ML's console for coffee cups - shifter moves to column

The '06 ML model being shown on MBUSA has converted its console into a cup holder & tray - the electric shifter moves to the column. The ML also will have the new 3.5 L V-6 and seven speed transmission - just
like the '06 E Class.
When there are seven speeds to pick from one no longer knows if the box is in 3rd or 4th, only that one wants to shift UP or DOWN! It's a little "girlie" but in light of the seven speed box it makes sense to me.
I read that the new S Class (that's S Klass for McBrue) will also have a column mounted shifter for its seven speed transmission.
What do you guys think about a column mounted shifter in a SUV???
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Whatever, it's an automatic your talking about right? I don't see a problem with this.
But I wouldn't buy an SUV either...
Marty
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T.G. Lambach wrote:

I drove it last Friday. No comment on the cupholders. :-) The column shifter is almost identical to the one already used on the BMW 745. It takes a little getting used to, but in the long run, I think it will probably be a desirable change. If you want to select gears, there are buttons on the back of the steering wheel (like the AMG models). I am used to "slapping" the Touchshift, but I guess I could just as easily get used to tapping these steering wheel switches.
One thing that has changed, and this actually changed a year or so ago on all Touchshift systems, is that instead of downshifting by one gear per tap, the transmission downshifts according to what its logic circuit believes is desired by the driver. On the 5-speeds, it's not so much an issue, but it's a necessity on the 7-speeds. For example, if you are cruising along in 7th at 50mph, and all you do is tap once to downshift, you will probably find yourself in 4th. If you were doing 70mph, then it would probably be 5th. If you have your foot on the brake and downshift, it might go lower in order to help slow the vehicle. If you are "aggressively accelerating" while you tap to downshift, it will select the lowest gear possible without over-revving the engine.
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- RODNEY


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