Buying a new C230 and looking for some advices

Hi, all:
My friend is buying a new mercedes benz C230 4-dr sedan (with only standard equipments) and he is currently living in the Bay area. He would like me to post some quick questions here:
1. As he is kinda frugal but he do have some cash at hand, so he is thinking about buying the car in cash with the lowest price possible. I know there are some Internet dealers (autobytel.com, cars.com) but after trying them, it seems that they DO NOT want to give us a direct price quote either on emails or phone calls. So my question is, is there any new car selling website that would give you a direct price quote, say, within a radius of where you live by expanding up to 200 miles?
2. We also heard that if one buy Mercedes Benz in Los Angeles, usually you will get better price (as it is the port of entry of these imported cars) and sometimes could save you up to $2000-3000. Is this true? If it is true I think it "might" worth a trip to go to LA to pick up the car and drive it back to the bay area.
3. What dealers you could recommend that is based in LA that is more possible to have lowest price?
4. Does anyone here recently bought a C230? Could someone please report the lowest possible market price for the basic model of C230 (all standard equipments and no optionals)..
Thanks!
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Go to www.mbusa.com and "build your own" car, all costs and options are listed there. The dealer's invoice cost is about 93% of retail (excluding hold backs); that high level is specifically designed to limit discounting. So shopping all over California for a C230 isn't going to yield much saving.
If your "friend" wants to save some $ he ought to look at two to four year old M-Bs with "Starmark" extended warranties. These too can be found under "preowned" on the MBUSA website. The Starmark warranty is valid at any M-B dealer.
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how wedded to the c230 is he? This not a particularly good deal as a new car (disclosure: I own the previous c class iteration which I recently bought as an upgrade replacement for a 300D), and it comes with 6 speed manual transmission which is almost un iversally reviled. Further, the interior design leaves a lot to be desired, IMO. In europe this model recently got an upgrade with a nicer steering wheel, a more traditional set of gauges, and a better climate control and a new manual transmission. for looks alone, you might have your friend consider waiting.
more attractive competing products in the same price range are the acura TSX, Infiniti G35, and BMW 325i, or event the Passat in its GLX trim.
For comparison's sake, an older C class (say 99-2000 for the 4 cyl or 97-2000 for the six) is worth driving. Some of these are starmarked and IMO they are lovely cars which represent a great value, as well as an excellent driving experience.

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That was my suggestion to my "friend" as well (that he should consider acura TSX, Infiniti G35, and BMW 325i), but I guess he wanted a Mercedes based on "safety" and Mercedes's "name"...
I wonder, is there any Web site out there that does compare the safety features (even include the curb weight comparison) of these four models (C230, Acura TSX, Infinity G35, and BMW 325i)?? Also, generally speaking, for the 2004 models, which one of them would have better resale price after say 6-8 years later?? Thanks!

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How so? What's wrong with it?
cp
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yeah what's wrong with the manual tranny?
chris tonjes wrote:

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wrote:

The short answer. Nothing.
I own one and after driving a Boxster for 3 years, I am happy with the manual six speed on the C230.
I find it short in the throw and crisp into each gear.
I dont see any of the stiffness or rubbery feel people complain about.
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Firstly, I can suggest speaking to a "fleet" buyer. Someone who buys for corporations and sells maybe 100 cars at one time to the same entity. They usually have the best buy price if you "ride" the purchase order and after 2-3 years they are the first to be notified of the trad-back deals.
In every large corporation there is a swag of cheap cars and a handful of luxury cars, but the fleet buyer gets the same discount on all of them - usually because the motor dealer principal is generally the same supplier across several brands.
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Thanks for the tip, but how do I find/speak to a "fleet" buyer and how do I "ride" such a deal with group buy?? Any other suggestion/tips? Thanks!

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Speak to a fleet management company.
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The C class model line depreciates very quickly based on residual values on lease vehicles. I would wait and buy one of these one or two years old. You will have a substancial savings over buying new.
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In Australia the 2 year old C-Class W203 is 12 - 15% cheaper than new. Hardly a saving.
A dealer demonstrator can sometimes be bought for the same price as an 18 month old car.
Now that over 1 million C-Class W203 have been sold we should see some real savings when the newer style comes out in Spring '04.
M
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If I got it right, I think 2004 C-230 do have a newer engine which give it 189 horsepower, isn't it?? I remember reading the 2003 or 2002 C-230 only have 170 horsepower or something.. anyway, will Mercedes-Benz remodel their C-230 with "new style" in 2005?? oh boy..

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