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I have decided to treat myself by replacing my 6 year old Audi A4Q with a new ride. A buddy of mine is a car broker specializing in Geramn cars which I do prefer.<br> <br> To make a long story short I can get a great deal on two cars, each due to a strange set of circumstances. The two cars are, which differ in price by US$6,000, are:<br> <br> - Mercedes-Benz C320 Sport (215 hp and 221 lb/feet of torque)<br> - Mercedes-Benz C32 AMG (349 hp and 321 lb/feet of torque)<br> <br> The wildcard here is that I love having all wheel drive and Mercedes-Benz will have an all wheel drive version of the C320 Sport in Spetember (i.e. 2003 model) and I am somewhat conrcerned about going from an all wheel drive car to a rear wheel drive car.<br> <br> The questions I have are:<br> <br> 1. Does anyone have any experience/knowledge with either of these cars? If so, please provide same.<br> <br> 2. Is it worth waiting for the all wheel drive version?<br> <br> 3. Is the C32 AMG worth the extra money?<br> <br> 4. What changes are due for 2003?<br> <br> 5. Would you folks consider any of the following options important -- enhanced sound system, navigation system, rain sensor wipers, or tele aid. In Canada, these options are all excluded from the base C32.<br> <br>
 

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C320 Sport 4-Matic?

Are you sure that there will be a 2003 C320 Sport w/ 4matic? MBUSA has never offered it before (on the E-class sport that is) and my dealer wasn't too optimistic when I asked him about it last month.<br> <br> Anyway, I'm going with a 2002 C32!
 

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If you do not drive in snow or ice conditions often, the C32 is the clear choice unless price is a consideration. I own a C32 and have also owned Audis(3 of them). If bad weather is a major factor and you want something that's quick, consider the A6 2.7 Turbo Quattro or the 4.2V8 Quattro. Both are satisfying performers. Another candidate is the BMW 330ix All Wheel Drive. The C32 is the hot rod of the bunch.
 

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<br>
Chuck and Island:<br>
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A few quick points:<br>
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1. You are correct in regards the 4-matic. When I checked with my dealer he agreed that he had errored in that 4-matic will NOT be offered on the Sport version but WILL be offered on the 'base' version.<br>
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2. Although I do live in Toronto, Canada the amount of snow is minimal -- I think this year we have had no more than five to seven days with snow, tonight being one of them!<br>
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While I do like my Audi A4, and have driven the new A4, I am not a fan of the A6. I find the A6 to be a car that does everyone average, and does nothing great! Moreover, for that type of coin I do not want something that will undergo a body change within the next two years.<br>
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3. For some unexplainable reason -- maybe due to the less than stellar performance of my Audi as my version has the 2.8 litre 172 bhp engine -- I have a desire for a real performance car. Middle age crisis.. maybe, although I am still south of 40 and will be for a couple more years.<br>
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In any event my current thinking is to order a C32 which will be a 2003 model and thus arrive in August/September as there are no more units available in Canada (i.e. I checked with two dealers in two different provinces). I will likely keep the car for two to three years, get most of my $$ out and then move to something more sensible and cost effective... like the C320 4-matic which, at least in Canada, should be in the order of US$10,000 cheaper.<br>
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Any comments/thoughts?<br>
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Thanks for yours.<br>
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Cheers,<br>
<br>
Joel
 

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Joel, you are on the right track,but perhaps you should know............

Go ahead with the order but make sure any deposits are refundable. That way you can keep looking. Here is why I say that. I took a risk and bought my car over the phone sight unseen. The dealer had no cars to test drive and every one that came in was already sold. Mine came in by boat. The dealer was great, but after patiently breaking in the car, I began driving more aggressively and began to find that certain 'performance curtailment' features really dulled my enjoyment of high speed mountain roads. Although I enjoy the comfort and convenience of the car, if I had it to do over, I might wait and perhaps buy an M3. I don't keep cars for more than 3 years so I would't care if the BMW fell apart! IF you are not an assertive driver, none of the stuff that bothers me will matter(throttle cut off when you touch the brake, lack of pedal sensitivity,and the like) which means you will love this car and be proud to be seen in it. It is great for long trips! Happy hunting.
 

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Re: Joel, you are on the right track,but perhaps you should know............

Island:<br> <br> Thanks for the feedback.<br> <br> I do understand, and in fact share your concern, as there is no way to test drive this car prior to purchase because, as you properly note, they are are sold due to their limited supply.<br> <br> Th equestion of the C32 vs M3 is not an issue for me for the following reasons:<br> <br> 1. The M3, at least in Canada, is significantly more costly than the C32. The fact is that the C32 in Canada sells for less than in the US, just head over to MB's Canadan web site.<br> <br> 2. The M3 is a coupe whereas the C32 is a sedan, and I both need/want a sedan. I have zero desire for a coupe... been there, done that.<br> <br> 3. The M3 is impossible to get. The waiting list is measured in terms of years, not months.<br> <br> 4. The M3 is equally as difficult to test drive. Try getting your hands on one of those pups!<br> <br> For all these reasons I am think that I am making the correct decision of going the C32 route. If, in the end, I do not like the C32 then I will suffer with it for three years and then make a change. It should be my biggest problem!<br> <br> Other thoughts?<br> <br> Joel
 

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Re: Joel, you are on the right track,but perhaps you should know............

<br> Island32:<br> <br> What are your thoughts regarding SpeedShift/Tiptronic transmission.<br> <br> This is the one area in which I am 'concerned' as this will be my first non-standard transmission car.<br> <br> I do wish they offered a manual transmission. Are you or others aware of any plans to do so?<br> <br> I look forward to your feedback.<br> <br> Thanks,<br> <br> Joel<br>
 

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Re: I would not hold my breath on the manual tranny.................

Mercedes seems to be reluctant to totally give up on it's old image. They feel that they are promoting safety by controlling the driver with technology. I would have gladly paid 2000 or 3000 dollars more to have a 6 speed, but Mercedes says they won't offer it because only 5% of buyers would even want a manual. They are looking at their existing customer base! They would create NEW customers if they offered the option, but they don't see it that way. <br> <br> The Tiptronic in the Porsche is OK, but bear in mind, it's still an automatic. The sequential box from BMW sounds good but I've heard that highly skilled drivers still prefer the 6 speed. <br> <br> I still think that since you have the time, you should compare as many cars as possible. I may sound like a heretic, but, it you haven't done so, start researching some of the stuff out of Japan. The styling is sometimes an acquired taste, but the driving experience might surprise you. I ran up against a modified GS400 in my C32 and he walked away from me on straight aways. I caught him in the corners but I think I'm a more highly trained driver. You might find it ineresting that even after putting almost 10000 miles on the C32, if Acura came out with a rear wheel drive high performance sedan, I would buy it tomorrow. That is based on my experience with an NSX{I will buy another someday) and with my absolute favorite drivers toy, the Honda S2000. I would still have the Honda if I had the room. Anyway, as you can tell it's easy for me to get wound up about cars. <br> <br>
 

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Re: I would not hold my breath on the manual tranny.................

Mercedes seems to be reluctant to totally give up on it's old image. They feel that they are promoting safety by controlling the driver with technology. I would have gladly paid 2000 or 3000 dollars more to have a 6 speed, but Mercedes says they won't offer it because only 5% of buyers would even want a manual. They are looking at their existing customer base! They would create NEW customers if they offered the option, but they don't see it that way. <br> <br> The Tiptronic in the Porsche is OK, but bear in mind, it's still an automatic. The sequential box from BMW sounds good but I've heard that highly skilled drivers still prefer the 6 speed. <br> <br> I still think that since you have the time, you should compare as many cars as possible. I may sound like a heretic, but, it you haven't done so, start researching some of the stuff out of Japan. The styling is sometimes an acquired taste, but the driving experience might surprise you. I ran up against a modified GS400 in my C32 and he walked away from me on straight aways. I caught him in the corners but I think I'm a more highly trained driver. You might find it ineresting that even after putting almost 10000 miles on the C32, if Acura came out with a rear wheel drive high performance sedan, I would buy it tomorrow. That is based on my experience with an NSX{I will buy another someday) and with my absolute favorite drivers toy, the Honda S2000. I would still have the Honda if I had the room. Anyway, as you can tell it's easy for me to get wound up about cars. <br> <br>
 

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Re: Joel, you are on the right track,but perhaps you should know............

Hi Joel<br> <br> I also live in GTA and drive a 320 sport<br> I think you really don't need the 4-matic for winter. <br> You should get the C32 and buy 4 set of snow tires.<br> Anyway Good Luck. <br> By the way, how long you have to wait to get the 2003 models?<br> I heard if you order a C32, you have to wait about 7 months.<br> <br> Kevin
 

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C32 Wait...

Kevin:<br> <br> I ordered my C32 in the middle of April and was told that it would arrive sometime between October and November making it a 6 to 7 month wait.<br> <br> Part of the problem was a) there were no more C32 available in Canada as of April and b) they have notyet started the model 2003 production run. The result being that I not only have to wait for them to build, ship, etc..... but more importantly actually START production.<br> <br> Let me know whether you are interested but I would be happy to give you some behind the wheel time once the pup is broken in.<br> <br> Joel
 
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