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I drove the new C (Sport Package) this weekend and was shocked at how tight the car felt, esp in terms of front passenger leg room and rear passenger headroom. I wonder if it's a function of the redesign the make the car more rounded and more like a mini-S class. The old C280 felt spacious inside, in comparison. I was also surprised at how cheap the leather looked. Granted, I'd still rather have full leather than "ecsaine", but it was hard to see that MB had an advantage there. On the other hand, the car had much better road feel than I recall the old C280 having.

It's hard for me to see, though, a 7K+ value difference with the C320, as compared to the IS300.
 

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I agree with respect to the handling. I test drove the C240 and was surprised by how good it was. And I was shocked by the power of the 240 .... I had expected "Corolla" performance in contrast to the 320, but it moved out smartly.

Car and Driver has a preliminary review on their web site. Very good comments.

Very, very smooth. Great, tight handling! And great mileage. And great safety features.

Some of the things that I like: the 8 air bags, memory seats, power rear sunshade, tele-aid, fold-down rear seats, power fold-down for the rear headrests to improve driver visibilty, service for the first 50k miles

oh, oh .... at 37k, loaded with all the options that I would want, the C240 looks like an awfully attractive alternative to the IS300.

[This message has been edited by Italian Stallion (edited October 10, 2000).]
 

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Car and Driver tested C320 in their current issue of publication. They are still saying the BMW is better, even though on paper the C320 may look good. The problem I have with the new C is that they are ugly. They looked so good on the pictures, and yet in real life they looked really bad. Glad I didn't change my mind for IS to wait for this car. And I'll pick the 330i over the C320 any day because of the value. I just don't see myself spending $50+K for this car, not worth it in my opinion.
 

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Originally posted by Daniel:
I just don't see myself spending $50+K for this car, not worth it in my opinion.
The C280 is $35K+ when properly equipped and the C320 is $40K+ when properly equipped. Clearly, the C280 is meant to compete with the IS/325/A4 andthe C320 with the 330 and maybe the S4. For me, the new C-class is really nice. If they had been released at the same time as the IS, it would have been a tough choice for me.

[This message has been edited by laughingboy (edited October 10, 2000).]
 

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I'm still pissed at MB for not offering their 6speed in the 320 model. The 240 is too underpowered for me. (Again, for us who prefer manual, I don't understand why MB has to choose the one with the smaller engine for the 6spd option)
 

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you mean the C240, right? There are no more C280s. Also, what do you define as properly equiped? If you want a full equip C320, you are looking at approximately $49K MSRP (check the website), and that means out the door at around$54K or so. The old C280 was around $40K when near fully equiped, so that was much better value then. Don't you think at the price of the C320, you will rather buy a E class or 530i instead?
 

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Originally posted by Daniel:
you mean the C240, right? There are no more C280s. Also, what do you define as properly equiped? If you want a full equip C320, you are looking at approximately $49K MSRP (check the website), and that means out the door at around$54K or so. The old C280 was around $40K when near fully equiped, so that was much better value then. Don't you think at the price of the C320, you will rather buy a E class or 530i instead?
Many Lexus dealers will sell you a GS400 for the same price as a loaded C320.
 

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Originally posted by Daniel:
you mean the C240, right? There are no more C280s. Also, what do you define as properly equiped? If you want a full equip C320, you are looking at approximately $49K MSRP (check the website), and that means out the door at around$54K or so. The old C280 was around $40K when near fully equiped, so that was much better value then. Don't you think at the price of the C320, you will rather buy a E class or 530i instead?
I mean to equip the C240 on par with the IS...same thing with the C320. The E-class/5-series are in a different class than the C-class/3-series/IS. We can't really say, "if you're spending that much, why not jump up a class?" because then you're changing your whole perspective. When you're comparing cars, it's best to stay in the same class of automobiles, no matter what price level you reach. Why? Because there'll always be another car at one of the price breaks that is in a "better" class then what you're researching. That just screws up your whole thought process, IMO.
 

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My question is, how do you catagorize which car belong to which class? Usually when you are comparing cars, the price difference is usually fairly close, but this is not the case with C320, IS300, and 330i. The biggest different is between the C320 and IS300, which is more than $10k apart. If you say comparing the C320 to C240, then they don't belong to the same class because of the engine spec, samething about comparing the IS to 325i. You know no one in the BMW and MB camp is going to use those two cars to compare to IS because there is no way in the world they can win. Sure you should stay within one class when you are doing comparison, but I just think it is stupid to say I want to spend $50+K for a C320 because I want to compete with the IS and the 330i, when in fact you can spend the same amount of money to get much more with cars much better. I guess I am just upset at how rediculous MB has priced their new cars.
 

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What I'm saying is that if you're looking for, say, a 2-door roadster, you would look at the S2000, MR2 Spyder, Z3, Boxster. Now, look at the price difference between the S2000 and the Boxster. Wow! Big difference, but they're still in the same "class." Definitely different (Straight 6 vs Inline 4), but still the same (2-door roadsters). Looking at the price of the Boxster, you could easily buy the C320, 330...even the S4 or M3 if you're thinking the Boxster S. What I'm getting at is, why complicate the buying experiance even more? If you're looking for a particular class of car, stay in that class and compare within.
 

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Originally posted by laughingboy:
What I'm saying is that if you're looking for, say, a 2-door roadster, you would look at the S2000, MR2 Spyder, Z3, Boxster. Now, look at the price difference between the S2000 and the Boxster. Wow! Big difference, but they're still in the same "class." Definitely different (Straight 6 vs Inline 4), but still the same (2-door roadsters). Looking at the price of the Boxster, you could easily buy the C320, 330...even the S4 or M3 if you're thinking the Boxster S. What I'm getting at is, why complicate the buying experiance even more? If you're looking for a particular class of car, stay in that class and compare within.
For most people, price is one of the most important considerations when buying a car. They are gonna try to get the best car available in a given price range.
 

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Say what you want about price, the new C has raised the bar imo and in a couple writers' opinions. And, the real deal sport package hasn't even hit the showroom yet. Just wait till that comes out. Don't be glum about the nonexistant stick in the 3.2 b/c Mercedes' stick in this C is absolutely terrible.
Having said all that I still would opt for the IS and pocket the dough, service, and resale!
 

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Postive review: http://www.competitionpress.com/covers/covshow.mv?coverid=cv53397cv82618cv63052

"But the new C-Class is no hot dog. It's Grade A, No. 1 prime."

"...extremely smooth, almost seamless gear changes."

"There is virtually no wind noise evident, even while clipping along the autobahn at triple-digit speed."

"The rack-and-pinion setup with the optional speed-sensitive power steering in the C320 was spot-on, giving a good light feel at low speeds, and was wonderfully progressive on the twisting, narrow test route."

"We easily hustled the car quickly through twisting corners on tight two-lane, tree-lined roads with little effort."

" ...comes standard with ESP stability control..... system helps the driver maintain directional stability, not only in turns, but even when driving straight ahead. We barely noticed the system switching on during a trip through the mountains when a sudden hail storm slickened the road surface."
 
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