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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Avoidable Contact #150: Mercedes-Benz thinks they can cut the crap

Only now can the full story be told: your humble author once seriously considered the purchase of a new C230K "sports coupe," as shown in the picture above. It was the summer of 2002. I went to the dealership, took the test drive, ran the numbers, talked to a bank ...
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/avoidable-contact/avoidable-contact-150-mercedes-benz-thinks-t...
66 REPLIES 66
AdrianClarke
Instructor

In China, LVMH realised they didn’t want young salaried women saving up for a couple of months to buy a $2000 handbag, so they pulled out of that price bracket completely.
CJinSD
Instructor

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.
gr8idea
Pit Crew

I agree with all said above, except:
My 1989 944 turbo could drive circles around the same years 911 offering.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

Yes, but a Corvette Z51 could drive circles around both of them!

🙂
gr8idea
Pit Crew

Yes Jack,

BUT...I don't see the Corvette Z51 listed in the article as a car that "wasn't fun, wasn't fast and didn't handle". BUT it does imply that if you don't drive a 911, you aren't driving a Porsche 🙂
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

Most of the 944s were literally Audis, being built at Neckarlsulm.

The 968 was brought in house.

My Boxster S was, strictly speaking, a Valmet!
FloridaMarty
Instructor

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.
Eddie1
Intermediate Driver

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.
ChevyDave
Detailer

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.
miata93
Instructor

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.
02-orignal-ownr
Advanced Driver

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.
Djarum
Intermediate Driver

I've seen all the commenters on all the auto rags complain about Mazda going torsion beam on the 3, CX50, and the CX30. And yet some Merc a series models have torsion beam. (Not sold here IIRC)
miata93
Instructor

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.
Rich8566
Pit Crew

What the *bleep*?
anatolyarutunof
Pit Crew

i'll worry when morgan announces an electric suv
Nick_
New Driver

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?
mhealy1
Advanced Driver

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.