Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mercedes - Test Drives

I had some time to kill on a Saturday so I stopped by Mercedes for a test drive, which ended up as two test drives.  I took out a 2011 c300, it is really nice to drive but I was hoping for a bit more get up and go.  Not that it was slow or anything but maybe after testing the 3.6 L ATS a couple of weeks ago most cars will be a bit slower in comparison.  The car is nice on the inside, the info screen is a bit strange, more like a digital radio screen than info screen but it covers up if you don't want to use it.  One especially interesting option was headlight washers that activate every 5 times you wash your wind-shield.  I never pushed on price because I am not at the commitment stage yet.  They have good deals on certified used at 1.9% financing for 5 years and they make your first three payments for you.

After taking out the C300 I noticed a nice red CLA 4-matic on the lot. (Pictured above)  Since I was there and had some time to kill I took the CLA out for a spin over the same route as the C300.  Driving the red CLA I got a lot of looks from other drivers, this thing really stands out.  The 4-matics have nice flared rear fenders and honeycomb rear grill.  Unfortunately I din't enjoy driving it as much as the C300.  It wasn't bad to drive it just didn't feel as planted as the C series.  I am also not a fan of the info screen sitting on the dash although it did seem more useful than the screen in the C300.  There was also some noticeable lag but once it got going it had plenty of power.  

The CLA looks really stand out but I'm torn on the styling whereas the C series is more conservative and classic.  It also drives better in my opinion.  Right now the new C has $3,000 off and 0.9% financing as their starting point and obviously they could do better.  The MB dealership here is much smaller than the BMW, they only have 4 C series on the lot for instance, whereas there are about 20 3/4 series on the bmw lot at any one time.  The lack of selection is a bit of a downside, and with the new C coming out in the summer they probably won't be getting many more 2014's in.

Anyway something else to think about......I really don't need a new car but it doesn't hurt to look!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Cadillac ATS Test Drive

Opulent Blue Metallic

Took a trip to my local Cadillac dealer last week to try out an ATS.  I had my eye on a black 2.0T performance edition but they couldn't seem to locate it.  The guy was looking everywhere and had the key in his hand when I got there but it seemed to be on the missing list.  I was there earlier in the week looking myself and they had 6 ATSs on the lot but I couldn't see the black performance anywhere.  

So he had the 3.6 L Luxury ready for me.  Maybe it was the bait and switch but I couldn't be sure, either way the 321 HP V6 sounded good to me.  He assumed I would want him to come along but I told him I'd rather go myself so eventually he just let me go.  The salesguy was a younger guy and he said he had fun "burning" the caddy earlier and when I started it up the music was blaring.  

The leather seats were nice, and it was well appointed.  Right away I noticed the lack of buttons on the dash, it was all touch.  I tried to adjust the radio volume and it was more difficult than I would like, one volume knob would have gone a long way.  There was not one single knob on the entire dash.  I wasn't too concerned however because I only had about 20 minutes and I wanted to take this baby for a good run.  

I headed straight for the highway and this 3.6 beauty can put out.... there is about a 1/10 of a second it thinks about it and then kicks in big time, major pick up and acceleration.  It handles really tight and braking is great.  The ride is a bit harsh but maybe that is normal for a stiff handling car.  I switched between driving modes but they were all a bit rough.  Unfortunately at this time of year NL roads are full of potholes and bumps, I'm sure with a normal road it wouldn't be quite so bumpy.

The car handled wonderfully and had tons of power.  If I'm looking to lease I can get into this for less than $700 / month while a similar Mercedes is about $900 and BMW $1,000.