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Posts Tagged ‘mercedes-benz’

Mercedes-Benz’s Turnaround Looks a Lot Like Audi’s

January 7th, 2016

2017-mercedes-benz-gls

There’s a German automaker in the midst of a turnaround. The company has redesigned many of its vehicles and has plans to introduce additional models, including sedans, crossovers, and SUVs.

The brand is also forging ahead with plans for dedicated electric vehicles and cars with advanced autonomous driving technology.

The front-end design has evolved over the years into a signature look that the automaker hopes to expand into new models, while continuing to push design limits in future concept vehicles.

The automaker has also sworn off trends such as convertible SUVs and 2-door SUVs in favor of more traditional sedans, SUVs, and crossovers.

We’re talking about the new face of Mercedes-Benz.

But could the German car giant be gunning for some of Audi’s success?

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The Manual Transmission: “I Ain’t Dead, Yet”

December 11th, 2015

manual-transmission

Don’t drink beer out of green bottles, don’t forget to stretch, and always remember to write your grandmother a thank-you note. Along with these basic rules for success, when researching new cars, I’ve always eliminated options that were available only with automatic transmissions. Car enthusiasts argue over almost every imaginable detail, save this one. Perhaps it has to do with their beloved “involvement” with the machines that they adore, but manual transmissions have long been a unanimous preference for card-carrying members of the local gearhead union.

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The Two Tiers of Luxury: Which Do You Prefer?

March 19th, 2015
"Tier 2" does not mean "inferior."

“Tier 2” does not mean “inferior.”

Is a Lincoln as good as a Lexus?

Can an Acura take down an Audi?

Will an Infiniti be as good as a BMW?

There are two groups of cars in the luxury world: the ones that command respect and the ones that desperately want it. Automotive News breaks these down a little more formally, calling them the “Tier 1” group and the “Tier 2” group.

Tier 1 includes BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz. Tier 2 includes Lincoln, Acura, Cadillac, and Audi.

If I were making the rules, I’d put Audi up in Tier 1, because it has decidedly outsold the others in Tier 2 and has, in my humble opinion, eclipsed the quality level of BMW.

The Tier 1 group continues to establish its dominance, while the Tier 2 group struggles to maintain relevance. Are cars from Tier 2 worth considering?

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Can a Kia Compete with a Mercedes-Benz?

July 31st, 2014

Mercedes-Benz_E-Class_2004

I pulled up to the bank yesterday and parked nose to nose with a Mercedes-Benz.

It was kind of weird at first glance but I only looked for a moment and didn’t give it a second glance until I passed it again, on foot, on the way into the bank.

The car was an “Anniversary Edition,” at least according to the crudely applied stickers near the front fender. That’s when I paid more attention and realized the car wasn’t a Mercedes at all.

It was a Kia.

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The American Car That’s Better Than a BMW?

July 24th, 2014

2014 BMW 428i

Consumer Reports has drunk the American Kool-Aid.

The magazine, influential among car shoppers who commonly consult its ratings and recommendations, has made a decision that doesn’t make any sense.

I’m not saying car shoppers should dismiss the magazine’s advice, but I will say, on this topic, mine is better.

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Oh Lorde: The Comeback of the Maybach

April 22nd, 2014

2011 Maybach 57

As the singer Lorde likes to say,

“But everybody’s like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece.
Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash.”

It’s interesting that the Maybach made it into the lyrics of a hit pop song, considering the luxury car company built its last car in 2012.

Owned by the people who bring us Mercedes-Benz, Maybach floundered in the luxury game and couldn’t keep up with the likes of Bentley and Rolls-Royce.

Perhaps thanks to a young singer, the brand is being revived and will attempt to sell to young millionaires in the United States.

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Mercedes-Benz Starts Car Shopping, Looks at Aston Martin

March 18th, 2014

Aston_martin

We all want more. Whatever it is, we’re never content with what we have. We need more money, a bigger home, more ice cream and a better car.

This is as true for corporations as it is for individuals.

The guy with a BMW eventually grows tired of his ol’ Beemer and wants a Rolls-Royce. The Porsche driver might tire of his sports car and want to upgrade to a Lamborghini. It’s the nature of humans to strive for the next attainable goal.

Since humans own corporations, they too never stop making purchases to expand.

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Could Car Sharing Go Luxury?

February 10th, 2014

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250

Even when sitting parked in the garage, a car costs big money.

Owning a car is like having a constantly running meter of dollar signs adding to your monthly financial obligations. Things like insurance, fuel, maintenance, parking and loan payments contribute to the gigantic price of owning a vehicle.

Not driving your car certainly reduces the costs of having it, but you’ll never eliminate the financial obligations of car ownership.

Public transportation is a viable option when trying to reduce or eliminate commuting costs. The tradeoff, though, is becoming reliant on someone else’s schedule and being forced to interact with certain members of humanity you otherwise might choose to avoid.

Car sharing is a fairly new phenomenon and might be just the solution for those who need to reduce their transportation costs but don’t want to give up the freedom of having a car. If only some cooler cars were available….

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Cars That Look Like Other Cars

November 22nd, 2013

2006 Chevrolet HHR And 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser, Front View

There is no better compliment than imitation.

If that’s the case, the automotive industry is full of flattery. That’s as true in the U.S. as it is within the unimaginative shores of China, where car designs are stolen like glances at a Victoria’s Secret fashion show.

Part of the reason for automotive parallels in the Western world is the simple fact that there are only so many car designers to go around. Once a successful design has been penned and millions of cars sold, the designer is lured to another company to create the same look with a different brand.

Who’s the next copycat on deck?

It appears that Mercedes-Benz will get that honor, as it just grabbed the leader of another German automaker’s design studio.

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Cars Coming Soon: Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

March 28th, 2013


Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

With all the coverage of the New York Auto Show this week, one little car has been mostly ignored. In a sea of exciting new debuts, convincing Cadillacs and luscious Land Rovers, coverage of a small but exciting new electric has mostly fallen through the cracks.

People in the United States are not used to small cars from Mercedes-Benz. The smallest offering here has been the C-Class, but our roads are smothered in M-Class SUVs and large, powerful sedans. We have equated MB with big luxury, so smaller cars with a premium price here may be hard for buyers to accept. But with the new CLA-Class on the way, and the coming B-Class EV, things are about to get small.

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