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View Full Version : Drove The Mercedes S550 Today 1-6-06


gbelton
01-06-2006, 11:05 PM
Hear He, Hear He!

Mercedes has put together its premier flagship S-Class which competes with the BMW 7 Series. This is Mercedes-Benz 9th Generation.

For The Record:

I am hear to say we have nothing to worry about and this statement comes from a friend I brought with me to the dealer today who only buys and drives Mercedes-Benz. I was not impressed and Mercedes will have a hefty job on their hands explaining their business case why I a 7 Series owner should buy your S-Class. After close observation the MB S-Class has come up short. I will keep my BMW 7 Series.

My Initial Experience:

Let me share with you the V.I.P. service I was told I would receive when I entered their establishment. NOT! I am still waiting... I am home now writing this post to Bimmerfest.com and its forum members and I still haven't seen anything close to V.I.P. service. I will stick with BMW until I see some real V.I.P. service. "Some cookies, crumpets or tea Sir?":D

Exterior Summary:

I take my first face-to-face look at the new 2007 S-Class and it is strange while it has similar qualities of the previous brothers. I can explain it like this. The body styles are of several pieces from the Maybach, '06 S-Class, '06 R-Class, and the '06 CLK500. Too me, that is way too many car designs combinations combined into one car called the S-Class.

What you see in the 100's of pictures is not what the car looks like in person. Yes, fundamentally is has look but you have to see it in person to gauge the sensory experience. One key element of surprise are the two fins on the rear portion of the roof and another on the trunk. Eeel, it is the strangest looking concoction I've seen yet.

The body of the car seems to stand still though some have written it looks like it's moving while standing still, NOT! The raised fenders really do not make the MB S-Class unique; it actually gives you the feeling of a mini-Maybach which could be viewed as a good thing. To get the best sensory experience looked at S-Class from many angles(Top, bottom, side, on a stepping latter, under the carriage, 4 feet away, 10 feet away) to appreciate what Mercedes is trying to do this go round. The MB S-Class is an interesting piece of work. One that I would have hoped to get a good feeling about and I didn't.

Interior Summary:

The interior is plush but gives you the feeling of Déjà-vu. I have been here before, hmmm. What is it you might ask yourself? Well my friends it should not shock you at all when you get back into your refined 7 Series and then you realize that Mercedes has copied your 7 Series interior; amongst some other things but this is amazing.

The seating is comfortable and I would compare it to Lexus and not BMW because I do not want plush fall asleep seating that does not hug my body when making turns. But it is soft.

The illumination is all BMW so that's good! The analog clock is great and I give MB two :thumbup::thumbup:for that little do-dad. The air and radio control buttons are neat but I could see them breaking with excessive use (American heavy fingers, coffee mugs oops, etc...) Once you see it first hand you will know what I mean. The drive stalk is all BMW so that's another win but that cruise control stick is confusing. If you want to turn on your signal you have to use the bottom stick not the cruise one that you will hit at least twice I promise you! (Bad design):thumbdwn:

More on the interior: I found it quite complicated to manage the system due to the new orientation of buttons and new designs Mercedes has now ventured into for its unsuspecting customers. I can't wait to hear them say, "I don't know how to turn off the Navigation." I use this as the example because I could not figure it out and nor could the special V.I.P. sales guy who road with me. Please don't get me wrong, I am very technical savvy and I can make my way around just about anything but when to say, "Cancel Navigation", you should be able to shut her off!

Let me say again the car is plush. It's not a BMW but it is a mini Maybach. Oh, and I cannot forget their interpretation of the iDrive.

1> Great refinement in design where MB has placed the dial with the wrist bridge.
2> GUI is very readable though it was not sunny out. Need a day with it for a proper analysis.
3> The iDrive like dial is rough for my taste. It has grooves/etches on it; like the sides of a quarter.
4> White illumination on the dash (Speedometer, etc..) versus the amber-orange in BMW but the rest of the car illuminates like BMW.
5> There is a camera view in front which you can use while driving (Nice)
6> There is a camera view in the rear when driving in reverse. (Lexus like)

Mercedes-Benz iDrive interpretation gets a B+ for my time with the car. I need at least a day to go through it for a better analysis.

The Driving Experience:

Mercedes-Benz dropped in a normally-aspirated V8 5.5 litre big-dawg that produces 382HP. For its weight the V8 throttle is very responsive and smooth for a slushbox (Automatic). My comment to my passengers, "No one ever said this car would not be smooth."

Alas, when it comes to performance driving this is not the car to drive or ask it to respond like the BMW. The car is too heavy on turns and does not recover well (Body rolls).

How did I feel behind the wheel? Bored. Like an old man just pleased to have this plush vehicle to drive. Keep my rickety butt nice and comfy. Well I am not an old man and though I like comfort, this flagship can be the favorite for those who want plush and need the status of owning a Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

P.S. Now, if you want to spend a few more double digit 1000's I am sure you can get sportiness out of this model but as I always say, "Why spend all that money for a souped-up Benz when you can have it all with BMW and it is so much less and you still achieve overall performance gains in a BMW?" If the dollars don't make sense (Cents-Methaphor) then don't buy into to it.

Okay, I am off the soapbox... It's late and I need some sleep. Maybe I will post some additional comments later. Until then, thanks for reading.:)


GMAN

bimmer7
01-07-2006, 02:31 AM
Hear He, Hear He!

Mercedes has put together its premier flagship S-Class which competes with the BMW 7 Series. This is Mercedes-Benz 9th Generation.



Interior Summary:

The interior is plush but gives you the feeling of Déjà-vu. I have been here before, hmmm. What is it you might ask yourself? Well my friends it should not shock you at all when you get back into your refined 7 Series and then you realize that Mercedes has copied your 7 Series interior; amongst some other things but this is amazing.




GMAN

Wel... my uncle purchased on last year.. that my cousin had a quick peek in... and he found the leather just like yourself... very soft and supple..so which means that it will wrinkle quicker too... so :thumbup: to BMW on that... also critics and my cousin comment on the rear legroom being more in the 7 series then the new S-class... I havent seen his car YET.. so would NOT like to conclude anything... but lets see.. when i get a chance....

chowan24
01-07-2006, 05:48 AM
When I bought my 7 in Nov. i went to purchase a CL 500, S 500, or a 745. In my opinion the CL and the S are the worst driving cars I have ever driven. Rough and nonresponsive. I have owned 3 Acuras in a span of 5 years and I would take an Acura any day of the year over 2000 - Present Benz. I must say I will be purchasing a 99 CL 600 though different drive than the new stuff. Benz hasn't been Benz since 99....

bimmer7
01-07-2006, 11:15 AM
When I bought my 7 in Nov. i went to purchase a CL 500, S 500, or a 745. In my opinion the CL and the S are the worst driving cars I have ever driven. Rough and nonresponsive. I have owned 3 Acuras in a span of 5 years and I would take an Acura any day of the year over 2000 - Present Benz. I must say I will be purchasing a 99 CL 600 though different drive than the new stuff. Benz hasn't been Benz since 99....

Well I wouldnt say that about the CL design.... even though its a mini S-Class.. I just like that car....because it is pretty spacious and luxurious for a 2 door coupe....maybe when I reach my 30's.. I'll get one of those.... :D
But you are right about Benz having produced low quality cars in the last few years... ever since the merger in 1998 with Chrysler.... Mercedes has gone :thumbdwn: and Chrysler has improved a lot :thumbup: ... Benz is actually thinking about breaking off ..... :rolleyes:

chuck92103
01-07-2006, 11:30 AM
Holy crap! I just looked at the MB S class brochure online. Did they higher BMW engineers to design the interior? :dunno:

BMW is such a trend setter. The industry continues to follow.

I would expect Lexus to be next to get rid of all those damn buttons everywhere. :eek:

BmW745On19's
01-07-2006, 11:41 AM
BMW should sue MB for taking their idea for alot of the interior set up from the 7-series. Even on MB's SUV, the ML, they copied the idea of the colum mounted electronic shifter. I've always liked MB but they are for old people that want to cruise around and have way too much time on their hands. Tsk Tsk MB in the unoriginality department.

chuck92103
01-07-2006, 11:43 AM
BMW should sue MB for taking their idea for alot of the interior set up from the 7-series. Even on MB's SUV, the ML, they copied the idea of the colum mounted electronic shifter. I've always liked MB but they are for old people that want to cruise around and have way too much time on their hands. Tsk Tsk MB in the unoriginality department.

MB = Mimic BMW

philippek
01-07-2006, 11:46 AM
BMW should sue MB for taking their idea for alot of the interior set up from the 7-series. Even on MB's SUV, the ML, they copied the idea of the colum mounted electronic shifter. I've always liked MB but they are for old people that want to cruise around and have way too much time on their hands. Tsk Tsk MB in the unoriginality department.

:stupid:

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

boston bmw
01-07-2006, 11:46 AM
ok i have owned every s class made from 99 on . the best series was the 140 when benz was benz. the new one is nice but like everything it will have problems its first year. my last 740 was in 2001. i have a 2003 745 li now and im hooked. you could not give me another benz for free. all around id say bmw lexus benz in that order .

chuck92103
01-07-2006, 11:50 AM
ok i have owned every s class made from 99 on . the best series was the 140 when benz was benz. the new one is nice but like everything it will have problems its first year. my last 740 was in 2001. i have a 2003 745 li now and im hooked. you could not give me another benz for free. all around id say bmw lexus benz in that order .

:stupid: You can't beat a Lexus if you are a total isolationist.

There is only one other place I would want such peace and tranquility. :flush:

Staszek
01-07-2006, 12:03 PM
I agree with alot of these, my best friend just picked up a 750 over the new S, he previously owned the S500 (it was an 01) which he thought was junk.

Basically he flat out said that the new 7 was one of the best cars he has ever driven.

As for MB, except for all the gadgets I dont think I would ever look at an S, I would rather have the CLS, its the only car in their lineup that is truely hot. I havent driven it though so I cant comment on the dynamics.

gbelton
01-08-2006, 01:27 PM
Hey Guys, I am in toasty Arizona (Phoenix) and all I have seen here are BMW's. It's funny but this is not the reason for my post. I had a serious conversation with a few die hard Mercedes-Benz drivers and buyers of the S-Class and the CL. They both had a common message, "Mercedes-Benz has not given a clear reason for BMW owners to make the switch." Oh well... GMAN