2006 Mercedes-Benz C230 Avantgarde SE 7G-Tronic For Sale
For sale: 2006 Mercedes-Benz C230 Avantgarde SE 7G-Tronic with full service history and only 61K miles. Rare, M272-engined, facelift-model W203 in Astral Silver metallic with full black leather. High specification includes: climate control, 17” alloys, and memory, heated seats. Beautifully-cultured engine and transmission combination. Very well-maintained with 8 service stamps. Next service due in 8,500 miles. Matching Kuhmo tyres. MOT to March 2020. Quick, economical and refined, this C230 has clearly been cherished by its 4 former keepers. Two keys and all handbooks. ULEZ compliant, and in exceptional condition throughout. £3,995.
The Mercedes-Benz W203-model C-Class is a range divided in two: pre-facelift (from 2000 to 2004) and post-facelift (from 2004 to 2007). As accomplished as the earlier cars were, they were affected by electrical issues, among others. Mercedes knew there was a problem, and worked hard to make amends with the post-facelift cars.
Revisions to the interior and exterior added both class and muscle. But it was the changes under the skin that mattered more – most notably to the engine, transmission and suspension.
Suddenly, Mercedes’ C-Class became a convincing and attractive alternative to BMW’s ubiquitous 3-series – not just for is understatement and build quality, but also for the way it drove. As a result, the facelift cars were the ones to have. This particular C230 shows why.
The 2.5-litre, 24-valve, V6 M272 engine with optional 7G-Tronic auto transmission and Avantgarde SE specification deliver a very appealing package. At the time of launch, Autocar magazine agreed:
‘Apart from the kudos of having a six-cylinder powerplant sitting up front, there is an immediate feeling of added refinement, no matter how hard you are working the car. […] It will happily sit at 120mph for extended periods without feeling at all strained, and the well-judged gearing helps to keep noise levels down. […] With superb damping, taut body control and a responsive rear-wheel-drive chassis, the C230’s dynamic qualities are also well up to the engine’s improved standards.’
View a full gallery of images here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/gtofR9uwTw2r5xHb8
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION
This car is defined by the refinement of its engine and transmission. The motor is a masterpiece. Linear and turbine-smooth throughout the rev range, its 204 bhp and 245 Nm of torque make for rapid and effortless progress.
This C230’s unit is cultured and fit. It drives effortlessly – with plenty of pace in reserve at higher speeds. Prod the throttle hard, and you're rewarded with a muted, expensive snarl.
None of the performance comes at the expense of economy. In this configuration, the C230 will easily return over 35MPG on a run, and rarely dips below 30MPG on average, in day-to-day use.
The car starts easily – hot or cold – and doesn't smoke, hunt or miss. The temperature remains rock-steady, whatever the conditions. And the engine bay is clean and free of leaks.
The switchable, seven-speed automatic transmission is a bit special, and complements the engine perfectly. Shift quality is extremely smooth, with changes in either Comfort or Sport modes virtually imperceptible. The system is intelligent too, employing a whole range of sensors and computer control to ensure you’re always in the right gear, at the right time.
The powertrain and driveline are delightfully free of vibrations and undue noise. So much so, that at idle, you often think the car has stalled. Even better: the car is ULEZ compliant.
SUSPENSION AND BRAKES
Driving a fresh, facelift W203 C-Class is a rewarding experience. First, there’s an old-school ‘Mercedes’ feel to the way it drives. It’s set up to cover ground swiftly and discreetly: the car seems to float across the road, absorbing bumps and rough surfaces silently. Compared to the company’s current crop, ride quality in a W203 actually means ride quality.
Unlike traditional Mercedes products, there’s an eager agility and deftness to the handling too: the C230’s hugely-sophisticated, multi-link rear end offers a fun, fluid balance through the twisties. And the car's compact dimensions combine with excellent visibility to inspire real confidence. There are no nasty knocks or clonks on the move – and the dampers, springs and bushes are all in excellent working order.
Braking performance is dependable and strong: the car stops straight and true, having had new ventilated discs and pads to the front within the last 2,500 miles. The rears show minimal wear.
WHEELS AND TYRES
Simple and elegant, the five-spoke, 17" alloys suit the stance of this C230 beautifully; have been refurbished well in the recent past, and are in excellent condition. The matching Kumho Ecsta LE Sport tyres (225/45/ZR17 front and 245/40/ZR17 rear) are all in excellent condition with plenty of tread.
Mechanically, this car's condition befits the care of its previous owners. Cosmetically, it truly belies its years.
All panels align perfectly with tight gaps, no dents and crucially: no rust. The classic, Astral Silver metallic finish has real depth and lustre. Stone chips and scratches are minimal. Even the bumpers are free of marks.
All exterior light lenses are in excellent condition, with no milkiness, discolouration or cracks.
The shadow-chrome brightwork is spotless; the rubbers excellent.
Inside, this C230 is fine place to be: it’s timelessly unfussy, and solidly-constructed.
The full, black leather is a desirable option, and presents beautifully on all seats. It remains supple and free of cracks, with barely a mark to be seen; not even on the driver’s side outer bolster.
The carpets, rooflining, door panels and dash are equally clean. These facelift W203s were well screwed together, and this one drives without rattles or squeaks.
All electrics function correctly. And the climate control is ice-cold.
This Mercedes-Benz C230 Avantgarde SE 7G-Tronic is a rare thing – for its engine and transmission, certainly. But also for its condition: the car looks, feels and drives like a nearly-new car. Which is testament to the care it’s enjoyed throughout its life so far. Today, it's a hidden gem – as desirable for its traditional Mercedes qualities, as it is for its all-round usability. Considered on cost versus value, this C230 represents an awful lot of car for the money. There are others on the market, some priced lower – but I sincerely doubt they’d compare on condition and provenance. This C230 comes in the right colour, condition and spec – backed up by the right maintenance and service history. Both keys and all handbooks are present. ULEZ compliant. MOT to March 2020. £3,995.
No timewasters, please.
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