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Ok, what about the Mercedes-Bens C230 Coupe? I checked out the Altima 3.5 two weeks ago and really liked it. Yesterday, a friend at work dragged me out and showed me the Mercedes-Bens C230 Coupe. Only two doors, but that's ok, it has four seats.

The Altima is definitely faster by about a second in 0-60 (manual), but the Mercedes has much higher torque and horsepower at lower RPMs and a very low first gear, meaning I think it may be faster at 0-30. Maybe someone can find one of those comparison charts that tell you the speeds at similar intervals.

However, the Mercedes was definitely plushier and with a fit and finish that really blew me away. Talk about a 'thud' when you close door and heck, close the glove box. It also had a 4 year/50,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty, including all scheduled service.

No HID option or in-dash CD changer option (they instead use a conventional in-extra-large-glovebox CD changer). However, the Mercedes had 6-speed manual, Traction Control (Altima only offers Traction Control in automatic), in-speedometer computer display that showed radio, temp, trip computer, oil, service, etc. Typical gone-over-the-top Mercedes safety stuff (10 airbags!).

I found the shifter much shorter-throw than the Altima and smoother. I even found the engine quieter under hard accelleration. Of course, I really liked the Mercedes rear-wheel drive over front-wheel drive.

Similarly configured Black, leather, automatic cars (I had to use automatic to include traction control) was $28,401.00 for the Altima and $30,370.00 for the Mercedes.

At those prices, Mercedes gets a dual 'panoramic' sunroof (as in huge), Altima has a single conventional sunroof. Altima has two extra doors, Mercedes gets flat fold-down rear seats. Altima has a V6, Mercedes has a I4 w/ Supercharger. Mercedes gets a state-of-the-art 5-speed automatic that looses no accelleration over standard (7.1 0-60) vs. the estimated 7.5 0-60 for the Altima 4-speed automatic. Mercedes also has rain sensor, alarm (including a cool tow-sensor that locks all four brakes if someone tries towing it away), auto-lights, stability control (enhancement to traction control which reads yaw, intended path, etc), rear fog light (red to prevent 18-wheeler from running into you in a foggy night), etc.

Now I got to figure out what works best for me...

Rick
 

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The C230 Coupe is the ugliest vehicle Mercedes has made to date: what's with that rear? Damn, the Altima all the way.
 

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they call me the butcher
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okay the c230 coupe has ne of the uglys backs ive ever seen
now the regual c230 or the 320 or the 32amg thats one of my favorite benz's
ever
 

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Mercedes cars are for those who like to show off their $$$. They are not really meant to be great drivers' cars except for the AMG ones.

Besides, they just like to charge certain amount of stubborn car buyers more since these stubborn car buyers like to pay more for just the name of Mercedes.

About their look, the S class look like a ship to me (only with some wheels). The c class is too small to be called as a true luxury car, just for those who like to show off some money but not really have much yet.

My professor earns an annual $100,000 at Berkeley campus and he is one of the radioactivity scientists leaders in America. He is very very very rich, but he never needs a Mercedes to show off, he drives an Accord EX (not even the V6 model). Mercedes are for those who are afraid of others looking down on them.

Therefore, I don't think Mercedes need to creat good-looking cars as long as there are still enough stubborn car buyers who insist that any cars with the Mercedes emblem on the hood make them a different person, not their knowledge or accomplishment.
 

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Everyone knows that Mercedes Benz is in a whole different class of cars (They made the very FIRST car ever!) It's pretty funny how we have to compare the crappiest Merc to the best Nissan, and we still have trouble choosing. Anyway, I have a 2002 Alti, and it kicks ass! (It's only the 4) But I will always take a Benz over ANY car. (Given the choice)
Just my $.02
 

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Yeah, the Benz might have more gizmos, but thats more crap to break....and the higher insurance and maintenance costs will eat you alive.

Kevin
 

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No body respects a buget wanabe rich car like the Entry level baby Benz. With the Altima they will learn to respect your ass as you pass them and eat them alive.
 

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i think you are mistaken on the 0-60 times. the 7.5 is for the 4 banger. the v6 is 6.0-6.5 get the altima. mercedes blow ass!
 

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Yup, and the Altima will smoke a Boxster like sausage, according to "Motor Trend". Can't do that in a Benz without "AMG" on the trunk lid....
 

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As a german citizen and a Mercedes and BMW lover, I wouldn't trade my 3.5 SE for the C230 even-up. The M3 is another story...
 

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There is a 2,500 CDN$ difference between a Altima full dress (5 sp) and a C230 Kompressor. Agree, the MB has an "aura" of luxury, but I would not choose it over the Altima. The C230 is more cramped and his 2.3L 4 cyl. is by no mean up to the 3,5L of the Altima (and by a huge margin).

Owning and maintaining a MB is also very expensive...

Finally, this is not a worthwile choice... I'll keep my Alty....
 

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That Mercedes is the beiggest piece of crap! I test drove many cars, including the C230, I wasn't impressed. I remember one of my relatives buying the 560 in '87, during that time there was another piece of shiot with the # 190. This company does make the best cars in my opionon, but on the other hand they have their runts. I think what makes me the maddest is the design of this car, yeah finally a Mercedes that you can afford, but mad it uglier then dirty diapers. While I test drove the cars in the past two months, I have to admit I left the 3.5 Alty for last cause I just knew to save the Best for Last. Bet the 3.5, save the Cedes till you make the money to have your pick of the litter.
 

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I hope I don't PO anyone but I would not buy a bottom of the line Mercedes, BMW just to get into one. Bottom of the line Audi would be the A4 and that is still a nice car. But the BMW318, or the MB230 I won't get because they are underpower for the price.
Can you imagine spending $5-10k more than another person and be way below your competitor performance wise? To buy a MB or BMW just for the name it not wise.
 

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the C230 is a nice alternative w/ a lot of nice things.

I'd just be afraid of the repair bill after the warranty expires. It does have 4 yr 50000 mile maintenance so if you're going to keep the car for less than that time..it's cost very little to maintain ($0).

I wouldn't knock any Mercedes...regardless of the image thing..they build great cars.
 

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i don't think you can compare a mercedes (any mercedes) to a nissan. its a totally different car, different market. i personally think the c230 is pretty nice. yeah the back isn't the best, but the rest is pretty cool looking in my opinion. the fit and finish is also great. just all around a well built car. i think german engineers just pay more attention to detail. something that is lacking in the altima (mainly the interior).

just my two cents.
 
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