I had made a few decisions in my life that I thought I would never break. But then I got married and I couldn't keep on to two of them. Want to know what they are and why I broke them?
1. I will never buy a diamond in my life, as they are real cheap stones that almost every country has in abundance the price of which is controlled and regulated by De Beers.
2. Mercedes Benz is a Mediocre Mass Produced Car.
Now why did I break them, just because of my love for my wife.
I bought a 2000 Mercedes Benz E320 for my wife for Christmas, she still doesn't know, its a surprise.
The model I purchased is not a 4matic. I didn't think we needed it, as we weren't planning to drive this car around too much during the wintertime. Before buying this car, I tried the Lexus GS 400, Cadillac ETC, BMW 540 and 740 iL. After a week, I decided on this.
When it comes to buying a safe car for your wife and for your kids, power is not the most important thing. For that reason, GS 400 was out. It had too much power to be safe for winter driving.
Cadillac had lots of room but may be too big a car for my wife who is pretty scared of big cars. Also the controls and dash inside was pretty cheesy.
BMW, hmm, it has always been my dream car, I might buy one for myself. Stiffer steering ? more road sensing it is a man's car. Period.
So why E320....
1. Enough Power, and more for safe driving.
2. Extremely comfortable driving. If you have a baby, it is so quite your baby will sleep peacefully.
3. Can have a baby seat in the front passenger side. A special baby seat disables the passenger side airbag.
4. If you have the baby in the back, the rear window automatic sunshade keeps the sun from the babies face. You can still drive, as it doesn't interfere with your rear view.
5. Very safe. About 8 air bags in all. They selective deploy when needed, in a very smart way. So don't think you are going to be chocked by 8 air bags in a crash. Depending on the severity, sometimes none may explode. 2 front, side impact for all four seats and air bags that deploy from the top of the windows for head protection as well as protection from fragmented glass. The car also provides knee protection in case of a crash. If the car senses an unusual braking as if you are about to crash, it automatically unlocks the doors. Locks all doors above 5 miles or so. Can't vouch for any of these safety features. Drive safe.
6. Great remote control. Can open the trunk, open/close windows sunroof, panic etc. Imagine walking out of the mall with your shopping bags and be able to pop the trunk with the remote. Remote control has an infrared and a radio transmitter. You cannot start the car without the infrared remote. So the chances are your car will be there when you come back from shopping with the engine still in it. :-)
7. One the road, as you all know, the more lights you have the more conspicuous you are to other drivers. There is a running light, for daytime driving. Lights come on automatically for night driving. Now for the sweet little part, integrated signal lights in driver passenger rear view mirrors. Have you ever tried to change lanes when some one is in your blind spot? May be if they knew you were changing lanes, they might let you in and brake and try to avoid a collision. These lights can be seen from the front and the back and doesn't interfere with the driver at all. A word for advice 'Always look over your shoulder'
8. Very nicely placed hazard light switch. Quickly reachable, big and always illuminated.
9. You can't move the stick left or right to quickly shift up or down, for example climbing a mountain.
10. Three memory settings, resets your seats, steering mirrors to your settings. So no more complaints about having to adjust the settings every time. This is a serious issue that takes 'your car my car' out of the equation.
11. Oh now, if any of you have the habit of using a cell phone while driving, just kidding, I know you are all safe drivers, there is an integrated voice activated cell phone build right into the steering column. Everything including your, radio station, phone book, CD tracks show up in your instrument cluster.
Now lets look at some things I didn't like.
1. The position of the cruise control switch. I have many times accidentally hit the switch right and left, accelerate set and decelerate set, while using my signal lights. A very bad place for a cruise control. Dangerous in my opinion. Also no indication when cruise control is on. There is nothing in the dash that tells you that you are in cruise control mode.
2. Didn't like the leather. Pretty cheesy for a Mercedes. My Nissan Pathfinder has better leather.
3. Windshield wipers, washers, lights, signal lights all in one switch, makes it confusing as hell for the first time user. But can master it in time.
4. Home link. The three buttons used to open your garage doors, or turn on your lights in the house etc. is built into the rear view mirror. What a horrible place to have it! Every time you use it you move your mirror and needs re adjusting. My pathfinder has it in the drivers visor a much better place for it. Apply all the pressure you want and nothing goes anywhere.
5. There is no indication on the dash whether one of your doors is open, whether you are wearing a seat belt or not, and whether you are driving in cruise control mode or not. This is silly a $15000 car has all this features.
6. My E320 came with a warped driver side mirror. A new mirror is being shipped from Germany to replace the old one.
I am out of words no more complaints.
So, if you are looking for a safe car for your family, here is your choice. I know Volvos are probably the best but they are ugly as hell.