Category

Price

length/Cargo
head room
leg room

Horsepower
0-60
Engine
Gas Mileage

Spare
Lumbar
Memory Seat
Trip Comp

Mercedes C230

$27140

177 / 12
37 / 37
42 / 33

185
7.9
2.3 I4
21 / 29

Full
No
No
No

BMW 323i

$23530

176 / 10
38 / 38
41 / 35

170
7.1
2.5 I6
20 / 29

Full
No
Yes
Yes

Acura 3.0CL

$23841

190 / 12
37 / 36
43 / 31

200
--
3.0 V6
20 / 28

Donut
Yes
No
No

Audi A4 2.8

$25228

178 / 13
38 / 37
41 / 33

190
7.0
2.8 V6
20 / 29

Donut
Yes
No
Yes

    In the C-Class of Mercedes, you can get the 2.8 V6.  Also you get auto A/C, a better radio and 10 power seats.  It will run you about an extra $4000.  For about the same in added price you can get the BMW 328i.  Don't ask me why but the Mercedes V6 is slower than its I4 in 0-60.  Its rated at 8.3 seconds.  The BMW 2.8 I6 can get there in 6.6 seconds!!!  Both engines put out 193 hp.  The Cadillac Catera is another good option.  Its more roomy than both mentioned cars, but puts out 200 hp, and costs $34,180.  Don't think Mercedes is slow, you just have to pay for its speed.  If you want to get the C 43 with 302 hp and goes from 0-60 in 5 seconds it will cost you around $53000.
 
 
Category

Price

length/Cargo
head room
leg room

Horsepower
0-60
Engine
Gas Mileage
Weight (lb)

Doors
Spare
Lumbar
Memory Seat
Tinted Glass

Mecedes 320CLK

$40600

180 / 11
37 / 36
42 / 31

215
6.6
3.2 V6
21 / 29
3240

2
Full
No
Yes
No

BMW 328i

$33400

176 / 10
38 / 38
41 / 35

193
6.6
2.8 I6
20 / 29
3197

4
Full
Yes
Yes
Yes

Volvo S70 T-5

$33210

186 / 15
38 / 37
41 / 35

236
6.1
2.4 I5
20 / 28
3272

4
Donut
Yes
Yes
Yes

VW Passat

$28150

184 / 15
40 / 38
42 / 35

190
--
2.8 V6
18 / 29
3373

4
Full
Yes
No
Yes

    This was a tough comparison. The cars here are not alike at all.  Its just to show what you can get if you bend your request for a car.  But if the CLK is what you want, then that is the only car like it.  Again, BMW did a great job comparitively.  The VW is a different car, its cheaper but has a 10 yr 100000 mile powertrain warranty, and an 11 yr unlimited mileage corrosion warranty.  The Mercedes and Volvo are the best small quick cars here.
 
 
Category

Price

length/Cargo
head room
leg room

Horsepower
0-60
Engine
Gas Mileage
Weight (lb)

Trac Cont
Spare
Lumbar
Trip Comp
Tilt Wheel
Tele Ready

Merecedes E320

$46200

189 / 15
38 / 37
41 / 36

221
7.0
3.2 V6
21 / 30
3460

Yes
Full
No
No
No
Yes

BMW 528i

$38900

188 / 11
39 / 38
42 / 34

193
7.0
2.8 I6
20 / 29
3495

No
Full
No
Yes
Yes
Yes

Volvo S80T-6

$40385

190 / 14
39 / 38
42 / 36

268
6.7
2.8 V6
18 / 27
3600

Yes
Donut
Yes
Yes
Yes
No

Lexus GS 300

$37305

189 / 14
39 / 37
45 / 34

225
7.0
3.0 V6
20 / 25
3638

Yes
Full
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

    Simple look has the Mercedes as the highest priced.  For a cheaper version, you could get the E300 (diesel).  I don't know if you would want to have to look for deisel gas though.  BMW's 540 i is about $50000+ and Lexus has a GS 400 for $45000.  The Mercedes does have a slight fuel economy advantage over its competitors, especially Volvo and Lexus.  On the Flip side the Lexus and Volvo have more power and features.  Also the Volvo S80 comes with a more fuel efficient 2.9 V6.  Though these are expensive cars, all 4 are really nice.  The BMW in 1996 and 1997 had an unusual number of complaints in its 528i.  Lexus has a 6 yr 70000 mile powertrain warantee, as compared to 4 yrs and  50000 miles of the other cars.
 
 
Category

Price

length/Cargo
head room
leg room

Horsepower
0-60
Engine
Gas Mileage
Weight (lb)

ABS
Trac Cont
Climate Cont
Remote Key
Lumbar Sup
Memory Seat
Power Seat
Theft Deter
Tilt Wheel
Tele Ready
Trip Comp

Mercedes SLK230

$40000

157 / 3
37
43

185
7.0
2.3 I4
21 / 30
2975

Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No

BMW Z3 2.8

$36200

158 / 5
38
42

193
6.0
2.8 I6
19 / 26
2910

Yes
No
No
Yes
No
No
Yes
No
No
Yes
No

Plymouth Prowler

$39300

165 / ?
37
43

253
6.0
3.5 V6
17 / 23
2856

No
No
No
Yes
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
No

Porsche Boxster

$41000

171 / 9
38
42

201
6.2
2.5 V6
19 / 26
2822

Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes

   These are the only cars of its kind on the market.  You can either get really expensive with Ferraris or others.  The Boxster has all the luxuries, followed by the SLK then the Z3 and finally the Prowler.  The advantage of the Z3 is that its quick and more practical.  Its the cheapest  of the three.  Only people with money will get any of these cars, and the Z3 is what they probably want, a quick little 2 seater.  The Prowler isn't in regular production, so getting one is really tough, even if you have the money to spend.  Unlike my premise for the page, I will go on record in saying that the SLK and Z3 are different enough so that I can understand why someone would buy the SLK.  My friend Joe (a happy Z3 2.8 driver) said that Mercedes will put a 6 cyl engine in its SLK in 2000.  The BMW does offer a smaller I6 engine for $30000.
 
 
Category

Price

length/Cargo
head room
leg room

Horsepower
0-60
Engine
Gas Mileage
Weight (lb)

Comp- 94-95
laints  96-97
Spare
Fold Rear
Tinted Glass
Trip Comp
Power Seat
Wheels

Mercedes 420S

$73900

205 / 15
38 / 39
41 / 40

275
8.0
4.2 V8
15 / 22
4650

No Data
No Data
Full
No
Yes
No
12-way
235/60R16

Cadillac STS

$47850

201 / 15
38 / 38
43 / 38

300
6.4
4.6 V8
17 / 26
4001

Low
Very Low
Donut
No
Yes
Yes
14-way
235/60HR16

BMW 740i

$66400

202 / 12
38 / 38
42 / 42

282
7.0
4.4 V8
17 / 23
4288

Low
High
Full
No
No
Yes
14-way
235/60HR16

Lexus LS400

$53805

197 / 13
39 / 37
44 / 37

290
6.0
4.0 V8
18 / 25
3890

Low
Very Low
Full
No
Yes
Yes
10-way
225/60VR16

Jaguar XJ8

$55200

198 / 12
37 / 36
41 / 34

290
6.0
4.0 V8
17 / 24
3938

Very Low
Very Low
Full
Yes
Yes
Yes
???
225/ZR16

    Mercedes was blown away in the value department here.  I put the STS before the BMW because I felt the Cadillac is easily worth buying, considering you'll have $25000 less to spend.  The Audi A8 also would have competed well, goin 0-60 in 6.0 seconds, but I didn't use it due to its ability to be a 4 wheel drive vehicle.  If you wanted to get this big Mercedes to get from 0-60 in 6.0 seconds it will cost you about $130000 for the V12 engine.  Also, I found it interesting that the Mercedes was the only car listed without a Trip computer.  People say that Mercedes is a statement car, but is $25000 worth wasting on looks and a name alone?  The Lexus GS400 is about $45000 and is small than the GS400 but is still a much nicer value than the Mercedes.