Advanced Agility

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by c43, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. c43

    c43 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    102
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Location:
    Sutton Coldfield
    Car:
    W204 - C320 CDI, Brabus chip
    After some info from any members that understand the above system, ideally from ones who actually have it on their car.

    I am little confused after talking to the dealer and reading the interactive manual on the website, exactly how this works on the new W204.

    On a car WITHOUT AA the gearbox has 3 modes - S, C, M. For the purposes of this discussion we are only interested in the first two. S starts off in 1st gear and changes up later etc and C starts off in 2nd gear and changes up earlier etc. These selections are made via the switch on the gearbox.

    On a car WITH AA, you still have the modes, but I understand them to be controlled by the Sport button on the dashboard? When Sport is pressed on the dashboard , the gearbox changes to S mode and firms up the suspension and when Sport mode is switched off via the dashboard, the car is in C mode? The Sport button automatically switches off once the engine is switched off as well.

    Now the bit which doesn't seem quite logical to me (and I might have this bit wrong, hence the questions) is you can't control the gearbox mode independently of the Sport button on the dashboard. If I want the car to pull away in 1st, but not that bothered about stiffer suspension can I just leave the dashboard Sport button alone and leave the car in S mode on the gearbox? - this doesn't seem possible from reading the owners guide?

    It appears if I want the gearbox in S mode, the whole car needs to be in Sport mode via the dashboard switch?

    My feeling is I quite like the idea of the option, but don't want to be pressing the dashboard Sport button everytime I get into the car just to have the gearbox in S mode.

    Can somebody clear up the operation of it for me? plus any views on whether it is worth it or not?

    (wasn't quite sure on which section to post, this or Engine, feel free to move if I chose incorrectly!)
     
  2. sylvester

    sylvester Member

    Messages:
    46
    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    Burgess Hill
    Car:
    C320 Sport
    Hi C43,
    I will try to add some insight where I can as I had much the same set of questions before ordering myself.
    I took delivery of a W204 320 CDI Sport this week with the Advanced Agility pack, so can give you a direct perspective on how it operates (I think I have most of it figured out now). I also test drove a C280 Elegance with the 7G box, no manual mode of paddle shifts on this model nor the sports suspension, also a C200 Sport with the 5 speed auto, paddle shift, sport suspenson obviously but no advanced agility. While this mix provides soem comparision its hard to be exact due to the differences in engine performance and different gear box's.

    On a car WITHOUT AA the gearbox has 3 modes - S, C, M. For the purposes of this discussion we are only interested in the first two. S starts off in 1st gear and changes up later etc and C starts off in 2nd gear and changes up earlier etc. These selections are made via the switch on the gearbox.

    Yes absolutely correct for the sport models but not for the elegance which does not have a manual mode. On the sport models each of the S, C, M, modes is selected via the swith on the gearbox, on the elegance you only have a choice of C, or S. With the Advanced Agility pack installed there is only M mode on the gear box switch but Manual can be used with the sport button ON or OFF.

    On a car WITH AA, you still have the modes, but I understand them to be controlled by the Sport button on the dashboard? When Sport is pressed on the dashboard , the gearbox changes to S mode and firms up the suspension and when Sport mode is switched off via the dashboard, the car is in C mode? The Sport button automatically switches off once the engine is switched off as well.

    Again you are correct in that C or S, modes are selected via the sport button on the dash.
    When the Sport button is pressed the gearbox moves into S mode (unless you have also selected M mode on the gearbox itself), the suspension firms up further (Noticably so), throttle response is faster, more agressive and just feels sharper, steering reponse also sharpens.

    Unfortunately you can't make a partial selection, to say have the box in S, sharper steering and throttle but less stiff ride (would be nice if you could). Again you are correct that the car reverts to C mode and the other sport functions off once the ignition is switched off. Not much of an issue really as its no problem to just jab the button again when you want it.

    Now the bit which doesn't seem quite logical to me (and I might have this bit wrong, hence the questions) is you can't control the gearbox mode independently of the Sport button on the dashboard. If I want the car to pull away in 1st, but not that bothered about stiffer suspension can I just leave the dashboard Sport button alone and leave the car in S mode on the gearbox? - this doesn't seem possible from reading the owners guide?

    So no you can't leave the box in sport mode and not have the stiffer suspension, its all or nothing really. You can get close by leaving the sport button off and selecting M mode on the gearbox.
    So you get the less stiff ride but not the sharper throttle response, although this may not be to much of an issue depending on your driving style and expectations.

    It appears if I want the gearbox in S mode, the whole car needs to be in Sport mode via the dashboard switch?

    Yes your assumption is correct.

    My feeling is I quite like the idea of the option, but don't want to be pressing the dashboard Sport button everytime I get into the car just to have the gearbox in S mode.

    Very similar to my own thoughts. While it is hard to compare directly with the smaller engined C200 with the 5 speed box, I have so far with limited time in the car not found it to be an issue, as there is plenty of pickup and go in the larger engine to overtake etc or quick stab at the M button on the box does the trick.
    I have found myself cruising in C on A roads and then tapping the sport button when I get on the B,C and unclassified roads.
    Overall though I would still tick the box to put the Advanced Agility pack in the car, for the extra outlay so far I think it was worth it.

    On a more general note for my personal tastes the sport is the only option compared to the elgance range, even the wife was adament after driving both that it had to be the sport model, (spent most of this afternoon with the sport light on as well).
    Given the option the 7G box is a big improvement over the 5 speed, its just smoother and much closer ratio's, in full auto changes are almost imperceptable unless your really cracking on. Although I found in M that the box needs less working that the 5 speed but that also may be due to the increased torue of the larger engines.

    You did not metion f you were thinking about pertrol or diesel and which size. The C200 while certainly no slouch sometimes seemed a bit under powered, which cetainly cant be said of the C280 or C320.
    The C Class is a fine range though whatever the final choices on spec.
    I'm glad though that other members on this forum helped steer me not only to the W204 but to the larger diesel.

    I hope the above has helped but feel free to ask if I can offer any other assistance, insight or opinions.

    Regards
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2008
  3. OP
    OP
    c43

    c43 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    102
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Location:
    Sutton Coldfield
    Car:
    W204 - C320 CDI, Brabus chip
    I too am looking at the C320 CDI in Sport guise and 99% sure I will have the Brabus chip fitted too :)

    That is the key bit of info that I have not come across before - answers everything else really !

    95% of my daily commute is on dual carriageway so C mode is probably sufficient anyway

    Is it possible to switch to manual just using the paddles?. My thinking is, I could sit at lights (wanting a quick getaway) and just tap the paddles to force into 1st? Likewise, I want to overtake and could just use the paddles to force a gear - does the gearbox always move to M when they are used? I can't really recall what the demonstrator did when I messed with the paddles.

    I am more tempted after reading your post, but the lack of 'go' when not in S is a little off putting - if I could easily force gears with the paddles from time to time without removing my hands from the wheel, I might well tick the box!

    Sylvester - many thanks for your lengthy reply - might be back with some more questions.....

    That is the problem with these newer inventions - not enough information out there. Having similar trouble with deciding on Intelligent Lighting System or just the Xenons. I get the feeling ILS is a little gimmicky though.
     
  4. Rory

    Rory MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    7,240
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Car:
    C270CDi Estate (late 2004 facelift model)
    I wonder if, as on W203 5spd auto's, it would shift to 1st anyway if you pull away firmly?

    This is an interesting thread - I realise W204 320Cdi 7spd if a fair bit different to my W203 270Cdi, but I'm a very gentle driver yet I never use C mode - it just dulls the whole car too much.
     
  5. sylvester

    sylvester Member

    Messages:
    46
    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    Burgess Hill
    Car:
    C320 Sport


    I very much doubt that you would be disappointed with a C320 it is by far the best of the three engines that I have driven so far, the others being the C280 and C200 Petrol’s.
    Its actually faster than the C280 and has bags more Torque which really shows when accelerating and makes the car feel effortless.
    I’m also getting much better MPG figures than the C280 and my worst figure so far is 29 mpg pottering about in town traffic which is just below the figure I achieved in the C200 over a 160 mile cruise.



    I would think that C would be more than fine for this type of drive or for relaxed motorway mile munching



    Yes absolutely that’s possible, I went out this morning to check that the paddles behave the same with the Advanced Agility pack installed as it does on the other models I test drove.
    In any mode you can pull on either the paddles and or main gear selector (moving it left for down and right for up) to force a gear selection.
    When using this function the gear information in the main cluster will change from “D” to “Dx” where x is the selected gear. To get back to full auto just pull on the right paddle to change up until “D” is displayed again.
    This is excellent for when approaching a corner or roundabout where you want to be in a lower gear for quick acceleration and or to ensure that you hold your chosen gear, so the box does not decide to up shift mid corner etc.

    However this does seem to operate in a subtly different way to full manual. The changes are not quite as quick and while it will allow you to hold a gear it does seem to up change automatically before you hit the rev limiter.
    In Manual the changes are faster and while it will also change up at the red line you just have a little more lee way.



    I should have chosen my word more carefully, I did not mean to imply that there is any lack of “go” in comfort mode, certainly not the case with the C320. As another poster mentioned C just makes the responses of the car feel duller, more well damped but put some effort into the accelerator, pull it down a gear or use the kick down and its off like a rocket, just without any real drama. You just suddenly realise quite how quick your now travelling.
    By comparison in sport, the accelerator is just much more responsive and the end result more urgent and immediate but your not really getting any more power its just that you need less input effort to get it.
    The increased throttle sensitivity in sport also makes the whole car feel sharper and give more fine control over speed and engine response.

    This does give the car two distinct characters, refined effortless cruiser with power in tap vs the complete nut with a soundtrack to match.




    Not a problem glad to be able to offer some assistance and hopefully insight, it the least I can do after the help that other on the forum extended to me when I was working through the decision making process.



    Yes absolutely, cant help on the lighting front though as I stuck with the base Halogens which seem fine. I think that the two test cars had the basic light package so cant really compare.

    There is a very good write up of the European Aventgarde version of the C320 on another forum, although it is the 4 wheel drive version without the sports pack (so ingore comments baout seats not being supportive and suspension as its not lowered stiffened etc and no AA) but wirth a read. http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/...s-benz-c320-cdi-4matic-w204-avantgarde-63116/
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2008
  6. sylvester

    sylvester Member

    Messages:
    46
    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    Burgess Hill
    Car:
    C320 Sport
    Not certain to be honest, certainly not noticed it but will look out for it next time i'm out
     
  7. OP
    OP
    c43

    c43 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    102
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Location:
    Sutton Coldfield
    Car:
    W204 - C320 CDI, Brabus chip
    Have been mulling it over...

    The big concern for me is can I live with the gearbox in C for a lot of the time? - I don't want to be pressing the Sport button everytime I get in, just for it to be driveable and not 'dull'. I note other comments on this but I am used to a petrol MB and I always found the gearbox in C very noticeably different and so I left it in S for 99% of the time.

    I am however aware that a diesel delivers its power in a different manner and I am taking a slight guess here that the difference shouldn't as noticeable as when a petrol engine is in C. It might well be the case that I don't think there is much difference in C or S. To this end I am trying to arrange another go in any C320CDI W204 to test his theory out - I will try various things in C and S and see if I think it will be a problem.

    I still fancy the option, but the big concern is the defaulting to mode C all the time - I am trying to talk myself into it, but I need to do some real world tests first.

    Now if only they just made the Sport button stay lit between stops - problem solved! - potential for a clever mod :)
     
  8. OP
    OP
    c43

    c43 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    102
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Location:
    Sutton Coldfield
    Car:
    W204 - C320 CDI, Brabus chip
    Just an update if anybody is interested...

    Drove a W204 320CDI Elegance earlier in the week and whilst I think there was a *little* difference between C and S when pulling away and general driving, it certainly wasn't as pronounced as when driving my old car in W mode. I am assuming the power delivery of the diesel and possibly the 7G gearbox makes all the difference.

    So ordered the car yesterday with the Agility Package, or Dynamic Handling Package as it is now called in the brochure.

    Thanks to those who offered opinion and experience....
     

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