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Old 12th April 2010, 17:46   #1
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Default Driven : Mercedes S350 CDI

In continuation with my TD of the E350CDi, link:http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/1828202-post163.html

I spent a perfect sunday morning, spent two hours with the facelifted s350cdi

Here are my observations

Likes:

- It looks stunning, maybe not as out-there and sporty as the new 7 but the facelifted S defiantly looks a lot more modern with all the LED treatment. Elegant is the word!

- Impeachable quality right from the plastics, wood trim,leather,switches,etc It does genuinely feel super expensive(which it is, 80 lakhs ex-thane !)

- Seat massager

- LED ambient lighting running across the dash is color changeable:blue,white,deep yellow

- Splits view, its simply fascinating and very useful too, works very well.

- Ride quality is unmatched from the way it shoots to the way it eats up potholes. I drove around all the roads I drive on everyday and realized the difference between the rest of my cars and this one.

- This might come as a surprise to some but I found this car more fun to drive than the E350CDi that has a lot more power and lesser weight. This was defiantly not as fun to drive as my 525d but then again I wasn't really comparing the two. When I drove the E350CDi, I was constantly comparing it to the 525d as they were rivals, i expected the E to be a more explosive. But with the S, I did not want it to be as explosive as the 5, I wanted it to get my grin on but not pin me down like the BMW. The sports mode made all the difference here.

- Paddle shifters worked well in full manual setting

- Well balanced steering

- Automatic side window curtain

Dislikes:

- Equipment level was good but not as good as the 7. I am not sure what all the 7 offers as standard equipment, but this certainly didn't feel thaat gizmo loaded.

- I expressed some displeasure about the park assist in my E350CDi TD report. This time I was convinced it's useless ! Even though the S has a more advanced system such as alignment of the steering etc. I kept feeling the car was not sensing it right and warned the sales chap that it will hit the kerb, he insisted I trust the system, at the end of it all I did hit the kerb !!

- The fridge takes up a lot of space from the boot

- Legroom at the rear is very good but yet not at par with the new 7

- Company yet doesn't offer a BSI type plan, you can get one from the dealer with several conditions applied for 3 years/30,000kms for 1.5 lakhs.

- Grip levels could be better, traction control does kick in too often

- Car was only 2500kms driven and I could see some black sooth on the bumper as the exhaust is integrated.

- Engine was not as silent as the E350CDi on the outside

Here are the pics of the rear and my father happily playing around with the controls at the back.
Attached Thumbnails
Driven : Mercedes S350 CDI-img00109201004111311.jpg  

Driven : Mercedes S350 CDI-img00110201004111312.jpg  

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Old 13th April 2010, 12:49   #2
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Neat quick drive report, Sahil. I've moved your post to a dedicated thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
It looks stunning, maybe not as out-there and sporty as the new 7 but the facelifted S defiantly looks a lot more modern with all the LED treatment. Elegant is the word!
She's got presence alright, yet too quirky for my tastes. The 7...I love.

Quote:
- Impeachable quality right from the plastics, wood trim,leather,switches,etc It does genuinely feel super expensive(which it is, 80 lakhs ex-thane !)
True. Even the new E has astounding interior quality.

Quote:
Ride quality is unmatched from the way it shoots to the way it eats up potholes. I drove around all the roads I drive on everyday and realized the difference between the rest of my cars and this one.
A hallmark of the S-Class, right through each generation ever built. This is the S-Class' key advantage over chief competitor the 7 Series. The 7 is surprisingly firm and road undulations filter through, even at urban speeds!

Quote:
Equipment level was good but not as good as the 7. I am not sure what all the 7 offers as standard equipment, but this certainly didn't feel thaat gizmo loaded.
With the Germans, all the better I guess. The more the gizmos, the lesser the reliability. The S & the new & have their share of complaints rolling in.

Quote:
I kept feeling the car was not sensing it right and warned the sales chap that it will hit the kerb, he insisted I trust the system, at the end of it all I did hit the kerb !!


Quote:
The fridge takes up a lot of space from the boot
You can say that again! The boot size is surprisingly conservative (560 liters). And with that fridge in place, the humble Dzire gives you more usable space.

Quote:
Company yet doesn't offer a BSI type plan, you can get one from the dealer with several conditions applied for 3 years/30,000kms for 1.5 lakhs.
The biggest - I repeat, the BIGGEST - disadvantage of the S Class. Quite nothing like buying a 7 and not worrying about maintenance / repairs for 5 years!!

Quote:
Grip levels could be better, traction control does kick in too often
Case with every Mercedes. Their traction control systems are overtly cautious & kick in way too early.

Last edited by GTO : 13th April 2010 at 12:50.
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Old 13th April 2010, 19:21   #3
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Quote:
The fridge takes up a lot of space from the boot
Quote:
You can say that again!
You want it again? Ok, The fridge takes up a lot of space from the boot Just kidding!

On a serious bit, I want to know where the A8 stands? I saw one at Fort the other day and it looked fab. You can easily classify between the 3, 5 and 7 in Bimmer just by looking. But Mercs are carrying the same looks over and over again. Also, is that an antenna on the roof? I think that most of them give printed antennas.
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Old 13th April 2010, 19:45   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prateekm View Post

On a serious bit, I want to know where the A8 stands? I saw one at Fort the other day and it looked fab. You can easily classify between the 3, 5 and 7 in Bimmer just by looking. But Mercs are carrying the same looks over and over again. Also, is that an antenna on the roof? I think that most of them give printed antennas.
Is the new A8 here in India or is it yet to be launched? I'm talking about what Wikipedia calls the Type4H or something...
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Old 13th April 2010, 21:47   #5
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The new A8 is yet to be launched.

When I was down for a break in December, I went and sat in the Audi and the S Class, and boy was I impressed.
I also happened to sit in an C Class.
Here is what I felt:
- Firstly, the prices for these cars are outrageous! Nearly Rs. 1Cr OTR (with these numbers, a lakh or two here or there seems like change!) for the base models of the 7 series and S Class! If I were to buy one of these, they would definitely be used, and for around 60-70L. Not a penny more! However, the feeling when you buy a new one is definitely priceless.
- When one sits inside, you know why these cars cost so much. The interior space feels almost twice that of the E Class, to the extent where it feels cramped!
However, apart from the space, there are really no other features which would account for the other 50L. You get a self adapting suspension maybe, a couple of tv screens and a DVD player, and a huge sunroof. What other features are there which you would use daily? Most business execs sitting in the back seat won't ever touch the sunroof, and would be happy with power windows, A.C. controls, a music system, and massager seats. But what else?
The A8 at around 80L feels so much better VFM, with similar features, a very simple classic design, and high quality interiors and high levels of customization. I saw the display A8 in dark blue, with tan (not beige) leather. Looked and felt fabulous! My choice if Audi improves their service and gets a BSI plan.
- One more point, the customer service in all of these cases is superb! The way I was treated at all these dealerships was amazing, even though they know I am not interested in buying the car.

BTW, the BMW parkatronic is really useful and accurate.

Also,
if one buys a used BMW, can we still opt for the BMW service and insurance packages?

Last edited by lamborghini : 13th April 2010 at 21:49.
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Old 14th April 2010, 16:08   #6
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Lambo- The A8 is great VFM no doubt. But it just doesn't have the presence of the Merc & BMW, even if it did have the presence the snob value of Audi isn't up to the mark.

Customers buying these cars don't care about the snob value. Hence it's no surprise that most people I know that have an A8 already have a S or 7 or both. Thus a person spending close to 1cr on a car doesn't really consider the A8 as his first option.
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Old 15th April 2010, 10:52   #7
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Sahil: Quickie with a Merc on a a lazy Sunday morning =

Having sat in a 7 before, no other seat seems comfortable since. You never commented on the engine and performance in a straight line. Like a regular Jeeves does it cosset you or is there any trace of Sport in sport mode?
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Old 15th April 2010, 12:10   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitronium View Post
Sahil: Quickie with a Merc on a a lazy Sunday morning =

Having sat in a 7 before, no other seat seems comfortable since. You never commented on the engine and performance in a straight line. Like a regular Jeeves does it cosset you or is there any trace of Sport in sport mode?
The straight line performance is excellent. Like I said, I did find it more fun to drive than the E350CDi. The sports mode does work well, the gear changes are quicker, holds the rpm higher and suspension firms up.


I'm hoping to sit in a new 7 with a good pair of comfort oriented tyres instead of the RFTs. Maybe then the comfort and road noise levels will be at par with the S?
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Old 15th April 2010, 13:35   #9
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Sahil

I would like to compliment your review as concise yet comprehensive.

No offences meant, but you have been comparing the E class to the 7 series. Both are in different categories. Since you own BMW 5 series, you could have compared the same here. This is my only complaint.


Reagrds

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Old 15th April 2010, 14:00   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CARDEEP View Post
No offences meant, but you have been comparing the E class to the 7 series. Both are in different categories. Since you own BMW 5 series, you could have compared the same here. This is my only complaint.
Kindly read Sahil's post again. This is a review of an S Class.
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Old 15th April 2010, 14:16   #11
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The S Class is the pinnacle and with it you are not only buying the car but also Mercedes's legacy of building the best car in the world. It has moved more business leaders and heads of state than any other sedan in the world.

7 Series to me is a bit too brash for the intended application, S-Class is more regal, less vulgur and very classy. The S anyday for me.
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Old 15th April 2010, 14:42   #12
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good review, how about that fridge ? Where is it and how does it work when the car is not in use (running).

And yes, if you have some more pictures, kindly share them in. Have seen them running just by my side several times on the Gurgaon Expressway.
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Old 15th April 2010, 15:27   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanwaramit View Post
good review, how about that fridge ? Where is it and how does it work when the car is not in use (running).

And yes, if you have some more pictures, kindly share them in. Have seen them running just by my side several times on the Gurgaon Expressway.
Sorry, got no more pics. The fridge opens up behind the rear arm rest. I am not sure if it runs when the car is off. Its not your usual "chill box" that most cars have where a small AC vent is let out into a small box. This one has it's own compressor and cools far more than what the AC can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CARDEEP View Post
Sahil

I would like to compliment your review as concise yet comprehensive.

No offences meant, but you have been comparing the E class to the 7 series. Both are in different categories. Since you own BMW 5 series, you could have compared the same here. This is my only complaint.


Reagrds

Pradeep
Read my review again and you will have no complaint
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Old 15th April 2010, 16:04   #14
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The S is my absolute favorite car(at least sub 1 Cr) followed by the LS and then comes the 7.
To Me For the Price you are paying all you really care about is Getting from Point A to Point B in Style and Being suave at the same time.
The Beemer although a fantastic buy does not ring my bells.
I have Had the Pleasure of Driving one of These Babies for a 100+ Kms and i found the Handling pretty darn good not that i did corners at 120kmph or anything but had the sturdy solid feel associated with all Mercs plus the Pickup and overtaking ability on the v8 was Orgasmic. This car has sufficient(i must say excellent) feedback and grip etc needed to drive. The Beemers Handling can only be a plus point around the track other wise i dont see much use for it(unless your chauffeur wants to have the time of life after dropping you to the airport)
and another 500+ kms of being chauffeured in one of these (S500). I must say i have never slept like a baby in a car before(after i got bored with all the Gizmos in the car)


P.S
Decent Review ,needed more pics. But Somehow i felt the reviewer was a bit inclined towards Beemers more than the 3 Pointed star.

Last edited by vinaydas : 15th April 2010 at 16:07.
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Old 15th April 2010, 16:19   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinaydas View Post
Decent Review ,needed more pics. But Somehow i felt the reviewer was a bit inclined towards Beemers more than the 3 Pointed star.
I leave the detailed review for GTO and the likes. This was just a casual post not aimed at being a detailed test of any sort.

About me being inclined to beemers, well if you ask me in the segment below yes I am more inclinded to them as I own two 5 series, it is pretty evident that I will be biased for worthy reasons. BUT when it comes to the flagship product, I have always had a soft spot for the S compared to the 7, inspite of my dismay over MB after sales experience/reliability.
I have only sat in the new 7 during their launch party. I loved the back seat so much that I actually sat inside with my dinner and drinks The BMWs have always performed better than the equivalent Merc but they had an edge with their interiors. This time BMW has even beaten the Merc on the interior front. I haven't even driven the new 7 yet and I don't want to either because once I do, i'll be sold ! New 7 = Merc like interiors + BMW performance = Perfect combo !!

Last edited by Sahil : 15th April 2010 at 16:20.
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