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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Firstly, I was at the Mercedes dealership. They had a beautiful CLS500 on the showroom floor. I've never seen this new car in person yet, nor its $92,600 base pricetag. For those wondering what a CLS500 is, it's Merc's new 4-door coupe that looks like:



Well, needless to say, the thing looks seductive. However, there were multiple problems I immediately found with the car. First of all, when I got into the driver's seat, everything seemed fine...until I closed the door. The window line is just too high. Maybe I'm used to a low line cuz of the X5, but it seemed like I had to peer over an obstacle to look sideways.

The second problem I encountered was when I tried to sit in the back. First, the rear door malfunctioned in a way. When I opened, I heard a suspicious crack, and resistance in the door, and then it flew open. $92,600 should make a proper door. :eek: What I DID love was that the rear seats were nearly buckets themselves, and it wasn't a bench setup. However, I warn anybody 6-foot or higher...you will receive a head concussion if you try to ride in the rear. The top window arc on the rear is so low, that I took a VERY heavy blow to the side of my head upon my first attempt at entry.

OK, 5 seconds later with my eyes in focus again, I crammed myself into the CLS500 rear seat, only to find that I could not keep my head up without scratching the headliner with my hair. There is a serious absense of headroom in the back. I'm 6' 1", and I'm telling you - you can't keep your head up normally in the back!

The final problem was that when you sat in the front, and tried to estimate how much space you got left when backing up, you CANNOT. Since the trunk slopes down hard (old Jaguar style), it is not possible to tell where the car actually ends.

MOVING ON...

Next I visited the SMART dealership, where they had a nifty-looking "fortwo" coupe. It was the "passion" version, which is the 2nd most loaded one out of the 3 flavors (pure, passion, pulse). It had a silver "tridion" cell (exposed chassis is part of the styling). The doors and stuff were blue - it was a very nice looking little bug. I got into the bug, to find that I enjoyed superior legroom compared to the X5, plus AMPLE headroom compared to the CLS500, which costs quadruple that. Even with the door closed, you can operate all the instruments without knocking out the window with your elbow. SUPER CAR! Apparently, the bug is powered by a 0.8L inline-3 diesel with a turbo. It makes 40hp, takes just under 20 seconds to reach 60MPH, and is electronically limited at 75MPH.

The best part? I've booked an appointment to test-drive one next weekend. At $24000 fully-loaded a piece, this is the perfect opposite to the huge, gas-eating X5. I personally enjoy the styling, but maybe it's cuz my eye is trained to it (I've seen those in Europe for 2 years straight now). Anyway, you're probably thinking I'm crazy for looking at a SMART car when I have an X5, but this bug is just a really cool creature! I wouldn't trade my X in, but having both would be mighty fun. I mean, getting 50mpg on the highway is MUCH better than the X's 21...

And for short-distance city-tasks, there is no need to fire up the 8-pot beast to pick up 3 shirts at the dry-clearners...

Well anyway, I'll write something up next weekend after I've driven this bug...

 

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I, too, have seen the CLS and despite its flaws, it is the only 4-door Mercedes I like. I love how irrational it is... the fact that an E-class is cheaper and better in every way, yet they still make it. Kudos to Mercedes for being so bold, and I love the full-leather interior, which is so un-German. The whole package (I don't know about the driving experience) is so Italian and British...
 

· Hog Town
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Bavarian said:
Next I visited the SMART dealership, ..... It makes 40hp, takes just under 20 seconds to reach 60MPH, and is electronically limited at 75MPH.
I'm never a fan of this Smart car. Sure it's great on gas but the thing's a slug and is nothing more than a 4-wheeled motorcycle with a roof. :D

If I wanted a small car I'd get the Mini Cooper or Cooper S. Now that's a driver's car.
 

· Sandlapper Chapter
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I didn't know smarts were available on this side of the pond.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
breytonX5 said:
I'm never a fan of this Smart car. Sure it's great on gas but the thing's a slug and is nothing more than a 4-wheeled motorcycle with a roof. :D

If I wanted a small car I'd get the Mini Cooper or Cooper S. Now that's a driver's car.
Better yet pick up either a 200hp Audi A3 2.0T, or a 255hp Audi A3 3.2. Those will both spank the Cooper S, while offering AWD over FWD. :)
 

· Great Driver Onizuka
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Bavarian said:
Better yet pick up either a 200hp Audi A3 2.0T, or a 255hp Audi A3 3.2. Those will both spank the Cooper S, while offering AWD over FWD. :)
Not quite the same size (the A3 is much bigger) and driving feeling.

The Mini is very nice (almost bough a Cooper S), but it's quite bigger than a Smart and the milage is nothing special : A Smart CDI however is rated at about 69 mpg average and gets as high as 75 mpg :yikes:
 
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