2008 W204 C280 & C200 Sport Questions

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May 9, 2008
Burgess Hill
C320 Sport

I'm a potential MB owner / convert and despite having had two test drives recently still have a number of questions and would appreciate if existing owners would share their insight and experience.
I tested both a C280 Elegance and more recently the C200 Sport (wanted to try a C280 sport but this was the closest that I could get).

Fuel Economy:

The C200 seemed to put in a reasonable showing with an overall average of 32.3 mpg over a run of 339 mile, consisting of a mix between motorway cruising and some A & B road's, a relatively even mix of both.
Is this the typical type of performance that can be expected of the C200 once its run in ? (My demo had 1895 miles on the clock when delivered). mpg was measured using the on-board trip computer
What are owners typically seeing over their normal journeys and what sort of driving conditions ?

The C280 I had a few weeks back obviously turned in lower figures but I had not discovered / worked out the trip function so relied upon more ready reckoning approach of just dividing my mileage by fuel used, not so accurate as I sort of guestimated to a degree as to where the needle was before I first filled up. However I estimated something in the region of 26-27 mpg again over a mixture of motorway cruising and A&B road blatting to see how it performed.
Again would be appreciative of feedback from existing owners as to what they typically see with the C280.

Audio 50 APS vs Command:

The C200 Sport was basic spec with no "toys" to speak of just the base Audio 20, the C280 elegance cam with the full command package, which was really quite impressive (almost wish I had not seen it as its bound to cost me money in the end).
I cant help wondering though how great the difference is between the SatNav and audio performance of the Audio 50 APS vs Command. There seems to be almost no pictures, reviews or comments on either on the web from which to compare.

My head is telling me that financially the Audio 50 APS is the right compromise for my wallet but my heart is saying I may be disappointed having seen the fully Monty in action. So the 64 Million Dollar question is how vast is the difference in functionality and the graphics between the two ? Comments views, insight and especially pictures greatly appreciated

Advanced Agility Pack:

Now the C200 Sport was a revelation after the C280 Elegance in terms of ride and handling performance, it just felt so tight and colleted, really together as a package, where as the Elegance felt sloppy and disconnected.
This may just my personal preferences speaking as I'm coming from a 200SX with a firm ride and loads of steering feedback but even Wife Central noted the sport as being vastly superior.

The big question is what level of difference does the Advanced Agility Pack add to the existing sport models, if the handling really further improved, how much faster are the gear shifts (still felt a little sluggish in the C200 sport even with the steering wheel mounted paddles) and most of all what is the difference in terms of throttle response.
I'm really trying to judge if its delivers any tangible benefit for the extra outlay or if its a button on the dash which will get little use or just left in one position

What about the C230 ?

I could not really see the reason for this model in the range, I initially thought it may be a good halfway house between the C200 and C280 but based on the official MB figures its fuel economy seems to be no different from the C280, the cost differential is negligible in the scheme of things and the power output closer to the C200 than its bigger brother. So to me does not seem to make a lot of sense on any level but I may be missing something fundamental so other opinions welcome

General Opinion:

The C200 Sport despite the much better IMHO handling it still felt a little underpowered in terms of acceleration either from a standing start or in gear above third, so an open question against its bigger brother despite the financial and mpg trade offs.
Any subjective opinions of what its like to live with longer term would be really helpful.

I appreciate there are a lot of questions here for a first post but I figured the forum seemed to be populated with a lot of helpful and knowledgeable people, so who better to seek input from than those who live with these beasts day in day out.

Thanks In advance

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