Last post on Jul 24, 2012 at 10:07 AM
You are in the Mercedes-Benz SL/SLK-Class
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, Convertible
#41 of 786 Sorry I'm about 20 entries late.....
Mar 08, 2002 (4:43 pm)
This is what I was saying. The current generation CLK was the Benz response to the original Lexus SC. All I'm saing is that Mercedes introduced the car 5 YEARS after the Lexus, and it STILL was a weaker car as far as luxury, design and styling, while exceeding it in safety features and only matching it in performance. The current CLK doesn't move me AT ALL, and the 2003 CLK only refines a mediocre package, stylistically........ I just got the new C&D and the CLK's victory only reinforces the missions of the two automakers. The new SC was NOT designed to be a sports car. It was spearheaded by the same man in charge of the class-leading GS430, so Lexus could have (I say should have) made it more of a split personality than it is. The car is a poseur, but the most beautiful poseur on the road today, with style even the new SL can't touch, and a few luxury touches the SL can't figure out either. Lexus should have made 30% of the SC's a "Sport" calibration. The SL is a slightly better car, but NO car is worth $90k. I would get the SC and "fix" the suspension so it puts those 18's to proper use, and save $20k. I still think the SC is the better looking of the two, and the CLK cabrio has NO STYLE in comparison......
Mar 08, 2002 (5:37 pm)
I think more people are turned off by the SC430 styling that the any Benz you can name. Perhaps the SC430 is bolder, but either you like it or hate it. Most people, if not in love with Benz styling, will not be bothered by it. Benz hasn't made an ugly car in 35 years, but they have made some that are hardly stylish as we use the term today.
Most conservative companies, like Benz, do not take huge styling risks. They really don't have to. They keep pushing the envelope, but slowly, making sure there is plenty of continuity between old models and new.
So my point is don't confuse conservative styling as being "behind the times" technologically. Mercedes is definitely not like Harley Davidson, another very conservative company (ironically). There is a complete rationale behind the CLK, and the SL and all the other models, in terms of corporate heritage and goals. If looks like a Benz and performs like one, Mercedes has met their goal.
And the SL 500 certainly looks like an SL, there's no mistaking it. The SC430 looks like an Audi, not like a Lexus. Maybe that's okay, if that's what Lexus intended. :You can't sell cars only on quality. If that was all it took, I can think of about 10 prosperous makes that would be out of bsuiness right now.
#43 of 786 toyotas1
Mar 09, 2002 (12:09 am)
Style is of course your opinion, though it's not shared in the least. What other car in it's 5th year is still a hard to get item? It certainly wasn't the previous SC300/400 from Lexus. It most likely won't be the current SC430 either. The CLK has been a consistant hit ever since 1998. Period. After 1995 Lexus couldn't give away SC300/400s. The CLK has the weaker design? What in the world are you talking about? The CLK has rollover protection and a more rigid chassis, two essential things in a convertible. I believe it's the other way around, the SC430 comes off as the non impressive one, loosing to a car that has been around in it's basic from since 1998. In reguards to the new SL, you're dreaming even higher now. The SL is easily one of the best looking Mercedes' ever, and better looking than any Lexus will probably ever be. But this is a matter of opinion, but you'll find more that like the SL over the SC, guaranteed. Please tell me what these "luxury touches" are that the Benz can't touch on the SC430, I'm dying to hear. Don't tell me a thing about a nav system or cd player placement. Cause if that's all the Lexus sells on those items can be had in a cars for half as much.
#44 of 786 Yeah, let's START with the NAV and CD player!
Mar 09, 2002 (8:29 am)
Where does Benz get off NOT offering in dash changers and DVD NAV? Where is the extra $5-10k premium going, anyway? I'd give some of the over-the-top safety systems back for a more functional car with more useful features. When I look at a $60-80k car, I don't want to see ANYTHING that REEKS of cost-cutting, period!!! Do you disagree? To Mr. Shiftright, Lexus being only 12 years old, still has the right (cajones?) to build bold new designs! 5 years ago, everyone said Lexus only builds boring appliances. Now they build sexy convertibles, and here come the critics defending Benz conservative style. Those who can, do. Those who can't......don't........ THe Benz SL is a better car (I don't know about $25k better!), and the Lexus is sexier. That's my opinion. Lexus is building all the SC's they can to meet demand, but if they don't offer a sportier version with better seats/suspension settings, demand will wane in 2 years.........and Merc, all I'm saying is the current CLK took advantage of a market that wanted the latest safety features (ASR, side airbags, VDC, a convertible option) that the Lexus didn't offer, and a large customer base of Benz owners looking for ANYTHING new in 96. The design is nothing special, and the performance was competitive, but a new flavor of the month, combined with fewer competitors, gave the Benz the market by default. Lexus abandoned the SC after 7 years to work on the new SC. The current CLK in no big deal...... All I'm saying is for the dollars Benz wants, I want a sexy, awe-inspiring car with all the features (safety AND luxury), the softest leathers, the most convenience, the best powertrain, and great drivng dynamics. Lexus left out the last part. The Benz CLk leaves out some things (beauty, convenience, interior luxury compared to SC). Neither car is perfect, so don't break your fists pounding your chest...... I think the new SL is hot, but the gills on the hood and fenders are a poor attempt at style/retro, and the interior MUST have the latest convenience features for $85k+, this is 2003, and for that chunk of change, it BETTER be perfect. The perfect convertible STILL as not been made........
Mar 09, 2002 (8:41 am)
"The perfect convertible STILL as not been made........"
This I'll agree with. Lexus has awkward styling, the Germans are all afraid of CD players, and American offerings seem to lack the build quality. The perfect convertible hasn't been made yet. Maybe Acura or Infiniti can get it right. (In fact didn't Infiniti nearly hit a bullseye in the early 90s?)
In the meantime you have to admit, the SL500/SL55 is about as close as you can get to the perfect convertible.
#46 of 786 Toyotas1
Mar 09, 2002 (8:53 am)
Long as you yourself say the Benz is the better car the rest of your post is rendered pointless.
No convertible is perfect true, but Mercedes is the best there is at Luxury convertibles. Only Ferrari and Porsche build one any better.
Your theory about the CLK having the market to itself in 1998 is just an excuse, it isn't Mercedes' fault Lexus was late to the drop-top-luxury party. You can't be serious of blaming Mercedes for quote "taking advantage of the market".....hello(!)....that is the purpose of building and selling cars. The Japanese are masters of this, as well. If you're seriously stating that as a reason for the CLK's success, then you've lost all of what little credibility you had with me. And just an FYI the first CLK cabriolet didn't come out until 1999, that being the CLK320. The 430 Cabrio followed in 2000.
To top it all off now you're claiming that safety features aren't important??? Better leather, but no rollover protection?? Right?? Better Nav system, but no thorax airbags??? Lets have a creaky body, but a better sound system to drown out the cowl shake??
I've said this before and I'll say it again. CD players, Leather and Nav systems are not what a Benz make.
The SL's premium over the SC430 is clearly visible by glancing at the SL's equipment list. New generation technology costs money.
Try again, you're arguement is dust.
#47 of 786 sphinx99
Mar 09, 2002 (8:54 am)
Ah......the SL500/55 being as close to perfection as possible, you can see that too huh?
Mar 09, 2002 (9:53 am)
Of course I can, it looks like a great car.
Close to perfection != perfection though. I think some of toyotas1's comments are off base, however at this point I don't think there is any excuse for cars of this calibre to not have DVD nav systems or in-dash changers.
A SL55 with a slightly prettier front end & more up-to-date audio and nav would be the perfect convertible IMO. Which means that MB is really really close. Fix a couple of things and cut the price by about 80% so that I can afford it, and I'll be all over it.
Mar 09, 2002 (10:07 am)
If they cut the price by 80% you'll have to wait in line behind me! I agree, Mercedes needs to update a few minor things.
Mar 09, 2002 (10:36 am)
Once again, I think Mercedes suffers from not showing off enough. Much of the car's quality and uniqueness is not apparent. You really DO need to saw the car in half, and saw a Lexus in half, to see the difference. Or at least disassemble the cars down to bare bones. That's where the $25K is, and that's why my 1980 Benz look as good as the day it was built...or should I say over-built.
If you aren't interested in what you can't see, buy a Lexus. No argument from me. You can have a fancy CD player or you can have ASC, ESP, ASR and ABC from Mercedes.
If you want the most technologically advanced car in the world, there is no other choice at the moment.