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2004 C230
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I`m in the processes of purchasing a C230 have been looking at 2002 - 2004. Anyone have any input as to what year has the least complex issues. I took a 2002 for a test drive and part of the spring broke right off. This kind of worried me and turned me off this year. Could only be that specific car. Any advice would be great as I don`t know to much about the car. I fell in love with it so i at this point only want this model.
 

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2002 C230k Sport Coupe M111
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if your looking to modify the car...then go with the 2002 which has the 2.3 liter cast iron block better for modding

but if ur no looking to mod and you just want a smooth daily drive then go with 2003 and up which has the very slightly less powerful 1.8 liter motor


both are still good to mod for fun...but in my opinion, 2003 and up are better daily drives :)

hope this helps
 

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C320 4matic
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I'm sure if the car has a clean history and you don't abuse it you should be fine. Are there any features you'd like? Color preferences? Good Luck on the search. It took me a while before I found my car and decided to purchase it.
 

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I wouldn't mess with ANY 01-04 as those were the most problem-prone years for 203s.

Either get an 05-facelift car or wait until you can afford one. If you have any truly technical questions, go ask the same question at mercedesshop.com, in the shop forum, where real MB techs and foremen post. They will give you specific issues with the cars. I know from personal history that the cat on my cousin's 02 C240 self-destructed around 40k. That's ridiculous. The problem with the post-Daimler (1998+ designs) and pre-05 cars is that MB used a huge mix of suppliers for parts, and the result was a lot of garbage. They had mostly ironed-out their supplier kinks by 05, and quality went up accordingly
 

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2002 C230k Sport Coupe M111
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o yea btw....i forgot to mention C320 is probably your best choice if u gonna go with the 203 chassis which comes in coupe version or sedan :)
 

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C320 4matic
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o yea btw....i forgot to mention C320 is probably your best choice if u gonna go with the 203 chassis which comes in coupe version or sedan :)
+ 1 and on another note my car hasn't given me any major problem thus far, knock on wood!
 

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C230K Sport Sedan
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Stay away from any euro brands if you want low maintenance and troublefree. But given that you want an MB anyway, initial quality is about as bad as any company can make a car. The good news for you is many of these issues have been resolved in the first year or two. So a 2002 C230 coupe (no sedan that year) will be pretty good. Heck, I have a 1998 SLK230 with the same motor and tranny, rock solid. Throw a pulley kit on there for added performance. The 2003 was the first year for the 1.8L motor and it was a disaster, radiators that leak internally into the transmission wiping out the tranny, cam sensors that leak in wiring harness causing expensive to fix damage, and the service campaign on all the 1.8L motors for the pcv tubing, at least that's free to get fixed. They really didn't fix these issues until the 2004.5 sport sedan came out. You can tell because it has a 5 spoke wheel instead of a 7 spoke. The 2004.5 had more sophisticated AMG like brakes, nicer wheels, lower stance, better paint technology, chrome exhaust tips and a more reliability. So if I was buying one used, I would get the 2002 coupe or 2004.5 sedan. The 2004 and 2005 coupe is fairly rare as sales dropped off dramatically after the first year so dealers got stuck with a bunch in 2003 so they ordered less for 2004 and hardly any for 2005.
 

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02 C32, 08 C350, 00 CLK320 (sis'), 01 ML430 (gone)
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no cars are going to be problems free. just make sure when you do purchase the car also purchase the extended warranty when possible.

sounds like you are looking for a C sports coupe from your first post. If so you can look for an 2005 which is rare, but it has the new interior and exterior facelift.
 

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2002 C230k Sport Coupe M111
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Stay away from any euro brands if you want low maintenance and troublefree. But given that you want an MB anyway, initial quality is about as bad as any company can make a car. The good news for you is many of these issues have been resolved in the first year or two. So a 2002 C230 coupe (no sedan that year) will be pretty good. Heck, I have a 1998 SLK230 with the same motor and tranny, rock solid. Throw a pulley kit on there for added performance. The 2003 was the first year for the 1.8L motor and it was a disaster, radiators that leak internally into the transmission wiping out the tranny, cam sensors that leak in wiring harness causing expensive to fix damage, and the service campaign on all the 1.8L motors for the pcv tubing, at least that's free to get fixed. They really didn't fix these issues until the 2004.5 sport sedan came out. You can tell because it has a 5 spoke wheel instead of a 7 spoke. The 2004.5 had more sophisticated AMG like brakes, nicer wheels, lower stance, better paint technology, chrome exhaust tips and a more reliability. So if I was buying one used, I would get the 2002 coupe or 2004.5 sedan. The 2004 and 2005 coupe is fairly rare as sales dropped off dramatically after the first year so dealers got stuck with a bunch in 2003 so they ordered less for 2004 and hardly any for 2005.
what he said :D
 

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2004 C230
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm sure if the car has a clean history and you don't abuse it you should be fine. Are there any features you'd like? Color preferences? Good Luck on the search. It took me a while before I found my car and decided to purchase it.
The only main feature that I want is the sunroof. And of course it has to be manual. Color I'm not picky as I know with used cars it's kinda hard to be picky. Going crazy looking for this car.
 

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1999 ML320 / 2005 C230 / 2004 E320 4matic wagon
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Just picked up a 2005 C230 sedan (the exterior/interior styling is A LOT better than the earlier model years in my opinion), was hard to find the features/mileage I wanted. Finally got one from a dealer, still has factory warranty, and a further 1 yr/100,000 mile MB certified warranty. MB is having a financing special on Cert used right now, so I got a 4.9% loan for 6 years. Those things were huge selling points to me. I looked for a few months on eBay to get a sense of what things were selling for, and where. The one I bought turned up at the dealer as a fresh trade (the 2005's are coming off lease and are old enough that owners are trading them in). Keep your eye on dealers, not a bad place to find one.

I also had another dealer looking for me, most will search the wholesale markets for you, maybe this is another route to look into.


Good luck, loving mine so far
 

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C320 4matic
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The only main feature that I want is the sunroof. And of course it has to be manual. Color I'm not picky as I know with used cars it's kinda hard to be picky. Going crazy looking for this car.
If you want a m/t then the c320 is out because I believe it only comes in a/t but it does have a tiptronic slap shift which is very fun.
 

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05 C230 Kompressor Evolution Coupe (Sold), 06 SLK55 AMG
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I just bought a 2005 C230 a couple of months back. There are a lot of them coming in this year because of Lease returns. A local dealer has one here with only 5K miles on it. Mine only had 15K on it.
 

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2004 C230
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If you want a m/t then the c320 is out because I believe it only comes in a/t but it does have a tiptronic slap shift which is very fun.
Tiptronic just isn't the same as standard for me. Can't drive standard without the clutch.
 

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2004 C230
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So I ended up buying a 2004 C230 about a month ago and my gas gage has stopped working a few days ago. Is this a common problem?
 
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