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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • I should have done this test, as I carry my clubs all the time! I am in Santa Barbara, so safe to leave clubs in the trunk all the time, e.g. does not get too hot. I need to have at least space for two sets of clubs. Mine and my playing partner. Ughhh, that was stupid of me to not check this out. Too late now, my car arrives in a month.

    That is why I did not buy a convertible - none of them had a trunk big enough for more than one set of clubs, and most could not fit one set of clubs.

    Cliff
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    Maybe that's because the Volvo is a station wagon and those others are minivans or trucks?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Now that I think about it, I'll second redsoxgirl nomination of a used 2005 E320 CDI as a viable alternative to the new or slightly used 20007 C280.

    My marketing director has an E320 CDI, the sales manager that works for her has a 2004 C240. We have driven both of them to lunch together on dozens of occassions. The E320 is in a whole different league above the C class. Frankly, even with the imrpovements and revisions for the 2007 model, the C class just seems too much like a mediocre car for those that must have the Mercedes badge. It is NOT on the same playing field as the BMW 3 series, which has tremendous attributes in its own right (i.e. separate from the 5 series) as the best performing, best handling ELLPS. The C class seems like it's simply geared to those that can't afford the E class. IMO, the C class is a definite notch down from the TL.

    When you look at how well the E320 CDI holds its value, plus the great fuel economy and moderate maintenance requirements, it's not much more expensive, if at all, than a gussied up C280. I'd go for the real thing, especially if comfort is a primary concern. The E320CDI is silky smooth at 75-80 on the highway. The C class feels like a Toyota by comparison. Which is not bad, but not great.

    Try to find some ADD sellers of CDI's.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    The V70's handling isn't "atrocious." I'd say it's simply "not sporty."

    It has a smooth ride that absorbs all manner of road imperfections, yet it corners with minimal roll. It leans and pushes through corners about as bad as a Honda Accord - not sporty, but not flaccid either.

    We love it for it's suprememly comfortable seats, airy interior, light but communicative steering, and very nice leather and wood trimmed interior. The cockpit is very driver oriented, and it's a pleasure to drive around town and on long freeway treks. Of course the safety engineering built into it goes without saying.

    Better tires and firmer springs/shocks would make it a sporty handler, but even stock, it's more than adequate for transporting 4 kids (+ equipment) to soccer practice or taking 2-week road trips down to California.

    Anyways, it's by far the most comfortable, stylish, economical (30+ MPG hwy), and sportiest vehicle that I can think of that seats 7 or hauls sheetrock with the tailgate closed. It's got plenty of passing power in the mountains - even fully loaded, and it's been as trouble free as any Honda I've ever owned - and I've owned 5 over the years.

    I don't think you can have your cake and eat it too. You cannot have uncompromised comfort and sport in one car. I do think that, if you're willing to compromise, the ELLPS segment is as good a compromise as any, but I tried to live with an ELLPS and I didn't like it. For me, the only solution was to own 2 cars with very distinct personalities/functions. The Volvo V70 for serene errand running/family touring, and the BMW M3 for weekend canyon carving and racetrack lapping.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I had a 2006 C280 4Matic for a loaner car recently and it didn't drive anything like my CLK. I was shocked. It didn't have the Mercedes ride or feel. It is as if the C has been seriously decontented over the last few years. I drove a 2001 C320 Sport when the C first came out and I remember it driving way better than the recent C280. Strange.

    M
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    So the tax payers are subsidizing Toyota and other hybrids - wonderful. And they get to use a special lane on the freeway - wonderful. Why not just let the rich buy the lane use -- oh wait, they can not do that as well. Oh well, I am not living in a big city, only paying for the cars.

    Yet another luxury car -- the special lane and free parking hybrid.

    When those Prius cars reach the end of their life cycle, I bet they will make pretty cool skateboard ramps. :D A local dealership has over 20 in stock right now. Must no longer be in demand. Ah, but there is $3.50 gas pricing ahead for 2007 -- well maybe there is. That said, I still would not want such a beast.
    -Loren
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Your experience is similar to what I have heard among my friends with Mercedes. Older "C"s, albeit always smaller than the E, were more substantial feeling and not nearly as much of a stepchild. More recently, the gap between the E and C has risen, at least in the subjective driving feel and "solidity".

    The CLK, as best I can tell, notwithstanding it's links to the C, has always been a separate class and has not suffered the same degredation. I still remember my first time in an early CLK thinking this is what a "cockpit" should look and feel like in a sport coupe. It looked and drove better than the E class, IMO. Made me even consider giving up my requirement for a manual transmission! Unfortunately, it was way above my affordability level at the time.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Actually, there is a pretty good case to be made that tax payers (federal income) are subsidizing all vehicles - especially SUV's - a hell of a lot more than hybrids.

    Consider that Arnold Schwartzenager's 10 mpg 6,000+ lb Hummers qualified for 100% accelerated tax write-offs. As does your friendly lawyer's GX470, doctor's Range Rover Sport and Tiki Barber's Escalade.

    Add the cost of the war in Iraq to the list of items that some say should be funded (or at least substantially so) with a federal gas tax, and we'd rip right through $3.50 a gallon on our way to $7.00. After all, you don't think we'd be willing to spend as much or sacrifice as much to promote democracy in a region that wan't sitting on trillions of barrels of oil, do you?

    I hate partisan "politics". I believe in economics and free market capitalism. Unfortunately, the average mass market Joe is going to be just as fuel efficient as his wallet requires, and the auto manufacturers need to be shown the money before they work on fuel efficiency as much as cup holder design for Tiki's behemouth. If I have to pay $7.00 per gallon to fill up the tank on my 19/26 mpg 911S or non-tax deductable, 18/23 mpg MDX, so be it. I'm paying a shipload more than that now out of my income tax to subsidize a fleet of tax deductable $60k+ 10-14 mpg SUV's. Giving a $5k break to someone driving a 40+ mpg Prius is the least of my worries - and probably a step in the right direction in the long term.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The CLK, as best I can tell, notwithstanding it's links to the C, has always been a separate class and has not suffered the same degredation. I still remember my first time in an early CLK thinking this is what a "cockpit" should look and feel like in a sport coupe. It looked and drove better than the E class, IMO. Made me even consider giving up my requirement for a manual transmission! Unfortunately, it was way above my affordability level at the time.

    :) :D

    Well the CLK430 Cabriolet has finally come down to my affordability level, specifically this 2003 example.

    M
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    When CA decided to demand an increase in mpg, Detriot spent millions lobbying against it, while Toyota created the Prius and is making a bundle on the car. Whan will Detriot ever learn? :cry:
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    The same Arnie, worried about global warming still owns a Hummer? Not as I do, just do as I say, is the line for the day!

    When the money runs down and things are looking tight for government income, my guess is that the VAT tax becomes the law of the land.

    It is interesting to see a lot of luxury car owners, as in those with the thick wallets, bought the Prius. A new status symbol. The ultimate near luxury auto :D Funny looking thing, with what I could only imagine to have limited handling and fun factor. OK-ok, the impress your neighbors with the technology is the fun factor. Yeaaa, or whoopee :P They are staking up on the lot now. Guess they are all too common a car for the rich now to own. Next up is the SUV hybrid. It is good that they will be saving gas now.
    -Loren
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    I bought my 05 TL for 31k and the state tax was almost 3k! :cry:
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,663

    The CLK, as best I can tell, notwithstanding it's links to the C, has always been a separate class and has not suffered the same degredation. I still remember my first time in an early CLK thinking this is what a "cockpit" should look and feel like in a sport coupe. It looked and drove better than the E class, IMO. Made me even consider giving up my requirement for a manual transmission! Unfortunately, it was way above my affordability level at the time.


    I think the "old" CLK 98-2002 was based on the E class platform; and didn't use the C Class platform until after the new C class came out (01 or so).

    So buying an older CLK you are ~in some way~ getting an E class.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    I am thinking of moving to Oregon some day = no sales tax. And gas is cheaper too, when compared to Calif.
    -Loren
  • And everybody drives sooooo slowly.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think the "old" CLK 98-2002 was based on the E class platform; and didn't use the C Class platform until after the new C class came out (01 or so).

    Actually the first 1998 CLK W208 was based on the 1994 C-Class too, the CLK has always been based on the C. The last E-Class-based coupes were the 1988-1995 300CE/E320 Coupes.

    M
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Isn't gas cheaper than California everywhere, at least in the States? ;)
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    You *can* get a CLK in manual, though they are hard to find on a dealer's lot.

    My co-worker has a CLK320(CLK230 with the big engine in it) and with manual, it's as quick as a Porsche. Agile as one, too - seriously overkill for almost any driving that you could want to do.
  • maximafanmaximafan Posts: 592
    Oh, Man, I remember the '84-'85 Supras. I was
    in love with that car! I remember the wheels
    looked so "Ffat" on that car. To me it was the
    bomb back then!!
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