MB bought this Mercedes-Benz C250 in 2022 for $19,300 (including all on-road costs). I bought one brand new in 2011 that I kept for four years, and always regretted selling it, so even though I wasn’t really thinking about buying a car when this particular one went on sale. It came with everything I wanted. , so I bought it in February 2022.
When I test drove the vehicle, something was making a clunking noise from the suspension. The dealer found this front sway bar link and replaced it with a new one before I agreed to buy. A few months into ownership I got a low coolant warning light, so pulled over and thought nothing more of it.
About four weeks later the warning light came on again, so topped up again and booked it into my local mercedes benz specialist. They quickly discovered a small leak in the coolant pipe which was quickly and easily (and cheaply) replaced.
Other than that the car has no reliability issues, and the only things I’ve spent money on are cosmetic (new wheel center caps, floor mats, new ‘C’ badges that got turned off by an overzealous car washer). replace the Hoe … found everything cheap online), and where I broke things out of curiosity (the handle above the engine oil dipstick when I removed the engine cover … again easily a new Found and my local specialist removed the old ‘stuck’.dipstick free).
I keep some funds aside for anything that might go wrong, and the inevitable timing chain replacement (not a problem at the moment but it’s done 150,000km).
The ownership experience has been great. The W204 series was a high point in the modern Mercedes era, something the W205 could never match in my experience. Everything works perfectly, and it has such a solid and weighty feel.
Mine is an example of an owner from (apparently) new who has serviced it religiously (very important) and taken very good care of it, which means I’ve been nothing but happy to own it so far. For the price I could buy a boring as buttcrap Hyundai or similar and spend every moment fretting over it, but as a Mercedes fan for many years buying the C250 was a really easy decision.
This would be an excellent classification except for a few items. The Harman Kardon sound system is slightly overrated, and struggles with music with decent bass, and the brakes have the “characteristic” of intermittent screeching that has plagued all Mercedes since the late 2000s (check them out Been done and they’re fine with 70%. Left on the pad, so if anyone has any advice on how to stop the noise I’m all ears!)
My C250 is very well equipped compared to many new cars, with Driver Assistance Pack (Distronic plus adaptive cruise control, active lane keeping assist, active blind spot assist), keyless go entry and start, fully electric leather Equipped with heated seats. Three position memory including electric steering column and mirrors.
It features automatic high beam assist, LED DRLs and taillights, an electric rear roller blind/sunshade, a complete COMAND system with amazingly expert voice control, navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, a 10gb hard drive for music. Ice. Cold dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors and reversing camera, glass electric sunroof, and Harman Kardon Logic 7 sound system.
Everything works perfectly, even down to the rear roller blind, and there’s not much squeaking or rattling from anywhere inside. For the purchase price it is really well equipped and has everything I needed (which was electric seats, Distronic Plus, and COMAND with a proper control wheel and not the horrible touch screen! )
Performance and economy are more than enough for me. The 1.8-litre turbo engine is mated to a 7G-Tronic transmission, and with all 150kW pushing more than 1.5 tonnes of German steel it accelerates to 100km/h in just over seven seconds.
310Nm of torque at high speed ensures that progress is easy. Economy is also adequate without being remarkable; Since the last trip computer reset it has managed 8.4L/100km over almost 1200km of driving mainly geared towards inner-city commuting. I use only 98 RON and find the engine runs smoothly and without any hitch.
Two things stand out on the wish list, though. First, the seven-speed auto has economy and sport modes. In the default economy setting it will always try to get into the highest gear possible and hesitate to kick down when slowing down for corners, which can then hold the engine with the turbo and for a lower gear. Can wait a moment or two.
Switching to Sport fixes this, but it makes the gears too long and unnecessarily heavy. Midway, normal mode would have been perfect.
Second, I’d prefer the W204 C300 sedan (with the unsupercharged 185kW 3.5L V6) or the C204 C350 coupe with the more powerful V6 (and would search high and low for that. Sadly, I Want both are rare with the right equipment.
The technology was quite surprising for a 2011 car. Along with nine airbags and all the usual safety inclusions, the Driver Assistance Pack actually ups the ante with Adaptive Cruise, Active Blind Spot Assist, and Active Lane Keeping Assist.
Pretty much everything is electric and works perfectly. Rain-sensing wipers (with dual settings) and auto headlights with automatic high-beam assist (which also rotate with the steering wheel) are all included. AEB works very well; I was able to “test” it when someone in front of me unexpectedly decided to drop their anchor to exit the highway, which also featured the full pre-safe system where the belt tensioners automatically secured themselves and my seat belt. Both the passengers were returned to their seats and the cabin was prepared by closing the sunroof.
As I’m not a fan of touchscreens, the COMAND system is a high point for me and a breeze to use, and commands for navigation, telephony, and changing music using the Linguatronic system are amazing. are motivationally effective, although limited. It can compare to a modern system.
I just hook up my phone using Bluetooth and then have a rudimentary Android Auto system, where I can bark orders over the phone instead (usually to change the station on internet radio).
Cute fact: If you leave the sunroof open and the rain sensor detects water, the car will automatically close the sunroof, leaving your interior wet.
Ride comfort is a bit of a mixed bag, but it’s mainly, in my experience, mounted under the tires. The car came with Falken Ziex tires when purchased, which are quite noisy and ride rough. I got a loaner car (an identical 2011 C250 ridiculously enough) while my car was getting the coolant pipe replaced, and it was noticeably more comfortable and a much quieter ride on the Continentals I had installed.
The urban ride on the Falcons, while not uncomfortable, is a bit more uncomfortable than on less than perfect roads. It can also be caused by wheels that are unnecessarily large in my opinion. 18-inch wheels with 255-width tires on a small sedan that really has no play, or shouldn’t have any, is simply overkill.
Yeah they look good, but when it comes time to replace the tires I’ll probably see if I can get a set of 17 inch wheels from the C200 at the same time. Or if not I’ll fit Continentals or Michelins. The highway ride is beautiful though; Smooth, comfortable and always leaves a sense of unity.
Handling is quite good. The steering is really nice, with a variable weight. It can cut a bit more directly off center, but other than that it feels great and gives off a sense of confidence. And when the mood strikes, corners can be taken much more easily than at normal speeds, although like most Mercedes you get the sense that the car is enduring this kind of behaviour, rather than Enjoy it.
It really is the perfect car for me. There’s no such thing as a traditional rear-drive, cab-rearward sedan/coupe, and the W204 pulls off that look to a T (none of that dreaded SUV stuff in my future!).
Having said that, a car like the C250 won’t be for everyone. Rear seat room is small compared to the overall size of the car. And maintenance and upkeep costs for German cars of a certain age can be higher than something from Japan or Korea.
None of that matters to me though, because my C250 is absolutely perfect for my needs and I always have that extra glance over my shoulder when I get out there and smile.