One week in .. C55 experiences

AlanD

Active Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
609
Location
London
Car
CLS55 AMG IWC
Well I haven't had much of a chance to drive it during the week, which is a shame, but I've done a few journeys with the family, and finally one tonight on my own. Hope others may find it interesting/amusing .. I struggled to find a huge amount out about C55s when I was considering one!


Family driving
==========
Comfortable, luxurious and generally pleasant. I'm still not a huge auto fan - even with it in C mode, it still changes down too often for my liking when you just want a little poke of torque. Have tried manual mode and it's obviously better in that respect, but sometimes it's hard to remember to change gear, particularly when you slow down a bit (eg. high revs in 1st gear before "D'oh!"). Weird that ... never forgot in a manual :doh:

"Energetic" driving
==============
Once during the day in the dry, but not on my own, so really straight line flooring it and stomping on the brakes to get a feel of what it can do. Found it hard to handle in manual mode with ESP off for quick launches and the gear changes a bit slow compared to S mode. Why can't it be as quick!? Road surface wasn't very sticky however. Brakes effective and stable. ABS excellent only really cut in when I pushed silly hard, so glad to see it doesn't nanny too much. Brake dust terrible!! I wonder if they're OEM pads or not .. had to have a serious wash after!


Tonight on damp roads I let it rip a bit more with ESP off on my own, so a bit more involved in corners. Wow is all I can say ... got my attention a few times! It's very, very easy to waggle the rear end if you get on the pedal coming out of a corner, that's for sure! Put ESP back on to avoid the ditches and tried some open fast corners in M and S modes. I have to say, S scares me a little .. during one double lefter, I lifted to half throttle coming into the first corner, then came off a little more, dabbed the brakes and entered the second, followed by picking up the throttle again on the way out (ie. not completely flooring it). The box changed down to 2nd on me before I was straight and put on a serious power slide, which me and the ESP between us put a rapid halt to, but scared the Bejesus outta me all the same! Keeping it in manual seems safer and more satisfactory for normal roads where a redline gear change isn't crucial. I like control. I also prefer the control to come from me and not the car! ;)
Back onto normal roads and into C mode almost seemed a relief after that .. a bit of adrenaline pumping :crazy:

Think I need a track day to really push it so I can understand its limits a bit better. For now, a healthy respect of fast in, slow out until straight seems to be the way to go!


General comments
==============
COMAND - grrr .. what for a touch screen! I'm getting used to it, but it's a little ... idiosyncratic! The wheel controls for the dash display take some getting used to too, but getting there.

Seats very comfy if you spend a while getting the position right. And saved. And saved with both keys if you set that menu item Heated seat seems to only work on the back, not the bottom .. unsure if this is standard or not.


Digital climate blows nice and cold, but needs setting down to about 17C to be effective on hot days as it seems to settle down a little too quickly when in full auto mode. With all the vents open, the power can be a little low even when on full fan. My passenger side vent is broken and doesn't move the fins - hoping this is just something skipped off a mounting rather than snapped and can be fixed at next service.


Auto lights and wipers - effective and do what they say on the tin. Night time display is just lovely .. sophisticated and understated. Daytime dash display is FAR too dim in strong sunlight and the dim up, dim down thingy doesn't seem to do anything at all (another thing to get checked!).

Stereo is pleasant, but the audio not refined enough for audiophiles out there and the speakers distort at relatively modest volumes with high bass (never an issue with SHMBO acceptable volumes!!).


SatNav actually looks really nice in just map mode. However, as a long time TomTom user, it is just DREADFUL! Why can't I put in just a full postcode and not limit it to the first characters followed by 3 more screens of detail that I may not know!? Why can't it tell me how many miles and how much time is left? Why can't I find a route summary to see which daft way it may have chosen to take (running both side by side, it disagreed with the TomTom about 2 or 3 times a journey ... and in the wrong IMHO!). Why can't I say the road 50m ahead is blocked and ask for a new route? Why can't the silly bint pronounce "roundabout" properly!? Ok .. that's endearing me a little to her and making me smile now!

Cruise control .. umm .. haven't used it yet, so not sure! Set it to a limit of 20mph accidently and computer said no to the pedal once it got there! Effective, but odd ;) I assume you can actually set it to cruise at a set speed too and take your foot off?


Park and handbrake .. scary. Insists on rolling back about 6 inches to bite, which is truly terrifying when you park on your driveway in the normal manner (that is to say, inch accurate!). Will it/won't it moment aside, it seems to hold just fine! Is this caused by wear/slack on something or is it normal?


Can't think of anything else. Oh .. a SIM card in the phone makes it work as .. a phone. Ahem. Nice, but not much to say on that ;)

Would love to hear from other owners to see if they share any of the above praise/concern, etc.! So far, definitely happy with the purchase. Haven't got above 20mpg yet mind you ...........
 

Will

Hardcore MB Enthusiast
SUPPORTER
Joined
Jan 21, 2003
Messages
12,559
Location
Surrey
Car
GL63 AMG / 190E 2.5-16 / Porsche 911
Sounds like you need a new cabin(pollen) filter for better airflow, and the parking brake adjusting.

Heated seat needs a new leather cover for the base, the elements often break on W203s - some people retro-fit different pads as a cheaper solution.

COMAND is ok, but you've got to appreciate that it's a much older, integrated system versus newish tom toms and the like.

All in all, sounds like a nice car and very good value. Once you've got used to it and sorted out the little niggles, it's a lot of car for the cash :thumb:

MPG will improve once the novelty factor wears off...:doh:
 

st4

Banned
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Messages
14,373
Location
In the driving seat
Car
C220cdi tourer
Nice right up of a great car.

One thing, use the foot operated parking brake. Come to a halt using footbrake, put into N, operate foot operated parking rbake and push it in hard, then take foot off foot brake. Parking brake will hold car. Then select P. No corse roll backs, just a smooth composed stopping procedure.
 

whitenemesis

MB Club Veteran
SUPPORTER
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
18,592
Car
Lexus RC300h F-Sport 2019
Nice right up of a great car.

One thing, use the foot operated parking brake. Come to a halt using footbrake, put into N, operate foot operated parking rbake and push it in hard, then take foot off foot brake. Parking brake will hold car. Then select P. No corse roll backs, just a smooth composed stopping procedure.

Close Steve. Come to a halt, keep foot on brake, apply parking brake firmly, select P, remove foot from brake. Done. No roll back/forward. :thumb:
 

BenzedUP

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 23, 2005
Messages
4,112
Location
London & Surrey.
Car
NA
Nice write up mate, glad your enjoying the car.

I bought my C55 when it was all icy and snow and came so close to crashing so many time, lol.

Coming from an M3 I was use to straight line all the time thanks to the M- diff lock at the back.

Regarding the foot brake, I do what Steve said!:D:thumb:
 
OP
OP
A

AlanD

Active Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
609
Location
London
Car
CLS55 AMG IWC
Close Steve. Come to a halt, keep foot on brake, apply parking brake firmly, select P, remove foot from brake. Done. No roll back/forward. :thumb:

Thought I'd tried that at first! Will try again ;)

When in P, is it just in gear, or is the brake engaged too? With the foot (hand?) brake, does it just engage the rear wheels?
 

whitenemesis

MB Club Veteran
SUPPORTER
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
18,592
Car
Lexus RC300h F-Sport 2019
In P there is a pawl in the 'box that prevents the car moving. There is a little take-up before it engages and this is the slight roll one normally experiences. It is not in gear and no connection with the brakes.

The Parking brake (emergency brake in the States!) only engages the rear wheels via a separate drum brake on each wheel.
 

Alps

MB Enthusiast
SUPPORTER
Joined
Nov 29, 2002
Messages
7,340
Location
London\Essex
Car
E55 2004 Silver(SOLD), E63 Weistec AMG(SOLD), E55 2004 Silver(SOLD), C36 AMG 1997 (SOLD)
AlanD, nice write up, try a gearbox reset, the procedure is on the forum somewhere, this should sort out the harsh gearchange as it will re-learn your driving style.
 

BenzedUP

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 23, 2005
Messages
4,112
Location
London & Surrey.
Car
NA
The gearbox being harsh could also be down to low oil from a leak somewhere, it's common.

Try the reset first and if that don't work then book it with MB or Olly for a check!
 

st4

Banned
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Messages
14,373
Location
In the driving seat
Car
C220cdi tourer
Close Steve. Come to a halt, keep foot on brake, apply parking brake firmly, select P, remove foot from brake. Done. No roll back/forward. :thumb:

No, the parking brake should be able to hold with weight of the car without the parking pawl engaged. Foot off foot brake 1st to test if foot operated parking brake is holding car, then select P once its completely stopped and parking brake is engaged fully.

No rock back.
 

timk

Active Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
759
Location
Wiltshire
Car
VW Passat Alltrack, E39 BMW M5, Mercedes C55 AMG Wagon
Always found the manual change very slow-witted on the C55. The S mode is great but far too enthusiastic at times, dropping down a gear or two and red lining very easily. Just don't let your rear tyres get too worn - it will be a bit of a HANDFUL if you do. :devil:
 

BenzedUP

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 23, 2005
Messages
4,112
Location
London & Surrey.
Car
NA
I've driven one C55 before mine, it was a 54 reg and the manual mode on that was abit slow but on mine it's really quick, don't know why?

Also when you change you rear tyres go for 255 or even 265
 
OP
OP
A

AlanD

Active Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
609
Location
London
Car
CLS55 AMG IWC
AlanD, nice write up, try a gearbox reset, the procedure is on the forum somewhere, this should sort out the harsh gearchange as it will re-learn your driving style.

It wasn't a harsh gearchange, just a skip down at a VERY in-opportune moment! I was in 3rd and pushing out of the corner about 2/3 even throttle and it jumped down and put the car in a slide. Fortunately (so far) it seems quite well balanced and not so hard to catch, but it definitely ranked as "a moment"!

In future I would be leaving it in 3rd manually and thus easily able (in theory!) to feel what the wheels are doing as the power came on. Sudden non-intentional torque changes are hard to predict the outcome of ..
 
OP
OP
A

AlanD

Active Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
609
Location
London
Car
CLS55 AMG IWC
The gearbox being harsh could also be down to low oil from a leak somewhere, it's common.

Try the reset first and if that don't work then book it with MB or Olly for a check!

May try the reset sometime, though I'm not sure if the C55 needs it. When I first got the car, S mode was quite "gentle" and moved into higher gears quite readily when off the power. Now it's in C mode all the time unless I'm driving it hard. When I put it in S mode, it seems to have learned that I mean business and rarely releases the revs at all. Great pickup out of corners (when you don't have the revs left to drop another gear and have a little surprise!) and sometimes odd when you come to a built up area and calm down, only for 2nd at 5000rpm to hold for 10 seconds making a racket! ;)
 
OP
OP
A

AlanD

Active Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
609
Location
London
Car
CLS55 AMG IWC
Always found the manual change very slow-witted on the C55. The S mode is great but far too enthusiastic at times, dropping down a gear or two and red lining very easily. Just don't let your rear tyres get too worn - it will be a bit of a HANDFUL if you do. :devil:

LOL .. yep, been there! :crazy:

Have about 1/2 left on the rears, so hopefully last till next spring. Have to decide in a couple of months what to do about winter driving as I'm sure the P zeros are next to useless in freezing temperatures or ice/snow. Since it's an only car now, I need to be able to get about in moderately difficult conditions.
 
OP
OP
A

AlanD

Active Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
609
Location
London
Car
CLS55 AMG IWC
I've driven one C55 before mine, it was a 54 reg and the manual mode on that was abit slow but on mine it's really quick, don't know why?

Also when you change you rear tyres go for 255 or even 265

I have heard some suggesting 255s previously. Won't 265 start to get a bit big on the rims? Haven't had a good look at clearances, but it doesn't look too generous from a distance! Starting to get into take-the-piss type prices for tyres too since they assume you must have a Lambo ;)
 

whitenemesis

MB Club Veteran
SUPPORTER
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
18,592
Car
Lexus RC300h F-Sport 2019
No, the parking brake should be able to hold with weight of the car without the parking pawl engaged. Foot off foot brake 1st to test if foot operated parking brake is holding car, then select P once its completely stopped and parking brake is engaged fully.

No rock back.

From the owner's handbook ... ;)
 

Attachments

  • parking.jpg
    parking.jpg
    37.5 KB · Views: 46
OP
OP
A

AlanD

Active Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
609
Location
London
Car
CLS55 AMG IWC
Still rolls back ... ;)
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom