As soon as I started reading this story, my first thought was that Mercedes is dropping their branded junk because there will be no middle class to lease them to in the near future. It won't be long before you'll need to be inside the gates to hear that someone's bought a new Mercedes-Benz, so opinions about them will mean little. People who have them and the people they talk to will care as much about the purchase of a car as you care about the purchase of a new pair of socks. Nobody else will matter even a little bit.
Mercedes, BMW and Porsche have been crap for years, I applaud the changes at MB, but why did it take them so long to recognize the obvious? Will BMW follow suit? Will BMW replace the dipstick? It seems some times, the people making the important decisions aren't the sharpest tools in the shed.
I have two. An 83 300TD and an 87 300D. Both have been bombproof and drive the same way they did from their build date. MB,s designed by engineers instead of accountants. I,d never look at a new MB. Just putting in my two cents along with all the rest of the double pennies in this post.
The misnomer here is “small car = *bleep* car.” 😉 When my wife and I became childless, we wanted a smaller, sportier sedan - but with the same quality and amenities - as our A6 S-line 2.7TT. We chose an S3 - with an MSRP almost identical to the A6 - but were disappointed to find that memory seating, auto-dimming mirrors, power folding exterior mirrors, and HomeLink remote - pretty basic luxury amenities - were missing (side note: I was even more flabbergasted to discover one couldn’t even get a power driver’s seat in the even more upmarket RS3). Who knows; maybe with gas prices being what they are and automakers’ current obsession with profits we’ll see a shift towards higher/better contented small cars, but it definitely detracted from our experience with the S3.
After driving a hybrid for about 12 years and being in the same demographic as you my wife and I wanted a sedan that was as fun but more reliable than our 2001 A6 2.7T. We stumbled upon the Mazda 3 Turbo and never looked back. Our 15 year old Prius covered the taxes and registration and we were out the door for the MSRP of 34K. They also gave me a loyalty discount for owning a 30 year old Miata. Sure, it only has memory seating on the drivers side but it has heated steering and the programmable remote. It's not bad for a 5 second car that still runs on regular. I hope that Mazda continues to develop and market in the luxury niche.
According to BMW, around 60% of their US sales in 2021 were X (SUV) models...none of which can be bought in the US with manual transmissions. Even their smallest and lightest cars are nearly the size of the first 5 series...
I think I'll stick with my '73 2002, and its modern successor, a 91 E30 318is. The '02 is the epitome of the original sports sedan, and the 318 is a more refined 2002, just with more amenities, none of which detract from its driving fun.
After test driving the Mazda 3 Turbo, I did not realize that the rear end was not an IRS. I had to read about it in a review. I guess that my **bleep**) could not tell the difference. I bought the car anyway.
Funny you should mention the GLB, because I'm quite smitten with the idea of the GLB 35 as a replacement for my... wait for it... 290hp 5-speed HHR SS! This is our local, big dog car. I'd lose the manual, but what else is out there that could fulfill that duty as well?
GLC…I thought everyone had forgotten Mazda’s Great Little Car. Love the Easter eggs, Jack. I still remember the C&D econobox comparison test. They supposed that Mazda said “You want a Chevette? We’ll build a Chevette that’ll knock your g*dd*m hat in the creek!” Mazda did just that with the GLC.