Greetings:<p>I was just notified that my C320 has "hit the water". That translates to delivery here in Seattle about the end of February! Order was executed on November 18 for those calculating end-to-end timelines.<p>Demographics:<br>==============<br>I DO drive a high-performance sports car daily. It's a 220hp 5-speed mid-engine rocket. I'm almost forty, IT professional, world traveled, and do a lot of client entertainment. I've owned Audi Quatros and BMW's. Hope that covers it?<p>C320 Specs:<br>===========<br>Color: Glacier White (looks elegant & sporty on this new body contour)<br>C2 Package: Sunroof, rear sunshade, rain-sensing wipers<br>C3 Package: 60/40 split rear seats, ski sack<br>C4 Package: Heated seats, headlamp washers<br>C6 Package: Sport-tuned suspension, prem. leather, 7x16" alloy wheels wheels<br>Xenon headlamps<br>CD Changer: Glove box<br>Accessories: Negotiated a couple of "free" items to close the sale. At risk at sounding like I'm pounding my chest, it was more principle than anything else. After all, the sticker is non-negoitiable for the 320. So, my concession is valued a little more than $300 US.<br>Items are:<br>Trunk Cargo Tray: For my golf clubs, keeps grass and mud off the trunk carpet. Part#Q-6-75-0026.<br>All Weather Mats: Yes, it really does rain a lot in the Northwest! Part#Q-6-80480.<p>The Competition:<br>================<br>BMW 330i: One of my favorite looks. However, don't know why the engineering team mucked with the steering? This opinion is not alone. I actually had a $1000 deposit on this car for over 6-months. Before it arrived I re-test drove this car and a C320 demo. I immediately sought a refund. Other factors included the non-communication from my dealer (BMW Seattle). First they never let me test drive their inventory. Next, I could never get order status. The nail in the coffin was the fact that everywhere I noticed there were a lot of modified 3-series. I'm talking lowering, booming, fender augmentation, etc. I entertain high-end clients so, that was the last image I needed to embrace. For some reason this class of BMW attracts a lot of this element? I only hope the new C will not fall victim next. On a positive note, the 1999 5-speed, sport package 3 does handle very nicely!<p>BMW 540i: First, this is not a fair comparison. The 540i is THE BEST PRODUCTION CAR IN THE WORLD. That said, I do have limitations on what I'm willing to spend for a car I will be toting primarily clients around in daily. If you don't mind plucking down the cash and recurring insurance costs to boot, go for it! It truly is an awesome sedan.<p>Annoyances<br>==========<br>Albiet the new C is not only striking in looks but, engineering detail and production practices seem sound. After over $1.3 Billion(US) spent in redesign, the boys in the fatherland forgot a couple of items:<p>Dead-pedal: When negotiating curves, comes in handy. Surprised they obverlooked this crucial performance item.<p>Parking Brake: the foot job really doesn't cut-it.<p>Tiny-tach: Ummm, this will be hard to get used to.<br>5-speed: I'll live without it but I guess it was a first run schedule issue?<br>Back seats: No leg room but, only my sport jacket, clients, and my girlfriend's 110lb. twin sister will go back there. ;-)<p>AMG Wheels: Really, for the price, should be included.<p>That's it. Comments welcomed. Enjoy your new cars everyone. I've waited a long time for something that is presentable to my clientle, fun, girl-catching, and semi high-performance. Benz is cool again!<br>Cheers!