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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 06-01-2005, 08:40 AM
Jess Jess is offline
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How does the Mercedes C-Class compare to the E90?

Just curious..... only because someone I know told me that if I'm going to spend so much on the 330i, I should just get the Mercedes C-class. I also dont know much about Mercedes only cause I never even considered that car at all. So please enlighten me......

All I know right off the bat is that the Mercedes just dont attract me at all, lookwise, although I know thats only personal perference.
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2005, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jess
Just curious..... only because someone I know told me that if I'm going to spend so much on the 330i, I should just get the Mercedes C-class. I also dont know much about Mercedes only cause I never even considered that car at all. So please enlighten me......

All I know right off the bat is that the Mercedes just dont attract me at all, lookwise, although I know thats only personal perference.
Jess;
An excellent question that I've also been asking myself, considering the new 3.5 liter engine in the C350. I also don't like the MB exterior.

I just picked up a new 330i Sport in Munich, and let me tell you, its barely broken in, but it rides incredible;;;soaks up the bumps with just the right amount of feedback and corners like a champ. Plus it gobbles up highway miles faster than you can say VienerSchnitzel. Benz's generally have a much softer ride overall, though its not so much in the ride, but in the way the Benz's chassis responds when you push it. Because its set up for more of a luxury car feel, some of the feedback gets lost when you push the car to its limits. I have felt this when test-driving an MB E500. And their cars are more expensive.

On the other hand, these people @ DaimlerChrysler are pretty damned pissed about getting their butts whooped by less expensive sedans like BMWs. Enter the C350. While I was in Germany, there was a comparison test in Auto-Bild magazine with the new Audi A4 3.2, the C350, and my car. Believe it or not the BMW 330 was ranked third, but not by a huge margin, although the C350 had better acceleration. All cars were manual transmissions, I believe. My point here is that the new engines in the MB's have made them pretty worthy competitors lately.

I still won't drive anything else, but the decision is of course yours, so test drive both and make up your own mind.

Good luck!

Last edited by RichReg; 06-01-2005 at 09:37 AM.
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  #3  
Old 06-01-2005, 10:00 AM
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Nick325xiT 5spd Nick325xiT 5spd is offline
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Well, let's just put it this way:

BMW is fundamentally about the 3-series. The larger, more expensive BMWs are bigger cars that try to handle like the 3-series. In contrast, Mercedes is focused on the E-Class and S-Class. The C-Class is designed to give that big car feel in an inexpensive price bracket. If you want the feel of a big car, you'll like the C-class better. If you want the feel of a smaller, more agile car that's also very comfortable, get the BMW.
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  #4  
Old 06-01-2005, 10:13 AM
CC 330i CC 330i is offline
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Is the C350 available here in the states? I can only find the E350 on the website. I know the SLK350 is here now.
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  #5  
Old 06-01-2005, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichReg
... Believe it or not the BMW 330 was ranked third, but not by a huge margin, although the C350 had better acceleration. All cars were manual transmissions, I believe. My point here is that the new engines in the MB's have made them pretty worthy competitors lately...
Who was No 1?

Ed
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  #6  
Old 06-01-2005, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed328Ci
Who was No 1?

Ed
Ya' know, I just can't remember.

Reason for that is, they had three separate sections of rankings, all of which then boiled down to a "total" ranking, which was not presented sequentially. What I mean is that at the very last page, the BMW was listed in second position on the far left with a number "3" ranking in the total column all the way to the right. Unfortunately, since I was in a hurry (had to catch a train) and can't read or speak German, I just tried to see where the Bimmer landed.

Sorry....

Last edited by RichReg; 06-01-2005 at 10:47 AM.
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  #7  
Old 06-01-2005, 02:59 PM
E90_or_IS E90_or_IS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CC 330i
Is the C350 available here in the states? I can only find the E350 on the website. I know the SLK350 is here now.
Late summer 2005. No pricing info yet. According to some mag, the new C280 will replace C240.
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  #8  
Old 06-01-2005, 03:16 PM
RedStripe RedStripe is offline
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I'm no expert, but from what I've gathered, the MB C-Class (really, MB in general) is a lot more expensive compared to its competitors (of similar class and when similarly equipped, of course). And the MB reputation has really dropped off in the last couple of years, and no longer deserves the price premium it once commanded.

Furthermore, the new generation of C-Class will be coming out in a year or two, so if you're comparing the new e90 generation with the currently available C-Class, I can't think of any reasons to go with the MB.
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  #9  
Old 06-01-2005, 03:22 PM
RedStripe RedStripe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick325xiT 5spd
If you want the feel of a big car, you'll like the C-class better. If you want the feel of a smaller, more agile car that's also very comfortable, get the BMW.
For the price range we're in, I would advise either a Lexus ES or a Acura TL if you wanted a luxury, bigger car feel. But then again, I guess there's a reason we're here in a BMW e90 forum!
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  #10  
Old 06-01-2005, 03:23 PM
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Nick325xiT 5spd Nick325xiT 5spd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedStripe
For the price range we're in, I would advise either a Lexus ES or a Acura TL if you wanted a luxury, bigger car feel. But then again, I guess there's a reason we're here in a BMW e90 forum!
I wouldn't. Just because you want a bigger car feel doesn't mean you want FWD.
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  #11  
Old 06-01-2005, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CC 330i
Is the C350 available here in the states? I can only find the E350 on the website. I know the SLK350 is here now.
C350 hits the states sometime this summer
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  #12  
Old 06-01-2005, 04:19 PM
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One day I had the opportunity to test drive a C320 (That was about 3-4 years ago, but it still is the same car, the new S-class-lookalike generation isn't here yet).

Actually, that was on the invitation of BMW. They had established a small cone course on a track and people would just throw around those cars and compare with the 3-Series. On site were also present the Acura 3.2TL, Audi A4, Lexus IS300 and Volvo S60. Not many companies will invite people to pitch their cars against the competition (I mean, some attendees could actually prefer one of the other cars to the 3-Series), and that says a lot on how confident the company is with regards to its own product (Plus it's a lot of fun).

Anyways, back to the MB, that car was just too soft. The Volvo S60 had the same problem, avoiding cones could cause sea sickness. In the case of the C320, the emergency lane-change test caused the rear end to slide way too much for my taste. It's not like I lost the car, but it was definitely not sporty behavior.

And the dash wasn't that good-looking too. Wood is supposed to be applied on the face of the center console, not on its sides! And it usually looks brown, not gray. Add to that a very distracting wiper motion (Just not... Natural...), and you get a pricy car with a lot of bells & whistles but not much track pedigree.
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  #13  
Old 06-01-2005, 04:30 PM
piratelife piratelife is offline
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I had actuall ordered a C320 before I bought my 325. The BMW was the last car I drove. I call the MB dealer cancelled my order and bought the 325. Too me it felt better. THe MB had everything else beat until I drove the BMW. I probaly would have stuck with MB, but the difference was huge. I felt good in the 320, but I felt like a part of the 3 series. All in all it depends on what you want out of the car.
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  #14  
Old 06-01-2005, 04:32 PM
1bmwe90 1bmwe90 is offline
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The accelaration of C350 still the same as E90

Even with its 250+ lb ft torque, the accelaration of the C350 is same as E90 about 6.3 s 0-60.
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  #15  
Old 06-01-2005, 04:49 PM
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Pretty good advice in this thread. Think Nick's first post sums it up nicely.

I've posted my opinion lots of times, but will give the reader's digest of my MBZ C-class vs. E46 comparo in 2003. I would have thought E90 would be the same, with the differences even more starkly noticeable.

- Test drove MBZ C class W203 in various guises, C230K, C230K with stick, C280 with auto (buddy of mine is a salesman at the MBZ local dealer, so basically got the keys tossed to me). No manual C280 was available.

- Pros: MBZ "image" (whatever that means to you), ride, snappy acceleration of the C280. "Pretty" interior". Nice Leather.

- Cons: C240K had puff initially but ran out of steam. Thrashy supercharged 4. Unpleasant exhaust note. Silly tiny tachometer (believe they finally fixed this). Wallowy ride. Terminally unpleasant understeer. Vague turn-in i.e. you turn the wheel, wait for cornering force to build and then the car turns. Had just come off four years of being friends on an intimate basis with my MBZ Service Advisor where my car was in more often per month of ownership than our Chrysler Town and Country minivan.

I am not banging on the C-class, its a fine car; it just was not what I wanted.





Here's my sum up of the Bimmer test drives:

- Test drove 325iA. Good. Needed more power.
- Test drove 325i 5MT with 17,000 miles. Nice. Like the slick gearbox. Tossable little car.
- Test drove 330iA. Hmm, this is ok, just needs a stick shift.
- Test drove 330i 6MT Perf Package. Ahhhh, reached equilibrium between car desired and size of my wallet. 'nuff said.
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  #16  
Old 06-01-2005, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf359
... Add to that a very distracting wiper motion (Just not... Natural...), and you get a pricy car with a lot of bells & whistles but not much track pedigree.
I am glad I'm not the only one.

When I had my Benz THIS DROVE ME COMPLETELY INSANE!

I could not imagine being in the room when Hanz und Fritz came in from ze Viper Buro and said, "Hey, we haff a good idea here, ve can use one viper und have it flick-flick in ziss unnatural motion und get complete vindscreen coverage wiss only vun viper blade...ja!"

I would have shot them there and then.
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  #17  
Old 06-01-2005, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 1bmwe90
Even with its 250+ lb ft torque, the accelaration of the C350 is same as E90 about 6.3 s 0-60.
Auto-Bild got 6.5 0-100 kmh (62mph) for the C350 and 6.6 for the 330i in the issue I saw in Munich on Monday. Fairly close as you suggest.
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  #18  
Old 06-01-2005, 05:55 PM
Jess Jess is offline
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BMW all the way for me!
Thanks for the info guys!

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  #19  
Old 06-01-2005, 07:43 PM
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I consider a C-class when I first started looking at BMW's, but a comparably equipped MB was always too expensive. Also, if I wanted the bigger motor, I couldn't get the manual transmission. Now, with the reliability issues, I don't see the point of owning one other than image.
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Old 06-02-2005, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingspan
I am glad I'm not the only one.

When I had my Benz THIS DROVE ME COMPLETELY INSANE!

I could not imagine being in the room when Hanz und Fritz came in from ze Viper Buro and said, "Hey, we haff a good idea here, ve can use one viper und have it flick-flick in ziss unnatural motion und get complete vindscreen coverage wiss only vun viper blade...ja!"

I would have shot them there and then.
Need assistance to place bodies in the trunk?

As for the crazy wipers, on the C320 I drove there were two, not one, but they were doing this annoying dance as on the single wiper models.

I can't believe anyone thought of that as something good. It's distracting, and standard wipers have done the job for eons with a simple swipe, there was no need to go there. Talk about gadgets for the sake of having gadgets...
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  #21  
Old 06-02-2005, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichReg
Auto-Bild got 6.5 0-100 kmh (62mph) for the C350 and 6.6 for the 330i in the issue I saw in Munich on Monday. Fairly close as you suggest.
Wow...why was the 330i so slow? The e90 I drove obliterated my 330i ZHP's acceleration (buttometer).
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  #22  
Old 06-02-2005, 04:44 PM
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Car & Driver posted a 0-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds for the 330i.
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