Automatics are really such an American thing - to the point that it's really hard to find automatics in Europe. I was in Belgium for a wedding two weeks ago, and me and my friends needed a way to get down to the wedding site (~2 hours south). So I rented an automatic from Sixt. 

The day I went to pick up the car, the Sixt people told me that two of their automatics had been wrecked in the last week and they had a shortage of automatics. After ensuring I could absolutely not drive a stick, they tried to stick me with a BMW cabriolet. Unfortunately, that was a two-seater, which made it pretty impractical since I had to get 4 people to the wedding site. 

The agent went into the back, and after about 10 minutes she came back and said they would give me their top of the line car at no extra charge (yay!). At that point, I thought they were just saying that to make it seem like I got a great deal. I figured at best they bumped me up to the next level. 

Hoo boy. I went down and picked up a Mercedes Benz E220 CDI - convertible. Kind of impractical in a cold weather city, but whatever. I had 4 seats to take people, and that's all I cared about. 

So here's my review of the car. WOW, it's nice. BUT, here are my thoughts:

  • The engine isn't as peppy as I expected. I dropped it into sports mode, and it still had trouble with pick-up. The acceleration was incredibly smooth - it was impossible to feel the gears shifting. I floored it on the freeway and it just smoothly went up. I'm too used to my car, which is incredibly peppy - you floor my car, and you'll feel it. Not so much with the MB E220 (which can be a good thing)... but just not what I expected 
  • BOY are there a ton of features. It took me about 20 minutes to figure out what all the buttons on the car did. Way too complicated for me. I've always hated on BMWs (and Jettas to a certain degree) cause they are so blah inside, but MB goes overboard with the classy buttons. I could seriously see tons of people driving this car without knowing what half of the features do. That's why I'm an Audi boy!
  • It drives smoother than any car I've ever driven. You could barely feel the drive on the way down - by comparison, my car's sport suspension makes you feel 
  • I was too lazy to do the math, but this thing must get some amazing mileage. I drove it about 450km, and it only used half a tank (diesel cost was about 65€). 
  • The engine would idle if you stopped it - almost as if it stalled out. A very odd feeling to hear the car go completely silent when you're stopped, but maybe that's how it squeezed the mileage. 
  • Driving with the top down in Belgium on the nice wedding day = priceless
  • The Bluetooth feature was awesome - once I had it paired to my phone, it turned on and off my music whenever I entered/exited the car. Of course, this led to a few embarassing moments when the last song I listened to (K-Ci & Jojo) came on in a car full of people. 

All in all, MB is definitey the highest class car out there. It definitely felt like a luxury car, but I'm not sure I'd own it - the interior is really nice and the car drives nice, but it's just too complicated. I also was a little annoyed that the rearview mirror didn't rotate all the way - I think the Bluetooth unit prevented it from really rotating very much. 

On the day we were supposed to return the car, we were running late. I checked to see what it would cost to extend the reservation. €250/day. Forget THAT - we raced back to drop it off - 10 minutes before it was due :)

Note: Based on research, this was about a $80,000 car we drove around for the weekend. NICE! 

Posted by roy on October 8, 2012 at 04:25 PM in Ramblings | Add a comment

Related Entries

Want to comment with Tabulas?. Please login.