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1997 C230 5k mile road trip report (long)

2836 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  3d-designs
1997 C230 5000 mile road trip report (long)

Just got home from a long road trip and I thought I'd write up my experience with the car. As it says in the title my car is a 97 C230 with the naturally aspirated engine. I actually bought the car for this trip because of the following (in no specific order):

- decent highway gas mileage
- comfortable
- spacious (for its size)
- great deal for the money
- well built
- still looks current

Our trip took us all the way up on the I-15 from one end to the other and a few hundred extra miles in Canada, for the total of 2,000 miles each way. Add some local cruising to this and by the time we got back we completed more than 5,000 miles in total in a couple of weeks.

On the entire trip our gas mileage was averaging about 30mpg. I found the car was really comfortable. I do have some lower back issues, but I had absolutely no pain sitting for hours at a time and considering we could go 500 miles between fill ups it meant we didn't really have to worry about running out of gas either. Before we left I was wondering if the little 2.3 will have enough power on some of the steeper mountain roads, and it did have to shift back a gear at a few places, but over all I was pleasantly surprised how torque this engine is. On most hills we could just cruise right up in top gear.

I loved to have the seat controls on the door panel as I like to lay back on the freeway, turn on the cruise control and just enjoy the ride, but when I wanted to sit up more I could just push the little knob forward a bit. I found the cruise control lever is very easy to use on long trips. The climate control worked like charm but as much as I would have like to have it in economy mode to save gas I had to have the AC running most of the time. To be honest I don't think it would have really made a big difference. I felt no power loss and again, we still got 30mpg.

At night the stock lights provided excellent lighting even in low beam mode, and when the traffic allowed with the high beams on I could really see far.

My car has the stock radio, with an Alpine CD changer in the back, which is nice on long trips unless you enjoy listening to Christian stations or Country for long periods at a time. Before we left I replaced the mast of the power antenna with a small rubber piece, which will never brake and it worked really well. I was actually surprised how good the reception was.

In terms of speed, I did not try to push the car. We cruised at about 10 miles or so over speed limit which is still within the range for not to get pulled over, but I did step on it once or twice just to pass. One of those occasions we quickly got up to 100mph and with my luck just passed an unmarked highway patrol car who pulled us right over. Luckily we got away with a warning.

Before we left I did have the car prepared as much as I could. This included, servicing the transmission, changing the oil and filter, and putting on new tires. I also added a new MAF filter, and had the car checked out for additional possible issues, brakes, bearings, leaks, fluids etc.

Over all it was a very pleasant experience. I got a few rock chips on the windshield and the left headlight lens, but I was planning to replace those anyway. Other than the above there is nothing much to report. The little four banger is great. It did not burn a drop of oil and it has plenty of power and torque for long distance cruising.

Since I only bought the car for this trip, I will clean it up and put it up for sale. Those of you who might be interested it now has about 132k miles, has a clean title, and I have most of the service records.
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What's the fun in renting? Not to mention I am not sure how much it would cost to rent considering I would need unlimited mileage.
I've rent SUVs (Tahoes/Expeditions) from "Enterprize Rent A Car" and I live in TX ... on one trip to Disney World FL (3500 miles R/T), and on another trip to San Francisco CA (4000 miles R/T)....another one to Montreal Canada (aprox 5000 miles R/T), each time it was unlimited miles and the trips took two weeks each.....w/cost @ proximitly $135 per wk.... returned the cars washed and gased (same as when rented) and have never been questioned about's alot less than if there was a problem, one call and a new replacement would be brought out to me....just my two cents...:)
Just curious what is the selling price?
I just checked Enterprise's fees and for the cheapest their rate is almost $48/day and a standard SUV is $85/day. I have no idea how you manage to get a large SUV for $135/wk. Maybe in Texas it's cheaper....

RE; the price, I think I will post the car at around $3,900 OBO.
It's cheaper if you rent by the week and book it midweek or if you book rental online using the upgrade/discount code which AMEX, Discover and some or platimum cards provide to customers.....and yes different states are more or less depending on the date/time of rentals......if you call direct or walk in to rent they will always present you with the most expensive pricing, until you tell them that you have CC discounts and or codes....just like airlines and hotels....Never pay regualr price for anything.....:thumbsup:
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