Review and Test Drive: 1997 Mercedes-Benz C280 Elegance

Der Kleine Mercedes Offers Comfort, Safety, and Teutonic Engineering

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The inline six gasoline-powered engine for the new C-Class develops higher torque in the lower and middle engine speed and reduced fuel consumption, Mercedes said.

This engine features a variable intake manifold and camshaft adjustments, while the all-electronic high-tension ignition with three twin-spark coils is situated under the cylinder head cover. The result: 194  pound-feet of torque and 199 horsepower.

Part of the testing process of the C-Klasse took place in Death Valley, with temperatures over 122° F (50° C), in part to determine the ideal dimensions of designing the car’s heat shield.  The car was subjected trials on a variety of roads to ensure passenger comfort.

Our C-Klasse test car was found with 60,000 miles (96,560 kilometers) on the clock with an interior and exterior that, while in need of a deep cleaning, were otherwise in remarkably new condition.

The C280 came with stylish new 8-hole light alloy wheels with Michelin MXV3 tires, which have since been updated to new Continental True Contact Tour keeping the original wheels, of course.

A few hours with the expert details at the service department at Helms Bros., the local Mercedes-Benz dealership, made the entire vehicle – both inside and out – suitable for delivery as a new car.

A few items needed attention including the sunroof shade, which was rather sticky from the deterioration of the glue used for the fabric.  The sunshade was removed at the dealership and sent to Headliners Express in Winter Park, Florida, to be reupholstered, albeit with the cloth fabric on the pillars as opposed to the original vinyl material.  In addition, the infrared receiver on the driver’s door handle was broken and in need of replacement, something that was also accomplished at Helms Bros.

The vehicle came with its original Monroney sticker, manual, leather manual case, and two electronic infrared keys as well as a valet metal key in the original Mercedes leather holder which only works in the front passenger door lock and the steering lock.  For security, it will not open the trunk or any storage compartment locks.

Click here to continue to Page 3Inside the 1997 Mercedes-Benz C280

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