Mercedes C55 AMG (W203) advice

Mercedes C55 AMG (W203) advice

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TobyTR

Original Poster:

1,068 posts

147 months

Tuesday 29th March 2016
quotequote all
I'm seriously looking at buying a 2005 Merc C55 AMG saloon with fsh and 48k miles...

Having done some research on the forums, nothing too alarming jumps up on these variants; the main problems with W203 C-Class' seem to be with the diesels and 4-pots. However, I'd like some opinions from previous/current owners on these, as I'm rather smitten right now and close to pulling the trigger.

Fuel bills and servicing aren't an issue cost-wise for me, but I'm wondering if there's anything specific to look out for with these C55s? And what are they like to live with as a daily in terms of driving, interior and feel-good factor?

I could be a bit more sensible and buy a 2006/2007 Audi S4 4.2 V8 saloon, but the Merc appeals more obviously.

Thanks in advance

C70R

17,596 posts

105 months

Tuesday 29th March 2016
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They seem like excellent cars, based on a little research. They are probably the sweet spot, before all things MB got excessively complicated (check out the R230 ABC issues) - and the engine is a very well-known commodity, and it's a cracking package (small saloon, massive lump). The 722.6 autobox is almost bulletproof as a unit, and it should have the Behr cooler fitted to avoid any of the issues suffered by the pre-facelift Valeo unit.

The facelifted W203 (of which the C55 is one) suffers much less with rust than the earlier models (including the C32). However, it's not unheard of - be incredibly vigilant with rear arches, as that could result in a decent bill.

All in all, a rare car (that is holding value well) and a cracking package. Buy the best you can (history!) and enjoy.

tjk123

567 posts

231 months

Tuesday 29th March 2016
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I had a C55 for about a year, back in 2010/11. Great cars and very understated, not sure much goes wrong as long as you keep an eye on servicing.
Don't think rust is widely known on these ones either.

TobyTR

Original Poster:

1,068 posts

147 months

Tuesday 29th March 2016
quotequote all
Excellent. Thanks for the replies so far beer

Sounds like it's the one then

AC43

11,522 posts

209 months

Tuesday 29th March 2016
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The guy who runs the workshop that looked after my two C43's runs one. Deliberately chosen over the more complex E55K, SL55, etc.

Big lump/small car/minimal complexity.

Box benefits from oil changes at 50k. There are 16 x plugs so factor that in if it coming up for a big service. Front discs pricey IIRC. Goes left at every second filling station.

Other that that pretty straightfoward.

TobyTR

Original Poster:

1,068 posts

147 months

Thursday 31st March 2016
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It's going to be the one then. Thanks

JockySteer

1,407 posts

117 months

Thursday 31st March 2016
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I may be wrong, but pretty sure it's the same engine that's in my R171 SLK 55. 1 year of ownership down and all I've paid for is a major service (not as expensive as I thought it would be), fuel and rear tyres.

Been super reliable so far, so look after it and it would appear it'll look after you smile



Plus the engine is a peach biggrin

S3_Graham

12,830 posts

200 months

Thursday 31st March 2016
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I have a C32 (S203) which engine and facelift aside is essentially the same.

Rust is a major concern. Starts on the wings both front and rear. Mine is an estate and tail gates can go on the handle.

Suspension parts aren't too bad price wise for mine.

Engine wise they are pretty bulletproof if they are looked after. They aren't adverse to the odd oil leak but its normally small breather pipes etc. Servicing can be expensive. I had a W208 CLK 55 and a B service is about £400. Check when the plugs were last changed. Its a bd of a job and every garage I went to wanted £400. Bear in mind there are 16 plugs + 3 hrs labour iirc.

Check the condition of the brakes. Disc's for certain 55's can be ruinously expensive. Others not so bad.

All in all, they aren't THAT expensive to run. So long as you are aware its a performance car and you dont mind maintaining it as such.

edc

9,244 posts

252 months

Thursday 31st March 2016
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Not had mine that long, about 8 months. I use it as the 'practical' car although it's not a daily commuter. All seems well so far. I had the oil changed and the atf and filter done. It now needs new front brakes which aren't that costly from ECP. Overall great car. It's not meant to be the ultimate in B road hustling and handling but for where it's pitched it hits the mark. Interior seems to wear very well. You can get up to 30mpg if on a light motorway cruise but more often I seem to be around 19-23mpg. It could really do with a diff.