Tag Archives: Audi A4

2022 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4Matic Sedan

Restyled and sporty C class may again spur sedan sales …

The compact C Class sedan has been a hot seller for Mercedes-Benz for years, but its popularity has waned like yesterday’s boy band the last couple years and one has to wonder how much of that is because it hadn’t been redesigned in seven years.

That and the fact crossovers and SUVs are eating all sedans lunch these days in the U.S. market where bigger is always better.

Well, Mercedes will get its answer soon enough as it launched a restyled C Class for 2022. It’s sporty and touts an interior that you’ll either love, or strongly dislike. Hate is such a loaded word.

My tester was a black C 300 4Matic sedan, but be aware a coupe and convertible also are available, yet look more like the previous generation C Class as they have yet to be restyled.

Mercedes stretched the car two inches and lengthened its wheelbase an inch while widening it just a bit. The philosophy is old-school, longer, wider, lower. That formula has worked for various brands through the years.

I enjoyed how the C 300 drives. Its 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged I4 is perky with just slight turbo lag, even in Sport and Sport+ drive modes. This is no dragster, but there’s some kick and the engine sounds throaty and fun at high revs, albeit a bit tinny at idle.

Pressing the 255-horse turbo and Mercedes’ 9-speed automatic into service on the freeway was both smooth and speedy. The German automaker claims a 0-60 mph time of 5.9 seconds and the C quickly galloped to 90 mph on a highway entry ramp, with more power still available. The C 300 can be pushed a bit and easily slips in and out of freeway traffic.

Plus the four-link front suspension and multi-link rear are finely tuned for crumbling Midwest roads so that even on the crumbliest of streets the ride was pleasant and well controlled. If only more crossovers and SUVs were this competent.

View Mark’s video: 2022 Mercedes Benz C 300 4Matic Sedan review by Mark Savage and Paul Daniel – YouTube

Handling is lightly weighted and nicely sharp if not sports sedan precise. This doesn’t feel like a BMW because it’s a Mercedes, so leans more toward luxury. Press the Dynamic button on the center stack’s base and either Sport or Sport+ mode will significantly firm steering effort, but never to a tiresome level. To me, Sport seems the best mode as it quickens acceleration, while firming the steering enough to feel more, well, sporty.

Add in the 4Matic AWD system and the 19-inch tires for excellent grip. We had some snow and sleet to contend with during my test. The car handles tight twisties well even with slop under its treads.

Note that the test car added the 19-inch tires and fancy blacked out spoked AMG style wheels. Those wheels add just $600 to the bottom line, quite reasonable for a spiffed look. But beware, there are viele extras here that push the C 300 to near upper-level luxury pricing.

Speaking of which, before we get to the spiffy interior, Mercedes has priced the C 300 at $46,600 for the 4Matic model, while a rear-driver starts at $44,600, so a $2 grand premium for AWD. At that price the car is at the upper edge of low-end luxury models. For instance, a Genesis G70, a lovely car, starts at about $39,000.

But Mercedes likes to sell its vehicles with ala carte options and the test car’s 16 add-ons could make one woozy. They propelled this one to $60,870. Ach du lieber! Choices are plentiful between the base and $60+ grand, including Volvo’s S60, BMW’s 3 Series, the Audi A4, Cadillac CT5 and Lexus IS.

Pricing be damned though if you love this interior.

The layout is bold and brassy and ladles on the digital finery with the best of them. But the impressive (or some say no) look starts with a $1,620 black and red leather package. Seats and doors reflect both colors and then there’s the glammy spray of metal-weave trim across the dash’s face and on the expansive center console. Other trim, such as door armrests and five oval-shaped air ducts is a satin chrome. Add in stylish aluminum speaker covers in the doors and the interior sparkles like a jeweled timepiece.

I like the two-tone look, although some may think it comes on too strong like a guy wearing an overabundance of Versace cologne. But compared with Mercedes’ all-black interiors of the past this is a breath of fresh air. Tan and cream would look smart too, but be less dramatic.

Beyond looks Mercedes updates the digital screens, a 12+ inch display for the driver’s instruments and separate nearly 12-inch info touchscreen angled toward the driver at mid center stack. They are high-def and the driver’s can be adjusted to reflect the dial structure and colors a person desires, including one allowing the nav map to appear mid-gauges. I like digitals, but sometimes there are too many choices and many look pretty flat.

The touchscreen was easy enough to use, but there are haptic touchable controls, so you swipe a button on the steering wheel to boost radio sound, or lower it. Also one can swipe a finger along the trough in the roof control panel to open or shut the dual panoramic sun roofs ($1,000 extra). That one was OK, but adjusting the radio sound took a lot of tiny swipes to reach a proper sound level. Dials my friends, dials work.

Rear seat passengers also were concerned that their sunroof shade closed in synch with the front roof’s. They wanted a separate control so they could leave theirs open when the driver had closed the main roof’s shade.

I can’t say enough good things about the power heated seats and their supportive side and back bolsters. Wow, these were terrific, just a scrunch less snug than Aunt Hilda’s hug at the holidays.

There are three memory settings along with power seat controls on the door panels, but I found them a bit clunky to operate, sometimes not responding with the angle I was hoping to adjust. Again, simplicity may be a better solution. Good news though, the heated seat button is on the door and is simple to push. It also turns on the heated steering wheel ($250 extra), a must in our climate. Oddly no cooled seats in this luxury sedan.

Rear seats are comfy enough, but headroom is a bit tight for taller riders. Still, we got three adults in the back seat and only the middle rider complained of the big transmission hump at the floor’s center.

No one complained about noise inside the Benz, thanks to acoustic glass, a $150 option. This interior is quiet enough for easy conversation, even at highway speeds.

Cargo room is good too as the Benz has a deep trunk (with a power lid). I think it’ll hold more than the 12.6 cubic foot rating Mercedes places on it. Below the floor is a lot of hidden cargo space too, something you won’t find in any hybrid or electric sedans. Speaking of which, neither is available in the C Series yet, although there’s a mild hybrid system here like some other akes are using.

The hybrid battery smooths the Stop/Start function, plus the electric motor between the engine and transmission (Integral Starter Generator in Mercedes terms), allows the sedan to cruise without using gas at highway speeds. That extends gas mileage. The EPA rates this at 33 mpg highway and 23 city. I managed 26.0 in a fairly even mix and the C 300 prefers premium petrol.

A few other points to ponder, Mercedes adds a wireless charger, but it costs $200 extra and it’s tucked deep inside the center console, so not easy to see or simply use. Good news though, the car warns you if you’ve left your phone once the ignition is turned off.

I also confused the gear shift stalk on the steering column’s right (very old school) with a wiper stalk. That’s on the left combined with the light function. Took a few days to remember not to tap the gear shift when I wanted to clear the windshield though.

Maybe I should have first used the Ask Mercedes (like Siri) function. It talks to you whenever you want. Just ask it questions although it often says it can’t help. You can, however, tell it to do things like adjust the heat, radio, and maybe I could have sought wiper assistance.

Standard safety equipment here is a bit slim too, including blind-spot assist, attention assist (kept saying the camera wasn’t working), and a rearview camera (standard on all vehicles now). But much of the rest is included in two pricey packages. The driver assistance option costing $1,950 includes active assists for distance, steering, lane change, lane keeping, evasive steering, emergency stop, speed limit and cross-traffic, along with route-based speed adaptation. Similar items are often standard on even lower cost vehicles. I’m thinking Toyota, Honda and Hyundai/Kia.

Another $950 package adds parking pilot with a cool surround view camera and the Parktronic parking sensor system.

A Burmester surround sound system adds $650, which as these things go isn’t a bad price. Cost for premium sound in other makes can run up to $3,500 extra.

Finally a $3,050 AMG Line with Night package adds blacked out body trim, sport pedals, fake leather dash, but also tunes the suspension and steering to contribute to this model’s sporty feel. The package also drills holes in the disc brakes for faster cooling in case you’ll be racing on weekends. Likewise it also adds a lower nose splitter and rear diffuser.

All those add-ons are nice, but sadly they pushed the C 300 to beyond $60 grand. If you can keep this shy of $50,000 it’s in the correct pricing segment for entry-level luxury.

FAST STATS: 2022 Mercedes Benz C 300 4Matic Sedan

Hits: Sporty feel, quiet and gorgeous interior, composed ride and AWD grip. Panoramic sunroofs, heated seats and wheel, cool dash with large info screen, wireless charger, super comfy supportive seats, power trunk lid and multiple drive modes.

Misses: Cost, haptic touch controls and touchscreen do not respond to a gloved hand, wireless charger awkward to access, no cooled seats, seat controls a bit funky to adjust, no separate control for rear sunroof, shifter stalk can be confused for a wiper adjustment initially.

Made in: Bremen, Germany, & South Africa

Engine: 2.0-liter turbo I4, 255 hp/295 torque

Transmission: 9speed automatic

Weight: 4,044 lbs.*

Wheelbase: 112.8 in.

Length: 187 in.

Cargo: 12.6 cu.ft.

MPG: 23/33

MPG (tested): 26.0

Base Price: $46,600 (includes delivery)

Invoice: N.A.

Major Options:

AMG Power Red/Black leather interior, $1,620

19-inch AMG multi-spoke wheels w/black accents, $600

Illuminated door sills, $150

Panoramic roof, $1000

Heated steering wheel, $250

Satellite radio w/free trial, $350

Advanced USB package, $300

Acoustic glass, $150

Enhanced ambient lighting, $250

Inductive wireless charging, $200

Digital lighting pkg. (projection headlights), $1,100

Multimedia pkg. (nav., augmented video for nav., head-up display), $1,700

Sound pkg. (Burmester 3D surround sound, online music streaming, Sounds personalization), $650

AMG Line w/Night pkg. (AMG body styling, brushed alum. sport pedals, MB-Tex dash, AMG floormats, sport suspension, sport steering, perforated front disc brakes w/MB calipers, high-gloss black elements including front splitter, grille trim, rear diffuser, side mirrors & window trim), $3,050

Driver assistance pkg. (active assists of distance, steering, lane change, lane keeping, evasive steering, emergency stop, speed limit and cross-traffic + route-based speed adaptation), $1,950

DA3 pkg. (parking pilot w/surround view, Parktronic w/active park assist surround view system), $950

Test vehicle: $60,870

Sources: Mercedes-Benz, www.kbb.com

Photos: Mark Savage

*Car and Driver

#Mercedes-Benz

2020 Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Sport

Genesis new small sport sedan a high-value speedster …

Occasionally I get to test drive a new model twice within a year or 18 months because the car makers fill their fleets with their newest models. The hope, of course, is that us auto writers will drive, and write about, said new wheels, and sales will blossom.

Hard for much to blossom in Wisconsin in winter, but the Genesis G70, launched early last year, is a rose among thorns when it comes to pricing and value in the luxury sport sedan market. As I said in my earlier review, Japanese and European luxury sport sedan makers better beware. Continue reading 2020 Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Sport

2019 Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Prestige

New G70 luxury sport sedan

delivers kick-butt performance,  value …

Hyundai cranks up the heat on Japanese and European luxury sport sedan makers with its new “entry level” Genesis G70. It’s long on performance and luxury, but modestly short on price.

OK, the tested pearly “Casablanca White” AWD 3.3T model equipped with Prestige and Elite packages, logs in at $50,995. A bit beyond many pocketbooks, but compare that with BMW’s 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz’s C Class, Audi’s A4 or a Lexus IS and you’ll think you’ve stumbled on a bargain that will allow you to leave some additional coin in your 401(k). Continue reading 2019 Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T Prestige

2017 Jaguar XE 35t Prestige

Jaguar XE stands out in all its models …2017 Jaguar XE

If looks are important to you, styling that will get you noticed or at least be recognized as a non-generic luxury car, then Jaguar’s new entry-level luxury sedan, the XE, should have your name printed on its title.

The new small Jag has dashing looks that communicate immediately that it’s a Jaguar. Oh there’s the leaping animal’s silhouette on the trunk lid and steering wheel, but it’s the car’s lean looks, long hood and big chrome grille that tell folks this is a Jaguar.

That’s all well and good, plus Jaguar offers nearly as many model choices as do the domestic pickups. The XE comes in 19 models, all the way from a rear-drive 25T model to a 35T First Edition with all-wheel drive. The vast numbers come from all trim levels coming in either rear- or all-wheel-drive and offering three engine choices.2017 Jaguar XE

The base model in each trim, including Premium, Prestige and R-Sport, is the 25T with a 2.0-liter, I4 turbo generating 240 horsepower and 251 lb.-ft. of torque. A 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo diesel also is available. It cranks 180 horsepower but features a tremendous 318 torque rating. The tested supercharged 3.0-liter V6 delivers a healthy 340 horsepower and 332 lb.-ft. of torque.

Confused? Well, there also are a couple First Edition models, but we’ll let the dealers explain all that to you.

For now, let’s focus on the pretty white test car, the XE 35t Prestige. Its targets include the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes E Class, Audi A4 and possibly the Lexus IS. Each has their advantages, and the Jaguar’s is its looks. Continue reading 2017 Jaguar XE 35t Prestige

Promo Model: ’64 Classic 770 Cross Country Wagon

1964-Rambler-Classic-Cross-Country, AMC wagons, american motors, AMC, SavageOnWheels.com
Photo courtesy: AutoWeek

Like any car guy I subscribe to a lot of newsletters. I like to keep up on what’s new, what’s cool, what’s fast:), and collector cars, mostly from the the 60’s and 70’s. This week I received my AutoWeek newsletter, parused it, and low and behold came across this car. Now of course being an AMC geek I took a closer look at the ’64 Classic 770 Cross Country wagon. Since it usually was cash-strapped, AMC knew the could not go head to head with GM, Ford, and Chrysler so they found a segment the Big Three weren’t in. BTW, did you know that in 1962, Rambler was N0. 1 in station wagon sales?

This ’64 was built on the new Classic, which debuted in 1963, and was named the Motor Trend Car of The Year. The new Classic/Ambassador series was the third all-new Rambler and the second of true midsize proportions.  AMC stretched the standard wheelbase from 108 inches to 112 inches, while reducing overall length by almost an inch making for a lower, more modern profile. The wagon accounted for 34 percent of Classic sales. As a point of reference, the Audi A4 rides on a 110 wheelbase while the Cadillac CTS rides on 113 inch wheelbases.

1964 Rambler Classic Cross County Wagon, AMC, AMC station wagons, American Motors, SavageOnWheels.com
’64 ad from my collection

Like a lot of AMC cars it featured lots of innovations such as curved side glass, an industry first for any car outside the luxury class which contributed to a sophisticated look that was supposed to last a decade. “Uniside” construction, which reduced body stampings by 30 percent. Door openings were welded from two stampings rather than 52. All of this reduced the weight as much as 150 pounds for some models. Dual-circuit brakes, soon required on all cars, were carried over from ’62. In my research for this article, besides the ad on the left, I was able to find a radio spot done by Phyllis Diller. She sounds so young.

In the AutoWeek article by John F. Katz on 10/08/2012, he says the example above belongs to Bruce Ritchie, the second owner, “despite 72,000 original miles, seems to have time-warped directly from the Atlantic City showroom where it was sold brand-new. Look past the rocket-age instrument panel, and you see an interior that’s well-appointed and more upmarket in appearance than almost any contemporary midsize car. The seats are flat and soft, and the steering wheel large and close, but those quirks belong as much to the time as to this particular vehicle. The 196-cid, 127-hp overhead-valve six idles in silence and accelerates with a happy thrum. The steering is predictably linear, while the soft all-coil suspension convincingly replicates the ride (and body roll) of a much larger car. But that was precisely the Rambler’s appeal: big-car comfort and style at 23 mpg.” according to Katz.

While this is not a hot collectible, it is affordable. The car’s original list price was $3,233 and examples like this will go for around $7,900. Best of all, parts are available, and all one has to do is join one of the collector clubs, like the American Motors Owners Association, to find out where they are.

promo models, dealer promotional model cars, 1964 Rambler Cross County wagon, American Motors, AMC, SavageOnWheels.compromo models, dealer promotional model cars, 1964 Rambler Cross County wagon, American Motors, AMC, SavageOnWheels.comSo here’s my promo model, a two-tone, white over maroon. I’ve had this car for a very long time as you can see by the dust on it. I’m not sure if it was one my dad brought home when he worked at AMC or I bought it at a swap. I do remember seeing these at swap meets. Examples of good ones like mine go for around $50. I was only able to see one on eBay and the current bid was around $35. I did see a ’63 Classic Sedan with a current bid of $90. I have one of them too. A few years back, my dad and I were at the American Motors Owners Association event in Kenosha, where most of the AMC’s were built, and there were some vendors selling the promo models. I was talking to a couple of guys, one who was into collecting promo models year by year and all the colors they came in while the other was collecting just the wagons which I have. Thinking back now to when I was kid, dad brought some many promo models home, many free while some others he paid 2 bucks for, 2 bucks! Quite a few of those were either burned or blown up in my driveway.