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Discussion Starter #1
It's a serious question, I'm not trying to cause any huge debates. I just want to know what you experts consider valid reasons to pick a Mercedes over a BMW.<br> <br> I'm considering the C320 for my wife, and I'd wind up driving it a lot too, as she doesn't want a full size car like the E class. Now, I love the look of Mercedes but it bugs the crap out of me that they are owned by Daimler Chrysler. I used to be a valet and probably 80% of the cars we had problems with were Chrysler, and that was a lot of 'new' one's.<br> <br> Anyway, just trying to get some opinions. For example, I chose a Yukon over a Expedition because I thought the Ex had very light and sloppy steering, it didn't feel like you were in full control of the truck. Also, 90% of the throttle is within the first 10% of throttle play on the gas pedal.<br> <br> Also, does anyone know if the C320's are produced in the same factory as Chryslers? I think that would make up my mind for me.<br> <br>
 

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1) MY UNDERSTANDNG IS THAT ALL THE C320'S ARE MADE IN GERMANY AT MB FACTORY IN STUTTGART.<br> <br> 2) I DRIVE A C320 AND FEEL IT IS ONE OF THE BEST VALUES AVAILABLE IN A LUXURY SEDAN TOADY. I TRADED AN SLK320 IN FOR IT AND APPRECIATE THE DRIVE SO MUCH MORE THAN THE SLK.<br> <br> 3) I'VE ONLY HAD THE CAR FEW MONTHS BUT PUT AROUND 24K A YEAR ON MY CARS AND HAVE HAD NO TROUBLE WITH IT.<br> <br> 4) I WOULD TOTALLY RECOMMEND THE C320 WITHOUR RESERVATION. IT IS A WONDERFUL CAR.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
When Daimler-Benz bought out Chrysler they changed the name to DaimlerChrysler. The factories are all separate. The only MB made in America is the M-class, which is made in Alabama. No Chryslers are made there. (Actually the M-class engine and transmission are made in Germany and shipped to Alabama; the M-class is just assembled in Alabama.)<br>
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I believe some Chryslers are using, or will use soon, that same German-built MB 3.2 liter V-6 engine from the ML320 but so far no Mercedes have used any Chrysler components that I know of.<br>
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What you should expect is for Chrysler quality to eventually improve through the use of MB engineering and technology, not the other way around. It is of course possible that a future model Mercedes will be built at a Chrysler plant a la Jaguar/Ford, but I don't know of any specific plans for that right now.<br>
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I've driven the C class and love it, and may buy one myself in the fall when I need an additional car.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Both are fine cars. The BMW is built more for the enthusiast driver and the MB more for the comfortable traveler IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Maybe you shouldn't

We bought a C240 6 speed for my wife.<br> <br> Its a nice car, but for myself, I'd rather have a 325i or even better, a 330i. To me, the C240/320 are just too 'soft,' made more for cruising. It also seems smaller on the inside to me than the 3 series. The 3 series is just a lot more fun to drive, to me, and that is the primary factor for me.<br> <br> The C is a nice car, but always seemed more like a 'chick car,' both in appearance and in driving dynamics. My wife thinks so, too, to the extent that she says 'I can't believe any man would buy this car.'<br> <br> BTW, Chrysler has nothing to do with the MB cars. Chrylser is just a separate division of Daimler Benz. Although the C class has not been particularly reliable overall, that has everything to do with MB and nothing to do with Chysler.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just went through the same buying decision about 800 miles ago. The least expensive car with side head airbag protection is the Passat, but it does not compare to your current choices.<br> <br> Either car is low to the ground for me, and both cars are nearly identical in all dimensions (wheelbase, overall length, interior room &etc). Both offer surprisingly generous legroom, even for 95th percentile males.<br> <br> New for the new C-class is rack and pinion steering and more hp available. The new C's better-looking styling loses a little room inside, compared to older C's, but the trade-off was worth it in increased sales for MB.<br> <br> BMW is more dependent on 3-series sales (e.g., about half of all units sold), which have flattend, probably due to 40-60% growth in C-class sales, and also new competition from Lexus and Jaguar in the luxury sport sedan segment.<br> <br> Both engines are pretty neat. BMW stays with the I-6 approach. MB's 320 is a component V6 engine, i.e., the same engine as used in an ML430 V8, for instance, less two cylinders (same engine as the SL500, less two cyls. and a smaller bore).<br> <br> Also, the 320 has the same trans as for MB's V8s, e.g., same as is found in the 349 hp ML55 AMG. So, you probably can count on MB's lifetime trans being just that in the 1,000 pound lighter C-class.<br> <br> Most MLs sold sinced '98 are powered by the 320. The E320, at one time, actually offered the best gas consumption of any other V6, and the 320 engine was in Ward's pick of the top ten best engines for several years, with its twin-plug, 3-valve per cylinder design. BMW engines also are in Wards' top ten lists, but they're more in the racing engine genre, e.g., high rev, variable valve timing.<br> <br> The 320 has a few less hp than the 330i but the 320 has more torque. And, the 320's torque advantage starts at a lower rpm and remains higher over a longer range than the 330i motor, so it doesn't have to work as hard to do what's required, and therefore should last longer.<br> <br> The 320's crankshaft is weighted so it does not have the same feel of the 330i, i.e., the 330i motor will 'feel' stronger off the line; the 320 should feel more substantial.<br> <br> The MB's all leather seats seem better-- more supportive. The C-class probably will be more expensive for '03 because some items that are standard now may be options at an additional price, e.g, automatic trans, teleaid.<br> <br> Now probably is the time to buy a C-class if you can find an '02 on the lot in a color selection that you want. The '03 C-class production already has started and no significant changes are announcded; however, Xenon lights will be an available option for about $800.<br> <br> The new C should be around for another 5 years, so it's early on MB's product life curve and should offer good resale value.<br> <br> Other than the C, the only thing more exciting would be the '03 E-class that is due about September, but that will be more expensive, have some new generation problems that need working out, and will be much bigger than your wife wants. After driving a C320 for just a few weeks, your wife will not go back to a Honda.<br>
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Why I chose MB over BMW

At least in my area the BMW dealer has a horrible rep and does not provide loaners. The MB dealers around me give loaners (I think it's an MB policy) and free full service car washes. This alone would make me not want a BMW as I know that German cars and not the most reliable. <br> <br> Then I drove both with equal options (mostly stripped, no sports package) on a close circuit obsticle course provided by Lexus. The C320 was by far the superior handling car (neither had a sports package) and comfortable car. I had a much stronger level of confidence driving the C320 than any other car in the test fleet they provided (Acura TL, Lincoln LS, Volvo S60, Lexus ES300 & IS300, BMW 325i, MB C320). I think when the magazine prefer BMW's handling it has to be with a sports package because I was shocked how much lean the car had and how much understeer it had for a car that advetises as the Ultimate Driving Machine. Sometime you can't go by magazine skid path or slalom numbers. Some suspensions become skittish on rough pavement of real life. The MB has the confidence that no matter what the surface is like or if it's wet it will track, the BMW did not give me that confidence. Actually the only other car that did was the Lincoln LS.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
READ BELOW MIKE

OK first i just want to touch base on one issue that one person made a comment on and that is benz is a girly car where as the BMW is a man car.Thats totaly wrong. Benz no mater what has always been the tough guy car, the powerful and famous car. Look around the streets and tell me how many BMWs u see guys in and im refering to the 3 series. Its a joke. Ill tell u another thing, I have the C240 and put sime nice rims on it and my friend has a BMW and i honestly get all the looks when and comments and he gets non. Keep in mind the C series is a new look and most people hasnt seen it yet. It does look more agressive and also looks like the S series so makes u look even ricer lol. now on a serious not. I understand your fear about chrylser built cars. Ill tell u one thing, German cars have so much electronics in them that they are bound to fail in way or another but when it comes to safety and image u r dealing with the best. By the way for your info, BMWs are known for breaking down. Its been this way since the early 80s. So go with the benz, its stylish, newier, safer, dealing with the dealerships is more relaiable in general, good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well since youre asking about this on a Mercedes site...

Hey, I don't think that the C32 AMG is very girly...especially when my dad was cruising in the city and two guys in a new M3 convertible did the universal 'Oh sh-t!' when they saw him roll up next to them. (Hell try de-badging even a C240 and putting rims on it, thats pretty aggressive looking right there. A lot better than the average Bimmer.)<br> <br> But the new C does resemble the S in many ways, which is one of the things that Mercedes does cosistantly through the generations of their cars. My generation E-Class resembles the S and C of the decade, as the new S, C, CLK (2003), SL, and so on do.<br> <br> Nowadays it is mostly asthetics since the engines do not vary greatly from each other in power and torque. It isn't like you are comparing Hondas to Porsches here.<br> <br> Mercedes just seem less obtainable than BMW's do, they are still considered out of people's price range, but hey my car is worth less than a new honda civic and has more features. Thats not too unobtainable.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I agonized for a month over my car purchase decision. My options were the BMW 330i or the MB 320 sport. I chose the Mercedes, and I have been very happy with the decision. Here was my analysis:<br>
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1) Performance. BMW gets the sporty performance edge, but not by a huge margin. This was the only factor in BMW's favor, IMHO, and the 320 with the sport package was plenty sporty enough for me and close to the BMW w/o the sports package.<br>
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2) Aesthetics. I much preferred the design of the Mercedes and the interior ergonomics. Everything felt much better thought-out and more elegantly designed. The BMW seemed a little rough around the edges by comparison.<br>
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3) Luxury features. The Mercedes gets the edge here in my opinion. From airbags everywhere, to great phone integration w/voice control, to little things like a steering wheel that gets out of my way when I exit the car. I am still discovering new 'nice features' that continue to impress me.<br>
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4) Value. Mercedes won hands down. I got much more for my money with the Mercedes, and I negotiated pretty hard for each car. BMW wasn't as aggressive as MB in negotiating the sticker price, even at the end of the month. And even with equal negotiated prices (i.e. a $40k BMW), I found the MB lease payment to be over $100 less per month than BMW, due to a higher assumed residual value and more aggressive interest rates. <br>
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5) Purchase experience. I visited 3 BMW dealerships and 3 MB dealerships. NONE of the BMW dealerships I visited came close to the worst MB dealership in terms of integrity, professionalism, and overall experience. My one subsequent service experience (CD changer broke) with MB confirmed by pre-purchase suspicions that MB would take good care of me. Same day appointment, loaner car (from a different dealership than I bought the car from), car wash, and prompt service with a smile.<br>
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My conclusion was that you really couldn't go wrong with either car, but my decision was swayed towards Mercedes by the above rationale. Since then, I have been very happy with my decision (especially when I notice now that BMW 3's are more common than Toyota Camrys in LA). <br>
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-Brian<br>
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ps...btw, if you're concerned about the car being made in Germany, remember that some of the BMW 3's (although I think not the 330's) are made in South Africa. Check the plate inside the driver's door.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
BMWs have a tendency to make small cosmetic changes in their cars. If you look at the 3 series, they have constantly made changes since its introduction. This makes it difficult to get parts and outdates your car really quickly.<br> <br> Of course, it is much easier to make modifications on a BMW as aftermarket parts are plentiful compared to the MB. BMWs also make it easy to change light bulbs etc yourself. I have owned both and I would be reluctant to go back to a BMW. Also, have you seen the new 7 series and the soon to be launched 5 series. I like the 3 series but have a feeling BMW is going downhill in design.<br> <br> Just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
do you mean to say that MB are putting chrysler engines into their cars?highly unlikely, it would be a total disaster,i do not believe this for one minute.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Then you should read up about the MB vehicles. The 2001 W203 C240 was the first of many to come chrysler/mb partnered vehicles. In the mercedes benz / chrysler handbook about the company, they explain this as being the first of many vehicles to come. I assure you I am not missleading you with hear-say.<br>
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wrong info; 240s are made in Ger. by MB

The 240 actually is 2.6L; otherwise, it is the same engine as the 320. Definitely made in Germany by MB. The 240 has the same bore as the 320; however, the 320 has a longer stroke, which accounts for the difference in displacement. Both engines have the same trans, firing order, compression. MB uses a component engine concept: the 320, for instance, also is the same engine as the 430 but with 2 fewer cylinders, and with a weighted crankshaft.
 

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Re: Wrong info; 240s are made in Ger. by MB

I thought so, so much for the nonsense about chrysler putting engines in MB.
 

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Re: Wrong info; 240s are made in Ger. by MB

The 240's the twin spark with the three valves per cylinder, oversized exhaust valve, and variable intake runner is all MB; however, the supercharged 1.8L engine in BMWs new Cooper-- that's different story: that motor is made by Daimler-Chrysler in South America.
 
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