Mark B purchased this Mercedes-Benz C200 Kompressor used for $7500 (including all on-road costs) in 2021. Mark B would buy this car again because: “Yes, but I would probably look for a post-facelifted C240 or C320 V6 model instead, as the 4 cylinder is a bit ordinary. But as you can pick these up for a song really (and those V6 models are rare) I wouldn’t hesitate to get another one. “
I have only had the Mercedes for three months, but in that time it has been faultless. Everything works perfectly, the air-con is cold, the 5 speed auto shifts smoothly (and surprisingly quickly to throttle inputs), all electrics work.
Any passengers I have taken are genuinely surprised it’s a 15 year old car with almost 170,000 kms on the clock. Hopefully it stays that way for the 2 years I plan to keep it.
Most people are afraid of a used European car; sometimes for good reason, mostly from rumours. I took my time, looked for months, to get exactly what I wanted.
In reality I was open to anything really, as I just wanted something super affordable that had a bit of style that I could keep for a couple of years (it will be lucky to travel 10,000 kms a year as I live inner city). After being completely stunned by the extortionate prices people wanted for used Japanese and Korean cars, I narrowed my search down to a C, CLK or E Class, or a Lexus IS, ES, or GS.
The Lexus’ in the price range were all terrible sadly, so they were avoided. Then along came the silver C200, which would be my third after a W202 and W204. A deal was done and off we went. First stop was to get a service, including transmission, and a good check over by my local Mercedes specialist.
All up not too much needed, mostly replacement items such as a battery and wiper blades, and the brake pads and rotors were getting a bit low. Next was to get window tint (for looks and the Queensland sun), and I replaced the original head unit (with its bubbled screen making it impossible to read) with an Android unit bought online.
All up a very well looked after Mercedes with reasonable kms on the clock, fully serviced and running well for less than $10k.
For the age and price I am happy. The Sport Edition looks quite nice on the lowered suspension, which also maintains a comfortable, almost old school, Mercedes ride.
For a 2006 car it came with electrics for almost everything including partial front seats, electric sunroof, dual zone climate control, digital speedo, bluetooth phone call connectivity (not really needed with the new head unit anymore), loads of airbags and safety equipment, auto Xenon headlights, auto wipers, and without question the worlds best (non-adaptive) cruise control.
Apparently it had 120kW and 240Nm when new, however a few of those might have gone missing over the years…
For me though it has enough power for most situations (especially compared to the glacial C180 W202 I had a few years back) and is delivered smoothly by the very adept 722.6 auto. In saying that though a couple of extra ratios wouldn’t go astray, and cruising at 110km/h results in 2700rpm.
In the city the trip computer usually reads around 11-12L/100km and on the highway it gets down to around 6L/100km, so usually averages out around 9-10L/100km. Not too bad for a rather heavy (especially as it’s quite a small) car with a 5 speed transmission and air con on constantly.
For its time the technology was quite remarkable. ESP, Bluetooth, trip computer, digital speedo, a full complement of airbags front and rear, parking sensors, and cruise control that brakes to maintain speed (and maintain it does very well) are all included.
The original Audio 20 head unit only had radio and CD, but the replacement Android unit takes care of that and adds navigation, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay etc.
The Sport Edition has a lowered suspension on (in my opinion) gorgeous-looking 17-inch alloys. What really surprised me was that the handling is actually quite good and entertaining, while maintaining a comfortable and quiet ride. P
robably has to do with the entirely appropriately sized wheels and tyres, compared to a newer C-Class with oversized and unnecessary 19s.
Do your homework and do yourself a favour and save a classy older European! Remember the golden rules; any car of a certain age will need work done, a Mercedes just happens to cost a bit more to fix.
Don’t expect perfection from this era of Mercedes (that Chrysler merger of “equals” ruined any chance of quality levels reaching prior generation levels), and be prepared to put in the effort to keep it running well and looking great. You won’t be disappointed.