I have driven the Mercedes Benz C180 with a 1800cc engine for more than four years and it is a car that rarely gets mechanical problems. I could spend a year without ever visiting a garage if I drive cautiously. However, the suspension bushes occasionally require replacement, probably every year, if I am to have a good driving experience. These usually cost about Shs350,000, especially the front ones.
Although the shock absorbers will spoil depending on one’s driving style, I have noticed that they also require replacing after driving through rough terrain every three years. I have also noticed that importing them say from Dubai is cheaper than buying them locally.
Although locally they will cost approximately Shs900,000, when you import them, you will spend approximately Shs450,000.
With servicing, the Mercedes Benz C180 uses synthetic oil of up to seven litres, which will cost approximately Shs250,000; the oil filter will cost approximately Shs50,000 while the air cleaner will cost approximately Shs60,000. On average, I spend approximately Shs400,000 on service.
The beauty about service of the Mercedes C180 is that it can run for more than 10,000km, which is almost an entire year. But for safety, I prefer servicing it at least once in six months.
Prospective motorists should not fear owning a Mercedes Benz because they are publicly presumed expensive to maintain. It is attributed to local mechanics. An average mechanic will not know how to go about a vehicle that requires computer diagnosis. That is why it is always good to look for a professional mechanic who understands that particular car.
I would also warn prospective buyers that Mercedes Benz spare part dealers too want to charge more than three times the cost of Benz parts outside Uganda, on top of fake parts on the Ugandan market. One spends highly and gets low quality parts. I always ensure that I buy from a trusted spare parts dealer, and in most cases, one who will offer warranty.
I have driven a Mercedes Benz C180 for two years. Unlike other brands, one of the rules to go by with such cars is to avoid repairing their parts but instead have them replaced. It is the best approach that will save you the back and forth with unqualified and unprofessional mechanics and unnecessary frequent garage visits and expenditures.
When I take my car to the garage, besides monthly fuel expenses of approximately Shs500,000, I am aware I have to spend on its service and I spend approximately between Shs800,000 to Shs1.5m once a year.
With a Mercedes Benz C180, brand new spare parts will give you long mileage and serve you longer before it wears out even if it is twice more expensive compared to a used one. Besides, you will spend on particular parts once or utmost twice a year before you get to spend again. This is because they are more durable.
On the road, it will give you value for money. A Benz is one of the cars with the highest level of stability. Even when you hit a road hump unexpectedly at high speeds, it will not skid off the road. It will maintain high traction levels even if the road is bumpy.
The fuel consumption of the Mercedes C180 is not that different from that of a Toyota Premio with an engine size of 1800cc or even 2000cc. For instance, I filled its tank in Kampala and drove to Busia and back to Kampala. When I checked on the gauge upon reaching home, I was left with almost half a tank and I was surprised with its low consumption.
It is when I am driving in traffic jam or areas with slow moving traffic that it tends to consume more fuel compared to a highway. I cover between six to nine kilometres in Kampala City centre and between 10 to 12 kilometres using one litre of fuel on the highway. From my home in Kyanja to Kampala City Centre (a distance of about 11.3km), I spend Shs200,000 on fuel every two weeks. I leave home and work early to beat traffic jam.
Besides the economical fuel consumption, the Benz C180 also has well amplified speakers that as a music lover, I do not require to install additional speakers. And if I am driving in cold weather, I press a button and the seat will turn warm.
I can also negotiate sharp corners at high speeds and will not feel any bends while driving. Such is the stability the Benz offers.
With service and maintenance, I spend between Shs500,000 to Shs800,000 twice a year. I have noticed that once it is properly serviced, it will take me a long time before visiting the garage again.
Width (including mirrors) 2,020mm