JD Powers does an initial quality guide every year. I don't know about
Chevy, but I was surprised to see Cadillac come in second. And Mercedes
was pretty far down on the list.
"Better" is a bit subjective though. My 99 S 420 is far more comfortable
than any other passenger vehicle I've ever driven. My C5 Vette was a lot
more fun, but certainly didn't have the same "feel" of quality. But if I
wanted 'bulletproof", I'd just ride my Suzuki motorcycle.
Insiders from Mercedes admit W 124 models were the last "good" benzes,
corroborated by the decline in overall quality we, Mercedes fans, have sadly
witnessed in ensuing vehicles. It's been said a thousand times, but ruining
Mercedes-Benz' reputation in the name of higher profits will lead to
bankruptcy in the long run. BMW and especially Audi prove things doesn't
have to be this way. Have a detailed look at the new A8, and you will
conclude it's the new reference, Lexus included.
It's about mere facts. What do you call terrible reputation for reliability?
The unintended acceleration issue related to the 5000S like 20 years ago?
The A8 is a better built car than the S-class, any impartial observer will
agree on that. And on renowned european surveys, the old A8 ranks above the
7-series and the S-class in terms of reliability and agreement. No one is
saying Mercedes-Benz is now making shit boxes, they just aren't the
undisputable #1 as they used to be two decades ago. This is the fact I am
complaining about as a lifetime MB enthusiast, there's no need to act like a
rude, angry salesman.
What gets me is all these self-styled experts pontificating about how astray
MB has gone in recent years all the while they are setting monthly sales and
I guess these people would prefer MB to go back to 'building cars like they
used to'. I suppose that means the early nineties when they were losing, not
only market share, but 600 million dollars a year as well. They should do
this, I suppose, just to make you happy.
I don't know, maybe it's just me. I'm sure I see Audi, Lexus, Acura,
Cadillac, and all the other high-dollar cars everyday but I never really
seem to notice them. But I'm almost certain that I notice every Mercedes
I meet. And not just because I'm looking for them. But because they just
stand out. Meanwhile, it seems the others (with the possible exception
of Cadillac) all seem to be poorly executed imitations of one or another
MB model. Strange. Folks can whine about MB but that three-pointed star
will always stand for something a little better than average. Maybe it's
Dale (not Camille)
'96 S500 Coupe
Harvey Louzon wrote:
It would be totally unfair to define Audi cars as MB wannabees. Furthermore,
we are now seeing some of their peculiarities in the luxury segment, such as
permanent all wheel drive transmission or full aluminium frame, being
adopted by the competition (4Matic S-class and Jag XJ series respectively).
I guess your comment just reflects Audi's lack of past reputation in the US
huh? According to their respective official websites, the A8 4.2 Quattro SWB
weighs 1780kg; S500 4Matic SWB: 1980kg. These values may differ in normal
driving conditions, but the Audi should be some 400lbs lighter.
Ok, this is odd. Possibly related to different homologation processes, or
just a typo? Since we're talking long wheel version, on european sites we
find the following: Benz 2 tons vs Audi 1,830kg. IOW a 170 kg (377lbs)
I don't understand the discrepancy either. MBUSA web site does not list
theweight of the S500 4 Matic (it does for the RWD but the former is a
couple of hyndred pounds heavier. Here's the S-class 4 matic weight from
MBs 'international' site:
The long wheelbase version of the Audi A8 (the MB is only available as a
long wheelbase version in the USA so that's the appropriate comparison)
weighs in at 4399 lbs:
By the way look at car and drivers write up on the A8:
In short it is slow, has a poor ride for a luxury car and is heavier than
the S500 4 Matic. It's styling is uninspiring (granted that's subjective but
IMO even Lexus would be radial by comparison).
What's to like about it?
Doesn't take a genius to notice the general hostility against the car in
that article. I have read a half dozen tests on european renowned magazines,
and I haven't come across anything similar to that pile of biased crap. The
fact that all cars tested were short wheel drive versions doesn't justify
such a disparity of judgement. In short, it might not be the faster in its
class, but it isn't the slowest either; it's got the best cornering
abilities with the optional Sport suspension, and with standard air
suspension it rides beatifully; according to their respective manufacturer's
data, the Benz is considerably heavier (EU specs); looks might be
subjective, but to me it's the sexiest luxury sedan at this present moment.
At least in SWB with optional lowered suspension (availability in the US?)
and 19" wheels. You can't judge this car's styling by just looking at some
pics. I know a few people who were like "blah, it looks like a Buick" or
"man, that's just a big A4" before seeing the actual car. A visit to the
Audi dealer sufficed to change their minds.
Here's a more constructive and impartial driving impression from MT:
"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as
an independent press. You know it, and I know it! There is not one of you
who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand
that it would never appear in print."
-- John Swinton, former Chief of Staff for the New York Times
oops Short wheel base, even. Sucks to be typing in three different languages
simultaneously, I guess :P Anyway, getting back to this post's main subject,
I am glad that GM-USA vehicles are starting to catch up with the
competition. A couple of days ago I saw a black Chevy Avalanche Z71 in this
parking lot, and it's the perfect vehicle for carrying the bikes, bicycles,
dogs, and friends. And for some off road madness as well, despite its
Actually I think it was starting about 1974 that the bean counters got
involved at MB. Their influence has steadily increased but MB cars will
command a modest premium based on past reputation. Eventually (quickly if M
and C series quality prevails) buyers will wise up and Mercedes will become
just another car.
1972 280SEL 4.5 - pristine OEM
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