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Prospective C300H Owner - Any idiosyncrasies or problems to be aware of?


Videoman

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I am scheduled to finalise the papers and get a 2017 C300H Sport (estate) this next weekend. The item is in excellent shape and has very low mileage, at 10,000 km. The vehicle is equipped with the Premium Plus pack, as well as many additional optional packs including memory, comfort, mirror, and stowage.

I am quite enthusiastic about it, although I have never had a hybrid vehicle (or a Mercedes, for that matter). The improvement from my old Ford Kuga will be substantial, and I hope it will also provide significant cost savings.

Are there any specific factors or potential problems that I should be cautious about before making a binding commitment? Any prevalent flaws or idiosyncrasies that I should be mindful of?

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Historically, early Mercedes hybrids such as the C300h and C350e were not renowned for their dependability. A cursory search will reveal several accounts of battery malfunctions and other related problems. In my opinion, it was not a wise decision to combine a sophisticated EU6 diesel engine, which is notorious for its AdBlue issues, with a sophisticated hybrid system. Regarding the economy, we offer a more streamlined 2019 C300 (petrol) that achieves a fuel efficiency of 45+ mpg throughout a satisfactory journey.

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I must express my profound disappointment at hearing this news. The vehicle is being sold by an authorised dealer and so has a 1-year guarantee, however its practical value may be uncertain.

Is it advisable for me to request a star diagnostic and replace the battery if it is showing signs of poor health, or are the batteries of such low quality that it is best to avoid them altogether? I had anticipated that the battery would be in excellent condition due to its low mileage of 10,000, yet uncertainties remain.

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Do not get too frightened, since all models have vulnerabilities, but yours has relatively few kilometres and a reliable guarantee. The answer to your question relies on the purpose for which you want to use it.
Frequent electric-powered short journeys - beneficial
Extensive journeys - favourable
Many journeys that exceed the quoted range by a little margin (about 1/2 to 2/3) result in the engine starting but not reaching optimal operating temperature, which is very undesirable.
Summary: If you often take several short excursions with occasional longer ones in between, then it should be OK.
If the aforementioned option does not meet your requirements, consider purchasing a gasoline-powered vehicle (or an electric vehicle).

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The interior trim level is referred to as "Sport trim with silk beige leather and ash wood interior" in the emails I have received, however I am uncertain whether this is the official designation.

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If the automobile is classified as a Mercedes 'Approved Used' vehicle, the guarantee provided is of exceptional quality and will protect you against any issues that may arise during the first year. In essence, it is comparable to the 3-year warranty offered for brand new cars. However, I would refrain from purchasing one for long-term ownership due to the increasing likelihood of malfunctions with age. If I had the option, I would not purchase a 7-year-old EU6 diesel vehicle that is equipped with AdBlue, much alone one that is connected to a first-generation hybrid system.

It is important to note that Li Ion battery packs deteriorate with time, not merely with consumption. This particular item will reach the age of 8 years at the time when the guarantee ceases to be valid. I distinctly recall a price estimate of £14,000 being mentioned for a potential replacement, and there is some uncertainty over the availability of such replacements from Mercedes. If the HV battery dies, the vehicle will not be able to drive at all.

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In 2021, I extensively explored the possibility of purchasing a pre-owned estate car. However, I was discouraged by the lacklustre service provided by a Mercedes-Benz dealer, an underwhelming test drive experience, and the indication that the estimated fuel efficiency would be about 48 miles per gallon, in addition to the expense of charging the vehicle. Thus, I departed with the notion of "I am uncertain about the rationale behind my actions." Perhaps it would be prudent for me to postpone my decision till the second iteration of hybrid models becomes available.

Ultimately, I choose to retain my V8 engine and continue driving my BMW 3 series vehicle.

A C class refers to a Mercedes vehicle that has the advantages of MB specifications, craftsmanship, and manoeuvrability. However, does the hybrid surpass the performance of a petrol vehicle? I have doubts.

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Postscript: If I were in your position, what course of action would I take?

I would request a longer duration for the test drive and reset the trip computer to accurately determine the miles per gallon (mpg) achieved. Additionally, it may be prudent to inquire about the possibility of arranging a test drive for a petrol estate vehicle that closely matches the specifications you want.

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Undoubtedly, diesel is more expensive than petrol, a factor to consider when evaluating fuel efficiency in terms of miles per gallon.

What matters to me is that a 7-year-old petrol Mercedes with low mileage is a well-established choice in terms of expected dependability and future longevity (considered to have been little used), whereas a first-generation hybrid of the same age is significantly riskier.

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Examine the ash trim on the centre console carefully, since it has a tendency to develop cracks. It is important to note that replacing it under warranty becomes more challenging after you have taken possession of the vehicle.

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Regrettably, the 300h Diesel Hybrid did not meet Mercedes Benz's highest standards, which likely explains its limited production duration. Additionally, being an EU6 Diesel, it will also be equipped with the notorious AdBlue technology. The 1-year guarantee is commendable, but, further repairs are expected to incur substantial costs. Apologies if this is not align with your desired response.

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Additionally, it is important to remember that the 1-year certified used warranty does not serve as a substitute for the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Consequently, if a pre-owned vehicle that has been approved by the manufacturer has a defect that should have been identified during the pre-delivery inspection (PDI) but was not, Mercedes-Benz UK will not bear the expenses. In such a case, you will have to persuade the dealer who sold you the car to assume the costs in accordance with the relevant legislation.

Therefore, it is advisable not to depend on the warranty while inspecting the automobile. Instead, meticulously examine it and insist on ensuring that everything is completely resolved before accepting the delivery.

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