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1996 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

SEE ALSO: Mercedes Buyer's Guide

A Fulmer family review

Dave Fulmer, retired TV writer/director, classic car restorer
Mark Fulmer, Editor In Chief, The Auto Channel
Susan Fulmer, School Counselor
Kathleen Fulmer, 8th grade student

Sedan C220 4-Dr Automatic
Invoice = $26,010
MSRP = $29,900

Standard Equipment

2.2 liter 16 valve EFI 4 cylinder engine, 4-speed automatic transmission, anti-lock power 4-wheel disc brakes, dual air bags, power steering, tachometer, electric rear window defroster, aluminum alloy wheels, cruise control, floor mats, power windows, power door locks with central locking system, digital clock, air conditioning, leather-wrapped steering wheel, map pockets, remote decklid release, remote fuel filler door release, front and rear fog lights, velour carpeting, M-B Tex upholstery, burl walnut interior trim, remote keyless entry system, electronic instrumentation, power OS mirrors, illuminated visor vanity mirrors, 195/65R15 tires, front suspension (upper and lower control arms, coil spring, gas shocks and stabilizer bar; anti-dive geometry and negative-offset steering), rear suspension (five-link design, coil springs, gas shocks and stabilizer bar; anti-squat and anti-lift geometry), 16.4 gallon fuel tank, power antenna, AM/FM stereo radio with cassette and 8 speakers, power driver's seat, courtesy lights, rear seat fold-down armrest, front seat armrest with storage.

Mark: Just some small evolutionary changes in this years model like: a redesigned remote locking system, delayed headlight shut-off, and a new seatbelt system. The good news is the equipment-adjusted price decrease. It now costs less to look good.

Dave: The look of the 220 is very compact, and kind of high in the rump. It's well finished, of course. I am very impressed with the height of the doors as compared with the seats. There is no akwardness as you slide in and out, very impressive ease of access. The seats are not soft, rather very firm, but the ride is so smooth you don't need extra cushioning. Its certainly not a spongy feel, it's a tight taut feel that simply erases the bumps.

Susan: The interior with its sleek wood, no wasted place, I loved it. As a matter of fact I was driving back for my hair sytlist and just kept going. I didn't want stop, it made me feel like I was on a cloud, not in a car.

Kathleen: When we take trips, I like to sleep, and boy can you sleep in this car. It's so comfortable. Even with my Dad' driving.

Mark: Hey, give me a break! Anyway, to me, the Mercedes ride has a unique aeronautical effect on me - a flight-like quality to its handling.

Dave: The car responds softly. It's not a hard driving car, it's a very gently driving car. It moves with alacrity but it gets there smoothly. It doesn't kick you in the rump, it just moves out. The 4 clynder engine, when you're moving out, speaks louder than I expected to hear it.

Susan: I also really like the fold-away key. No more poked pockets. Very nice idea.

Dave: The trunk is huge, as is one single windshield wiper which is great. But you know, the one thing they still haven't licked in this or the older models is the sound of the antenna motor. It really knocks, and it seems to me they could silence that somehow. It's out of character for a car like this.

Mark: And character is something this fine machine truly has.

Susan: (smiling) You know, my birthday is next month...

Mark: Help!