I’m always surprised by how much I like the look of the C series in person. The 3 series sedan probably drives better, and an IS is probably more reliable but something about the W204 makes me look at it whenever I see one. The front 3 point star is a little much but all in all, I like the car a lot.
And even though the shifter is on the rubbery side, and it’s got a pretty plain Jane V6; I honestly think just loving the look of your car goes a long way toward loving your car.
Not sure if I’d ever actually buy one though. The Manual was only an option until 2010. And those years are at a weird price versus age versus miles spot where I probably couldnt pay cash for one anytime soon, and financing for much more than a year or two would be tempting fate. I didn’t even know they put a manual in them until that late but indeed they did. I would have loved to at least tracked one down last fall when I was shopping. I’d say the one drawback is that the paint selection for the manuals is even drier than the auto C300s. So you better like it in black or grey, and I do.