Pleased with my C200

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Roger Bill, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. Roger Bill

    Roger Bill Active Member

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    W205 C200 Petrol
    I thought I’d post my early impressions now I’ve had my C200 (petrol) W205 for 7 weeks and have done 1,600 miles. It’s a UK specification car built in South Africa in April 2015 and has the Sport Premium Plus package and most of the other available options.

    The bottom line is that I’m very pleased with the car and it’s specification. It suits my needs better than any of the other alternatives I considered before or since I ordered it in December. At this, relatively early, stage my only small reservations are:


    1. Automatic gearbox changes are not always as smooth as I’d like. I see a software update is now available but as it’s not much of a problem I’ll wait a month or so in the hope that some other software fixes will also become available.
    2. I had the connect me and traffic system drop out once. Pulling fuse 309 easily fixed this but hopefully the rumoured August software fix will prevent this reoccurring and enable the TMC traffic system to take over from traffic when the mobile phone signal is lost. I’ve never seen TMC in the nav screen.
    3. The front passenger Burmester speaker occasionally has a slight buzz typically triggered by navigation announcements. I might ask for this to be fixed at the same time as the software updates are applied.
    4. Wind noise is more noticeable than, for example, my previous car which was a 2009 Lexus IS250. I’ve driven in some cross winds and so far I haven’t experienced enough of a problem to worry me. But if MB do release a fix it’d be something I’d request.
    For me, the best feature is the comfortable ride with Airmatic, 17 inch wheels and Premium Plus seats in leather. Hard suspension and/or seats ruled out some of the alternatives I considered, for example, the Lexus IS300h which was a shame because it’s engine and gearbox is smoother and generally quieter than the C200. Because ride comfort was an important factor I had test drives in a few different W205s with various wheel sizes, suspension setups and seat combinations before making a decision.

    I’m also glad to have the intelligent lighting system, head up display and, to a slightly lesser extent, the 360 camera. These help make driving a little easier and safer. The adaptive cruise control is OK but I haven’t used it much so it might grow on me in future. I don’t have the steering assist option which only became available more recently in the UK.

    Having spent a little time learning how to use the command, connect me and other systems I now find them all good. I like the flexibility provided by the touchpad, wheel and voice input systems. The automatic electric parking brake, brake hold, auto gear selector column stalk and brake hold are some other features which I’ve not had on previous cars and which I think are nice to have. On the other hand the automatic parking system has almost damaged the wheels a couple of times, the windscreen wipers often judder, the air freshener system was probably a waste of money and, on some road surfaces, tyre noise is an issue.

    Since getting the C200, at an event for fleet car managers, I had test drives in a Jaguar XE, C350e, Lexus NX300h and an Infiniti Q50 hybrid. Fortunately none caused me to regret getting the C200.

    This is all purely personal opinion and others will obviously have different priorities, requirements and experiences.
     
    6 people like this.
  2. Peter DLM

    Peter DLM Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Good read, thanks for sharing. :)
     
  3. Camchan

    Camchan Active Member

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    Nice to see this. My c200 is due early August with the airmaitic as well. Comfort is my first priority hence the airmaitic closely followed by the up rated stereo. Too bad I needed to spend the extra on the premium package to get it!
    Have also specd the intelligent LEDs-how good are they at night in your view?
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Roger Bill

    Roger Bill Active Member

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    W205 C200 Petrol
    I think the intelligent LED lighting system is very good, much better than expected and certainly an option I would select again. It's good on unlit motorways and country roads and better than any HID, halogen, etc I've previously had.

    The premium plus package wasn't ideal for me either. For example, I would rather have not had the panoramic roof; it's something I probably won't use although I think it does improve the external appearance and, if you did want all the options, the package represents good value.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. JBD

    JBD Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    The active park assist uses other cars as s reference for where to park, it can't see the kerb. If the cars are parked up the kerb, it will do the same. It only really works for parallel parking when cars are actually in the road
     
  6. Camchan

    Camchan Active Member

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    Same here for the panoramic roof. Wife was not happy on that as we had a clio with a sunroof and did nothing but leak so got that sealed . I'm slightly apprehensive but did say this was a merc not a Renault. Apart from the sunroof the clio ran well for 10 years.

    Good news on the lights went for them over the leather as at my price limit.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Roger Bill

    Roger Bill Active Member

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    And if either of the adjacent cars are narrow and parked right against the kerb it'll misjudge parallel parking. It seems to use the outside edges of the adjacent cars rather than their edges next to the kerb. Bay parking, on the other hand, seems much better.
     
  8. Driver15

    Driver15 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    photos required :thumb:
     
  9. Bonecho

    Bonecho Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I have also ordered the petrol version which I think is a sound choice.

    All the reviews mention how noisy and gruff the diesels are which seems to be the cars major weak spot.

    I could not find any UK reviews of the petrol C200 so had to read foreign reviews that praise the petrol version.

    For me it was a no brainer.
     
  10. uumode

    uumode Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thank you for the feedback. I'm just about to order a C200 AMG line.
    I stalled the purchase as I assumed Apple CarPlay might be available in autumn but it won't be coming to C Class until the new facelift in 2018 :(
    CarPlay will make its MB debut in the A Class facelift.

    I drove a C200 and C250 diesel and found the auto box to be OK.
    The wind noise around the top of the door seals which sound like the windows aren't entirely closed was a little concerning but thought that might have been accentuated by the quiet cabin. But apparently there is a door sealing issue on some cars. Some folks on the Internet have used hair dyers and tape to see if air permeates the seal.

    I wanted to spec Airmatic but I keep my cars for 11-12 years and over the long term wanted to avoid maintaining it.

    I'm sitting on the fence on the HUD as it doesn't detect / confirm which car the driving assistant is tracking. But like the fact it is easier to see the speed. But have not seen this feature in the flesh. The HUD is slightly beyond my budget maybe and the last option on my priority list.

    I found the speedo dial in the dashboard VERY hard to see and it is so easy to inadvertently breech the speed limit. So had to have the centre display show the digital speed.

    The Burmester audio is so much better than the standard and might spec this by itself rather than shelling out on the Premium Plus package with Comand online and remote online services and MB apps as I probably wouldn't use those.

    Looking forward to the intelligent light system and driving assistance, as I'm getting older this just helps out. But ironically I believe the driving assistance doesn't work that well in the dark e.g. Lane tracking when you need it the most in poor visibility? Again no test car with this on.

    I found the refresh rate of the rear view can very flickery compared to Jag XF
    But feel the 360 camera will highlight pesky low bollards (again no test car with this feature)

    I too found the wipers slightly juddery - maybe a change of wiper brand may eliminate this.
    Neighbour has run flats and has had about 3 punctures already, and they wear out quickly - rubbish he says. His exterior LED lights in the door handles also keep blowing.
    He has 19 inch wheels and said there can be a bit of road noise. I drove test car on 18 inch and thought it was OK.

    The interior plastic underneath the satin chrome door handles is prone to finger nail marks so I might stick a protective plastic film there. I'll also try to protect the inner lip of the wheel arches as it can trap dirt easily and rust.

    I'm going for the official MB aftermarket chrome door lock 'nipples' and fold out boot liner.
    Might also get a paint / wheel sealant which is better than the StarGard pushed by the dealers.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Roger Bill

    Roger Bill Active Member

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    W205 C200 Petrol
    Good write-up. I also agonised over the choices and read many reviews by journalists and comments by owners. I was surprised that the dealer's demonstrators didn't have many of the options and so ended up ordering most of the options blind.
    I think the HUD is very good and is useful most of the time (especially when using the nav system) whereas driving assistance is only occasionally useful. Blind spot assist is OK and driving assist is probably at it's best in stop-start traffic. I don't have steering assist and as you say lane tracking is less reliable in low light, snow etc. If I had to choose I would take HUD in preference to driving assistance but I've seen others writing in this forum and elsewhere take the opposite view.
    The 360 system uses wide angle cameras fitted under the door mirrors and above the star in the front grill so they're well placed to see low bollards, etc. Images from the cameras are also generally clearer than, for example, in my previous car.
    Ride quality was one of the main things I concentrated on when taking test drives. Wheel size and even the extra weight of diesel or hybrid make a difference. I'm not sure whether Airmatic reduces tyre noise as some claim but it certainly provides a more comfortable ride and, as I expect to keep the car for at least 6 years, I'm hoping it won't prove to be any more expensive than standard steel springs and shock absorbers. I believe lower profile tyres are more prone to damage from potholes, etc. Because I prefer the standard 17 inch Sport wheel design and value their benefits of more comfort and less noise this choice was a no-brainer for me.
     
  12. uumode

    uumode Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thanks Roger - all very useful feedback! Even a petrol test car is hard to find as nearly all sales are diesel dealer tells me.

    Planning to order this weekend - still undecided about HUD - if I get this (with premium plus) I will have almost all the options except wood and Airmatic. (Which once originally on my must have list)

    If you are in the Berkshire area I'd pay you a small token gesture and petrol to ride in your Airmatic car and see the HUD to experience the ride and forward projecting images.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Roger Bill

    Roger Bill Active Member

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    I'm glad if my thoughts have been of some help. Unfortunately I'm not in the Berkshire area.
     
  14. uumode

    uumode Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Ok no probs.

    Photographs of the HUD locate the display just above the dashboard, some articles reference the focal plane area to be about the end of the bonnet.

    So when driving and looking at the HUD I'm guessing the road is just outside your immediate point of focus, but well away from your peripheral vision. Or is the HUD crystal clear when your eyes are focused in the usual driving position?

    Does visibilty work as well at night or when you are driving directly into the sun with sun visor down.

    What does the circular graphic around the digital speed indicate? Was trying to google this but I didn't find the info.

    The speed signs look tiny in the photos online - is that the size they appear?

    Thanks!
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Roger Bill

    Roger Bill Active Member

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    The height of the HUD display is adjustable but this is more for accommodating variations in driver height than for moving the display. The image appears just above/beyond the end of the bonnet. This is especially good for me because I'm short sighted and wear glasses for driving and with my glasses on I think my eyes now take a little longer to refocus from the road to instrument panel and back. With the HUD there's much less need to check the instrument panel and there's no need to refocus between road and HUD thus the amount of time you're not focussed on the road is reduced helping to improve safety. HUDs are now standard equipment in fighter planes so such benefits must be proven in that much more demanding environment!

    The HUD is very clearly visible both at night and daytime and I've had no problems when wearing sunglasses. However, I believe Polaroid sunglasses might cause problems.

    When you're using the adaptive cruise control the set speed is displayed below the current speed in the HUD. If your current speed is constrained by a slower vehicle in front a circular segment around the current speed shows the difference in diagrammatic form.

    If the current speed limit is known it's clearly displayed in the HUD. It's certainly not tiny and it's much more obvious than the speed limit displays in the command or multi-function screens. If a no overtaking sign has been picked up by the stereo cameras that is also displayed with the speed limit.
     
  16. uumode

    uumode Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thanks really useful to make a very considered final decision.


    I found this 'real' i.e. not Mercedes Benz PR material capture below. Obviously portrayed from the view from a single lens digital camera rather than a pair of human eyes.

    The HUD looks to be quite a strain to read from the perspective of the single camera lens. But from what I am hearing from you, human eyes read this differently, clearly and without strain, even with less than perfect vision. i.e. HUD isn't accurately captured and represented by single lens cameras.

    Looks to be a last addition to my options list!

    [​IMG]
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Roger Bill

    Roger Bill Active Member

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    That photo is very misleading. I think the photos I've seen in the W205 C Class brochures give a more realistic impression of the HUD image size.
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. wivenhoe

    wivenhoe Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    How did you find the C350e. I've ordered one but couldn't test drive one as there weren't any in the country. I demo'd a 2.0 petrol which has a similar engine but of course didn't get the shove of the hybrid - if cost wasn't a major consideration would you have the C350e over the C200 ?

    I found the HUD very useful in and around town but turned it off on motorway treks, just set the speed limiter.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    Roger Bill

    Roger Bill Active Member

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    W205 C200 Petrol
    The 350e felt very similar to my C200. It's acceleration is noticeably quicker but I think you could sense the extra weight making the handling feel somewhat more ponderous. Before deciding upon the W205 C Class I was seriously tempted by the Lexus IS300h and having had test drives in one and a GS450h, for me, the Lexus hybrid powertrain seems quieter, smoother and, therefore, more refined. I am, however, very aware that most motoring journalists would disagree and I'd emphasise that this is a purely personal opinion and I am splitting hairs in order to highlight the differences. They are all good cars and clearly demonstrate the significant technical advances that car manufacturers have made in the last generation or two of their products.
     
  20. uumode

    uumode Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Found this YouTube video of the closest HUD yet
    http://youtu.be/2gWyNbfPcrU

    Does the video camera accurately represent what you see?
    Looks a little washed out and low contrast, the smaller text is a tad hard to read for my ageing eyes.

    Looks a little bouncy in this video http://youtu.be/lT-x35Keieo due to car suspension/road - but probably mostly shaky camera. I don't think that will work with my eyes, so will give it a miss.

    Regarding Airmatic I only just clicked I ride on air suspension every day - the bus!
    But my local buses' suspension is crashy, wallows side to side, and feels worn out, when it brakes everyone gets thrown about just awful. 2009-2010 I think.
    The modern airport express coaches on the other hand feel supremely comfortable and glide along.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015
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