car of comparable size, mileage, and features. Additionally, the maintenance and repair costs are higher than other cars. However, considering how long the car will last when properly maintained, it is a better value in the long run versus having to purchase a new (used) car every 5 years. Aside from normal wear items, my car has only required one large repair...the engine wiring harness ($1500) which according to my mechanic is a common failure for 1994 thru 1996 models. Since that was done, the car has been largely trouble free. The interior and exterior have worn extremely well...the car simply does not look its age. All I do is wash it regularly and wax twice per year. Seats are very comfortable even after a 5 hour drive. It motors along smoothly and solidly and gives that Mercedes feeling of being built like a tank that I have yet to feel in any other brand of car, new or used. The acceleration and braking in particular are excellent. The car is geared for the highway and thus is a bit sluggish off the line in town, but from 40mph on up, it will pull like a train. Passing performance is superb. Once after passing a few cars I was shocked to see 110mph on the speedo and she was still pulling strong. Amazing for a 2.8 liter engine. The M104 inline 6 is one of Mercedes' best engines. Smooth and quiet at idle and around town, and it will still rev quickly...the snarl it makes above 5000rpm is addictive. Never uses a drop of oil, never has it leaked, and my mechanic says he has yet to see an M104 that is worn out. I have looked at replacing this car with something newer several times, but I never can find a car that I like as much as this one which is soon to be 13 years old. She still gets 17-19 mpg in town and will consistently return 27.5 mpg on the highway at 85 mph! I now plan on keeping it as long as I can. Mechanic says to expect relatively unlimited mileage if maintained properly. Highly recommended!"
Pros: "Solid build, sweet handling, power, very good MPG"
Cons: "Premium fuel, sketchy defroster."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought my 2000 C230 Kompressor with 70K miles on it in 2005. Liked it so much I bought one for the wife, too, and we still have them both. I've driven mine 115K more and now my daugher is using it for her college car. I like all the safety built in to these. Styling is getting a bit dated, but looks young for its age. Factory paint is excellent, interiors are solid and well-designed. I have had to replace the windhield wiper motor (in Oregon? duh..) but neither car has ever left us stranded. It is beautifully built, and if you are the sort to do your own minor repairs (lightbulbs and such) you will appreciate how thoughtfully-designed the details are. My only problem is that the defoggers (on both cars) fog the windows before they de-fog them. Have to be careful to not accidentally blind yourself at a bad time. Internet research reveals the proper fix for almost any ailment. With reasonable maintenance they will last forever. After 14 years, they still have the original batteries, fr' cryin' out loud. Electronic key eventually failed, that was $250 (ouch). Premium fuel is a drag, but I have gotten as high as 34 mpg on the freeway at 70 MPH. Car was pulling strongly at 120 MPH before I chickened-out. Claimed 132 MPH is quite likely. Not to put down any other car (and I have had many), but these are GREAT cars. When the kids move out, I will probably get a used 230SLK. Two seat roadster with much of the same running gear as the C230. I would probably not recommend a 14 year old vehicle to anyone who expects a drive-it-and-forget-it car. But on the used car market, these were an exceptional value."
Pros: "fun to drive, reliable, and classy sporty style"
Cons: "No cup holders in rear"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car used in 2006, regularly maintain it and follow suggested repairs and maintenance and it's never stranded me or let me down. When I take it to the dealership for yearly tune-up/oil changes, etc... they give me another C230, new, as a loaner. My vehicle handles and performs better overall than the new vehicle. The center of gravity is much lower on this C230, giving me better performance in cornering and maneuvering. The brakes on the new models are way too touchy, I have power brakes but you know you are pressing on them, it doesn't jerk you but stops on a dime. Annual maintenance ranges from 600-2000 dollars high per year - depending on what is worn or needs to be replaced. The transmission is great, doesn't burn oil, gets 30mpg on highway, 25 city and I've never run out so the indicator is spot on. I can't say enough about this car - it looks great, handles like a dream, and I know what I've got. I think I'll be driving this car forever and based on it's performance so far I know that's a true statement. Bought it for 7k used, best deal ever on a car!"
Cons: "Cylinder head gasket & wiring harness design flaws"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I picked up a 1994 C280 with 105k miles. Being a couple without kids, it's an excellent car for our needs. It drives great, just what you would expect from Mercedes-Benz. Definitely a fine vehicle. I can't figure out why anybody would buy a Japanese car when you can pick a used Mercedes for a great price, and quality wise they dont even compare. There are two major design flaws after extensive research, I discovered. The first is the cylinder head gasket, from what I've read from multiple sources is that 90% of C-Classes with the M104 engine have a oil leak from the cylinder head. Mercedes has redesigned the gasket, and the replacements will not have the same problem. It is between $1500 to $2000 to replace. Luckily I was a Mercedes mechanic for a short period of time and was able to replace it myself. The head gasket itself is about $50, but is a major repair to perform. The second design flaw is the Wiring harnesses. Mercedes from about 1990-1996 were required by the German government to use bio-degradable materials for the wiring harnesses. As a result after a period of time they are very brittle and the insallation cracks and falls right off the wire. I found one on e-bay for about $270, if you were to buy a new one you would be looking at approximately $1200 just for the part. I installed mine while I had the head gasket off and it was about 5 hours labor. A bad wiring harness can cause numerous problems including gauges not functioning, loss of fuel mileage, codes to pop up on the OBD system, even unexpected acceleration, and fires! If you are planning on buying a Mercedes from the early to mid 1990's, be sure to check the state of the wiring harnesses. Other than these issues, the car is excellent, the M104 inline 6 cylinder engine is pretty much indestructible, and performs great."