Mercedes Benz Specials

01/30/08

Permalink 12:27:21 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 2937 words   English (US)

New 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster Low Prices In Stock Low Payments

2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster

New 2008 Mercedes SLR McLaren Roadster
Low Mercedes Prices Discount SLR Lease Payments 
All Colors Options Nationwide Delivery 

Build Your New 2008 Mercedes SLR McLaren Roadster

What do Paris Hilton and Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso have in common? Both have owned a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. Actually, Hilton handed hers back after a couple of "incidents." This joint patronage of the Mercedes flagship strikes at the paradox at the heart of the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster. For all Mercedes-Benz's talk of F1-derived technology, McLaren know-how and outrageous performance, the SLR has always been a different type of supercar than the Ferrari Enzo or Porsche Carrera GT. With its automatic transmission and all-around civility, the SLR has been perceived as a car for poseurs, not pole-sitters. The new SLR Roadster invites further comparison to celebrity jewelry, but there's talk of subtle improvements beneath the new canvas convertible top. An uprated carbon-fiber monocoque promises open-air speed without the dreaded shakes, and different dampers are meant to improve the car's occasionally wayward handling. Could it be that in its latest (and perhaps final) iteration, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster finally delivers a drive worthy of the McLaren badge?

Always a Vision of Top-Down Speed
The idea for an SLR Roadster is nothing new. When Mercedes first revealed the Vision SLR concept in 1999, it showed both a coupe and a roadster. The coupe appeared as a production car in 2003, the track-ready 722 model followed last year, and now the SLR Roadster goes on sale this fall. "We wanted to do the coupe first because we wanted to draw a clear association with the world of GT racecars," says Klaus Nesser, the man in charge of the SLR and Maybach vehicle programs. Like the coupe, the Roadster remains true to the original concept. This is a source of pride, but also a clue to the car's early problems. The McLaren engineers freely admit that the show car's aerodynamics were awful. In order to create a car capable of 200 mph, they had to engineer a flat underbody culminating in a dramatic rear air diffuser and then add an active rear wing. Even then, the rear end of the car felt disturbingly light at very high speed. For many SLR owners, such imperfections have been a small price to pay for a shape that is pure theater. The SLR has a sense of occasion that no modern Ferrari other than the Enzo can match. The SLR Roadster enhances the glamour with its sleek, roofless shape, as the electrically powered fabric top stows neatly behind the front seats, leaving intact the car's trademark scissor doors.

Once More With Feeling
The cabin is shared with the coupe, which is a mixed blessing. There's some nice detailing ? the instruments look terrific and Mercedes must use supermodel cows for the leather ? but too many of the plastics feel low-rent. The SLR flap that hides the stereo is naff and the CD-based satellite navigation system feels like a 1990s throwback. After all, you expect more for a half million dollars. Cabin space is also tight. The carbon-fiber seats can be specified in several different sizes, but even if you find one to fit your derriere, anyone taller than 6 feet will want for legroom. At least your luggage will be well catered to. Even with the convertible top folded down, there's a useful 7.1 cubic feet of trunk space ? enough for a weekend away.

It's Got the Power
The protocol for starting the SLR's engine is straight out of a James Bond movie. You flick open the cover on top of the shift lever. Prod the starter button beneath and it glows red as 5.5 liters of supercharged V8 spring to life. Developed by AMG, this is one of the world's great engines. A huge volume of air ? more than 2 tons per hour, Mercedes tells us ? is sucked through the three-pointed star on the front grille, compressed by the belt-driven supercharger and stuffed into the V8. The supercharger is mounted on an aluminum brace because the heat it produces would decompose a carbon-fiber piece. The V8's output figures are otherworldly. The 617 horsepower at 6,500 rpm makes headlines, but let's not forget the 575 pound-feet of torque available from between 3,250 rpm and 5,000 rpm that really determines this car's character. This real-world power is what distinguishes the SLR from supercars such as the Ferrari 599 (448 lb-ft) and Lamborghini LP640 (486 lb-ft). The mighty torque is also why the SLR works so well with an automatic transmission. Shared with the Maybach, this automatic requires just five widely spaced ratios to take this car from zero to 206 mph ? a top speed just 1 mph less than that of the SLR coupe. The transmission has Sport and Comfort modes, and the shift paddles on the steering wheel do the work.

Power and Style
In some ways, the SLR is a throwback to a bygone age. The rich, melodic sound from the quartet of side pipes recalls an old Can-Am racecar. You find yourself playing the throttle like a musical instrument, thrilled as the engine revs melodically rise and fall. Of course, the SLR Roadster is brutally quick. Mercedes claims 0-62 mph (100 kph) in 3.8 seconds and 124 mph (200 kph) in just 10.9 seconds, and you can achieve them just by extending your right boot and hanging on. On an unrestricted but busy autobahn, we briefly saw 186 mph, and the Roadster accelerated above 100 mph much like a Porsche 911 does between 50 and 100. With the top down, the Roadster is also remarkably civilized. A tiny screen between the seats helps minimize the buffeting and the cockpit is not uncomfortable, even at three-figure speeds. To compensate for the structural rigidity lost with the roof, Mercedes added another layer of carbon (it's now tri-axial) to the tub. The result is a car with almost no scuttle shake, even on bumpy surfaces.

Driving the Blitzen Benz
Yet for a true driving enthusiast, the SLR is still something of a disappointment. There is nothing wrong with the stopping power of the brake system's ceramic discs, but there's little pedal feel, and it seems as if you are pushing against an artificially weighted brake booster. As a result, it's difficult to modulate braking effort ? a key concern in a car this fast. There's plenty of mechanical chatter through the steering, but it tells you little about what the front wheels are up to. It is also too reactive. Instead of making single, measured inputs, you find yourself instinctively making lots of little corrections throughout a turn. We've driven almost 3,000 miles in various SLRs, and the steering still undermines our confidence. Since the SLR's introduction in 2003, Mercedes has replaced the original Bilstein dampers with Koni units in a bid to improve the car's high-speed stability, and there is an improvement. But although the SLR has a surprisingly cosseting ride for such a sharply focused performance car, the balance between comfort and command still isn't right, perhaps because 200-mph capability compromises feel and sensitivity.

Poseurs, Not Pole-Sitters?
It's no secret that the relationship between McLaren and Mercedes was strained during the development of the SLR. McLaren's desire for ultimate performance didn't prove perfectly compatible with Mercedes' insistence on civility, safety and practicality. Significantly, no member of the McLaren team was present at the introduction of the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR Roadster. For a car that's likely to cost $500,000, the SLR Roadster is too compromised. A Porsche 911 Carrera is a more satisfying drive, and a Ferrari 599 is in a different league. But we suspect that for the 1,100 or so people who've already bought an SLR, the subtleties of steering and braking feel don't matter a jot. For drivers like these, the Roadster will simply enhance the SLR's appeal as one of the most spectacular, theatrical cars of this or any other generation. Mercedes-Benz offers a very nice roadster of its own, the SL, this year celebrating its 50th anniversary. Ranging in price from $96,000 to $188,000, the top-performing SL65 AMG model comes with a supercharged V12 engine. Mercedes also has a deep-rooted technical partnership with McLaren Technologies, which races in Formula One with Mercedes-Benz engines, and from that relationship have already sprung the Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR coupe and the higher-performance SLR 722 version of the coupe. The market has told the two companies that it's now time for the ultimate Mercedes-Benz roadster, just in time to commemorate that 50th anniversary. In round numbers, the price of this amazing roadster is going to be $495,000, with destination and delivery charges of $2750. Mercedes-Benz doesn't have a rear-mid-engine supercar in its model lineup as Ferrari and Lamborghini and Porsche do, so it has chosen to create, with lots of technical help and finally assembly by McLaren, in England, a sort of long-nose, short-deck front-mid-engine supercar. The engines are built in Germany by Mercedes-Benz's in-house high-performance shop, AMG, and shipped to England for installation in these very special bodies. The roadster bodies are completely new, not cut-down versions of the SLR coupe bodies. They are made entirely of three-layer carbon fiber at McLaren's race shop. Carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, or CFRP, is about five times stronger than steel in crush (or crash) situations, at about half the weight. (It's also a lot more expensive.) The one-piece body is then fitted with a huge V-shaped aluminum beam structure on each side that attaches to the front of the firewall to carry the engine, transmission, front suspension and steering. The carbon fiber fenders and hood complete the body. In front of all that, there is an elaborately constructed carbon fiber crash bar that can handle huge amounts of impact, after which its disposable cones crumble into dust as the impact progresses. At the rear, there is an all-aluminum independent suspension system that looks like it was ripped directly out of a racing car. No other car in the world is built quite like this one, and it is as beautiful underneath as it is brutish on the outside. The only major panels shared with the coupe are the scissor doors. The 626-horsepower 5.5-liter supercharged V8 engine nestles under the long, long hood, breathing directly through the Mercedes-Benz star in the nose of the car, and exhausting through a compact, front-mounted exhaust system that exits through the bottom edges of the front fenders. This does three things. It works very well for emissions, keeping the catalytic converters hot. It helps the engine breathe better at higher rpm. It eliminates a lot of pipes and mufflers under the car, which has a flat bottom for aerodynamic purity. Oh, and four, it puts the sound of that V8 engine very close to the cockpit, where it can be appreciated. Read on to our Driving Impressions to see what we thought of all this.tizanidine ultram order ambien meridia online vicodin online order soma lortab finasteride triamcinolone propecia online allopurinol order tramadol ultram online generic sildenafil orlistat glucophage zovirax lunesta generic lipitor fexofenadine

Model Lineup
The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR comes in two coupe versions, already on the market, and one roadster version. The roadster comes in one very complete trim level, as you would expect for just under half a million dollars. There are a few options on the list, including 19-inch wheels in a turbine design; brake calipers painted in gold or red ($850); black carbon-fiber inserts in the interior panels ($1550); special Silver Arrow leather in 13 colors, with embossed SLR logos ($9,950); contrasting upholstery seams in 300 SL red, orion grey or black ($610); a two-tone steering wheel matching the second interior color ($610); floor mats with leather piping in the second interior color ($370); and provision for a mobile telephone with a universal interface. And that's about it. The standard navigation system is different from all other Mercedes-Benz systems, compact, but useful. Part of the ordering process for any SLR is a fitting trip to Woking, England, where the cars are built, to select your paint (13 colors) and interior color, add your options, and be fitted for one of the four different bucket seat widths that are offered, from narrow to extra-wide. You also get a complete tour of the Mercedes-McLaren Formula One race shop and the rest of the $300 million McLaren Technologies facility, an ultramodern building with its own lake, built by one of the world's greatest architects, Norman Foster.

Walkaround
Just one look will tell anyone nearby that the SLR Roadster is something very special, a legitimate 200-mph car. From that long, pointy nose and front spoiler to the side exhaust pipes, the functional hood vents and fender vents and the scissor doors, there are very few front-engine cars that carry with them this kind of visual impact, and two of those are the aforementioned SLR coupes. The main differentiator is the tight-fitting, tightly designed convertible top. Once the latch is released and the button pushed, a second push of the button will automatically stow and hide the top in a mere 10 seconds. Putting the top up is even easier than that. When the top is down, the decibels from the front fender-mounted exhaust pipes go way, way up, but that's part of the car's charm and part of what you're paying for in an exoticar like this one. The rear bodywork behind the convertible top well contains an automatic air brake that functions like the ones used on Mercedes-Benz race cars of the 1950s, raising automatically to help slow the car and keep the rear end stable under hard braking. The rear underbody of the roadster has a built-in undertray to control airflow and add high-speed stability as well.

Interior Features
The SLR's inclusive list of standard equipment includes semi-aniline leather-upholstery mounted to a pair of carbon-fiber bucket seats that can be adapted to the driver and front passenger by means of different sized seat pads; dual-zone automatic air-conditioning; a Bose premium sound system; a multifunction sport steering wheel with gear-shift paddles, and a navigation system with an integral AM/FM radio and CD-changer built into it. Don't look for a lot of fancy polished wood or chrome inside the SLR, because there isn't any. This is a very sporty interior, mostly black, with brushed finishes on most of the metallic pieces that don't flare back into your eyes in bright sunlight with the top down. Our silver test car had a black interior with a sort of terra cotta red accent trim, and it was all put together perfectly, with the accent on delivering necessary data to the driver as quickly and clearly as possible through two central instrument pods up high on the dash panel.

Driving Impressions
Wow! would be a good place to start, followed by mind-bending and heart-pounding. Although Mercedes-Benz quotes a 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) time of only 3.8 seconds, or about three heartbeats, it feels even quicker than that, and it will just keep going, up and up, faster and faster, until you reach a top speed of about 200 mph, depending on headwinds. Power delivery is very smooth and very linear, more like a turbine or a jet than a piston engine. It's aided in its mission by a five-speed automatic transmission with three shift modes, Comfort, Sport and Manual, with Manual using either the floor shifter or steering-wheel-mounted paddles for manual shifting. Within the Manual mode, there are three further choices for upshift and downshift speeds, Sport, Supersport and Race. The way the engine and transmission mass have been centered and lowered in the chassis gives the SLR roadster a built-in willingness to turn left or right very quickly through the quick-ratio power steering system. The race-quality double-arm front and rear suspension systems combine with the extremely stiff body and chassis to give the SLR beautiful pinpoint steering and handling in open-road situations. The electrohydraulic anti-lock braking system on this car is phenomenal. The 14.6-inch front and 14.2-inch rear discs are made of carbon fiber ceramic like racing brakes, and the system uses eight-piston calipers at the front and four-piston calipers at the rear. These brakes are powerful enough to generate 2000 horsepower of braking force, or 1.3g of braking deceleration, and the brakes are reported to last up to 180,000 miles before needing replacement. The brake pedal is very sensitive at first, but once you get used to using them, the brakes become an important tool in overall driving enjoyment. They work in concert with the air brake built into the body, which rises up at a 65-degree angle to increase braking at the rear and keep the car stable, and the brakes also have a hill-holder feature and a traffic-crawling feature that lets the driver use the accelerator pedal only in thick traffic to keep the car trudging along at speeds up to 36 mph. You can even have your brake calipers painted in a choice of silver, red or gold to match or contrast with the body paint. In thick traffic and city driving, though, you have to be careful, because the long nose of the car is way, way out there in front of you, and you simply can't see it, so we'd recommend rear-first parking, because the rear end is easier to see.

Summary
If you have half a million dollars not committed elsewhere, and you want a whole lot of car that says a whole lot about you and the level of performance you demand in life, in business, and in automotive transportation, the Mercedes-Benz SLR roadster make a grand entrance like very few other cars in automotive history. Yet it's not moody or persnickety or uncomfortable for long, meandering drives through the countryside. But this car is also very much about pulling up to country clubs, movie premieres, sporting events, restaurants and night clubs with the top down and the panache oozing from every molecule. Great car, all around.

11/15/07

Permalink 01:27:18 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 432 words   English (US)

New 2007 Mercedes-Benz Winter Event is here! Save thousands on 2008 Mercedes-Benz Models Low Lease Payments Prices

Is there a shiny new toy on your wish list? Make your dreams come true with the Mercedes-Benz Winter Event, now through January 2, 2008, and take advantage of special Lease and Finance offers on select models. But you'll have to act quickly — like the season, the Winter Event will be over before you know it.

The 2008 E350 Sedan
Stunning. Powerful 268-horsepower V-6 engine, dual-zone climate control, leather seating inserts, leather-trimmed steering wheel, Burl Walnut wood interior trim, driver-adaptive 7-speed automatic transmission (5-speed automatic transmission with optional 4MATIC™ all-wheel drive).

$579/mo. for 24 month lease
$4,224 Total cash due at signing
3.9% APR financing up to 48 months

The 2008 E350 4MATIC Sedan
Uncompromising. Standard 3.5 liter V-6 engine with Burl Walnut wood interior trim, 5-speed automatic transmission, and the convenience of 4MATIC™ all-wheel drive.

$589/mo. for 24 month lease
$4,234 Total cash due at signing
3.9% APR financing up to 48 months

The 2008 R350 Crossover SUV
Adventurous. The R350 2WD changes the way you think of travel, with its 268-horsepower V-6 engine, 7-speed automatic transmission, 2-wheel drive, brown Birdseye Maple wood trim, luxurious individual seating for up to six adults, MP3-compatible 6-disc CD changer, and 18-inch 5-twin-spoke alloy wheels.

$499/mo. for 33 month lease
$4,044 Total cash due at signing
4.9% APR financing up to 48 months

The 2008 ML350 SUV
Dynamic. Inspired 268-horsepower V-6 with 4MATIC™ 4-wheel drive, revolutionary 7-speed transmission, projector-beam headlamps, luxurious five-passenger cabin, and 19-inch 5-spoke wheels.

The 2008 GL450 SUV
Rugged. The 335-horsepower V-8 engine takes on any adventure effortlessly. It's the only vehicle in its class to come with a standard 7-speed automatic transmission for smoother cruising and immediate response when accelerating and passing.

$699/mo. for 33 month lease
$5,144 Total cash due at signing

Additional special APR financing available on the 2008 R320 CDI, the 2008 ML320 CDI, and the 2008 ML550.

The 2008 CLK350 Coupe
Magnetic. Spirited V-6 power, 10-way power seats with memory, digital dual-zone climate control, Burl Walnut wood trim, 7-speed Touch Shift automatic transmission, and 17-inch wheels.

$499/mo. for 27 month lease
$4,344 Total cash due at signing
3.9% APR financing up to 48 months

The 2008 CLK350 Cabriolet
Thrill-seeking. Energetic 268-horsepower V-6, 7-speed Touch Shift automatic transmission, 17-inch wheels, 10-way power seats with memory, and digital dual-zone climate control.

$599/mo. for 27 month lease
$4,444 Total cash due at signing
3.9% APR financing up to 48 months

Additional special APR financing available on the 2008 CLK550 Coupe, the 2008 CLK550 Cabriolet, and the 2008 CLS550 Coupe.

The 2008 SLK280 Roadster
Provocative. The 228-horsepower V-6 engine, satisfying short-throw 6-speed manual transmission (optional 7-speed automatic transmission), and dramatically detailed cockpit all add up to a car designed first and foremost for driving pleasure.

$499/mo. for 27 month lease
$4,344 Total cash due at signing
3.9% APR financing up to 48 months

07/05/07

Permalink 09:11:29 am, Categories: Announcements [A], 315 words   English (US)

New 2008 Mercedes Benz Summer Love Event Save Thousands On Mercedes Benz Vehicles at FleetRates.com

Meet your true love with the Mercedes-Benz Summer Love Event. Now through September 4, 2007, take advantage of special Lease and Finance offers on select models. FleetRates.com is offering discounts on all new 2008 Mercedes Benz Models like the 2008 C-Class, 2008 CL-Class, 2008 CLS-Class, 2008 CLK-Class, 2008 E-Class, 2008 GL-Class, 2008 G-Class, 2008 M-Class, 2008 S-Class, 2008 SL-Class, 2008 SLK-Class, 2008 R-Class, 2008 SLR-Class. FleetRates.com offers most Mercedes Benz models at or below dealer invoice. Save Thousands on hard to find AMG models. Take advantage of our wholesale money factors and low lease payments. We put our numbers on dealers contracts to save you thousands.

2008 SLK280 Roadster
With a 228-horsepower V-6 engine, a satisfying short-throw 6-speed manual transmission, and a dramatically detailed cockpit, the SLK280 adds up to a car designed first and foremost for driving pleasure.

2008 E350 Sedan
Powerful 268-horsepower V-6 engine, power glass sunroof, PRE-SAFE® advanced safety system, and 12-speaker Harman Kardon LOGIC7® digital surround-sound system.

2008 R350 SUV
The R350 SUV elevates the art of travel with its 3.5 liter V-6 engine, 7-speed automatic transmission, standard 4MATIC™ 4-wheel drive, dual-zone climate control, optional Panorama roof, and seating for up to six.

2008 ML350 SUV
Experience the 268-horsepower V-6 with standard 4MATIC™ 4-wheel drive, revolutionary 7-speed transmission, projector-beam headlamps, luxurious five-passenger cabin, and 17-inch 7-spoke wheels.

2008 GL450 SUV
A 335-horsepower V-8 engine takes on any adventure. Features include 7-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch 5-spoke aluminum wheels, power-folding theater-style third-row seating, and 83.3 cubic feet of maximum cargo space.

Qualified customers only. Available only at participating authorized Mercedes-Benz dealers through Mercedes-Benz Financial. Must take delivery of vehicle by September 4, 2007. Subject to credit approval by lender. See your authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer for complete details on special lease offers on select models.Special lease rates may not be reflected in lease calculator prices shown on MBUSA.com. Please see your dealer for final pricing.Special lease rates may not be reflected in prices shown on MBUSA.com. Please see your dealer for final pricing.

06/19/07

Permalink 11:32:25 am, Categories: Announcements [A], 94 words   English (US)

FleetRates.com and Google Launch Nationwide Automotive Radio Campaign

FleetRates.com has teamed up with Google on a major new radio advertising campaign. In the past week, FleetRates.com launched several nationwide radio clips targeting major cities in the United States. So keep an ear out and remember, FleetRates.com has offices on both the East and West coasts to better serve our clients nationwide. Call us today for you new Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, BMW, Land Rover and more.

Click To Listen To Our New Vehicle Specials!

FleetRates.com Radio Ad

FleetRates.com Radio Ad 2

FleetRates.com Radio Ad 3

FleetRates.com Radio Ad 4

Permalink 10:58:31 am, Categories: Announcements [A], 119 words   English (US)

FleetRates.com Posts A Record 244% Increase In Site Traffic

FleetRates.com is proud to announce that our Alexa rank is posting an 81% increase in the last 90 days and a 244% increase in the last 30 days alone. Out of 7 million websites worldwide, FleetRates.com is ranked 18,716. That makes us not only one of the top Automotive websites in the world, but one of the top websites, period. With so much recognition, just imagine what a great deal we can get you on your dream car. We offer the best prices on Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Land Rover, BMW, Exotics and more. So don’t waste time at a dealership, come directly to one of the top Automotive websites in the world, FleetRates.com.

Link To Alexa Traffic Information For FleetRates.com

05/14/07

Permalink 01:39:19 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 3544 words   English (US)

New 2007 Mercedes Benz CLK350 Reduced Prices! $459/mo $43,275 1-888-861-8080

New 2007 Mercedes Benz CLK-Class Low Prices 1-888-861-8080 FleetRates.com

2007 Mercedes Benz CLK350 Coupe
New Factory Incentives
Low Mercedes Prices Discount Mercedes Auto Leases
All Colors-Options Nationwide Delivery

Click To Build Your Mercedes CLK350 Coupe

View New For 2007 Mercedes CLK350 Review

View Live On FleetRates

2007 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class
New engines, great balance.

The Mercedes-Benz CLK feels right in just about any role. It's good looking, stylish, sporty to drive and personal, yet it will work for two couples during an evening on the town. Those who prefer understated, buttoned-down elegance will like CLK Coupe. Extroverts and sun worshippers can choose the one-button convertible top on the CLK Cabriolet. For 2007, the V8-powered CLKs have new engines. The CLK550 gets the latest-generation Mercedes V8, with variable valve timing and 27 percent more power than the engine in the 2006 CLK500, yet the same EPA mileage ratings as before. The new CLK63 AMG has a race-inspired V8 built start-to-finish by one technician at the company's AMG high-performance subsidiary. The new engines mean a slight change in model nomenclature, but the CLK lineup really has not changed. There's still a coupe and convertible, with either a V6 or V8 engine. The super-fast AMG model is available only as a convertible. The CLK has rear-wheel drive in a class increasingly populated by front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive cars, and it has a sporting flair some mid-size luxury cars lack. In general, the CLK is one of the sportiest cars in the Mercedes lineup. Most buyers will be quite happy with the CLK350 and its 268-horsepower V6. With its seven-speed automatic, the CLK350 delivers a fine balance of spirited acceleration, quiet cruising and decent fuel mileage. Drivers who demand more performance can choose the CLK550. Its new V8 generates 382 hp and an even more impressive 391 pound-feet of torque. (Torque is that force that launches the car from intersections and propels it up hills.) Measured by acceleration and engine response, the CLK550 meets just about any standard of high performance. The CLK550 transmits a feeling of being more stuck to the road than the CLK350 does, with sharper handling and better high-speed stability.The limited-production CLK63 AMG goes a couple of magnitudes better. It will out-accelerate, out-brake and out-corner all but a handful of four-place cars anywhere. Yet around town it's incredibly docile and belies its 475-hp AMG engine. On the open road, the CLK, no matter the model, is satisfying, responsive and exceptionally stable at high speeds. It inspires confidence on twisty roads and bears up well in a spirited drive. It's also easy to live with. Its ride is firm, but not intrusive. Its relatively small size makes it easy to park and maneuver in crowded city centers, but its back seat is roomy enough for two adults. In a word, the CLK is balanced. Its stylish design and elegant interior make it a pleasant place to spend time, and it delivers Mercedes cachet that works in almost any circumstance.

Model Lineup
What's new for 2007: More powerful engines for the V8 models. The CLK550 replaces the CLK500, with a new 5.5-liter engine generating 27 percent more power than the previous 5.0-liter V8. The ultra-high-performance CLK63 AMG Cabriolet replaces the CLK55 AMG, with a hand-built 6.2-liter V8 producing 475 horsepower. Also new for 2007 is a Sport Appearance Package ($490) for the CLK350. It includes a firmer sport suspension, cross-drilled brake rotors and 10-spoke, 17-inch aluminum wheels. The Mercedes-Benz CLK is available as a coupe or convertible. Three models are distinguished by engine size, and all come with a seven-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted manually with buttons on the steering wheel. The CLK350 Coupe ($46,200) and Cabriolet ($54,200) are powered by a 3.5-liter V6, which develops 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Standard features include leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control with pollen and dust filter, 10-way adjustable power seats with three memory settings and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Black-stained ash wood trim is standard, and more traditional burl walnut is available as a no-charge option. The Cabriolet features a fully automatic, heavily insulated convertible top. The CLK550 Coupe ($54,900) and Cabriolet ($62,900) get the new-generation V8 introduced in the big S-Class sedan. This dual-overhead-cam 5.5-liter engine generates 382 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. The CLK63 AMG ($89,200) is available only as a cabriolet. Its 6.2-iter V8 is built by a single technician at Mercedes' AMG racing subsidiary, with 475 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. The CLK63 also gets sporting upgrades to its brakes and suspension, and comes with a longer list of ultra-luxury features. Options are grouped in three packages: Premium I, II, and III. Exact content and price vary with the model. On the CLK350 Coupe, Premium I ($2,530) includes auto-dimming mirrors, a programmable built-in garage door opener, a premium harmon/kardon stereo with six-CD changer and a glass sunroof. Premium II ($3,630) adds turning bi-xenon headlights with washers and a heated windshield washer system. Premium III ($4630) includes everything in PI and PII, plus ventilated seats. Stand-alone options include a navigation system combined with on-screen control for the stereo and air conditioning ($2,270); Sirius satellite radio ($510); hands-free telephone communication ($925); wood and leather steering wheel ($540); heated front seats ($700); electronic trunk closer ($520); and Keyless Go push-button starting ($1,100). For that extra special touch, designo Silver Edition and Graphite Edition trim packages are available ($7,050). Safety features that come on all CLKs include multi-stage front-impact airbags. Coupes get front passenger side-impact airbags that protect the torso, and curtain-style head protection airbags for both front and rear passengers. The convertibles combine both torso and head protection in the same side-impact airbags. The also feature pop-up rollbars that automatically deploy if the electronics sense a pending rollover. TeleAid accident notification is standard. Side-impact airbags for the rear passengers are optional ($390). Anti-lock brakes (ABS) with emergency Brake Assist and Electronic Stability Control are standard. The Extended Mobility package ($200) includes run-flat tires and a tire pressure warning system. 4Matic all-wheel drive adds a measure of safety in slippery conditions.

Walkaround
The Mercedes-Benz CLK is beautiful, no arguing that, and its beauty lies in its symmetry and balance. The CLK looks forceful, but also elegant and sophisticated, and it blends form and function nicely. Under the rear half of its sweeping roofline is a back seat with room for two adults, not the parcel shelf that passes for a seat in some high-end coupes. The CLK is a fairly compact car, based on a lengthened version of the same chassis used for the small Mercedes C-Class sedans. Yet the designers have successfully infused it with the presence and bearing of a much larger coupe like the big Mercedes CL. The coupe aesthetic starts with the profile. The CLK dispenses with a center roof pillar, so the roof sweeps uninterrupted from the base of the windshield to the trunk lid. The rear windows lower completely below the sill, emphasizing the smooth, open flow, and the effect is enhanced by the absence of any visible antenna for the radio, telephone or navigation system. The CLK replaces a conventional steel trunk lid with a composite panel that allows the antennas to be imbedded the lid's structure. The second, unmistakable coupe element is the CLK's front end. This Mercedes forgoes the traditional hood ornament in favor of a lower, much larger three-pointed star embedded in the wide, three-slat grille, which greets the world with just a hint of a sneer. On first impression, it seems the CLK has four headlights, but a closer look confirms a single ellipse-shaped cluster on each side. And there's more to the headlights than slick design. The optional bi-xenon lights swivel to point into curves and are equipped with high-pressure washing jets; they also change beam angle as the CLK moves up and down with road imperfections, keeping the high-intensity light below the sight line of the drivers in oncoming cars. When its fabric top is closed, the CLK Cabriolet is nearly identical in silhouette to the coupe, with only a hint of a break in the roofline where it meets the trunk lid. The fabric top is fully lined and insulated, and opening or closing it is a one-button operation. Roughly 30 seconds after the driver hits the button, the top tucks neatly under a hard cover behind the rear seats. Rollover protection hoops are integrated in the rear-seat headrests, allowing the same clean look when the top is down. In the event of an imminent collision or rollover in the cabriolet, two roll bars deploy and lock in place within 0.3 seconds. Details distinguish the CLK models. The CLK350 has neutral-tinted glass and gray vanes in its grille, while the CLK550 gets blue-tinted glass, high-gloss black vanes with chrome trim on the grille, and a short rear spoiler. The hotrod CLK63 AMG sports a front valance with three separate sections, mesh grillwork and flared rocker panels between the wheels. The CLK350 and CLK550 come with 17-inch wheels, slightly wider with fatter tires in back, to create the staggered-wheel look of a race car. The wheels on the CLK350 are a light-alloy five-spoke design. Those on the CLK550 feature an AMG-styled monoblock design. The CLK63 AMG has 18-inch wheels in a highly polished double-spoke pattern with lower profile Z-rated tires. What's New for 2007: The optional Sport Appearance Package for the CLK350 is easy to spot, thanks to unique 10-spoke aluminum wheels. This option includes a sports suspension that lowers the CLK slightly, and cross-drilled brake rotors that are visible through the wheels. The brake calipers are painted with Mercedes script.

Interior Features
The Mercedes-Benz CLK is a fairly compact car, but there is enough space and seat adjustment inside to accommodate very tall people in front. Generally, the cabin has the look and feel ofsuccess.While we've had quibbles with the fit and finish inside some Mercedes models the last several years, those don't apply in the CLK. Materials are very good throughout. Soft polyurethane sprayed onto the dashboard provides an attractive appearance and a luxurious feel. Black-stained ash wood trim and black carpet is standard, though traditional burl walnut is available at no charge. Nice touches of wood and gathered leather on the door panels make for a very attractive cabin. When front passengers close the doors, an electric arm on each side of the CLK extends to present the seatbelts, making it easier to reach the belts. The belt presenters retract once the belts are buckled. It works well, though we've seen passengers startled by them, fearing the return of the motorized mouse. Most controls and switches, including climate adjustments and audio, are stacked in the center of the dash above the console. They're easy to locate and big enough to adjust without a lot of concentration. Standard features include digital dual-zone temperature control with a sun sensor to optimize air distribution. The rain-sensing wipers are operated with a stalk on the right side of the steering column. Storage options have improved by Mercedes standards, but come up short when compared with other cars. The two-tiered glove box is large, but the optional CD changer will take up one of the shelves. The center console has two cup holders and a storage bin. The gauge cluster is a mix of traditional analog gauges and LED graphics. A large round speedometer and tachometer dominate the center, flanked by two smaller, thermometer-like gauges for the fuel level and coolant temperature. It's both attractive and effective, with crisp illuminated script that's easy to read at a glance, though at first you may confuse full and empty on the gas gauge. The CLK steering wheel is one of our favorites: just the right size, thickness and firmness for this car, and power-adjustable for tilt and reach. Rocker buttons on its spokes allow operation of several systems, including stereo, climate and telephone. These buttons also manage an LED information display in the center of the gauges. There's a wealth of information available, including trip functions such as average speed and distance to empty, but it takes a bit of concentration to scroll through and find what you're looking for. Access to the rear seats is easier than it is in many coupes, but that's mostly because there is more room than in many coupes. The front seats help by tipping and sliding forward with a quick-release lever. If the front passengers don't have their seats moved too far rearward, there's enough room for two adults in back. At least for traveling to dinner and a show, if not a cross country trek. The rear seat folds down with 60/40 split, and that's good. With 10.4 cubic feet of space in the trunk, the CLK will hold a load of luggage for two, but its trunk is smaller than typical in a sedan of its size. The fold-flat rear seat helps a bit with oversized items. You won't lose much rear seat space with the CLK Cabriolet, but you will lose a lot of storage in the trunk, even when the convertible top is up. With the top up, there's enough space for four to six bags of groceries. When the top is down, it cuts the trunk space almost in half. Nonetheless, the top is thickly insulated and beautifully lined, and it's almost as pristinely quiet in the CLK Cabriolet as it is in the coupe, when the top is up. What's New for 2007: Interior features and options are essentially unchanged on V6 and V8 models.

Driving Impressions
Once underway, the Mercedes-Benz CLK offers a balance of virtues. It's luxurious and comfortable, but also energetic. Its rigid structure contributes to its smooth, quiet operation, lack of vibration, and balance of ride quality and handling capability. A rigid chassis does not mean a stiff ride, however. The CLK suspension absorbs bumps without fanfare. The only disturbance comes from the crack of tires over potholes, and it's heard more than felt. The CLK is comfortable, but not numbing, so the steering feeds good information back to the driver about how well the front tires are gripping. This balance of smoothness and road feel means you might be driving the CLK harder than you realize in fairly short order. When the straight, flat roads of the city give way to twisty two-lanes in the hills and countryside, the coupe handles curves with the grace of a thoroughbred. It maintains a nice, flat attitude through sweeping bends and won't bob or weave with frequent application of the brakes. We like the way Mercedes has refined its electronic stability program, which can help the driver maintain control by reducing skidding. In the CLK, the system is virtually transparent, intervening unobtrusively to prevent wheel spin, but without the heavy-handed reduction in power that marred some of its early applications. Engine performance is satisfying in all models. The 268-hp V6 in the CLK350 has all the power most drivers need, accelerating with authority from a stoplight and moving the car smoothly through the gears. Acceleration times for the V6 match those for the typical V8-powered luxury car of the late 1990s, and there's a reserve of power that makes passing on two-lane roads a stress-free process. Nonetheless, the new 5.5-liter V8 in the CLK550 is a significant, noticeable step up, from both the CLK350 and the previous CLK500 models. With 382 horsepower and nearly 400 pound-feet of torque, acceleration here is thrilling. Capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds, the CLK550 is high performance by nearly any definition. Slam the accelerator at any speed and what follows, almost instantaneously, is a satisfying, muted growl from the exhaust and a whoosh of speed. Both the CLK350 and CLK550 are equipped with the seven-speed automatic, and we like this transmission. Beyond the extra gears, its control program works better than that on the Mercedes automatics of previous years. This one doesn't slack off when you need it most, kicking down to a lower gear fast, sometimes three gears at once, if you slam the accelerator hard. Alternate shift buttons, which allow selection of a specific gear, are located on the back of the steering wheel hub, right where fingers wrap around the spokes. The touch-shift manual mode works nicely. The AMG model also gets a seven-speed automatic, labeled the AMG Speedshift 7G-Tronic. Its internal parts are beefed up to reduce shift times in manual mode and handle the power generated by the CLK63 AMG V8 engine (465 pound-feet of torque). Previously powered by a 5.5-liter V8, the previous AMG CLK was merely fast. With the 6.3-liter engine and seven-speed automatic, it's blindingly quick. Throttle response is instantaneous, automatic downshifts nearly so, and the manual control electronics are better programmed to hold a gear near the engine's redline, allowing high-rev, low-gear driving enthusiast drivers enjoy. The CLK63 AMG we tested had a fluttering sound in the idle that was a bit annoying by Mercedes standards, but when we recalled it was a 475-hp engine, practically a race motor, it seemed a little less so. The CLK Cabriolet AMG was already one of the most drivable cars in Mercedes' inventory, and with the new engine it's more so. It's not equipped with the Active Body Control or variable air suspension used on Mercedes ultra-luxury models, just good suspension tuning, good steering feel and crisp turn-in. Some Mercedes-Benzes will dutifully go along for the ride when driven hard, behaving quite predictably as they go. The CLK63 likes to be pushed, and when the driver finishes a go through an empty canyon, the CLK is ready for more. The brakes on the CLKs stop the car with authority, and deliver a nice, easy-to-modulate pedal feel that's distinctly lacking on some Mercedes models. The CLK63 AMG Cabriolet is equipped with multi-piston brake calipers and larger rotors that kick everything up a notch, virtually eliminating the possibility of brake fade anywhere this side of a race track. The AMG is also equipped with something called Racetimer, which can record acceleration, top speed or lap times and store them for retrieval at the driver's request. With its smooth aerodynamics, generally quiet manners and excellent anti-skid electronics, the rear-drive CLK Coupe is suitable for all-season use, in our view. Snow tires would remove any reservation, even in regions with lots of snow. If you love top-down motoring, there's no real reason to pass on the CLK Cabriolet. With the top up it's almost as snug and quiet as the coupe. With the side windows up and fold-up windblocker in place, you could motor top-down on sunny days when the temperature is in the 40s. Best of all, there is no serious degradation in that tight, solid feeling that characterizes the CLK Coupe. Extensive use of high-strength steel alloys and liberal structural re-enforcements maintain the torsional stiffness and help minimize vibration. Mercedes claims the stiffness of the cabriolet's body is equal to that of the coupe, and we find no reason to challenge that assertion. Of course, those structural re-enforcements add weight to the Cabriolet, so owners are likely to see a slight reduction in fuel economy compared to the coupe.

Summary
The Mercedes-Benz CLK is a rare blend of style, luxury and sporty driving performance. It'selegant, tasteful and engaging inside and out, and its design should wear well with time. There's room inside for two couples during an evening out. Both the coupe and convertible will work as all-season cars in most locales. The V6-powered CLK350 will satisfy most owners, while the CLK550 V8 delivers high performance by nearly any measure. The CLK63 AMG is strictly for enthusiast drivers. The CLK550 so good in most respects that those less committed are not likely to appreciate what the CLK63 adds for its $26,000 price premium.
.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Model Line Overview

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Model lineup: Mercedes-Benz CLK350 Coupe ($46,200); CLK350 Cabriolet ($54,200); CLK550 Coupe ($54,900); CLK550 Cabriolet ($62,900); CLK63 AMG Cabriolet ($89,200)
Engines: 268-hp 3.5-liter dohc 24-valveV6; 382-hp 5.5-liter dohc 32-valve V8; 475-hp 6.2-liter dohc 32-valve V8
Transmissions: 7-speed automatic
Safety equipment (standard): dual two-stage front-impact airbags; front passenger side-impact torso airbags (coupe) or head and torso airbags (convertible); curtain-style, full cabin head protection airbags (coupe); automatic-deploying roll bars (cabriolet); Tele Aid emergency communication; antilock brakes with brake assist; electronic stability program
Safety equipment (optional): rear passenger side-impact airbags ($390)
Basic warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles
Assembled in: Osnabrueck, Germany

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Specifications As Tested

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Model tested (MSRP): Mercedes-Benz CLK350 Coupe ($46,200)
Standard equipment: dual-zone automatic climate control with pollen and dust filter; leather upholstery; 10-way power-adjustable front seats; power tilt/telescope steering wheel; 3-setting memory for front seats, steering wheel and exterior mirrors; 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo; one-touch up/down power windows; keyless remote locking; trip computer
Options as tested (MSRP): Sport Appearance Package ($490) includes sport suspension, cross-drilled brake rotors and ten-spoke alloy wheels; heated front seats ($700)
Destination charge: ($775)
Gas guzzler tax: N/A
Price as tested (MSRP): $48,165
Layout: rear-wheel drive
Engine: 3.5-liter dohc 24-valve V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 268 @ 6000
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 258 @ 2400
Transmission: 7-speed TouchShift automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 19/28 mpg
Wheelbase: 106.9 in.
Length/width/height: 183.2/68.5/55.4 in.
Track, f/r: 58.9/58.0 in.
Turning circle: 35.3 ft.
Seating capacity: 4
Head/hip/leg room, f: 37.1/53.7/42.0 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m: N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r: 35.8/45.9/33.0 in.
Cargo volume: 10.4 cu. ft.
Payload: N/A
Towing capacity: N/A
Suspension, f: independent three-link, coil springs, gas-pressurized shocks, stabilizer bar
Suspension, r: independent five-link, coil springs, gas-pressurized shocks, stabilizer bar
Ground clearance: N/A
Curb weight: 3585 lbs.
Tires: 225/45ZR17 front; 245/40ZR17 rear
Brakes, f/r: vented disc/disc with ABS and Brake Assist
Fuel capacity: 16.4 gal.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

03/14/07

Permalink 12:33:24 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 1432 words   English (US)

New 2007 Mercedes Benz GL450 From $599/mo $60,975 Click Image For Live Auction

BASE MSRP: $54,900
3rd-row Split/flat-folding Pwr Seats, Individual Adjustable Head Restraints
4.7L SMPI DOHC 24-valve V8 Engine
7-speed Automatic Drive-adaptive Transmission-inc: Driver-selectable Comfort Mode, Touch Shift
8-way Pwr Front Heated Seats W/active Head Restraints, Drivers Adjustable Lumbar
Brown Birds Eye Maple Wood Trim
P1: Premium I
Rear-Seat Entertainment
Sunroof Package

TOTAL OPTIONS: $8,650
DESTINATION CHARGE: $775
TOTAL MSRP: $64,325
Easy Auto Leases Price $60,975

2007 Mercedes-Benz GL450
Low Mercedes Lease Payments
All Colors-Options Nationwide Delivery

The GL-Class launches with a single model. The 2007 Mercedes-Benz GL 450 comes with a 335-hp V8 engine similar to the one in the new S-Class sedan. Additional models will be coming, starting early in calendar year 2007 with the GL 320 CDI, which comes with a diesel engine. Later, the GL will be available with Mercedes' breakthrough BlueTec diesel powertrain. The Mercedes-Benz GL 450 ($54,900) comes with a 4.6-liter V8 engine, seven-speed automatic transmission, the 4MATIC four-wheel drive system, and the Airmatic air suspension system. It comes with seating for seven and with a third row that powers up or down at the touch of a button. Options include Distronic radar-controlled cruise control; a rear-seat entertainment system with two screens; Keyless Go, which allows the car to be started as long as the key is inside the vehicle; Parktronic, which uses sonar to detect obstacles near the vehicle; a power rear tailgate; Harman/Kardon Logic 7 surround sound system; and DVD navigation. Safety features that come standard include eight airbags, including side airbags for all four outboard first and second-row seating positions as well as side curtain airbags that protect occupants in all three rows. It comes with active front head restraints, LATCH tethers for child safety seats, and three-point safety belts for all seating positions; make sure everyone in the vehicle always wears those seat belts because they're your first line of defense in a crash. Active safety features (to help you avoid a crash) include an Electronic Stability Program, anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist Plus, and four-wheel electronic traction control. Optional safety features include Parktronic and a rear-view camera, each of which can help alert the driver obstacles or people, including children, behind the vehicle.

Walkaround
The GL carries the styling cues seen in newest generation of Mercedes' mid-size M-Class (ML), but applies them to a larger package and adds some strong, perhaps even masculine touches. For example, both in front and at the rear, a metal skid plate (designed to protect underlying mechanical parts from damage when driving off pavement) is a prominent feature that underscores the GL's image of strength. The GL's face looks much like that of the ML, except for the use of round fog lamps instead of oval-shaped accessory lights. Like the ML, the hood features what Mercedes calls a pair of power domes. Seen in profile, the GL's nicely raked windshield and large, 18-inch wheels (with 19- and even 20-inch wheels available) and bulging wheel arches help balance what is basically a tall and long vehicle. But even being tall and long, the GL doesn't look as bulky as, say, General Motor's full-size SUVs, the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, and even with the squared-off rear edge of its D-pillar, the GL doesn't look as boxy as DaimlerChrysler's other full-size, three-row SUV, the Jeep Commander. Viewed from the rear, the GL presents a formidable obstacle. It's tall and wide, with a large rear hatch opening, large tail lamps and all of it sitting above a substantial skid plate bracketed on either side by large, rectangular exhaust pipes. Compared to the ML, the GL is nearly a foot longer and also an inch wider in track (the axle width including wheels), though it is less than half an inch wider overall and not quite an inch taller. Despite their similar styling, the Mercedes SUVs share only their front doors; otherwise, each has unique sheetmetal. As large as the GL may appear, it's 2 inches shorter than the R-Class touring wagon, which also has three rows of seating, though with room for only six occupants. The GL is built using unibody construction rather than the body-on-frame design that full-size pickups and SUVs traditionally use. Mercedes notes that because of this architecture, the GL-Class weighs in at anywhere from 300 pounds to 600 pounds lighter than its full-size competitors. To make sure the GL class is strong enough, 60 percent of the vehicle structure is made from special high-strength steel. Interior Features
While the GL may look sleeker than its competitors, Mercedes brags that the 2007 GL 450 offers both best-in-class interior room as well as ease of entry and exit. With all seats in their upright position, there's still 14 cubic feet of storage between the third-row seatbacks and the closed rear hatch door. A power folding feature for the third row is standard equipment on the GL with controls near the rear hatch and next to the right-side second-row passenger's seat. Power down those third-row seats, and cargo capacity expands to 43.8 cubic feet. Fold down the 60/40-split second row seats and the GL provides as much as 83.3 cubic feet for cargo. There's also room under the cargo floor for a full-size spare tire. Standard equipment includes eight-way power front seats, 14 air conditioning outlet vents, eight cup holders, air vents, and reading lamps. The interior layout is familiar to Mercedes drivers, with either faux or real leather trim for the seats (Mercedes notes that not all luxury car buyers want real leather seating surfaces), wood trim and metal rings around gauges, air vents, and cup holders. The second-row seats provide ample legroom. When occupied by only two people, the back of the center section can be folded down as an armrest and storage tray. We climbed into the third row and found room for two adults to ride back there, each in a separate seat. The room is enhanced by foot wells for your feet so you don't sit with your knees at chest level, and even the third-row seats are thickly padded to provide comfort. Fears of claustrophobia back there evaporate quickly thanks to the standard sunroof that extends over the third row. The GL can be equipped with a 440-watt, 11-speaker harmon/kardon Logic 7 sound system, with Sirius Satellite Radio and with a DVD video entertainment system with screens mounted in the rear of both front-seat headrests and with a 6CD changer.

Driving Impressions
Driving the 2007 Mercedes-Benz GL 450 doesn't feel at all like driving the typical full-size sport utility vehicle. While this is a substantially sized vehicle, it is not truck-like. The Mercedes has a much more car-like dynamic. The 335-hp V8 engine can propel the GL 450 from a standing start to 60 miles per hour in a car-like 7.4 seconds. This powerplant, with four valves per cylinder, is part of a brand new family of V8 engines from Mercedes-Benz. A standard, seven-speed automatic transmission helps keep the engine operating in the sweet part of a power band that provides maximum torque from 2700 rpm all the way up to 5000. Mercedes notes that the GL is the only full-size SUV offering such a seven-speed gearbox. The 4MATIC four-wheel-drive system features front, center and rear differentials. The sure-footed 4MATIC system is designed to maintain mobility even when only wheel has traction. In normal driving, the system distributes power equally to front and rear wheels. The system includes DSR, a sort of cruise control for regulating downhill speed, and Hill-Start Assist, which keeps the GL from rolling backward when launched after being stopped on uphill slope. 4MATIC also adjusts anti-lock brake controls to provide quicker stops on slippery and unpaved surfaces when off-roading. Airmatic is an air suspension system that uses air bladders instead of coil springs to adjust ride height by as much as three inches as well as ride firmness and body control parameters, so the driver can select from comfort and more aggressively sporty settings. The system automatically lowers the vehicle to enhance handling and aerodynamic efficiency at speeds of 77 mph or higher. Those serious about venturing far from pavement can opt for a special off-road package that includes special wheels and tires, a two-speed transfer case, locking center and rear differentials, adaptive dampening and with ground clearance height-adjustment options of as much as 12.4 inches, compared to the standard 7.9 inches of clearance. We did our driving on freeways in and out of San Francisco's airport and on roads through Napa Valley wine country. Steering feedback was consistent, brakes (14-inches in diameter on the front wheels and 13 inches on the rear) were responsive and consistently predictable and the GL 450 offered nice balanced dynamic capabilities when hustled through the curves on the narrow, hilly roads that wind through the vine-covered hillsides.

Permalink 12:32:53 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 1425 words   English (US)

New 2007 Mercedes Benz GL320 From $599/mo $55,975 Click Image For Live Auction

BASE MSRP:

$52,400

P1: Premium I
Cargo Net
Parktronic
Power Front Seats and Steering Column with Memory
Autodimming, Power Folding Mirrors
Rear Audio Controls
DVD Navigation
SIRIUS Satellite Radio
harman/kardon Sound System
Power Tailgate
Sunroof Package
Glass Sunroof
Power Rear Quarter Windows

TOTAL OPTIONS:

$6,000

DESTINATION CHARGE:

$775

TOTAL MSRP:

$59,175

Easy Auto Leases Price

$55,975

Mercedes-Benz GL320 CDI Bluetec
Premium 1 and Sunroof Package
All Colors-Options Nationwide Delivery

The GL-Class launches with a single model. The 2007 Mercedes-Benz GL 450 comes with a 335-hp V8 engine similar to the one in the new S-Class sedan. Additional models will be coming, starting early in calendar year 2007 with the GL 320 CDI, which comes with a diesel engine. Later, the GL will be available with Mercedes' breakthrough BlueTec diesel powertrain. The Mercedes-Benz GL 450 ($54,900) comes with a 4.6-liter V8 engine, seven-speed automatic transmission, the 4MATIC four-wheel drive system, and the Airmatic air suspension system. It comes with seating for seven and with a third row that powers up or down at the touch of a button. Options include Distronic radar-controlled cruise control; a rear-seat entertainment system with two screens; Keyless Go, which allows the car to be started as long as the key is inside the vehicle; Parktronic, which uses sonar to detect obstacles near the vehicle; a power rear tailgate; Harman/Kardon Logic 7 surround sound system; and DVD navigation. Safety features that come standard include eight airbags, including side airbags for all four outboard first and second-row seating positions as well as side curtain airbags that protect occupants in all three rows. It comes with active front head restraints, LATCH tethers for child safety seats, and three-point safety belts for all seating positions; make sure everyone in the vehicle always wears those seat belts because they're your first line of defense in a crash. Active safety features (to help you avoid a crash) include an Electronic Stability Program, anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist Plus, and four-wheel electronic traction control. Optional safety features include Parktronic and a rear-view camera, each of which can help alert the driver obstacles or people, including children, behind the vehicle.

Walkaround
The GL carries the styling cues seen in newest generation of Mercedes' mid-size M-Class (ML), but applies them to a larger package and adds some strong, perhaps even masculine touches. For example, both in front and at the rear, a metal skid plate (designed to protect underlying mechanical parts from damage when driving off pavement) is a prominent feature that underscores the GL's image of strength. The GL's face looks much like that of the ML, except for the use of round fog lamps instead of oval-shaped accessory lights. Like the ML, the hood features what Mercedes calls a pair of power domes. Seen in profile, the GL's nicely raked windshield and large, 18-inch wheels (with 19- and even 20-inch wheels available) and bulging wheel arches help balance what is basically a tall and long vehicle. But even being tall and long, the GL doesn't look as bulky as, say, General Motor's full-size SUVs, the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, and even with the squared-off rear edge of its D-pillar, the GL doesn't look as boxy as DaimlerChrysler's other full-size, three-row SUV, the Jeep Commander. Viewed from the rear, the GL presents a formidable obstacle. It's tall and wide, with a large rear hatch opening, large tail lamps and all of it sitting above a substantial skid plate bracketed on either side by large, rectangular exhaust pipes. Compared to the ML, the GL is nearly a foot longer and also an inch wider in track (the axle width including wheels), though it is less than half an inch wider overall and not quite an inch taller. Despite their similar styling, the Mercedes SUVs share only their front doors; otherwise, each has unique sheetmetal. As large as the GL may appear, it's 2 inches shorter than the R-Class touring wagon, which also has three rows of seating, though with room for only six occupants. The GL is built using unibody construction rather than the body-on-frame design that full-size pickups and SUVs traditionally use. Mercedes notes that because of this architecture, the GL-Class weighs in at anywhere from 300 pounds to 600 pounds lighter than its full-size competitors. To make sure the GL class is strong enough, 60 percent of the vehicle structure is made from special high-strength steel.

Interior Features
While the GL may look sleeker than its competitors, Mercedes brags that the 2007 GL 450 offers both best-in-class interior room as well as ease of entry and exit. With all seats in their upright position, there's still 14 cubic feet of storage between the third-row seatbacks and the closed rear hatch door. A power folding feature for the third row is standard equipment on the GL with controls near the rear hatch and next to the right-side second-row passenger's seat. Power down those third-row seats, and cargo capacity expands to 43.8 cubic feet. Fold down the 60/40-split second row seats and the GL provides as much as 83.3 cubic feet for cargo. There's also room under the cargo floor for a full-size spare tire. Standard equipment includes eight-way power front seats, 14 air conditioning outlet vents, eight cup holders, air vents, and reading lamps. The interior layout is familiar to Mercedes drivers, with either faux or real leather trim for the seats (Mercedes notes that not all luxury car buyers want real leather seating surfaces), wood trim and metal rings around gauges, air vents, and cup holders. The second-row seats provide ample legroom. When occupied by only two people, the back of the center section can be folded down as an armrest and storage tray. We climbed into the third row and found room for two adults to ride back there, each in a separate seat. The room is enhanced by foot wells for your feet so you don't sit with your knees at chest level, and even the third-row seats are thickly padded to provide comfort. Fears of claustrophobia back there evaporate quickly thanks to the standard sunroof that extends over the third row. The GL can be equipped with a 440-watt, 11-speaker harmon/kardon Logic 7 sound system, with Sirius Satellite Radio and with a DVD video entertainment system with screens mounted in the rear of both front-seat headrests and with a 6CD changer.

Driving Impressions
Driving the 2007 Mercedes-Benz GL 450 doesn't feel at all like driving the typical full-size sport utility vehicle. While this is a substantially sized vehicle, it is not truck-like. The Mercedes has a much more car-like dynamic. The 335-hp V8 engine can propel the GL 450 from a standing start to 60 miles per hour in a car-like 7.4 seconds. This powerplant, with four valves per cylinder, is part of a brand new family of V8 engines from Mercedes-Benz. A standard, seven-speed automatic transmission helps keep the engine operating in the sweet part of a power band that provides maximum torque from 2700 rpm all the way up to 5000. Mercedes notes that the GL is the only full-size SUV offering such a seven-speed gearbox. The 4MATIC four-wheel-drive system features front, center and rear differentials. The sure-footed 4MATIC system is designed to maintain mobility even when only wheel has traction. In normal driving, the system distributes power equally to front and rear wheels. The system includes DSR, a sort of cruise control for regulating downhill speed, and Hill-Start Assist, which keeps the GL from rolling backward when launched after being stopped on uphill slope. 4MATIC also adjusts anti-lock brake controls to provide quicker stops on slippery and unpaved surfaces when off-roading. Airmatic is an air suspension system that uses air bladders instead of coil springs to adjust ride height by as much as three inches as well as ride firmness and body control parameters, so the driver can select from comfort and more aggressively sporty settings. The system automatically lowers the vehicle to enhance handling and aerodynamic efficiency at speeds of 77 mph or higher. Those serious about venturing far from pavement can opt for a special off-road package that includes special wheels and tires, a two-speed transfer case, locking center and rear differentials, adaptive dampening and with ground clearance height-adjustment options of as much as 12.4 inches, compared to the standard 7.9 inches of clearance. We did our driving on freeways in and out of San Francisco's airport and on roads through Napa Valley wine country. Steering feedback was consistent, brakes (14-inches in diameter on the front wheels and 13 inches on the rear) were responsive and consistently predictable and the GL 450 offered nice balanced dynamic capabilities when hustled through the curves on the narrow, hilly roads that wind through the vine-covered hillsides.

Permalink 12:32:11 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 2529 words   English (US)

New 2007 Mercedes Benz ML350 From $549/mo $44,975 Click Image For Live Auction

New 2007 Mercedes Benz ML350 From $549/mo $44,975

BASE MSRP: $42,670
P1: Premium I
Rain Sensor
Glass Sunroof
SIRIUS Satellite Radio
harman/kardon Sound System
Power Liftgate
Hands-Free Communication System
Lighting Package
Headlamp Washing System
Bi-Xenon Curve Illuminating Head Lamps
Corner Illuminating Front Fog Lamps
DVD Navigation System

TOTAL OPTIONS: $5,350
DESTINATION CHARGE: $775
TOTAL MSRP: $48,805
Easy Auto Leases Price $44,975


2007 Mercedes ML350
Low Mercedes Prices Discount Mercedes Auto Leases
Premium 1 Package With DVD Navigation
All Colors-Options Nationwide Delivery

The M-Class SUV might be the Swiss Army Knife in the Mercedes-Benz lineup. It isn't so large that it's cumbersome or hard to park, but it comfortably seats five and carries plenty of stuff. As daily transportation, it doesn't feel like a truck, and it won't beat its driver or passengers up. Yet it has the potential for some fairly serious off-road adventuring, and it can tow up to 5,000 pounds. The M-Class is more than powerful enough in any of its variations, with the safety equipment, luxury accoutrements, style and smooth finish expected of a Mercedes-Benz. For 2007, the M-Class line features two new, very different models that will further broaden its appeal: The fuel-efficient ML320 CDI diesel and the ultra-high performance ML63 AMG. With the ML320 CDI, you can forget just about everything bad you knew about diesels. It gives up nothing to the standard, gasoline-powered ML350. It's equipped identically, except for its diesel engine. The 3.2-liter diesel V6 generates 398 pound-feet of torque, comparable to a large-displacement V8, and brings a substantial improvement in fuel economy. The ML63 AMG features a hand-built V8 that generates 503 horsepower with AMG tuning and enhancements to match all that power. Though considerably more expensive than other M-Class models, the ML63 AMG is a true high-performance machine. Its 6.2-liter V8 is hand-built by a single technician. It bursts from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, according to Mercedes, with top speed electronically limited at 155 mph. Plus, it comes with the full load of luxury features. The original M-Class helped make luxury SUVs a familiar part of the automotive landscape. Completely redesigned for the 2006 model year, this second-generation M-Class is better than the original in every way. It's roomier, more comfortable and more car-like in its bearing. Its wheelbase is almost four inches longer, and its body three inches wider, all to better accommodate larger Americans inside. In the bargain, the coefficient of drag, or Cd number, has dropped from brick-grade to a sylphlike 0.34, on par with many passenger cars that are much lower to the ground. This means quieter highway travel and better fuel economy. In place of the original body-on-frame, truck-style design, this latest-generation M-Class has welded unibody construction with isolated front and rear subframes, a technique that emphasizes rigidity, decreased vibration and lower weight. The unibody also reduces its overall height, making it easier for families to get in and out. The M-Class has given up any pretense to being a large-family vehicle. The optional side-facing rear seats from the old model are gone (they weren't very good anyway), so the M-Class is strictly a five-seater. You'll want to look at the GL-Class for seven-seat SUV accommodations. The new look and larger size come with a new double-wishbone front suspension and four-link independent rear suspension, emphasizing sedan-style dynamics. Yet with a two-range transfer case on most models, and a sophisticated control program for the fulltime all-wheel-drive, the M-Class can get its driver through some fairly tricky off-road situations. M-Class buyers will pay a premium over many other comparably equipped luxury SUVs, but those who appreciate the cache and engineering strengths of the Mercedes brand will find plenty to like here. New for 2007 are three significant options: A dual-screen rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a rearview camera that shows the area behind the vehicle when reverse is engaged, and a Bluetooth interface for cell phones that provides integrated, hands-free operation without docking the handset.

Model Lineup
2007 brings two new models that expand the Mercedes M-Class line to four. Each is equipped with a seven-speed automatic transmission and electronically managed 4ETS fulltime all-wheel drive. The primary distinguishing feature is each model's engine. The ML350 ($42,680) is powered by Mercedes' latest-generation 3.5-liter gasoline V6, generating 268 horsepower. It comes with vinyl upholstery, automatic headlights, power seats, and an eight-speaker stereo with CD. The ML320CDI ($43,680) is equipped similarly but with the 215-hp 3.2-liter diesel V6 rated at 398 pound-feet of torque. The ML500 ($49,200) gets a three-valve, twin-spark 302-hp V8 and more standard features. These include heated, leather covered front seats, rain-sensing wipers and Tele-Aid emergency communication. The ML500 also includes more potent brakes and an upgrade from 17-inch to 18-inch alloy wheels. The ML63 AMG ($85,500) features a 6.2-liter V8 that generates 503 hp along with an AMG transmission, AMG shocks and suspension tuning, high-performance P295/40ZR20 tires on 20-inch wheels, AMG brakes, an air dam and other aerodynamic aids, AMG instruments, harman/kardon Logic7 CD6 audio with 12 speakers, and leather upholstery. Options include Distronic radar-managed cruise control ($3,150), Parktronic obstacle warning ($760), the DVD-based navigation system ($1,650), dual-screen rear-seat DVD entertainment system ($2,800), Keyless Go starting ($1,100), iPod integration kit ($365), CD6 changer ($440). Three packages are available, designated Premium I ($2,800), PII ($5,800), and PIII ($8,600), with exact content tied to the model. Drivers who want the racy look and sportier handling of the ML63 AMG, but not the high-power engine, can order the AMG Sport Package ($4,550) on any M-Class model. Safety features on all models includes two-stage front airbags for the driver and front passenger, side-impact airbags front and rear (torso protection) and curtain-style head protection airbags. A rollover sensor can activate both the seat-belt tensioners and curtain airbags if the vehicle senses an imminent rollover. An Electronic Stability Program comes standard along with advanced anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution. A tire pressure warning system is also standard.

Walkaround
The 2007 Mercedes-Benz M-Class generates more physical and visceral excitement than its predecessors, the pre-2006 models. From the emotional perspective, its front end is bolder, more interesting and more aggressive, with ventilated grille bars, a power-dome hood design and wild-looking integrated headlamps. In profile, the wheel arches loom large and prominent. There's an unmistakable character line rising front to rear, and a forward-slanting C-pillar that frames trapezoidal rear side glass. On the practical side, the M-Class body is much more aerodynamic. Its drag coefficient, or Cd, measures 0.34. That's closer to the average sedan than the typical slab-sided SUV. The lower the number, the less noise generated as air flows over the vehicle, and the less power required to move the ML at a given speed. Some improvements aren't readily apparent to the eye. A new-fangled scratch resistant paint, embedded with thousands of flecks of ceramic, is standard. It should be welcomed by those owners who actually decide to challenge overgrown trails, or those who share their garages with kids, toys and bicycles. There's an optional power liftgate operated with the key fob, and several cargo organizing devices available as accessories. New for 2007 is the ML63 AMG, and it is readily distinguished from other M-Class models. If its 20-inch spoke rims aren't a dead giveaway, check the ML63's more aggressive front and rear aprons, unique grille, flared fenders and deeply sculpted AMG side skirts. The ML63 also features unique tinted taillights and two sets of twin-chrome exhaust tips.

Interior Features
Inside the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, the dashboard, door panels and seats compliment the aggressive exterior design nicely. Wood, leather, plastic and metal finishes are generally top-drawer, as they should be at this price. Four huge, round air vents spread across the dash panel, which is dominated by a deeply hooded instrument cluster with sharp graphics and prominent chrome trim around the tachometer and speedometer. A central information window between the gauges can be programmed to supply about as much driving and maintenance information as one driver can stand to absorb. The steering wheel has a nice, thick rim that's reassuring when driving off road. We're fond of the optional wheel, finished with the top half in wood and the bottom half in leather. The center hub houses four sets of controls for information, telephone, navigation and entertainment systems. Wipers are stalk-mounted to the left of the column, while primary climate and audio controls are in the center stack above the console. The center stack is dominated by the elements of the COMAND system and a 16:9 LCD display which incorporates entertainment, telephone, and navigation displays. The M-Class features an electronic gear selector that's making its way into all Mercedes models. It's an easy-to-reach short stalk on the right side of the steering column, with simple up-down movement for reverse and drive. Alternate shift buttons, which allow selection of a specific gear, are located on the back of the steering wheel hub, right where fingers wrap around the spokes. It's a good system, and eliminates the conventional gear selector from the center console, making more room available for elegant design and function. The power seat controls have been relocated from the door to the outboard side of the seat bottom. We can fathom no reason for this change except the cost trimmed by eliminating the remote switches. It's certainly a less convenient arrangement. Still, the front seats themselves (even the base seats in the ML350) are all-day comfortable. The rear seat isn't as supportive as the fronts, but it's much roomier than before. Most of the newly created space in this second-generation M-Class translates into more knee and legroom for rear seat passengers. The rear seat folds fairly easily, and is split 60/40, to expand storage space from 29.1 to 72.4 cubic feet maximum. The load height in back is SUV high, but M-Class offers nearly as much cargo-hauling room as the typical, full-size truck-based SUV. The new 2007 ML63 AMG has heavily bolstered sport seats upholstered with Nappa leather and an Alcantara insert across the shoulder bolsters. Its entire dashboard is wrapped with leather. The ML63 also features a leather-wrapped sport steering wheel, unique instruments with AMG graphics and stainless-steel pedals with rubber studs.

Driving Impressions
In any variant, the Mercedes M-Class will do just about anything the typical owner demands, on road or off. Acceleration ranges from better-than-adequate, even with the new diesel engine, to oh-my-gosh! with the new ML63 AMG. Ride quality on pavement is never rough, even in the more stiffly suspended ML63, which features Mercedes' automatic AirMatic air suspension as standard equipment. New for 2007 is the available 3.2-liter diesel V6. This is the state of the art in diesel engines and we really like it. It's as clean as the ML's gasoline engines and gets much better fuel economy, yet it is not available in California and four other states. With this engine, there is no black soot, no sulfur smell and no loud, clattering noise. At idle the diesel in the ML320 CDI is nearly as quiet as the gasoline engine in the ML350, and that's when you're standing outside next to the vehicle. Inside, a driver is hard pressed to tell any difference between the gas and diesel engines, measured by noise or vibration. The only obvious difference is that the diesel shifts to a higher gear under full-throttle acceleration sooner than the gas engine to take advantage of its torque. There's no decrease in performance, either. Mercedes reports identical 0-60 mph times of 7.9 seconds for the both the ML320 diesel and the ML350. Yet that doesn't tell the whole story, because in short bursts the diesel actually accelerates more quickly. Its whopping 398 pound-feet of torque (compared to 258 lb-ft for the ML350) comes across as a neck-whipping burst of acceleration. And for this the diesel buyer gets a fuel economy improvement of 30 percent or more in real-world driving. We're perfectly happen in the ML350, but if diesel were readily available on our appointed rounds, we would choose the ML320 CDI over the ML350. During several days of hard driving in the south of France, we found the ML500 a hoot. The 5.0-liter V8 engine will take this 2.5-ton SUV from 0-60 mph in less than seven seconds flat, and then settles down to a background burble by the time you reach seventh-gear overdrive. The seven-speed automatic offers a manual-shift mode, and it's the best automatic Mercedes has built. It's flexible, in that it kicks down to a lower gear more quickly than its predecessors, and it almost always keeps the engine in the most productive part of its power band. Yet its overdrive top gear makes for quiet high-speed cruising and better fuel economy. The suspension is good at keeping the ML nice and flat in high-speed corners, and it smoothes dips and potholes better than we'd expect a truck to do. The optional AirMatic suspension we tested in France can be downright supple, which trucks aren't supposed to be. The larger standard 18-inch wheels and tires with the 5.0 V8 and the power rack-and-pinion steering deliver a nice feel of the road, and quick reactions when necessary. At high speeds through mountain passes, the ML500 leans over a little, takes a set, and then grabs the ground and turns the corners. Critics have complained with some justification about the electronically actuated and modulated Sensotronic brake system that Mercedes-Benz has been feeding gradually into all of its models over the last few years. We're getting used to them, and they'll stop the M-Class right now without much pedal effort. They've also improved considerably since they were first introduced. Yet they still don't have the smooth, linear feel of the best mechanically actuated brake systems. Nice smooth stops can be tricky without practice. We prefer the brakes in the Mercedes cars that do not have Sensotronic. Off road, the ML500 and ML63 AMG have two significant added features: a Downhill Speed Regulation software control that won't let you and it go any faster than about 7 mph downhill, and a Start-Off Assist that keeps the vehicle from drifting backward in Drive or forward in Reverse on steep hills. Very handy, indeed, and easy to learn to use. All M-Class models are rated at a significant 5000-pound towing capacity with the optional Class III towing package. We have little doubt that three of the four, including the new M320 diesel, would be up for the job (the diesel generates as much torque as a large displacement V8). We'd have some doubts about the gasoline V6 in the ML350, however. If towing a substantial load were a regular part of our routine, we'd look at the ML320 CDI or the ML500. New for 2007 is the 6.2-liter V8. We've driven the ML63 AMG and it certainly has appeal: a people hauler to do battle with Porsche 911s in the stoplight derby or blast through big sweeping curves much faster than decorum or good sense might suggest. The ML63 is fast, dashing from 0 to 60 mph in less than five seconds, and, with the torque of a large V8 and the high-revving character of a sports car engine, it can be fun to drive. But it's also big and heavy, so don't think sports car. Through the twisties where we sampled it, changing directions quickly and often, the ML63 AMG is not exactly fun. Its massive tires mean plenty of grip. The steering is fairly quick for such a hefty machine, but also quite light, and the package conspires to feel twitchy, almost unsettling.

Permalink 12:31:32 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 4689 words   English (US)

New 2007 Mercedes Benz E350 From $529/mo $50,575 Click Image For Live Auction

New 2007 Mercedes Benz ML350 From $549/mo $44,975

BASE MSRP: $50,550
P1: Premium I
Hands-Free Communication System
DVD COMAND Navigation
SIRIUS Satellite Radio
Power Rear-Window Sunshade
Heated Front Seats
Panorama Sunroof
33 Sport Package details
All Season Tires
18" Wheels
Lowered Sport Suspension
Sport Rear Bumper with Dual-Chrome Pipes
Blue-Tinted Glass

TOTAL OPTIONS: $3,390
DESTINATION CHARGE: $775
TOTAL MSRP: $54,715
Easy Auto Leases Price $50,575

2007 Mercedes E350
Low Mercedes Prices Discount Mercedes Auto Leases
Premium 1 Package
All Colors-Options Nationwide Delivery

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class features more powerful engines for 2007, along with subtle styling changes, new interior elements, and a few tweaks for handling and safety. The E-Class in many ways epitomizes the Mercedes-Benz brand. It's the company's best selling line worldwide and one of the best-selling Mercedes models in the United States. The E-Class describes a full line of big, roomy sedans that are solid, safe, practical, comfortable, luxurious, and fast. Yet the cost of operating the popular E350, in terms of fuel consumption and maintenance, can be quite reasonable. The E-Class features some of the industry's most advanced safety technology, and it expresses what most people think of when they think of Mercedes: status in elegant, understated fashion. Since a frame-up overhaul for model year 2003, the E-Class has expanded steadily and now includes six variants (more if you count the all-wheel drive E350 4Matic sedan and wagon and E550 4Matic sedan as separate models). The E-Class has sedans that seat five, wagons that seat seven, power from a V6, two V8s and a turbocharged V6 diesel, optional weather-busting all-wheel drive and screaming super-performance models from supertuner AMG. For 2007, there are changes in E-Class nomenclature, thanks to new engines. The E500 sedan has become the E550 sedan, the new badge indicating it's powered by the 5.5-liter V8 that first appeared in the 2006 S-Class. The E550's double overhead cam V8 generates 382 horsepower compared to the 302 horsepower from the single overhead cam V8 it replaces, yet with a seven-speed automatic transmission, the E550 achieves the same estimated mileage as its less powerful predecessor. The E550 4Matic sedan retains its five-speed automatic. The E350 benefits from a V6 that was upgraded last year and is offered as a sedan and a wagon. Meanwhile, there is no better example of how far passenger car diesel technology has advanced than the new E320 Bluetec sedan, which replaces the E320 CDI. The impressive common-rail direct-injection turbodiesel engine comes with a more sophisticated exhaust system that makes it the only diesel-powered passenger car available in the U.S. during the 2007 model year. It's not only more powerful than the outgoing E320 CDI with 210 horsepower and a muscular 388 pound-feet of torque, but it also returns the outgoing CDI's excellent EPA-estimated fuel mileage of 27 city/37 highway mpg. Also new for 2007 are the E63 AMG sedan and wagon. It's hard to conceive of a faster, sportier team of luxury cars than the outgoing E55 AMGs, but the completely new 507-hp 6.2-liter V8 that replaces the E55's 469-hp supercharged V8 makes the E63s the fastest E-Class models ever built. And though capable of monstrous acceleration (0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds) and a top speed of 180 mph (were it not for electronics that limit top speed to 155 mph), the AMGs boast the touches of luxury expected at the upper end of the market. The Mercedes E-Class is an icon, a benchmark in its class. The mid-life freshening for 2007 helps the E-Class keep pace with such outstanding luxury sedans as the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Acura RL.

Model Lineup
The Mercedes E-Class lineup can seem daunting and complex, yet there is only one primary choice: four-door sedan or wagon. From there, it's a matter of choosing the engine and whether you want 4Matic all-wheel drive. The E350 models come with a 3.5-liter V6 engine. The E350 sedan ($51,325) comes with a seven-speed automatic while the all-wheel-drive 4Matic ($53,825) has a five-speed automatic. E350s are available in Sport or Luxury trim. The E320 Bluetec ($52,325) is equipped identically to the E350 Luxury version, but features the turbodiesel engine. The E350 4Matic wagon ($56,475) is equipped comparably to the sedan. A power liftgate and cargo organizer are standard, along with a folding third seat that increases passenger capacity to seven. Standard features include fully automatic dual-zone climate control, 10-way power front seats with leather seating surfaces and memory, real burl walnut trim, a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, a nine-speaker surround-sound stereo, power windows with one-touch express up and down, auto-dimming mirrors and rain-sensing windshield wipers. New standard equipment for 2007 includes a glass sunroof, six-disc CD changer, harman/kardon Logic 7 premium audio and, in the wagon, a power liftgate. Luxury trim comes with 17-inch wheels, comfort suspension, green-tinted glass and burl walnut wood trim. Sport trim includes 18-inch twin-spoke wheels, a sport rear bumper with dual exhaust pipes, lowered sports suspension, blue-tinted glass, black bird's eye maple wood trim, white gauges, and a matte chrome gearshift surround. Options include the Premium 1 package ($2,390) with phone pre-wiring, DVD navigation, Sirius satellite radio, power rear window sunshade and heated front seats. Premium II ($4,290) adds headlamp washers, a bi-xenon active light system, cornering fog lamps, and Keyless Go to that list. Also optional: a panorama sunroof ($1,000), electronic trunk closer ($520), split/folding rear seats ($300), radar-controlled Distronic adaptive cruise control ($3,160); a wood/leather steering wheel ($540); five-spoke chrome 17-inch wheels ($1,200); and Parktronic obstacle warning ($1,110). The E550 ($59,775) and E550 4Matic ($62,275) sedans are powered by the 382-hp V8, and it offers more standard equipment than the E350. Upgrades include a four-zone climate control system and Airmatic variable air suspension. Options include the Premium I package ($2,840), which adds active ventilated seats to the E350's similar package, while Premium II ($4,740) is identical in content to the E350's. The E63 AMG sedan ($85,375) and wagon ($86,175) include the 507-hp V8, a seven-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles, massive 18-inch tires and wheels, performance brakes, a lowered chassis and an aggressively tuned air suspension. They're distinguished by unique body touches and interior trim, deeply sculpted sports seats and AMG markings. Options are similar to those on the other E-Class models. Safety features that come standard on all models include eight airbags: dual front airbags, side-impact airbags for front and rear passengers, and head-protection curtains that run the length of the cabin on both sides. The airbag management system employs multiple impact sensors designed to more precisely control the timing and rate of deployment. The system accounts for the weight of a front-seat passenger and controls seatbelt pretensioners according to the force of impact. Active safety features start with anti-skid stability electronics and the latest evolution of ABS. Safety is further enhanced by the Pre-Safe system, which was engineered to recognize critical situations as they develop and prepare both the passengers and the car for the crisis. If braking deceleration exceeds a certain level or the vehicle threatens to skid, the system tensions the front seatbelts, adjusts the position of the passenger seat for optimum positioning relative to deployment of the airbags, and closes the side windows and sliding sunroof, leaving only a small gap. In the event of a rear collision, the front head restraints move forward nearly two inches and upward by more than an inch, helping to support the head and reduce whiplash injuries.

Walkaround
Before the launch of the gorgeous CLS sedan/coupe, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class was widely considered to be the most successful design among the company's current sedans. For 2007, a slightly increased overall length and wider front and rear tracks does nothing to dispel the car's suave look. The four-headlight theme introduced on the previous-generation E-Class is now the company standard, but it has been refined further in the mid-life freshening of the 2007 car. Up front, the bumper and radiator grille now have a pronounced V-shape, the spoiler is lower, and, for a striking effect, the twin headlamps sport transparent louvers over their top sections. A finishing touch is the white LEDs used for the parking lights. The front end's new look for 2007 is carried to the rear along deeper side skirts to a new rear bumper and taillight configuration. Along with the new, more aerodynamically shaped single-strut rearview mirrors, the changes keep the E-Class looking fresh and youthful, yet elegant. The current E-Class design introduced many innovations not necessarily apparent to the eye. This was the first Mercedes sedan to use aluminum body components extensively, starting with the hood, front fenders, trunk lid, front crossmember and front subframe. Aluminum is lighter and stronger but more expensive than steel. Aluminum amounts to 10 percent of the body's weight. About 37 percent of the total is modern high-strength steel alloys. From the aerodynamic perspective, the E-Class is one of the slipperiest sedans extant. Its 0.27 coefficient of drag, identical to the 2006 model, is a benchmark for sedans and helps minimize wind noise and maximize fuel economy. The E-Class wagon, this year available only in E350 and E63 AMG versions, will never be mistaken for anything but a wagon. Nonetheless, it is impressively sleek, and some critics find the tear-drop taper of the rear roof more aesthetically pleasing than the trunk deck on the sedans. The exterior revisions on the sedan apply to the wagon. The wagon has been fitted with a larger center brake light. The wagon's added cargo-passenger flexibility is welcome. If the E350 wagon is too stodgy for your taste, there's always the new E63 AMG wagon. The E63 AMG sedan and wagon look meaner than the other E-Class cars. With their lower body cladding and 18-inch wheels, the E63s look racy and aggressive. As is often the case, the body add-ons add slightly more drag, if you can call a super slippery 0.28 Cd more drag. The aerodynamic aids are for downforce, to improve grip in fast corners.

Interior Features
We really enjoy the Mercedes E-Class interior. Like its exterior styling, we consider the E-Class cabin to be some of the marque's best design work, with a successful mix of attributes. The E-Class sedan delivers plenty of passenger space, yet it maintains some level of intimacy. It's luxurious, yet functional, and loaded with features without being excessive. The E-Class has all the traditional Mercedes interior cues, starting with its standard dark stained burl walnut trim. The cabin is conservative in some respects, daring in others, and impressively executed throughout. New for 2007 is a more elegant look, distinguished by sweeping curves, soft surfaces and effective use of chrome trim. A handsome four-spoke steering wheel with elliptical thumb-operated buttons is new, along with revised controls for the automatic climate system and additional interior color choices. The dashboard sweeps from each side and blends into the doors and center console. The wood trim is complemented by splashes of chrome. Plastic panels are generally rich in appearance and have a soft-touch finish. All are sprayed with a polyurethane coating that delivers impressively consistent color. The instrument cluster uses black script on white gauges with LED lighting. There's a big speedometer in the middle, with a menu-operated display for diagnostics, feature selection, ambient temperature, date and other information in its center. To the left sits a large analog clock, to the right the tachometer. On either end of the cluster are neat bar gauges that resemble thermometers, displaying fuel level and coolant temperature. A cluster of switches between the visors on the headliner controls cabin lighting and the Tele-Aid SOS call button. The panel also includes a switch to operate the sunroof. HomeLink buttons are located on the bottom of the rearview mirror and can be programmed to control garage doors, house lighting, gates, etc. Redundant controls on the steering wheel hub operate the phone, radio and information display. A single row of switches at the bottom of the center stack operates door locks, flashers and seat heaters. The main audio, telephone and navigation controls are located in a Comand module, spread around a 16:9 ratio LCD display screen. The system is a big improvement over Mercedes' previous control center, and while it still requires some learning, it probably takes less time to master than the menu/joystick system in many E-Class competitors. The new CD changer is located behind a flip-up switch panel in the center of the dash panel, which, at the touch of a button, opens for access to the changer. It can play audio CDs and MP3s, and an auxiliary input plug in the glove box allows personal audio devices to be played through the 12-speaker sound system. An optional kit connects the Apple iPod to the audio system and provides information in the center display while allowing control via the multi-function steering wheel. Mercedes is learning that people who drive cars carry stuff with them, at least Americans do. This E-Class has less storage space than some of its competitors, but acres more than any Mercedes did five years ago. The center console has a funky pop-up cupholder and a large storage bin (two bins if you don't order the telephone package). Storage bins are also located in each door along with map pockets on the front seatbacks. The 10-way adjustable front bucket seats are firm enough for good support when driving fast, but not hard on the back when cruising. They grip bodies of various sizes nicely, and there's more than enough adjustment via Mercedes' patented door-mounted seat controls to accommodate just about everyone. The sport seats have enough bolstering to keep a bronze bust in place. But if you don't dive into corners like Stirling Moss, you probably don't need them. They make getting in and out a little more difficult. We especially enjoy the Active Ventilated seats in the E550 and E63 AMG models on hot days, when they provide a welcome measure of comfort. Gripes? We didn't like the previous model's outside mirrors, which were too small, no doubt in deference to sharp styling and good aerodynamics, but the mirrors on the 2007 models are shaped better for viewing to the rear, and they're even more slippery in the wind. More significant is the cruise control. Mercedes' system still is managed with a stalk on the left side of the steering column, above the turn signals. At some point, no matter how long you've driven the car, you are going to hit the cruise control when you intend to turn on the blinker. Mercedes engineers insist that theirs is the most effective cruise-control operation going. We've yet to meet anyone who prefers it. The E-Class was one of the first cars to feature ambient cabin lighting. These strips of soft, low-level lighting in the headliner remain on during darkness, like a fancy nightlight in the bathroom. It's disconcerting while driving at night, at least initially, because we're used to nothing but the instrument lights. The distraction goes away as you become accustomed, but we're not sure the benefit of being able to see around the cabin outweighs the perceived loss of night vision and focus on the road. Ambient lighting is convenient for passengers who want to be able to see inside the cabin, however. A power glass moonroof that tilts and slides comes standard, but the Panorama roof can be ordered that offers twice the glass surface area. It features continuous glass that slides along the top of the body from the windshield to the rear window. The back seat has all the comforts of home. Separate air vents for both sides, a fan-speed switch and separate temperature adjustments help keep rear passengers comfortable. A 12-volt power point, reading lamps, and a wide, fold-down center armrest with cupholders and divided storage are provided. Headrests are provided for all three rear seating positions, yet the driver can retract them with the press of a button when there's no one riding in back for a greater range of rearward vision. The optional split/folding rear seat adds utility; get it if you haul stuff. The trunk is one of the largest in the class, with nearly 16 cubic feet of space. The trunk floor is as long as it is wide, with load height just above the bumper. The E-Class wagon offers 24.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second-row seats and 69 cubic feet with all the seats folded down. That's nearly as much volume as the Mercedes M-Class, and with its lower load height, the space in the E-Class wagon is much easier to reach than it is in an SUV. The folding third-row seat will accommodate pre-teens without complaint, but most adults won't like it back there.

Driving Impressions
All of the 2007 Mercedes E-Class cars are enjoyable to drive. Smooth, serene and quiet are the dominant impressions at the wheel of any E-Class, unless you have the accelerator floored. There's very little vibration anywhere in the cabin, and almost no wind noise. Improvements to the geometry of the front suspension for 2007 give the E-Class a crisper, quicker turn-in while cornering, perceptibly increasing the sporty nature of the car's handling. All of the E-Class cars corner responsively and provide a smooth, if slightly firm, ride, a balance we like in luxury sedans. The four-link front suspension is similar to that under the expensive S-Class models, and the five-link rear suspension does a superb job of controlling unwanted wheel movement, which is crucial to handling and ride quality. The Sport models are tuned for those who like to feel in closer touch to the pavement, as it's fitted with shorter springs for a slightly lower ride height, stiffer shocks and low-profile performance tires on 18-inch wheels. The available Airmatic Dual Control suspension replaces the standard steel coil springs with air springs. This computer-managed system adjusts the air pressure to the spring at each wheel, based on road conditions or driving style, to slightly soften or firm the ride and to add or decrease body roll (lean) in corners. In combination with electronically adjusted shock absorbers, the air suspension can automatically improve ride quality or handling or optimize the balance of the two, depending on where the car is traveling and whether the driver is cruising or driving quickly. The system works automatically, without switching suspension settings between sport and comfort. The variable-power steering system was improved for 2007 with a 10-percent quicker ratio for more precise control of front wheel direction. The system provides more boost for easy turning at low speeds and less for more progressive steering response and feedback at higher speeds. With 2.6 turns lock-to-lock compared to the previous system's 3.3 turns, we found the new steering makes maneuvering through crowded parking lots easier and more pleasant, and far more responsive in the corners. One of our gripes with the 2006 models was the braking system. All of the E-Class cars came with Sensotronic Brake Control, commonly called brake-by-wire, because the connection between the brake pedal and reservoir of brake fluid is electronic, not mechanical. Although we found them to be excellent in terms of performance, with stops straight, true and short, repeatedly, with virtually no brake fade, we didn't care for the way they engaged, which we felt was too abrupt, especially in commuter crawl mode. They do, however, have their advantages. The electronic system can apply brake force to each wheel independently, helping to keep the car traveling straight and true during panic stops, even on bumpy, uneven roads. It will also keep the brakes on full in an emergency situation, as measured by sensors, even if a driver inadvertently eases off the brake pedal. And if it's raining, the system periodically, lightly, applies the brakes to sweep them dry. Still, the brake-by-wire had its quirks. Several testers found them difficult to modulate in everyday driving, making smooth braking around town a challenge. In short, we didn't really like them. For 2007, the Sensotronic control has been removed from the brake system, which is essentially unchanged except for the now ultra-smooth grasp of the binders, even at slow speeds. Each E-Class model has progressively larger brake rotors and more complex piston designs to complement the engine's power and corresponding speed potential. The E-Class wagons give up almost nothing to the sedans in performance, fuel economy or handling dynamics. The E350 comes with a 3.5-liter engine introduced for 2006, which was the first Mercedes V6 with dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder. The 3.5-liter V6 generates 268 hp and it matches well with the high-tech seven-speed automatic transmission that comes standard. The E350 is as responsive as any V6-powered car we've driven. The 3.5-liter V6 has fully variable valve timing, delivering an impressive amount of torque from idle all the way to redline. The E350 responds immediately, no matter how fast it's already traveling when the driver dips the gas pedal. The 3.5-liter engine is also appreciably smooth, particularly at high rpm. And thanks to the seven-speed automatic, it delivers decent fuel mileage. The new E320 Bluetec diesel gets vastly superior fuel economy, however. It's expected to deliver 27 city/37 highway mpg. With predominantly highway travel, this gives it a range of 600-700 miles per tank. The Bluetec replaces the diesel-powered E320 CDI, which was an impressive car, but the new diesel is better and cleaner. It's designed to run on the ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel introduced into the U.S. starting October 2006. Mercedes' first V6 diesel, the Bluetec features all the latest high-tech goodies, including turbocharging, a variable nozzle turbine, four valves per cylinder, exhaust gas recirculation and a third generation of CDI, the common-rail direct-injection system that delivers fuel to the engine at an incredible 23,000 psi (compared to 100-250 psi in a typical gasoline engine). Yet the technology matters less than the results. The diesel V6 puts out a modest 208 hp, but is backed up by a resounding 400 pound-feet of torque that begins as early as 1600 rpm. In other words, this baby hauls. There's no smoke to be seen or smelled. Four after-treatment units in the exhaust stream help make the Bluetec V6 the cleanest diesel powerplant in the world. (Initially, it will be sold in 45 states only, but Mercedes-Benz expects that a further evolution of Bluetec will allow diesel Mercedes to be sold throughout the United States in 2008.) We drove the E320 Bluetec sedan through the deserts and mountains surrounding Las Vegas, and it exhibited all the attractive traits of the gasoline-powered Benzes, and more. As well as being as smooth and quiet as any of the world's luxury sedans, Bluetec comes with a powerful character all its own, owing to the massive yank of torque that pulls the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds, only a tenth of a second behind the gas-powered E350 sedan. In other words, forget everything you know about diesel-powered cars built in the 1970s, '80s or '90s. Slow starting? Not anymore. Like all diesels, the E-Class version still needs electric glow plugs to heat the combustion chambers before starting, but we never noticed. Unpleasant odors? You'll still experience that oily diesel smell at the truck stop when you fill the E320 Bluetec's tank, but once the filler cap is back on and the car is running, there will be no unpleasant fumes inside or out of this E-Class. Excessive engine noise? At idle, during warm-up, we heard the rapid tick-tick of diesel noise more loudly than anything coming from the gasoline-powered E350's engine, but once underway, there was zero difference in the amount of engine noise reaching the cabin compared to other E-Class models. That extra bit of noise is more than offset by the Bluetec sedan's excellent benefits. With 400 pound-feet of torque, more even than the E550 boasts with its V8, the turbodiesel V6 makes a winner of the E320 Bluetec in almost any stoplight derby. The 3,860-pound sedan, though no lightweight, jumps forward quickly enough to spin the back tires just by jabbing the right pedal, if you've switched the traction control off. Its turbocharger also provides a level of immunity from the power-robbing effects of high elevation, as we discovered in our climb up Mount Charleston northwest of Las Vegas. And on one quiet desert road, we reached the electronically limited top speed of 130 mph without breaking a sweat. That said, there's nothing like the E550's V8 power for smooth, exhilarating acceleration. This V8 is sweet from idle to the 6000-rpm redline, and with 382 hp and 391 pound-feet of torque (up from 302 horsepower and 339 pound-feet in the E500), the E550 flies. From a stoplight or from 70 mph, there's a deep well of torque underfoot and plenty of acceleration, good enough to take it from 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. Throughout our first drive of the E550, on the high-speed autobahns of Germany and over the twisting roads of the Bavarian Alps, it provided a stellar combination of performance and luxury, sharp handling and passenger comfort. In short, the Mercedes E550 is as nearly perfect a sports sedan as has been developed by anyone. The seven-speed automatic transmission improves acceleration, performance and response, but it also enhances fuel efficiency when compared to a more common five-speed automatic. Gear changes are barely noticeable, especially in the higher gears. This transmission allows significantly quicker acceleration for highway passing situations. And it doesn't have to go through every gear: Step on the gas and the transmission will skip down to the appropriate gear, switching from seventh to fifth, for example, and from there directly to third, meaning two downshifts instead of four. Both of the transmissions also offer three individual driver-selectable shift programs to alter the shifting characteristics from comfort to sport to full manual gear selection. The 2007 E63 AMG sedan and wagon operate on another plane entirely. Their race-bred naturally aspired 6.2-liter V8, which is being offered in a variety of Mercedes models, delivers 507 hp and 465 pound-feet of torque, compared to 469 hp and 516 pound-feet of torque in the outgoing E55 AMG. The previous models got their power courtesy of an intercooled Lysholm screw-type supercharger, which helped rocket them from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, but the new, big V8 makes the cars even faster: 4.3 seconds from 0 to 60 mph. Plus, the new V8 emits less harmful emissions than the supercharged engine and weighs 55 pounds less. The 6.2-liter V8 is the first Mercedes engine to be totally engineered and built at the AMG facility, and the firm put every bit of its long motorsports experience into it. The all-aluminum engine features four valves per cylinder, a variable intake manifold made of magnesium, variable camshafts and a special low-friction cylinder wall treatment, but the most important part is it performs and growls like a big V8. The five-speed automatic in the E55 AMG has been replaced by a more efficient seven-speed automatic with AMG-tuned Speedshift programming. Like the five-speed, it shifts quickly up or down (though without the throttle blip of some manu-matics), doesn't hunt back and forth for the right gear, even in hilly terrain, and it rarely shifts unless the driver changes the angle of the gas pedal, which is good. When the driver prefers, an auto-manual shift mechanism allows a high level of control over gear selection. Either by toggling the shifter left or right or using the paddles on the steering wheel, the transmission shifts quickly up and down at the driver's discretion. The system will hold the selected gear indefinitely just below the 6000-rpm redline, but it won't let you bump the engine off its rev-limiter without shifting up a gear. Should the mood strike, a driver can run through the gears or challenge a curving stretch of road almost as if it was a fully manual transmission. Drivers who like that sort of thing might gripe about the lack of a blipped throttle during downshifts like some other transmissions of this type deliver, but that's a minor point that will be moot to almost everyone else. Most of the time, we simply put it in Drive. Even the high-performance E63 AMG is so quiet that the driver forgets just how powerful and fast it is until the throttle is opened up.

Summary
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class offers a wide range of choices, but all have the attributes that have made them a benchmark among luxury cars. Every model delivers a combination of safety, luxury, practicality, performance, status, and cost of operation that's difficult to match. This remains an iconic car in a market segment crowded with good cars.

Permalink 12:30:17 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 1911 words   English (US)

New 2007 Mercedes Benz SL550 From $1,099/mo $99,975 1-888-861-8080


BASE MSRP: $94,800
321 AMG Sport Package
High Performance Tires
Steering Wheel Gearshift Paddles
AMG Body Styling
18" AMG twin-spoke Aluminum-Alloy Wheels
P1: Premium I
Active Ventilated Seats
Dynamic Multicontour Seats
Xenon Headlamps
Corner-illuminating Foglamps
Keyless Go
Gaz Guzzler: $1700

TOTAL OPTIONS: $10,790
DESTINATION CHARGE: $775
TOTAL MSRP: $106,365
Easy Auto Leases Price $99,975

2007 Mercedes SL550
Low Mercedes Prices Discount Mercedes Auto Leases
AMG And Premium 1 Packages
All Colors-Options Nationwide Delivery

The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class of two-seat roadsters has been significantly upgraded for 2007. These were wonderful cars before, and they're even more wonderful for 2007. For 2007, all SL models get revised styling, with new front, rear, and side sheetmetal along with new interior decor. The entry-level model, now called the SL550, gets a bigger, more powerful engine, and a new seven-speed automatic, giving it a big boost in performance and a sportier sound. The SL55 AMG gets more power as well. The steering and active suspension have been upgraded on all the 2007 models, sharpening the handling. At the same time, these cars provide grand touring intimacy, for quiet conversation or unimpeded stereo performance. New upholstery materials give the cabins a richer appearance. Drop the top and they deliver comfortable, top-down motoring, putting the wind in your hair, and whisking your troubles away. Buffeting is well controlled, so you don't even have to put up with much wind. Few sports cars can boast a continuous 50-year history like the Mercedes-Benz SL can. First offered as a two-seat 300SL roadster in 1957, the SL-Class brought heart-stopping good looks, fuel injection, independent front and rear suspension and disc brakes to the sports car party, and has been in the Mercedes-Benz lineup ever since, leading the applied technology in the sports car segment with things like the disappearing steel top, radar, sonar, active hydraulic suspension and composite brakes. Today we have the safest, quickest, flattest-handling and prettiest SL-Class cars in half a century. The SL-Class comes in one body style, a two-seat roadster with a steel retractable hardtop. The SL550, SL600, SL55 AMG, and SL65 AMG deliver varying levels of performance, however, ranging from fast to faster. The SL models compete in the luxury sports car segment with the BMW 6 Series convertible, the new Jaguar XK, the Porsche 911 Turbo cabriolet, and the Aston Martin V-8 Vantage.

Model Lineup
The 2007 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class comes in five distinct flavors, starting with the most popular model, the SL550 ($94,800) with its new 382-hp 5.5-liter V8 engine and new seven-speed automatic. The SL600 ($132,000) features a 510-hp 5.5-liter V12 engine. Since this is the 50th anniversary of the SL, there will be a limited run of 550 50th Edition SL550s, all with brown leather interior, pewter paint, and black ash wood trim, a handful of special options made standard, special trim and matching 50th Edition luggage. The high-performance SL55 AMG ($128,800) features a supercharged 5.5-liter V8 and special tuning by AMG. The SL65 AMG ($186,000) is powered by a 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12, rated at 604 horsepower and a staggering 738 pound-feet of torque. Both AMG versions, in addition to their special front, rear, side, and interior trims, sport seats, and AMG alloy wheels, have a new dashboard information display that includes for the first time a RaceTimer feature that will track lap times, lap length, average speed, and top speed. The SL65 AMG gets an electric trunk closer, aluminum steering-wheel-mounted shift levers, a complete carbon fiber interior, and a center high-mount stop lamp in white instead of red. The safety package leaves nothing out. All SL-Class models comes with ABS with huge disc brakes, ESP electronic stability control, traction control, ABC automatic body control suspension, front and side air bags, and an automatic deployable rollover hoop behind the seats. Options include a comfort package, wood-and-leather trim package, AMG Sport package, hands-free communication package, bi-xenon headlamps, Distronic cruise control, Parktronic park assist, run-flat tires, the Keyless Go entry and starting system, and the Panorama roof option, all at about the same prices as the 2006 model.

Walkaround
For 2007, the Mercedes SL-Class sports a more aggressively styled front air dam, a new front grille and chrome-trimmed fog lights.The SL550 (which will still be called the SL500 in most other markets) has the least body adornment within its bolder, sportier new design envelope. The designers have given the SL550 a much more aggressive front-end appearance, a new lower air dam, new front lamps, a bigger grille, and new sill plates inside the doors. The taillamps are new, with white rather than red lenses, as are the 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels (alternate 18- and 19-inch wheels and tires will be optional). The SL600 and SL65 AMG will carry front fender badges reading V12 Biturbo, while the SL55 will be badged V8 Kompressor. The two AMGs will share body panels, noses and sills, while the SL550 and SL600 share design details.All of them are absolutely gorgeous.The folding and disappearing power top raises or lowers in just 16 seconds.

Interior Features
The designers have increased the level of luxury inside this already beautiful interior for 2007, by specifying more expensive leathers, woods and carpeting throughout. The main instrument cluster has been redesigned, with new chronometer graphics and additional leather stitching on the binnacle. New aluminum trim panels are coordinated with a new burr walnut wood trim. New, softer leather is used on the seats and panels, and new colors, black and red, have been added. Cockpit comfort in the SL550 as well as the other models is superior, with a huge range of seat and steering wheel adjustability, and the seats are supremely comfortable and containing. This is a two-seat sports car, however, and there's still that wall behind the seats that restricts seat travel and may make taller drivers fidget around, looking for the best compromise in seating comfort. All of the controls are in the same places as on the 2006 model, albeit surrounding by more aluminum trim, and they're easy to use, including the COMAND system and the navigation screen. With the steel top up, you have the kind of grand touring intimacy you want with your driving partner. In 16 seconds, you have the open-air cruising mode, and with the side windows up and the conversation panel flipped up behind the seats, you can converse with your partner in a normal voice, or listen cleanly to the stereo right up to about 100 mph when the wind noise will win out. Sirius Satellite Radio with six months of free service has been made standard equipment on all models. The in-car hands-free communication system can use either Bluetooth connectivity (to use with your Bluetooth-compatible cell phone) or a multi-handset interface, each of which is sold separately from the car through dealerships. An electric trunk lid opener button has been added for 2007. A power trunk lid closer will be added but won't be on early 2007 models. The luggage cover, which keeps luggage from interfering with the stowed top, is now removable, to add more luggage space in the tiny trunk. If you're planning on carrying more than a weekend's worth of luggage for two, though, you're out of space already. The SL offers 10.2 cubic feet of trunk space with the top up, 7.3 cubic feet with the top down. The folding and disappearing power top raises or lowers in just 16 seconds.

Driving Impressions
You can't argue with more horsepower, more torque and more gears to put them through. Not in this segment, you can't. The larger, more powerful V8 engine that comes in the 2007 Mercedes SL550 rips through the gears in the new seven-speed automatic at a furious rate, if you want it to. When you prefer to cruise, it just sits back and relaxes, upshifting and downshifting silently. The new V8's exhaust system has been re-engineered to give a much more throaty, sporty sound at wide-open throttle. It settles into a nice burble at cruising speeds. While most German cars are limited to 155 mph by an industry agreement, how quickly you get there is another matter entirely, and the SL550's V8 will get you from rest to 60 mph much quicker, in about 5.5 seconds. Every chance we got, we mashed the throttle pedal down into the carpet at stop signs and traffic signals, and the electronic systems allowed about two turns of the tires before taking over control and keeping the car pointed straight ahead, every time, like launching a rocket. Very confidence-inspiring. In terms of steering and handling, the 2007 SL has even more chops. The steering ratio has been quickened up so that left-right transitions happen more quickly, there is more feel in the system at the steering wheel, and it tracks better. The second-generation Automatic Body Control (ABC) active suspension system, now standard equipment, has been altered radically, so that it controls body roll, pitch, dive and yaw about 60 percent tighter than the original system, and makes fast driving on challenging roads a very rewarding experience, without beating up the two occupants with a rough ride. We've also driven the silky smooth S600 with a 510-hp V12 that packs 612 pound-feet of trip-shortening torque as well as the SL55 AMG with a V8 also rated at 510 horsepower, but with a mere 531 pound-feet of torque. Which model? The SL600 is the one we would buy if we could afford it and justify its price. Its quiet, smooth demeanor, the refinement of the ride, along with its incredible performance (0-60 in the low 4-second zone) and brilliant handling make it the ultimate of luxury sports car. Its turbocharged 5.5-liter V12 engine boasts 510 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with the heavy-duty five-speed automatic to handle the huge torque output of the engine. The SL55 AMG, with supercharged power, lightning shifts with or without the manual shifter paddles, completely different ABC suspension calibrations, bigger, more powerful brakes, and huge tires, is rougher-riding than either the 550 or the 600, with 0-60 times of about 4.5 seconds, louder at the exhaust tips, but oh, so much fun to drive, so much more masculine looking, and more agile than the other two versions on a country two-lane road. The supercharged 5.5-liter V8 engine gets more power for 2007, to 510 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque.The SL65 AMG is the quickest SL of them all, accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just over four seconds flat. It uses the 6.0-liter twin-turbo V-12 engine, rated at 604 horsepower and a staggering 738 pound-feet of torque. Regrettably, we have not driven the new SL65 AMG. The sensible SL to buy, if buying an SL can be sensible, is the SL550. It delivers plenty of performance. Its new 5.5-liter double-overhead-cam, 32-valve V8 engine delivers 382 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. That's 80 additional horsepower and 52 foot-pounds more performance than the previous SL500, a car that was already quick. And the more expensive, more powerful models don't get the SL550's new seven-speed automatic. All the versions we drove had enormous acceleration, but they also had huge brakes with ABS, EBD, ESP and traction control, enough braking power to pull down small buildings with a single stomp, with excellent pedal modulation and linearity. Over the years, we have driven every version of the SL including restored 1957 models, the square-topped Pagoda models of the Sixties, the fixed-roof and removable roof 450 SLs of the Seventies, and down through the rest of the line, and enjoyed every one. These are beautiful, beautifully made, stately luxury sports cars made in small volumes for customers who tend to be repeat buyers. Today, we have the safest, quickest, flattest-handling and prettiest SLs in half a century, and MBUSA is trying hard to keep the lid on the luxurious prices.

Permalink 12:29:59 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 1911 words   English (US)

New 2007 Mercedes Benz SL550 From $1,099/mo $99,975 1-888-861-8080


BASE MSRP: $94,800
321 AMG Sport Package
High Performance Tires
Steering Wheel Gearshift Paddles
AMG Body Styling
18" AMG twin-spoke Aluminum-Alloy Wheels
P1: Premium I
Active Ventilated Seats
Dynamic Multicontour Seats
Xenon Headlamps
Corner-illuminating Foglamps
Keyless Go
Gaz Guzzler: $1700

TOTAL OPTIONS: $10,790
DESTINATION CHARGE: $775
TOTAL MSRP: $106,365
Easy Auto Leases Price $99,975

2007 Mercedes SL550
Low Mercedes Prices Discount Mercedes Auto Leases
AMG And Premium 1 Packages
All Colors-Options Nationwide Delivery

The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class of two-seat roadsters has been significantly upgraded for 2007. These were wonderful cars before, and they're even more wonderful for 2007. For 2007, all SL models get revised styling, with new front, rear, and side sheetmetal along with new interior decor. The entry-level model, now called the SL550, gets a bigger, more powerful engine, and a new seven-speed automatic, giving it a big boost in performance and a sportier sound. The SL55 AMG gets more power as well. The steering and active suspension have been upgraded on all the 2007 models, sharpening the handling. At the same time, these cars provide grand touring intimacy, for quiet conversation or unimpeded stereo performance. New upholstery materials give the cabins a richer appearance. Drop the top and they deliver comfortable, top-down motoring, putting the wind in your hair, and whisking your troubles away. Buffeting is well controlled, so you don't even have to put up with much wind. Few sports cars can boast a continuous 50-year history like the Mercedes-Benz SL can. First offered as a two-seat 300SL roadster in 1957, the SL-Class brought heart-stopping good looks, fuel injection, independent front and rear suspension and disc brakes to the sports car party, and has been in the Mercedes-Benz lineup ever since, leading the applied technology in the sports car segment with things like the disappearing steel top, radar, sonar, active hydraulic suspension and composite brakes. Today we have the safest, quickest, flattest-handling and prettiest SL-Class cars in half a century. The SL-Class comes in one body style, a two-seat roadster with a steel retractable hardtop. The SL550, SL600, SL55 AMG, and SL65 AMG deliver varying levels of performance, however, ranging from fast to faster. The SL models compete in the luxury sports car segment with the BMW 6 Series convertible, the new Jaguar XK, the Porsche 911 Turbo cabriolet, and the Aston Martin V-8 Vantage.

Model Lineup
The 2007 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class comes in five distinct flavors, starting with the most popular model, the SL550 ($94,800) with its new 382-hp 5.5-liter V8 engine and new seven-speed automatic. The SL600 ($132,000) features a 510-hp 5.5-liter V12 engine. Since this is the 50th anniversary of the SL, there will be a limited run of 550 50th Edition SL550s, all with brown leather interior, pewter paint, and black ash wood trim, a handful of special options made standard, special trim and matching 50th Edition luggage. The high-performance SL55 AMG ($128,800) features a supercharged 5.5-liter V8 and special tuning by AMG. The SL65 AMG ($186,000) is powered by a 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12, rated at 604 horsepower and a staggering 738 pound-feet of torque. Both AMG versions, in addition to their special front, rear, side, and interior trims, sport seats, and AMG alloy wheels, have a new dashboard information display that includes for the first time a RaceTimer feature that will track lap times, lap length, average speed, and top speed. The SL65 AMG gets an electric trunk closer, aluminum steering-wheel-mounted shift levers, a complete carbon fiber interior, and a center high-mount stop lamp in white instead of red. The safety package leaves nothing out. All SL-Class models comes with ABS with huge disc brakes, ESP electronic stability control, traction control, ABC automatic body control suspension, front and side air bags, and an automatic deployable rollover hoop behind the seats. Options include a comfort package, wood-and-leather trim package, AMG Sport package, hands-free communication package, bi-xenon headlamps, Distronic cruise control, Parktronic park assist, run-flat tires, the Keyless Go entry and starting system, and the Panorama roof option, all at about the same prices as the 2006 model.

Walkaround
For 2007, the Mercedes SL-Class sports a more aggressively styled front air dam, a new front grille and chrome-trimmed fog lights.The SL550 (which will still be called the SL500 in most other markets) has the least body adornment within its bolder, sportier new design envelope. The designers have given the SL550 a much more aggressive front-end appearance, a new lower air dam, new front lamps, a bigger grille, and new sill plates inside the doors. The taillamps are new, with white rather than red lenses, as are the 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels (alternate 18- and 19-inch wheels and tires will be optional). The SL600 and SL65 AMG will carry front fender badges reading V12 Biturbo, while the SL55 will be badged V8 Kompressor. The two AMGs will share body panels, noses and sills, while the SL550 and SL600 share design details.All of them are absolutely gorgeous.The folding and disappearing power top raises or lowers in just 16 seconds.

Interior Features
The designers have increased the level of luxury inside this already beautiful interior for 2007, by specifying more expensive leathers, woods and carpeting throughout. The main instrument cluster has been redesigned, with new chronometer graphics and additional leather stitching on the binnacle. New aluminum trim panels are coordinated with a new burr walnut wood trim. New, softer leather is used on the seats and panels, and new colors, black and red, have been added. Cockpit comfort in the SL550 as well as the other models is superior, with a huge range of seat and steering wheel adjustability, and the seats are supremely comfortable and containing. This is a two-seat sports car, however, and there's still that wall behind the seats that restricts seat travel and may make taller drivers fidget around, looking for the best compromise in seating comfort. All of the controls are in the same places as on the 2006 model, albeit surrounding by more aluminum trim, and they're easy to use, including the COMAND system and the navigation screen. With the steel top up, you have the kind of grand touring intimacy you want with your driving partner. In 16 seconds, you have the open-air cruising mode, and with the side windows up and the conversation panel flipped up behind the seats, you can converse with your partner in a normal voice, or listen cleanly to the stereo right up to about 100 mph when the wind noise will win out. Sirius Satellite Radio with six months of free service has been made standard equipment on all models. The in-car hands-free communication system can use either Bluetooth connectivity (to use with your Bluetooth-compatible cell phone) or a multi-handset interface, each of which is sold separately from the car through dealerships. An electric trunk lid opener button has been added for 2007. A power trunk lid closer will be added but won't be on early 2007 models. The luggage cover, which keeps luggage from interfering with the stowed top, is now removable, to add more luggage space in the tiny trunk. If you're planning on carrying more than a weekend's worth of luggage for two, though, you're out of space already. The SL offers 10.2 cubic feet of trunk space with the top up, 7.3 cubic feet with the top down. The folding and disappearing power top raises or lowers in just 16 seconds.

Driving Impressions
You can't argue with more horsepower, more torque and more gears to put them through. Not in this segment, you can't. The larger, more powerful V8 engine that comes in the 2007 Mercedes SL550 rips through the gears in the new seven-speed automatic at a furious rate, if you want it to. When you prefer to cruise, it just sits back and relaxes, upshifting and downshifting silently. The new V8's exhaust system has been re-engineered to give a much more throaty, sporty sound at wide-open throttle. It settles into a nice burble at cruising speeds. While most German cars are limited to 155 mph by an industry agreement, how quickly you get there is another matter entirely, and the SL550's V8 will get you from rest to 60 mph much quicker, in about 5.5 seconds. Every chance we got, we mashed the throttle pedal down into the carpet at stop signs and traffic signals, and the electronic systems allowed about two turns of the tires before taking over control and keeping the car pointed straight ahead, every time, like launching a rocket. Very confidence-inspiring. In terms of steering and handling, the 2007 SL has even more chops. The steering ratio has been quickened up so that left-right transitions happen more quickly, there is more feel in the system at the steering wheel, and it tracks better. The second-generation Automatic Body Control (ABC) active suspension system, now standard equipment, has been altered radically, so that it controls body roll, pitch, dive and yaw about 60 percent tighter than the original system, and makes fast driving on challenging roads a very rewarding experience, without beating up the two occupants with a rough ride. We've also driven the silky smooth S600 with a 510-hp V12 that packs 612 pound-feet of trip-shortening torque as well as the SL55 AMG with a V8 also rated at 510 horsepower, but with a mere 531 pound-feet of torque. Which model? The SL600 is the one we would buy if we could afford it and justify its price. Its quiet, smooth demeanor, the refinement of the ride, along with its incredible performance (0-60 in the low 4-second zone) and brilliant handling make it the ultimate of luxury sports car. Its turbocharged 5.5-liter V12 engine boasts 510 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with the heavy-duty five-speed automatic to handle the huge torque output of the engine. The SL55 AMG, with supercharged power, lightning shifts with or without the manual shifter paddles, completely different ABC suspension calibrations, bigger, more powerful brakes, and huge tires, is rougher-riding than either the 550 or the 600, with 0-60 times of about 4.5 seconds, louder at the exhaust tips, but oh, so much fun to drive, so much more masculine looking, and more agile than the other two versions on a country two-lane road. The supercharged 5.5-liter V8 engine gets more power for 2007, to 510 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque.The SL65 AMG is the quickest SL of them all, accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just over four seconds flat. It uses the 6.0-liter twin-turbo V-12 engine, rated at 604 horsepower and a staggering 738 pound-feet of torque. Regrettably, we have not driven the new SL65 AMG. The sensible SL to buy, if buying an SL can be sensible, is the SL550. It delivers plenty of performance. Its new 5.5-liter double-overhead-cam, 32-valve V8 engine delivers 382 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. That's 80 additional horsepower and 52 foot-pounds more performance than the previous SL500, a car that was already quick. And the more expensive, more powerful models don't get the SL550's new seven-speed automatic. All the versions we drove had enormous acceleration, but they also had huge brakes with ABS, EBD, ESP and traction control, enough braking power to pull down small buildings with a single stomp, with excellent pedal modulation and linearity. Over the years, we have driven every version of the SL including restored 1957 models, the square-topped Pagoda models of the Sixties, the fixed-roof and removable roof 450 SLs of the Seventies, and down through the rest of the line, and enjoyed every one. These are beautiful, beautifully made, stately luxury sports cars made in small volumes for customers who tend to be repeat buyers. Today, we have the safest, quickest, flattest-handling and prettiest SLs in half a century, and MBUSA is trying hard to keep the lid on the luxurious prices.

Permalink 12:28:26 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 1017 words   English (US)

New 2007 Mercedes Benz SLK350 From $549/mo

BASE MSRP: $47,400
P1: Premium I
8-Way Power Sport Seats with 3-Position Memory
4-Way Power-Adjustable Steering Column with Memory
Auto-Dimming Mirrors
SIRIUS Satellite Radio
Garage Door Opener
Rain-Sensing Wipers
SmartKey Infrared Remote Roof Automation
Interior Ambient Lighting Package
P2: Premium II
11-Speaker Harman/Kardon

Permalink 12:27:43 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 3284 words   English (US)

New 2007 Mercedes Benz CLK350 Coupe From $499/mo

BASE MSRP: $46,200
P1: Premium I Garage Door Opener
Autodimming Driver & Rearview Mirror
Sunroof
harman/kardon Sound System
6-Disc CD Changer
P90: Sport Appearance Package
Sport Suspension
Cross-drilled Brake Rotors
17" 10-Spoke Wheels
Heated Front Seats
iPod Integration Kit
SIRIUS Satellite Radio
Metallic Paint

TOTAL OPTIONS: $5,305
DESTINATION CHARGE: $775
TOTAL MSRP: $52,280
Easy Auto Leases Price $46,575

2007 Mercedes Benz CLK350 Coupe
Low Mercedes Prices Discount Mercedes Auto Leases
Premium I And Sport Appearance Packages
All Colors-Options Nationwide Delivery

The Mercedes-Benz CLK feels right in just about any role. It's good looking, stylish, sporty to drive and personal, yet it will work for two couples during an evening on the town. Those who prefer understated, buttoned-down elegance will like CLK Coupe. Extroverts and sun worshippers can choose the one-button convertible top on the CLK Cabriolet. For 2007, the V8-powered CLKs have new engines. The CLK550 gets the latest-generation Mercedes V8, with variable valve timing and 27 percent more power than the engine in the 2006 CLK500, yet the same EPA mileage ratings as before. The new CLK63 AMG has a race-inspired V8 built start-to-finish by one technician at the company's AMG high-performance subsidiary. The new engines mean a slight change in model nomenclature, but the CLK lineup really has not changed. There's still a coupe and convertible, with either a V6 or V8 engine. The super-fast AMG model is available only as a convertible. The CLK has rear-wheel drive in a class increasingly populated by front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive cars, and it has a sporting flair some mid-size luxury cars lack. In general, the CLK is one of the sportiest cars in the Mercedes lineup. Most buyers will be quite happy with the CLK350 and its 268-horsepower V6. With its seven-speed automatic, the CLK350 delivers a fine balance of spirited acceleration, quiet cruising and decent fuel mileage. Drivers who demand more performance can choose the CLK550. Its new V8 generates 382 hp and an even more impressive 391 pound-feet of torque. (Torque is that force that launches the car from intersections and propels it up hills.) Measured by acceleration and engine response, the CLK550 meets just about any standard of high performance. The CLK550 transmits a feeling of being more stuck to the road than the CLK350 does, with sharper handling and better high-speed stability. The limited-production CLK63 AMG goes a couple of magnitudes better. It will out-accelerate, out-brake and out-corner all but a handful of four-place cars anywhere. Yet around town it's incredibly docile and belies its 475-hp AMG engine. On the open road, the CLK, no matter the model, is satisfying, responsive and exceptionally stable at high speeds. It inspires confidence on twisty roads and bears up well in a spirited drive. It's also easy to live with. Its ride is firm, but not intrusive. Its relatively small size makes it easy to park and maneuver in crowded city centers, but its back seat is roomy enough for two adults. In a word, the CLK is balanced. Its stylish design and elegant interior make it a pleasant place to spend time, and it delivers Mercedes cachet that works in almost any circumstance.

Model Lineup
What's new for 2007: More powerful engines for the V8 models. The CLK550 replaces the CLK500, with a new 5.5-liter engine generating 27 percent more power than the previous 5.0-liter V8. The ultra-high-performance CLK63 AMG Cabriolet replaces the CLK55 AMG, with a hand-built 6.2-liter V8 producing 475 horsepower. Also new for 2007 is a Sport Appearance Package ($490) for the CLK350. It includes a firmer sport suspension, cross-drilled brake rotors and 10-spoke, 17-inch aluminum wheels. The Mercedes-Benz CLK is available as a coupe or convertible. Three models are distinguished by engine size, and all come with a seven-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted manually with buttons on the steering wheel. The CLK350 Coupe ($46,200) and Cabriolet ($54,200) are powered by a 3.5-liter V6, which develops 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Standard features include leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control with pollen and dust filter, 10-way adjustable power seats with three memory settings and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Black-stained ash wood trim is standard, and more traditional burl walnut is available as a no-charge option. The Cabriolet features a fully automatic, heavily insulated convertible top. The CLK550 Coupe ($54,900) and Cabriolet ($62,900) get the new-generation V8 introduced in the big S-Class sedan. This dual-overhead-cam 5.5-liter engine generates 382 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. The CLK63 AMG ($89,200) is available only as a cabriolet. Its 6.2-iter V8 is built by a single technician at Mercedes' AMG racing subsidiary, with 475 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. The CLK63 also gets sporting upgrades to its brakes and suspension, and comes with a longer list of ultra-luxury features. Options are grouped in three packages: Premium I, II, and III. Exact content and price vary with the model. On the CLK350 Coupe, Premium I ($2,530) includes auto-dimming mirrors, a programmable built-in garage door opener, a premium harmon/kardon stereo with six-CD changer and a glass sunroof. Premium II ($3,630) adds turning bi-xenon headlights with washers and a heated windshield washer system. Premium III ($4630) includes everything in PI and PII, plus ventilated seats. Stand-alone options include a navigation system combined with on-screen control for the stereo and air conditioning ($2,270); Sirius satellite radio ($510); hands-free telephone communication ($925); wood and leather steering wheel ($540); heated front seats ($700); electronic trunk closer ($520); and Keyless Go push-button starting ($1,100). For that extra special touch, designo Silver Edition and Graphite Edition trim packages are available ($7,050). Safety features that come on all CLKs include multi-stage front-impact airbags. Coupes get front passenger side-impact airbags that protect the torso, and curtain-style head protection airbags for both front and rear passengers. The convertibles combine both torso and head protection in the same side-impact airbags. The also feature pop-up rollbars that automatically deploy if the electronics sense a pending rollover. TeleAid accident notification is standard. Side-impact airbags for the rear passengers are optional ($390). Anti-lock brakes (ABS) with emergency Brake Assist and Electronic Stability Control are standard. The Extended Mobility package ($200) includes run-flat tires and a tire pressure warning system. 4Matic all-wheel drive adds a measure of safety in slippery conditions.

Walkaround
The Mercedes-Benz CLK is beautiful, no arguing that, and its beauty lies in its symmetry and balance. The CLK looks forceful, but also elegant and sophisticated, and it blends form and function nicely. Under the rear half of its sweeping roofline is a back seat with room for two adults, not the parcel shelf that passes for a seat in some high-end coupes. The CLK is a fairly compact car, based on a lengthened version of the same chassis used for the small Mercedes C-Class sedans. Yet the designers have successfully infused it with the presence and bearing of a much larger coupe like the big Mercedes CL. The coupe aesthetic starts with the profile. The CLK dispenses with a center roof pillar, so the roof sweeps uninterrupted from the base of the windshield to the trunk lid. The rear windows lower completely below the sill, emphasizing the smooth, open flow, and the effect is enhanced by the absence of any visible antenna for the radio, telephone or navigation system. The CLK replaces a conventional steel trunk lid with a composite panel that allows the antennas to be imbedded the lid's structure. The second, unmistakable coupe element is the CLK's front end. This Mercedes forgoes the traditional hood ornament in favor of a lower, much larger three-pointed star embedded in the wide, three-slat grille, which greets the world with just a hint of a sneer. On first impression, it seems the CLK has four headlights, but a closer look confirms a single ellipse-shaped cluster on each side. And there's more to the headlights than slick design. The optional bi-xenon lights swivel to point into curves and are equipped with high-pressure washing jets; they also change beam angle as the CLK moves up and down with road imperfections, keeping the high-intensity light below the sight line of the drivers in oncoming cars. When its fabric top is closed, the CLK Cabriolet is nearly identical in silhouette to the coupe, with only a hint of a break in the roofline where it meets the trunk lid. The fabric top is fully lined and insulated, and opening or closing it is a one-button operation. Roughly 30 seconds after the driver hits the button, the top tucks neatly under a hard cover behind the rear seats. Rollover protection hoops are integrated in the rear-seat headrests, allowing the same clean look when the top is down. In the event of an imminent collision or rollover in the cabriolet, two roll bars deploy and lock in place within 0.3 seconds. Details distinguish the CLK models. The CLK350 has neutral-tinted glass and gray vanes in its grille, while the CLK550 gets blue-tinted glass, high-gloss black vanes with chrome trim on the grille, and a short rear spoiler. The hotrod CLK63 AMG sports a front valance with three separate sections, mesh grillwork and flared rocker panels between the wheels. The CLK350 and CLK550 come with 17-inch wheels, slightly wider with fatter tires in back, to create the staggered-wheel look of a race car. The wheels on the CLK350 are a light-alloy five-spoke design. Those on the CLK550 feature an AMG-styled monoblock design. The CLK63 AMG has 18-inch wheels in a highly polished double-spoke pattern with lower profile Z-rated tires. What's New for 2007: The optional Sport Appearance Package for the CLK350 is easy to spot, thanks to unique 10-spoke aluminum wheels. This option includes a sports suspension that lowers the CLK slightly, and cross-drilled brake rotors that are visible through the wheels. The brake calipers are painted with Mercedes script.

Interior Features
The Mercedes-Benz CLK is a fairly compact car, but there is enough space and seat adjustment inside to accommodate very tall people in front. Generally, the cabin has the look and feel of success. While we've had quibbles with the fit and finish inside some Mercedes models the last several years, those don't apply in the CLK. Materials are very good throughout. Soft polyurethane sprayed onto the dashboard provides an attractive appearance and a luxurious feel. Black-stained ash wood trim and black carpet is standard, though traditional burl walnut is available at no charge. Nice touches of wood and gathered leather on the door panels make for a very attractive cabin. When front passengers close the doors, an electric arm on each side of the CLK extends to present the seatbelts, making it easier to reach the belts. The belt presenters retract once the belts are buckled. It works well, though we've seen passengers startled by them, fearing the return of the motorized mouse. Most controls and switches, including climate adjustments and audio, are stacked in the center of the dash above the console. They're easy to locate and big enough to adjust without a lot of concentration. Standard features include digital dual-zone temperature control with a sun sensor to optimize air distribution. The rain-sensing wipers are operated with a stalk on the right side of the steering column. Storage options have improved by Mercedes standards, but come up short when compared with other cars. The two-tiered glove box is large, but the optional CD changer will take up one of the shelves. The center console has two cup holders and a storage bin. The gauge cluster is a mix of traditional analog gauges and LED graphics. A large round speedometer and tachometer dominate the center, flanked by two smaller, thermometer-like gauges for the fuel level and coolant temperature. It's both attractive and effective, with crisp illuminated script that's easy to read at a glance, though at first you may confuse full and empty on the gas gauge. The CLK steering wheel is one of our favorites: just the right size, thickness and firmness for this car, and power-adjustable for tilt and reach. Rocker buttons on its spokes allow operation of several systems, including stereo, climate and telephone. These buttons also manage an LED information display in the center of the gauges. There's a wealth of information available, including trip functions such as average speed and distance to empty, but it takes a bit of concentration to scroll through and find what you're looking for. Access to the rear seats is easier than it is in many coupes, but that's mostly because there is more room than in many coupes. The front seats help by tipping and sliding forward with a quick-release lever. If the front passengers don't have their seats moved too far rearward, there's enough room for two adults in back. At least for traveling to dinner and a show, if not a cross country trek. The rear seat folds down with 60/40 split, and that's good. With 10.4 cubic feet of space in the trunk, the CLK will hold a load of luggage for two, but its trunk is smaller than typical in a sedan of its size. The fold-flat rear seat helps a bit with oversized items. You won't lose much rear seat space with the CLK Cabriolet, but you will lose a lot of storage in the trunk, even when the convertible top is up. With the top up, there's enough space for four to six bags of groceries. When the top is down, it cuts the trunk space almost in half. Nonetheless, the top is thickly insulated and beautifully lined, and it's almost as pristinely quiet in the CLK Cabriolet as it is in the coupe, when the top is up. What's New for 2007: Interior features and options are essentially unchanged on V6 and V8 models.

Driving Impressions
Once underway, the Mercedes-Benz CLK offers a balance of virtues. It's luxurious and comfortable, but also energetic. Its rigid structure contributes to its smooth, quiet operation, lack of vibration, and balance of ride quality and handling capability. A rigid chassis does not mean a stiff ride, however. The CLK suspension absorbs bumps without fanfare. The only disturbance comes from the crack of tires over potholes, and it's heard more than felt. The CLK is comfortable, but not numbing, so the steering feeds good information back to the driver about how well the front tires are gripping. This balance of smoothness and road feel means you might be driving the CLK harder than you realize in fairly short order. When the straight, flat roads of the city give way to twisty two-lanes in the hills and countryside, the coupe handles curves with the grace of a thoroughbred. It maintains a nice, flat attitude through sweeping bends and won't bob or weave with frequent application of the brakes. We like the way Mercedes has refined its electronic stability program, which can help the driver maintain control by reducing skidding. In the CLK, the system is virtually transparent, intervening unobtrusively to prevent wheel spin, but without the heavy-handed reduction in power that marred some of its early applications. Engine performance is satisfying in all models. The 268-hp V6 in the CLK350 has all the power most drivers need, accelerating with authority from a stoplight and moving the car smoothly through the gears. Acceleration times for the V6 match those for the typical V8-powered luxury car of the late 1990s, and there's a reserve of power that makes passing on two-lane roads a stress-free process. Nonetheless, the new 5.5-liter V8 in the CLK550 is a significant, noticeable step up, from both the CLK350 and the previous CLK500 models. With 382 horsepower and nearly 400 pound-feet of torque, acceleration here is thrilling. Capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds, the CLK550 is high performance by nearly any definition. Slam the accelerator at any speed and what follows, almost instantaneously, is a satisfying, muted growl from the exhaust and a whoosh of speed. Both the CLK350 and CLK550 are equipped with the seven-speed automatic, and we like this transmission. Beyond the extra gears, its control program works better than that on the Mercedes automatics of previous years. This one doesn't slack off when you need it most, kicking down to a lower gear fast, sometimes three gears at once, if you slam the accelerator hard. Alternate shift buttons, which allow selection of a specific gear, are located on the back of the steering wheel hub, right where fingers wrap around the spokes. The touch-shift manual mode works nicely. The AMG model also gets a seven-speed automatic, labeled the AMG Speedshift 7G-Tronic. Its internal parts are beefed up to reduce shift times in manual mode and handle the power generated by the CLK63 AMG V8 engine (465 pound-feet of torque). Previously powered by a 5.5-liter V8, the previous AMG CLK was merely fast. With the 6.3-liter engine and seven-speed automatic, it's blindingly quick. Throttle response is instantaneous, automatic downshifts nearly so, and the manual control electronics are better programmed to hold a gear near the engine's redline, allowing high-rev, low-gear driving enthusiast drivers enjoy. The CLK63 AMG we tested had a fluttering sound in the idle that was a bit annoying by Mercedes standards, but when we recalled it was a 475-hp engine, practically a race motor, it seemed a little less so. The CLK Cabriolet AMG was already one of the most drivable cars in Mercedes' inventory, and with the new engine it's more so. It's not equipped with the Active Body Control or variable air suspension used on Mercedes ultra-luxury models, just good suspension tuning, good steering feel and crisp turn-in. Some Mercedes-Benzes will dutifully go along for the ride when driven hard, behaving quite predictably as they go. The CLK63 likes to be pushed, and when the driver finishes a go through an empty canyon, the CLK is ready for more. The brakes on the CLKs stop the car with authority, and deliver a nice, easy-to-modulate pedal feel that's distinctly lacking on some Mercedes models. The CLK63 AMG Cabriolet is equipped with multi-piston brake calipers and larger rotors that kick everything up a notch, virtually eliminating the possibility of brake fade anywhere this side of a race track. The AMG is also equipped with something called Racetimer, which can record acceleration, top speed or lap times and store them for retrieval at the driver's request. With its smooth aerodynamics, generally quiet manners and excellent anti-skid electronics, the rear-drive CLK Coupe is suitable for all-season use, in our view. Snow tires would remove any reservation, even in regions with lots of snow. If you love top-down motoring, there's no real reason to pass on the CLK Cabriolet. With the top up it's almost as snug and quiet as the coupe. With the side windows up and fold-up windblocker in place, you could motor top-down on sunny days when the temperature is in the 40s. Best of all, there is no serious degradation in that tight, solid feeling that characterizes the CLK Coupe. Extensive use of high-strength steel alloys and liberal structural re-enforcements maintain the torsional stiffness and help minimize vibration. Mercedes claims the stiffness of the cabriolet's body is equal to that of the coupe, and we find no reason to challenge that assertion. Of course, those structural re-enforcements add weight to the Cabriolet, so owners are likely to see a slight reduction in fuel economy compared to the coupe.

Summary
The Mercedes-Benz CLK is a rare blend of style, luxury and sporty driving performance. It's elegant, tasteful and engaging inside and out, and its design should wear well with time. There's room inside for two couples during an evening out. Both the coupe and convertible will work as all-season cars in most locales. The V6-powered CLK350 will satisfy most owners, while the CLK550 V8 delivers high performance by nearly any measure. The CLK63 AMG is strictly for enthusiast drivers. The CLK550 so good in most respects that those less committed are not likely to appreciate what the CLK63 adds for its $26,000 price premium.

Permalink 12:26:40 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 1003 words   English (US)

New 2007 Mercedes Benz SLK280 From $459/mo

BASE MSRP: $43,350
Appearance Package details
Wood/Leather Steering Wheel and Shift Knob
Vavona Wood Trim
17-inch 6-Twin-Spoke Wheels
P1: Premium I
8-Way Power Sport Seats with 3-Position Memory
4-Way Power-Adjustable Steering Column with Memory
Auto-Dimming Mirrors
SIRIUS Satellite Radio
Garage Door Opener
Rain-Sensing Wipers
SmartKey Infrared Remote Roof Automation
Interior Ambient Lighting Package
7-Speed Automatic Transmission
6-Disc CD Changer

TOTAL OPTIONS: $5,410
DESTINATION CHARGE: $775
TOTAL MSRP: $49,535
Easy Auto Leases Price $45,575

2007 Mercedes SLK280
Low Mercedes Prices Discount Mercedes Auto Leases
All Colors-Options Nationwide Delivery

Within Mercedes-Benz's family of vehicles, prestigious coupes, $140,000 sedans and large SUVs have an almost celebrity-like status. In a dealer's showroom, they overshadow Mercedes' diminutive convertible, the SLK. But that doesn't mean the roadster doesn't have much to offer. In fact, we believe there's no better car currently in M-B's lineup for delivering affordable driving enjoyment. The 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class is a two-seat hardtop convertible, currently representative of the car's second generation. When the original SLK debuted in the late '90s, it was the first vehicle to truly popularize the use of a convertible top made out of steel panels rather than the more traditional soft fabric. Though bulkier and more complex, a convertible hardtop design, with its coupe-like profile and superior wind and weather protection, provides significant advantages in the top-up position. In coupe form, the rear-drive SLK's exterior styling mimics Mercedes' SLR McLaren exotic sports car. The two cars' pointed noses are meant to reference the look of modern Formula One race cars. Underneath this sporting shell are ingredients for a proper sporting roadster, including a stiff body structure, an available sport-tuned suspension and strong brakes. For power, Mercedes offers a choice of two V6s as well as a beefy V8 from AMG, Mercedes' in-house performance tuning division. These SLK models compete against vehicles like the BMW Z4, Nissan 350Z and Porsche Boxster. Thanks to its classy cabin, distinctive looks and solid performance credentials, the SLK more than holds its own in this segment. Though the SLK is inexpensive by Mercedes standards, some potential buyers will no doubt be put off by the vehicle's higher-than-typical price. Others might prefer the Z4 and Boxster's sharper handling dynamics. But for a convertible that sacrifices little in performance and excels at luxury and prestige, the 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLK is a top choice.

Body Styles, Trim Levels and Options
The 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class is a two-seat roadster with a power-retractable hardtop. Three variants are offered: SLK280, SLK350 and SLK55 AMG. Standard equipment on the SLK280 includes 16-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control and a nine-speaker CD audio system. In addition to a larger V6 engine, the SLK350 adds 17-inch wheels and larger brakes. The V8-powered SLK55 AMG is specialized for performance and comes with 18-inch wheels, high-performance tires, even larger brakes and a sport-tuned suspension. It also comes with power and heated seats with driver-side memory, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, napa leather upholstery and unique interior and exterior trim details. Many of the AMG model's extra features are optional on the SLK280 and SLK380. Other SLK options include special "designo" color-themed packages based on exterior paint color and interior trim; bi-xenon headlamps; a navigation system; a 380-watt surround-sound audio system; a glovebox-mounted CD changer; satellite radio and an Airscarf system that directs heat through vents in the head restraints.

Powertrains and Performance
The SLK280 features a 3.0-liter V6 that produces 228 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. The SLK350 offers a 3.5-liter V6 good for 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Either engine can be matched with a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic transmission, the latter with steering-wheel-mounted shifter paddles. The Mercedes SLK55 AMG comes with a 5.4-liter V8 engine stuffed under the hood. It develops 355 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed automatic is the only transmission offered, but it hardly detracts from performance; expect a 0-60-mph time of just 5.1 seconds. The more common SLK350 is also respectably quick, with an acceleration time of 6.3 seconds.

Safety
Knee airbags and seat-mounted side airbags that provide head and chest protection are standard equipment. Antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control, traction control and the TeleAid emergency call system are also standard.

Interior Design and Special Features
Top up, the SLK provides the security of a traditional coupe. The only distracting items are blind spots caused by the roof pillars. Lowering the fully automatic roof requires 22 seconds. When folded, it takes up space in the trunk, but there are still 6.5 cubic feet of space available for luggage. Inside the cabin, Mercedes has installed attractive, soft-touch material for the top of the dash, glovebox and doors, while plastics of similar quality fill in the rest. The climate-control layout varies depending on whether you add a navigation system, but both arrangements use easy-to-decipher dials. The soft and supportive seats remain comfortable even after several hours of driving. Keep the windows up while the top is down and there's minimal wind buffeting. If that's not enough, consider the Airscarf system that channels warm air to your neck and shoulders via dedicated registers in the headrests. It actually works quite well, and when it's combined with traditional seat heaters, the 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLK becomes one of the most useful all-weather convertibles on the market.

Driving Impressions
Mercedes-Benz is known for a lot of things, but building true drivers' cars isn't one of them. Case in point would be the old SLK, which was more of a boulevard cutie than a canyon-carver. The 2007 SLK, however, is an exception. It admirably delivers solid performance in acceleration, braking and handling. Obviously, the AMG model has the most performance potential, and indeed it posts impressive numbers in instrumented testing. Even the 280 and 350 models are fun to drive. Only when compared directly to this segment's athletic star, the Porsche Boxster, do the SLK's slightly less tactile steering and slower handling responses become apparent.

What's New
There are no significant changes to the 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class roadster.

Pro
Stylish design, sharp handling, powerful engines, comfort and convenience of retractable hardtop.

03/01/07

Permalink 01:02:33 am, Categories: Announcements [A], 1432 words   English (US)

New 2007 Mercedes Benz GL450 From $599/mo $60,975 Click Image For Live Auction

BASE MSRP: $54,900
3rd-row Split/flat-folding Pwr Seats, Individual Adjustable Head Restraints
4.7L SMPI DOHC 24-valve V8 Engine
7-speed Automatic Drive-adaptive Transmission-inc: Driver-selectable Comfort Mode, Touch Shift
8-way Pwr Front Heated Seats W/active Head Restraints, Drivers Adjustable Lumbar
Brown Birds Eye Maple Wood Trim
P1: Premium I
Rear-Seat Entertainment
Sunroof Package

TOTAL OPTIONS: $8,650
DESTINATION CHARGE: $775
TOTAL MSRP: $64,325
Easy Auto Leases Price $60,975

2007 Mercedes-Benz GL450
Low Mercedes Lease Payments
All Colors-Options Nationwide Delivery

The GL-Class launches with a single model. The 2007 Mercedes-Benz GL 450 comes with a 335-hp V8 engine similar to the one in the new S-Class sedan. Additional models will be coming, starting early in calendar year 2007 with the GL 320 CDI, which comes with a diesel engine. Later, the GL will be available with Mercedes' breakthrough BlueTec diesel powertrain. The Mercedes-Benz GL 450 ($54,900) comes with a 4.6-liter V8 engine, seven-speed automatic transmission, the 4MATIC four-wheel drive system, and the Airmatic air suspension system. It comes with seating for seven and with a third row that powers up or down at the touch of a button. Options include Distronic radar-controlled cruise control; a rear-seat entertainment system with two screens; Keyless Go, which allows the car to be started as long as the key is inside the vehicle; Parktronic, which uses sonar to detect obstacles near the vehicle; a power rear tailgate; Harman/Kardon Logic 7 surround sound system; and DVD navigation. Safety features that come standard include eight airbags, including side airbags for all four outboard first and second-row seating positions as well as side curtain airbags that protect occupants in all three rows. It comes with active front head restraints, LATCH tethers for child safety seats, and three-point safety belts for all seating positions; make sure everyone in the vehicle always wears those seat belts because they're your first line of defense in a crash. Active safety features (to help you avoid a crash) include an Electronic Stability Program, anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist Plus, and four-wheel electronic traction control. Optional safety features include Parktronic and a rear-view camera, each of which can help alert the driver obstacles or people, including children, behind the vehicle.

Walkaround
The GL carries the styling cues seen in newest generation of Mercedes' mid-size M-Class (ML), but applies them to a larger package and adds some strong, perhaps even masculine touches. For example, both in front and at the rear, a metal skid plate (designed to protect underlying mechanical parts from damage when driving off pavement) is a prominent feature that underscores the GL's image of strength. The GL's face looks much like that of the ML, except for the use of round fog lamps instead of oval-shaped accessory lights. Like the ML, the hood features what Mercedes calls a pair of power domes. Seen in profile, the GL's nicely raked windshield and large, 18-inch wheels (with 19- and even 20-inch wheels available) and bulging wheel arches help balance what is basically a tall and long vehicle. But even being tall and long, the GL doesn't look as bulky as, say, General Motor's full-size SUVs, the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, and even with the squared-off rear edge of its D-pillar, the GL doesn't look as boxy as DaimlerChrysler's other full-size, three-row SUV, the Jeep Commander. Viewed from the rear, the GL presents a formidable obstacle. It's tall and wide, with a large rear hatch opening, large tail lamps and all of it sitting above a substantial skid plate bracketed on either side by large, rectangular exhaust pipes. Compared to the ML, the GL is nearly a foot longer and also an inch wider in track (the axle width including wheels), though it is less than half an inch wider overall and not quite an inch taller. Despite their similar styling, the Mercedes SUVs share only their front doors; otherwise, each has unique sheetmetal. As large as the GL may appear, it's 2 inches shorter than the R-Class touring wagon, which also has three rows of seating, though with room for only six occupants. The GL is built using unibody construction rather than the body-on-frame design that full-size pickups and SUVs traditionally use. Mercedes notes that because of this architecture, the GL-Class weighs in at anywhere from 300 pounds to 600 pounds lighter than its full-size competitors. To make sure the GL class is strong enough, 60 percent of the vehicle structure is made from special high-strength steel. Interior Features
While the GL may look sleeker than its competitors, Mercedes brags that the 2007 GL 450 offers both best-in-class interior room as well as ease of entry and exit. With all seats in their upright position, there's still 14 cubic feet of storage between the third-row seatbacks and the closed rear hatch door. A power folding feature for the third row is standard equipment on the GL with controls near the rear hatch and next to the right-side second-row passenger's seat. Power down those third-row seats, and cargo capacity expands to 43.8 cubic feet. Fold down the 60/40-split second row seats and the GL provides as much as 83.3 cubic feet for cargo. There's also room under the cargo floor for a full-size spare tire. Standard equipment includes eight-way power front seats, 14 air conditioning outlet vents, eight cup holders, air vents, and reading lamps. The interior layout is familiar to Mercedes drivers, with either faux or real leather trim for the seats (Mercedes notes that not all luxury car buyers want real leather seating surfaces), wood trim and metal rings around gauges, air vents, and cup holders. The second-row seats provide ample legroom. When occupied by only two people, the back of the center section can be folded down as an armrest and storage tray. We climbed into the third row and found room for two adults to ride back there, each in a separate seat. The room is enhanced by foot wells for your feet so you don't sit with your knees at chest level, and even the third-row seats are thickly padded to provide comfort. Fears of claustrophobia back there evaporate quickly thanks to the standard sunroof that extends over the third row. The GL can be equipped with a 440-watt, 11-speaker harmon/kardon Logic 7 sound system, with Sirius Satellite Radio and with a DVD video entertainment system with screens mounted in the rear of both front-seat headrests and with a 6CD changer.

Driving Impressions
Driving the 2007 Mercedes-Benz GL 450 doesn't feel at all like driving the typical full-size sport utility vehicle. While this is a substantially sized vehicle, it is not truck-like. The Mercedes has a much more car-like dynamic. The 335-hp V8 engine can propel the GL 450 from a standing start to 60 miles per hour in a car-like 7.4 seconds. This powerplant, with four valves per cylinder, is part of a brand new family of V8 engines from Mercedes-Benz. A standard, seven-speed automatic transmission helps keep the engine operating in the sweet part of a power band that provides maximum torque from 2700 rpm all the way up to 5000. Mercedes notes that the GL is the only full-size SUV offering such a seven-speed gearbox. The 4MATIC four-wheel-drive system features front, center and rear differentials. The sure-footed 4MATIC system is designed to maintain mobility even when only wheel has traction. In normal driving, the system distributes power equally to front and rear wheels. The system includes DSR, a sort of cruise control for regulating downhill speed, and Hill-Start Assist, which keeps the GL from rolling backward when launched after being stopped on uphill slope. 4MATIC also adjusts anti-lock brake controls to provide quicker stops on slippery and unpaved surfaces when off-roading. Airmatic is an air suspension system that uses air bladders instead of coil springs to adjust ride height by as much as three inches as well as ride firmness and body control parameters, so the driver can select from comfort and more aggressively sporty settings. The system automatically lowers the vehicle to enhance handling and aerodynamic efficiency at speeds of 77 mph or higher. Those serious about venturing far from pavement can opt for a special off-road package that includes special wheels and tires, a two-speed transfer case, locking center and rear differentials, adaptive dampening and with ground clearance height-adjustment options of as much as 12.4 inches, compared to the standard 7.9 inches of clearance. We did our driving on freeways in and out of San Francisco's airport and on roads through Napa Valley wine country. Steering feedback was consistent, brakes (14-inches in diameter on the front wheels and 13 inches on the rear) were responsive and consistently predictable and the GL 450 offered nice balanced dynamic capabilities when hustled through the curves on the narrow, hilly roads that wind through the vine-covered hillsides.

Permalink 01:02:03 am, Categories: Announcements [A], 1425 words   English (US)

New 2007 Mercedes Benz GL320 From $599/mo $55,975 Click Image For Live Auction

BASE MSRP:

$52,400

P1: Premium I
Cargo Net
Parktronic
Power Front Seats and Steering Column with Memory
Autodimming, Power Folding Mirrors
Rear Audio Controls
DVD Navigation
SIRIUS Satellite Radio
harman/kardon Sound System
Power Tailgate
Sunroof Package
Glass Sunroof
Power Rear Quarter Windows

TOTAL OPTIONS:

$6,000

DESTINATION CHARGE:

$775

TOTAL MSRP:

$59,175

Easy Auto Leases Price

$55,975

Mercedes-Benz GL320 CDI Bluetec
Premium 1 and Sunroof Package
All Colors-Options Nationwide Delivery

The GL-Class launches with a single model. The 2007 Mercedes-Benz GL 450 comes with a 335-hp V8 engine similar to the one in the new S-Class sedan. Additional models will be coming, starting early in calendar year 2007 with the GL 320 CDI, which comes with a diesel engine. Later, the GL will be available with Mercedes' breakthrough BlueTec diesel powertrain. The Mercedes-Benz GL 450 ($54,900) comes with a 4.6-liter V8 engine, seven-speed automatic transmission, the 4MATIC four-wheel drive system, and the Airmatic air suspension system. It comes with seating for seven and with a third row that powers up or down at the touch of a button. Options include Distronic radar-controlled cruise control; a rear-seat entertainment system with two screens; Keyless Go, which allows the car to be started as long as the key is inside the vehicle; Parktronic, which uses sonar to detect obstacles near the vehicle; a power rear tailgate; Harman/Kardon Logic 7 surround sound system; and DVD navigation. Safety features that come standard include eight airbags, including side airbags for all four outboard first and second-row seating positions as well as side curtain airbags that protect occupants in all three rows. It comes with active front head restraints, LATCH tethers for child safety seats, and three-point safety belts for all seating positions; make sure everyone in the vehicle always wears those seat belts because they're your first line of defense in a crash. Active safety features (to help you avoid a crash) include an Electronic Stability Program, anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist Plus, and four-wheel electronic traction control. Optional safety features include Parktronic and a rear-view camera, each of which can help alert the driver obstacles or people, including children, behind the vehicle.

Walkaround
The GL carries the styling cues seen in newest generation of Mercedes' mid-size M-Class (ML), but applies them to a larger package and adds some strong, perhaps even masculine touches. For example, both in front and at the rear, a metal skid plate (designed to protect underlying mechanical parts from damage when driving off pavement) is a prominent feature that underscores the GL's image of strength. The GL's face looks much like that of the ML, except for the use of round fog lamps instead of oval-shaped accessory lights. Like the ML, the hood features what Mercedes calls a pair of power domes. Seen in profile, the GL's nicely raked windshield and large, 18-inch wheels (with 19- and even 20-inch wheels available) and bulging wheel arches help balance what is basically a tall and long vehicle. But even being tall and long, the GL doesn't look as bulky as, say, General Motor's full-size SUVs, the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, and even with the squared-off rear edge of its D-pillar, the GL doesn't look as boxy as DaimlerChrysler's other full-size, three-row SUV, the Jeep Commander. Viewed from the rear, the GL presents a formidable obstacle. It's tall and wide, with a large rear hatch opening, large tail lamps and all of it sitting above a substantial skid plate bracketed on either side by large, rectangular exhaust pipes. Compared to the ML, the GL is nearly a foot longer and also an inch wider in track (the axle width including wheels), though it is less than half an inch wider overall and not quite an inch taller. Despite their similar styling, the Mercedes SUVs share only their front doors; otherwise, each has unique sheetmetal. As large as the GL may appear, it's 2 inches shorter than the R-Class touring wagon, which also has three rows of seating, though with room for only six occupants. The GL is built using unibody construction rather than the body-on-frame design that full-size pickups and SUVs traditionally use. Mercedes notes that because of this architecture, the GL-Class weighs in at anywhere from 300 pounds to 600 pounds lighter than its full-size competitors. To make sure the GL class is strong enough, 60 percent of the vehicle structure is made from special high-strength steel.

Interior Features
While the GL may look sleeker than its competitors, Mercedes brags that the 2007 GL 450 offers both best-in-class interior room as well as ease of entry and exit. With all seats in their upright position, there's still 14 cubic feet of storage between the third-row seatbacks and the closed rear hatch door. A power folding feature for the third row is standard equipment on the GL with controls near the rear hatch and next to the right-side second-row passenger's seat. Power down those third-row seats, and cargo capacity expands to 43.8 cubic feet. Fold down the 60/40-split second row seats and the GL provides as much as 83.3 cubic feet for cargo. There's also room under the cargo floor for a full-size spare tire. Standard equipment includes eight-way power front seats, 14 air conditioning outlet vents, eight cup holders, air vents, and reading lamps. The interior layout is familiar to Mercedes drivers, with either faux or real leather trim for the seats (Mercedes notes that not all luxury car buyers want real leather seating surfaces), wood trim and metal rings around gauges, air vents, and cup holders. The second-row seats provide ample legroom. When occupied by only two people, the back of the center section can be folded down as an armrest and storage tray. We climbed into the third row and found room for two adults to ride back there, each in a separate seat. The room is enhanced by foot wells for your feet so you don't sit with your knees at chest level, and even the third-row seats are thickly padded to provide comfort. Fears of claustrophobia back there evaporate quickly thanks to the standard sunroof that extends over the third row. The GL can be equipped with a 440-watt, 11-speaker harmon/kardon Logic 7 sound system, with Sirius Satellite Radio and with a DVD video entertainment system with screens mounted in the rear of both front-seat headrests and with a 6CD changer.

Driving Impressions
Driving the 2007 Mercedes-Benz GL 450 doesn't feel at all like driving the typical full-size sport utility vehicle. While this is a substantially sized vehicle, it is not truck-like. The Mercedes has a much more car-like dynamic. The 335-hp V8 engine can propel the GL 450 from a standing start to 60 miles per hour in a car-like 7.4 seconds. This powerplant, with four valves per cylinder, is part of a brand new family of V8 engines from Mercedes-Benz. A standard, seven-speed automatic transmission helps keep the engine operating in the sweet part of a power band that provides maximum torque from 2700 rpm all the way up to 5000. Mercedes notes that the GL is the only full-size SUV offering such a seven-speed gearbox. The 4MATIC four-wheel-drive system features front, center and rear differentials. The sure-footed 4MATIC system is designed to maintain mobility even when only wheel has traction. In normal driving, the system distributes power equally to front and rear wheels. The system includes DSR, a sort of cruise control for regulating downhill speed, and Hill-Start Assist, which keeps the GL from rolling backward when launched after being stopped on uphill slope. 4MATIC also adjusts anti-lock brake controls to provide quicker stops on slippery and unpaved surfaces when off-roading. Airmatic is an air suspension system that uses air bladders instead of coil springs to adjust ride height by as much as three inches as well as ride firmness and body control parameters, so the driver can select from comfort and more aggressively sporty settings. The system automatically lowers the vehicle to enhance handling and aerodynamic efficiency at speeds of 77 mph or higher. Those serious about venturing far from pavement can opt for a special off-road package that includes special wheels and tires, a two-speed transfer case, locking center and rear differentials, adaptive dampening and with ground clearance height-adjustment options of as much as 12.4 inches, compared to the standard 7.9 inches of clearance. We did our driving on freeways in and out of San Francisco's airport and on roads through Napa Valley wine country. Steering feedback was consistent, brakes (14-inches in diameter on the front wheels and 13 inches on the rear) were responsive and consistently predictable and the GL 450 offered nice balanced dynamic capabilities when hustled through the curves on the narrow, hilly roads that wind through the vine-covered hillsides.

Permalink 12:56:54 am, Categories: Announcements [A], 2529 words   English (US)

New 2007 Mercedes Benz ML350 From $549/mo $44,975 Click Image For Live Auction

New 2007 Mercedes Benz ML350 From $549/mo $44,975

BASE MSRP: $42,670
P1: Premium I
Rain Sensor
Glass Sunroof
SIRIUS Satellite Radio
harman/kardon Sound System
Power Liftgate
Hands-Free Communication System
Lighting Package
Headlamp Washing System
Bi-Xenon Curve Illuminating Head Lamps
Corner Illuminating Front Fog Lamps
DVD Navigation System

TOTAL OPTIONS: $5,350
DESTINATION CHARGE: $775
TOTAL MSRP: $48,805
Easy Auto Leases Price $44,975


2007 Mercedes ML350
Low Mercedes Prices Discount Mercedes Auto Leases
Premium 1 Package With DVD Navigation
All Colors-Options Nationwide Delivery

The M-Class SUV might be the Swiss Army Knife in the Mercedes-Benz lineup. It isn't so large that it's cumbersome or hard to park, but it comfortably seats five and carries plenty of stuff. As daily transportation, it doesn't feel like a truck, and it won't beat its driver or passengers up. Yet it has the potential for some fairly serious off-road adventuring, and it can tow up to 5,000 pounds. The M-Class is more than powerful enough in any of its variations, with the safety equipment, luxury accoutrements, style and smooth finish expected of a Mercedes-Benz. For 2007, the M-Class line features two new, very different models that will further broaden its appeal: The fuel-efficient ML320 CDI diesel and the ultra-high performance ML63 AMG. With the ML320 CDI, you can forget just about everything bad you knew about diesels. It gives up nothing to the standard, gasoline-powered ML350. It's equipped identically, except for its diesel engine. The 3.2-liter diesel V6 generates 398 pound-feet of torque, comparable to a large-displacement V8, and brings a substantial improvement in fuel economy. The ML63 AMG features a hand-built V8 that generates 503 horsepower with AMG tuning and enhancements to match all that power. Though considerably more expensive than other M-Class models, the ML63 AMG is a true high-performance machine. Its 6.2-liter V8 is hand-built by a single technician. It bursts from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, according to Mercedes, with top speed electronically limited at 155 mph. Plus, it comes with the full load of luxury features. The original M-Class helped make luxury SUVs a familiar part of the automotive landscape. Completely redesigned for the 2006 model year, this second-generation M-Class is better than the original in every way. It's roomier, more comfortable and more car-like in its bearing. Its wheelbase is almost four inches longer, and its body three inches wider, all to better accommodate larger Americans inside. In the bargain, the coefficient of drag, or Cd number, has dropped from brick-grade to a sylphlike 0.34, on par with many passenger cars that are much lower to the ground. This means quieter highway travel and better fuel economy. In place of the original body-on-frame, truck-style design, this latest-generation M-Class has welded unibody construction with isolated front and rear subframes, a technique that emphasizes rigidity, decreased vibration and lower weight. The unibody also reduces its overall height, making it easier for families to get in and out. The M-Class has given up any pretense to being a large-family vehicle. The optional side-facing rear seats from the old model are gone (they weren't very good anyway), so the M-Class is strictly a five-seater. You'll want to look at the GL-Class for seven-seat SUV accommodations. The new look and larger size come with a new double-wishbone front suspension and four-link independent rear suspension, emphasizing sedan-style dynamics. Yet with a two-range transfer case on most models, and a sophisticated control program for the fulltime all-wheel-drive, the M-Class can get its driver through some fairly tricky off-road situations. M-Class buyers will pay a premium over many other comparably equipped luxury SUVs, but those who appreciate the cache and engineering strengths of the Mercedes brand will find plenty to like here. New for 2007 are three significant options: A dual-screen rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a rearview camera that shows the area behind the vehicle when reverse is engaged, and a Bluetooth interface for cell phones that provides integrated, hands-free operation without docking the handset.

Model Lineup
2007 brings two new models that expand the Mercedes M-Class line to four. Each is equipped with a seven-speed automatic transmission and electronically managed 4ETS fulltime all-wheel drive. The primary distinguishing feature is each model's engine. The ML350 ($42,680) is powered by Mercedes' latest-generation 3.5-liter gasoline V6, generating 268 horsepower. It comes with vinyl upholstery, automatic headlights, power seats, and an eight-speaker stereo with CD. The ML320CDI ($43,680) is equipped similarly but with the 215-hp 3.2-liter diesel V6 rated at 398 pound-feet of torque. The ML500 ($49,200) gets a three-valve, twin-spark 302-hp V8 and more standard features. These include heated, leather covered front seats, rain-sensing wipers and Tele-Aid emergency communication. The ML500 also includes more potent brakes and an upgrade from 17-inch to 18-inch alloy wheels. The ML63 AMG ($85,500) features a 6.2-liter V8 that generates 503 hp along with an AMG transmission, AMG shocks and suspension tuning, high-performance P295/40ZR20 tires on 20-inch wheels, AMG brakes, an air dam and other aerodynamic aids, AMG instruments, harman/kardon Logic7 CD6 audio with 12 speakers, and leather upholstery. Options include Distronic radar-managed cruise control ($3,150), Parktronic obstacle warning ($760), the DVD-based navigation system ($1,650), dual-screen rear-seat DVD entertainment system ($2,800), Keyless Go starting ($1,100), iPod integration kit ($365), CD6 changer ($440). Three packages are available, designated Premium I ($2,800), PII ($5,800), and PIII ($8,600), with exact content tied to the model. Drivers who want the racy look and sportier handling of the ML63 AMG, but not the high-power engine, can order the AMG Sport Package ($4,550) on any M-Class model. Safety features on all models includes two-stage front airbags for the driver and front passenger, side-impact airbags front and rear (torso protection) and curtain-style head protection airbags. A rollover sensor can activate both the seat-belt tensioners and curtain airbags if the vehicle senses an imminent rollover. An Electronic Stability Program comes standard along with advanced anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution. A tire pressure warning system is also standard.

Walkaround
The 2007 Mercedes-Benz M-Class generates more physical and visceral excitement than its predecessors, the pre-2006 models. From the emotional perspective, its front end is bolder, more interesting and more aggressive, with ventilated grille bars, a power-dome hood design and wild-looking integrated headlamps. In profile, the wheel arches loom large and prominent. There's an unmistakable character line rising front to rear, and a forward-slanting C-pillar that frames trapezoidal rear side glass. On the practical side, the M-Class body is much more aerodynamic. Its drag coefficient, or Cd, measures 0.34. That's closer to the average sedan than the typical slab-sided SUV. The lower the number, the less noise generated as air flows over the vehicle, and the less power required to move the ML at a given speed. Some improvements aren't readily apparent to the eye. A new-fangled scratch resistant paint, embedded with thousands of flecks of ceramic, is standard. It should be welcomed by those owners who actually decide to challenge overgrown trails, or those who share their garages with kids, toys and bicycles. There's an optional power liftgate operated with the key fob, and several cargo organizing devices available as accessories. New for 2007 is the ML63 AMG, and it is readily distinguished from other M-Class models. If its 20-inch spoke rims aren't a dead giveaway, check the ML63's more aggressive front and rear aprons, unique grille, flared fenders and deeply sculpted AMG side skirts. The ML63 also features unique tinted taillights and two sets of twin-chrome exhaust tips.

Interior Features
Inside the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, the dashboard, door panels and seats compliment the aggressive exterior design nicely. Wood, leather, plastic and metal finishes are generally top-drawer, as they should be at this price. Four huge, round air vents spread across the dash panel, which is dominated by a deeply hooded instrument cluster with sharp graphics and prominent chrome trim around the tachometer and speedometer. A central information window between the gauges can be programmed to supply about as much driving and maintenance information as one driver can stand to absorb. The steering wheel has a nice, thick rim that's reassuring when driving off road. We're fond of the optional wheel, finished with the top half in wood and the bottom half in leather. The center hub houses four sets of controls for information, telephone, navigation and entertainment systems. Wipers are stalk-mounted to the left of the column, while primary climate and audio controls are in the center stack above the console. The center stack is dominated by the elements of the COMAND system and a 16:9 LCD display which incorporates entertainment, telephone, and navigation displays. The M-Class features an electronic gear selector that's making its way into all Mercedes models. It's an easy-to-reach short stalk on the right side of the steering column, with simple up-down movement for reverse and drive. Alternate shift buttons, which allow selection of a specific gear, are located on the back of the steering wheel hub, right where fingers wrap around the spokes. It's a good system, and eliminates the conventional gear selector from the center console, making more room available for elegant design and function. The power seat controls have been relocated from the door to the outboard side of the seat bottom. We can fathom no reason for this change except the cost trimmed by eliminating the remote switches. It's certainly a less convenient arrangement. Still, the front seats themselves (even the base seats in the ML350) are all-day comfortable. The rear seat isn't as supportive as the fronts, but it's much roomier than before. Most of the newly created space in this second-generation M-Class translates into more knee and legroom for rear seat passengers. The rear seat folds fairly easily, and is split 60/40, to expand storage space from 29.1 to 72.4 cubic feet maximum. The load height in back is SUV high, but M-Class offers nearly as much cargo-hauling room as the typical, full-size truck-based SUV. The new 2007 ML63 AMG has heavily bolstered sport seats upholstered with Nappa leather and an Alcantara insert across the shoulder bolsters. Its entire dashboard is wrapped with leather. The ML63 also features a leather-wrapped sport steering wheel, unique instruments with AMG graphics and stainless-steel pedals with rubber studs.

Driving Impressions
In any variant, the Mercedes M-Class will do just about anything the typical owner demands, on road or off. Acceleration ranges from better-than-adequate, even with the new diesel engine, to oh-my-gosh! with the new ML63 AMG. Ride quality on pavement is never rough, even in the more stiffly suspended ML63, which features Mercedes' automatic AirMatic air suspension as standard equipment. New for 2007 is the available 3.2-liter diesel V6. This is the state of the art in diesel engines and we really like it. It's as clean as the ML's gasoline engines and gets much better fuel economy, yet it is not available in California and four other states. With this engine, there is no black soot, no sulfur smell and no loud, clattering noise. At idle the diesel in the ML320 CDI is nearly as quiet as the gasoline engine in the ML350, and that's when you're standing outside next to the vehicle. Inside, a driver is hard pressed to tell any difference between the gas and diesel engines, measured by noise or vibration. The only obvious difference is that the diesel shifts to a higher gear under full-throttle acceleration sooner than the gas engine to take advantage of its torque. There's no decrease in performance, either. Mercedes reports identical 0-60 mph times of 7.9 seconds for the both the ML320 diesel and the ML350. Yet that doesn't tell the whole story, because in short bursts the diesel actually accelerates more quickly. Its whopping 398 pound-feet of torque (compared to 258 lb-ft for the ML350) comes across as a neck-whipping burst of acceleration. And for this the diesel buyer gets a fuel economy improvement of 30 percent or more in real-world driving. We're perfectly happen in the ML350, but if diesel were readily available on our appointed rounds, we would choose the ML320 CDI over the ML350. During several days of hard driving in the south of France, we found the ML500 a hoot. The 5.0-liter V8 engine will take this 2.5-ton SUV from 0-60 mph in less than seven seconds flat, and then settles down to a background burble by the time you reach seventh-gear overdrive. The seven-speed automatic offers a manual-shift mode, and it's the best automatic Mercedes has built. It's flexible, in that it kicks down to a lower gear more quickly than its predecessors, and it almost always keeps the engine in the most productive part of its power band. Yet its overdrive top gear makes for quiet high-speed cruising and better fuel economy. The suspension is good at keeping the ML nice and flat in high-speed corners, and it smoothes dips and potholes better than we'd expect a truck to do. The optional AirMatic suspension we tested in France can be downright supple, which trucks aren't supposed to be. The larger standard 18-inch wheels and tires with the 5.0 V8 and the power rack-and-pinion steering deliver a nice feel of the road, and quick reactions when necessary. At high speeds through mountain passes, the ML500 leans over a little, takes a set, and then grabs the ground and turns the corners. Critics have complained with some justification about the electronically actuated and modulated Sensotronic brake system that Mercedes-Benz has been feeding gradually into all of its models over the last few years. We're getting used to them, and they'll stop the M-Class right now without much pedal effort. They've also improved considerably since they were first introduced. Yet they still don't have the smooth, linear feel of the best mechanically actuated brake systems. Nice smooth stops can be tricky without practice. We prefer the brakes in the Mercedes cars that do not have Sensotronic. Off road, the ML500 and ML63 AMG have two significant added features: a Downhill Speed Regulation software control that won't let you and it go any faster than about 7 mph downhill, and a Start-Off Assist that keeps the vehicle from drifting backward in Drive or forward in Reverse on steep hills. Very handy, indeed, and easy to learn to use. All M-Class models are rated at a significant 5000-pound towing capacity with the optional Class III towing package. We have little doubt that three of the four, including the new M320 diesel, would be up for the job (the diesel generates as much torque as a large displacement V8). We'd have some doubts about the gasoline V6 in the ML350, however. If towing a substantial load were a regular part of our routine, we'd look at the ML320 CDI or the ML500. New for 2007 is the 6.2-liter V8. We've driven the ML63 AMG and it certainly has appeal: a people hauler to do battle with Porsche 911s in the stoplight derby or blast through big sweeping curves much faster than decorum or good sense might suggest. The ML63 is fast, dashing from 0 to 60 mph in less than five seconds, and, with the torque of a large V8 and the high-revving character of a sports car engine, it can be fun to drive. But it's also big and heavy, so don't think sports car. Through the twisties where we sampled it, changing directions quickly and often, the ML63 AMG is not exactly fun. Its massive tires mean plenty of grip. The steering is fairly quick for such a hefty machine, but also quite light, and the package conspires to feel twitchy, almost unsettling.

Permalink 12:56:28 am, Categories: Announcements [A], 4689 words   English (US)

New 2007 Mercedes Benz E350 From $529/mo $50,575 Click Image For Live Auction

New 2007 Mercedes Benz ML350 From $549/mo $44,975

BASE MSRP: $50,550
P1: Premium I
Hands-Free Communication System
DVD COMAND Navigation
SIRIUS Satellite Radio
Power Rear-Window Sunshade
Heated Front Seats
Panorama Sunroof
33 Sport Package details
All Season Tires
18" Wheels
Lowered Sport Suspension
Sport Rear Bumper with Dual-Chrome Pipes
Blue-Tinted Glass

TOTAL OPTIONS: $3,390
DESTINATION CHARGE: $775
TOTAL MSRP: $54,715
Easy Auto Leases Price $50,575

2007 Mercedes E350
Low Mercedes Prices Discount Mercedes Auto Leases
Premium 1 Package
All Colors-Options Nationwide Delivery

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class features more powerful engines for 2007, along with subtle styling changes, new interior elements, and a few tweaks for handling and safety. The E-Class in many ways epitomizes the Mercedes-Benz brand. It's the company's best selling line worldwide and one of the best-selling Mercedes models in the United States. The E-Class describes a full line of big, roomy sedans that are solid, safe, practical, comfortable, luxurious, and fast. Yet the cost of operating the popular E350, in terms of fuel consumption and maintenance, can be quite reasonable. The E-Class features some of the industry's most advanced safety technology, and it expresses what most people think of when they think of Mercedes: status in elegant, understated fashion. Since a frame-up overhaul for model year 2003, the E-Class has expanded steadily and now includes six variants (more if you count the all-wheel drive E350 4Matic sedan and wagon and E550 4Matic sedan as separate models). The E-Class has sedans that seat five, wagons that seat seven, power from a V6, two V8s and a turbocharged V6 diesel, optional weather-busting all-wheel drive and screaming super-performance models from supertuner AMG. For 2007, there are changes in E-Class nomenclature, thanks to new engines. The E500 sedan has become the E550 sedan, the new badge indicating it's powered by the 5.5-liter V8 that first appeared in the 2006 S-Class. The E550's double overhead cam V8 generates 382 horsepower compared to the 302 horsepower from the single overhead cam V8 it replaces, yet with a seven-speed automatic transmission, the E550 achieves the same estimated mileage as its less powerful predecessor. The E550 4Matic sedan retains its five-speed automatic. The E350 benefits from a V6 that was upgraded last year and is offered as a sedan and a wagon. Meanwhile, there is no better example of how far passenger car diesel technology has advanced than the new E320 Bluetec sedan, which replaces the E320 CDI. The impressive common-rail direct-injection turbodiesel engine comes with a more sophisticated exhaust system that makes it the only diesel-powered passenger car available in the U.S. during the 2007 model year. It's not only more powerful than the outgoing E320 CDI with 210 horsepower and a muscular 388 pound-feet of torque, but it also returns the outgoing CDI's excellent EPA-estimated fuel mileage of 27 city/37 highway mpg. Also new for 2007 are the E63 AMG sedan and wagon. It's hard to conceive of a faster, sportier team of luxury cars than the outgoing E55 AMGs, but the completely new 507-hp 6.2-liter V8 that replaces the E55's 469-hp supercharged V8 makes the E63s the fastest E-Class models ever built. And though capable of monstrous acceleration (0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds) and a top speed of 180 mph (were it not for electronics that limit top speed to 155 mph), the AMGs boast the touches of luxury expected at the upper end of the market. The Mercedes E-Class is an icon, a benchmark in its class. The mid-life freshening for 2007 helps the E-Class keep pace with such outstanding luxury sedans as the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Acura RL.

Model Lineup
The Mercedes E-Class lineup can seem daunting and complex, yet there is only one primary choice: four-door sedan or wagon. From there, it's a matter of choosing the engine and whether you want 4Matic all-wheel drive. The E350 models come with a 3.5-liter V6 engine. The E350 sedan ($51,325) comes with a seven-speed automatic while the all-wheel-drive 4Matic ($53,825) has a five-speed automatic. E350s are available in Sport or Luxury trim. The E320 Bluetec ($52,325) is equipped identically to the E350 Luxury version, but features the turbodiesel engine. The E350 4Matic wagon ($56,475) is equipped comparably to the sedan. A power liftgate and cargo organizer are standard, along with a folding third seat that increases passenger capacity to seven. Standard features include fully automatic dual-zone climate control, 10-way power front seats with leather seating surfaces and memory, real burl walnut trim, a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, a nine-speaker surround-sound stereo, power windows with one-touch express up and down, auto-dimming mirrors and rain-sensing windshield wipers. New standard equipment for 2007 includes a glass sunroof, six-disc CD changer, harman/kardon Logic 7 premium audio and, in the wagon, a power liftgate. Luxury trim comes with 17-inch wheels, comfort suspension, green-tinted glass and burl walnut wood trim. Sport trim includes 18-inch twin-spoke wheels, a sport rear bumper with dual exhaust pipes, lowered sports suspension, blue-tinted glass, black bird's eye maple wood trim, white gauges, and a matte chrome gearshift surround. Options include the Premium 1 package ($2,390) with phone pre-wiring, DVD navigation, Sirius satellite radio, power rear window sunshade and heated front seats. Premium II ($4,290) adds headlamp washers, a bi-xenon active light system, cornering fog lamps, and Keyless Go to that list. Also optional: a panorama sunroof ($1,000), electronic trunk closer ($520), split/folding rear seats ($300), radar-controlled Distronic adaptive cruise control ($3,160); a wood/leather steering wheel ($540); five-spoke chrome 17-inch wheels ($1,200); and Parktronic obstacle warning ($1,110). The E550 ($59,775) and E550 4Matic ($62,275) sedans are powered by the 382-hp V8, and it offers more standard equipment than the E350. Upgrades include a four-zone climate control system and Airmatic variable air suspension. Options include the Premium I package ($2,840), which adds active ventilated seats to the E350's similar package, while Premium II ($4,740) is identical in content to the E350's. The E63 AMG sedan ($85,375) and wagon ($86,175) include the 507-hp V8, a seven-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles, massive 18-inch tires and wheels, performance brakes, a lowered chassis and an aggressively tuned air suspension. They're distinguished by unique body touches and interior trim, deeply sculpted sports seats and AMG markings. Options are similar to those on the other E-Class models. Safety features that come standard on all models include eight airbags: dual front airbags, side-impact airbags for front and rear passengers, and head-protection curtains that run the length of the cabin on both sides. The airbag management system employs multiple impact sensors designed to more precisely control the timing and rate of deployment. The system accounts for the weight of a front-seat passenger and controls seatbelt pretensioners according to the force of impact. Active safety features start with anti-skid stability electronics and the latest evolution of ABS. Safety is further enhanced by the Pre-Safe system, which was engineered to recognize critical situations as they develop and prepare both the passengers and the car for the crisis. If braking deceleration exceeds a certain level or the vehicle threatens to skid, the system tensions the front seatbelts, adjusts the position of the passenger seat for optimum positioning relative to deployment of the airbags, and closes the side windows and sliding sunroof, leaving only a small gap. In the event of a rear collision, the front head restraints move forward nearly two inches and upward by more than an inch, helping to support the head and reduce whiplash injuries.

Walkaround
Before the launch of the gorgeous CLS sedan/coupe, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class was widely considered to be the most successful design among the company's current sedans. For 2007, a slightly increased overall length and wider front and rear tracks does nothing to dispel the car's suave look. The four-headlight theme introduced on the previous-generation E-Class is now the company standard, but it has been refined further in the mid-life freshening of the 2007 car. Up front, the bumper and radiator grille now have a pronounced V-shape, the spoiler is lower, and, for a striking effect, the twin headlamps sport transparent louvers over their top sections. A finishing touch is the white LEDs used for the parking lights. The front end's new look for 2007 is carried to the rear along deeper side skirts to a new rear bumper and taillight configuration. Along with the new, more aerodynamically shaped single-strut rearview mirrors, the changes keep the E-Class looking fresh and youthful, yet elegant. The current E-Class design introduced many innovations not necessarily apparent to the eye. This was the first Mercedes sedan to use aluminum body components extensively, starting with the hood, front fenders, trunk lid, front crossmember and front subframe. Aluminum is lighter and stronger but more expensive than steel. Aluminum amounts to 10 percent of the body's weight. About 37 percent of the total is modern high-strength steel alloys. From the aerodynamic perspective, the E-Class is one of the slipperiest sedans extant. Its 0.27 coefficient of drag, identical to the 2006 model, is a benchmark for sedans and helps minimize wind noise and maximize fuel economy. The E-Class wagon, this year available only in E350 and E63 AMG versions, will never be mistaken for anything but a wagon. Nonetheless, it is impressively sleek, and some critics find the tear-drop taper of the rear roof more aesthetically pleasing than the trunk deck on the sedans. The exterior revisions on the sedan apply to the wagon. The wagon has been fitted with a larger center brake light. The wagon's added cargo-passenger flexibility is welcome. If the E350 wagon is too stodgy for your taste, there's always the new E63 AMG wagon. The E63 AMG sedan and wagon look meaner than the other E-Class cars. With their lower body cladding and 18-inch wheels, the E63s look racy and aggressive. As is often the case, the body add-ons add slightly more drag, if you can call a super slippery 0.28 Cd more drag. The aerodynamic aids are for downforce, to improve grip in fast corners.

Interior Features
We really enjoy the Mercedes E-Class interior. Like its exterior styling, we consider the E-Class cabin to be some of the marque's best design work, with a successful mix of attributes. The E-Class sedan delivers plenty of passenger space, yet it maintains some level of intimacy. It's luxurious, yet functional, and loaded with features without being excessive. The E-Class has all the traditional Mercedes interior cues, starting with its standard dark stained burl walnut trim. The cabin is conservative in some respects, daring in others, and impressively executed throughout. New for 2007 is a more elegant look, distinguished by sweeping curves, soft surfaces and effective use of chrome trim. A handsome four-spoke steering wheel with elliptical thumb-operated buttons is new, along with revised controls for the automatic climate system and additional interior color choices. The dashboard sweeps from each side and blends into the doors and center console. The wood trim is complemented by splashes of chrome. Plastic panels are generally rich in appearance and have a soft-touch finish. All are sprayed with a polyurethane coating that delivers impressively consistent color. The instrument cluster uses black script on white gauges with LED lighting. There's a big speedometer in the middle, with a menu-operated display for diagnostics, feature selection, ambient temperature, date and other information in its center. To the left sits a large analog clock, to the right the tachometer. On either end of the cluster are neat bar gauges that resemble thermometers, displaying fuel level and coolant temperature. A cluster of switches between the visors on the headliner controls cabin lighting and the Tele-Aid SOS call button. The panel also includes a switch to operate the sunroof. HomeLink buttons are located on the bottom of the rearview mirror and can be programmed to control garage doors, house lighting, gates, etc. Redundant controls on the steering wheel hub operate the phone, radio and information display. A single row of switches at the bottom of the center stack operates door locks, flashers and seat heaters. The main audio, telephone and navigation controls are located in a Comand module, spread around a 16:9 ratio LCD display screen. The system is a big improvement over Mercedes' previous control center, and while it still requires some learning, it probably takes less time to master than the menu/joystick system in many E-Class competitors. The new CD changer is located behind a flip-up switch panel in the center of the dash panel, which, at the touch of a button, opens for access to the changer. It can play audio CDs and MP3s, and an auxiliary input plug in the glove box allows personal audio devices to be played through the 12-speaker sound system. An optional kit connects the Apple iPod to the audio system and provides information in the center display while allowing control via the multi-function steering wheel. Mercedes is learning that people who drive cars carry stuff with them, at least Americans do. This E-Class has less storage space than some of its competitors, but acres more than any Mercedes did five years ago. The center console has a funky pop-up cupholder and a large storage bin (two bins if you don't order the telephone package). Storage bins are also located in each door along with map pockets on the front seatbacks. The 10-way adjustable front bucket seats are firm enough for good support when driving fast, but not hard on the back when cruising. They grip bodies of various sizes nicely, and there's more than enough adjustment via Mercedes' patented door-mounted seat controls to accommodate just about everyone. The sport seats have enough bolstering to keep a bronze bust in place. But if you don't dive into corners like Stirling Moss, you probably don't need them. They make getting in and out a little more difficult. We especially enjoy the Active Ventilated seats in the E550 and E63 AMG models on hot days, when they provide a welcome measure of comfort. Gripes? We didn't like the previous model's outside mirrors, which were too small, no doubt in deference to sharp styling and good aerodynamics, but the mirrors on the 2007 models are shaped better for viewing to the rear, and they're even more slippery in the wind. More significant is the cruise control. Mercedes' system still is managed with a stalk on the left side of the steering column, above the turn signals. At some point, no matter how long you've driven the car, you are going to hit the cruise control when you intend to turn on the blinker. Mercedes engineers insist that theirs is the most effective cruise-control operation going. We've yet to meet anyone who prefers it. The E-Class was one of the first cars to feature ambient cabin lighting. These strips of soft, low-level lighting in the headliner remain on during darkness, like a fancy nightlight in the bathroom. It's disconcerting while driving at night, at least initially, because we're used to nothing but the instrument lights. The distraction goes away as you become accustomed, but we're not sure the benefit of being able to see around the cabin outweighs the perceived loss of night vision and focus on the road. Ambient lighting is convenient for passengers who want to be able to see inside the cabin, however. A power glass moonroof that tilts and slides comes standard, but the Panorama roof can be ordered that offers twice the glass surface area. It features continuous glass that slides along the top of the body from the windshield to the rear window. The back seat has all the comforts of home. Separate air vents for both sides, a fan-speed switch and separate temperature adjustments help keep rear passengers comfortable. A 12-volt power point, reading lamps, and a wide, fold-down center armrest with cupholders and divided storage are provided. Headrests are provided for all three rear seating positions, yet the driver can retract them with the press of a button when there's no one riding in back for a greater range of rearward vision. The optional split/folding rear seat adds utility; get it if you haul stuff. The trunk is one of the largest in the class, with nearly 16 cubic feet of space. The trunk floor is as long as it is wide, with load height just above the bumper. The E-Class wagon offers 24.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second-row seats and 69 cubic feet with all the seats folded down. That's nearly as much volume as the Mercedes M-Class, and with its lower load height, the space in the E-Class wagon is much easier to reach than it is in an SUV. The folding third-row seat will accommodate pre-teens without complaint, but most adults won't like it back there.

Driving Impressions
All of the 2007 Mercedes E-Class cars are enjoyable to drive. Smooth, serene and quiet are the dominant impressions at the wheel of any E-Class, unless you have the accelerator floored. There's very little vibration anywhere in the cabin, and almost no wind noise. Improvements to the geometry of the front suspension for 2007 give the E-Class a crisper, quicker turn-in while cornering, perceptibly increasing the sporty nature of the car's handling. All of the E-Class cars corner responsively and provide a smooth, if slightly firm, ride, a balance we like in luxury sedans. The four-link front suspension is similar to that under the expensive S-Class models, and the five-link rear suspension does a superb job of controlling unwanted wheel movement, which is crucial to handling and ride quality. The Sport models are tuned for those who like to feel in closer touch to the pavement, as it's fitted with shorter springs for a slightly lower ride height, stiffer shocks and low-profile performance tires on 18-inch wheels. The available Airmatic Dual Control suspension replaces the standard steel coil springs with air springs. This computer-managed system adjusts the air pressure to the spring at each wheel, based on road conditions or driving style, to slightly soften or firm the ride and to add or decrease body roll (lean) in corners. In combination with electronically adjusted shock absorbers, the air suspension can automatically improve ride quality or handling or optimize the balance of the two, depending on where the car is traveling and whether the driver is cruising or driving quickly. The system works automatically, without switching suspension settings between sport and comfort. The variable-power steering system was improved for 2007 with a 10-percent quicker ratio for more precise control of front wheel direction. The system provides more boost for easy turning at low speeds and less for more progressive steering response and feedback at higher speeds. With 2.6 turns lock-to-lock compared to the previous system's 3.3 turns, we found the new steering makes maneuvering through crowded parking lots easier and more pleasant, and far more responsive in the corners. One of our gripes with the 2006 models was the braking system. All of the E-Class cars came with Sensotronic Brake Control, commonly called brake-by-wire, because the connection between the brake pedal and reservoir of brake fluid is electronic, not mechanical. Although we found them to be excellent in terms of performance, with stops straight, true and short, repeatedly, with virtually no brake fade, we didn't care for the way they engaged, which we felt was too abrupt, especially in commuter crawl mode. They do, however, have their advantages. The electronic system can apply brake force to each wheel independently, helping to keep the car traveling straight and true during panic stops, even on bumpy, uneven roads. It will also keep the brakes on full in an emergency situation, as measured by sensors, even if a driver inadvertently eases off the brake pedal. And if it's raining, the system periodically, lightly, applies the brakes to sweep them dry. Still, the brake-by-wire had its quirks. Several testers found them difficult to modulate in everyday driving, making smooth braking around town a challenge. In short, we didn't really like them. For 2007, the Sensotronic control has been removed from the brake system, which is essentially unchanged except for the now ultra-smooth grasp of the binders, even at slow speeds. Each E-Class model has progressively larger brake rotors and more complex piston designs to complement the engine's power and corresponding speed potential. The E-Class wagons give up almost nothing to the sedans in performance, fuel economy or handling dynamics. The E350 comes with a 3.5-liter engine introduced for 2006, which was the first Mercedes V6 with dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder. The 3.5-liter V6 generates 268 hp and it matches well with the high-tech seven-speed automatic transmission that comes standard. The E350 is as responsive as any V6-powered car we've driven. The 3.5-liter V6 has fully variable valve timing, delivering an impressive amount of torque from idle all the way to redline. The E350 responds immediately, no matter how fast it's already traveling when the driver dips the gas pedal. The 3.5-liter engine is also appreciably smooth, particularly at high rpm. And thanks to the seven-speed automatic, it delivers decent fuel mileage. The new E320 Bluetec diesel gets vastly superior fuel economy, however. It's expected to deliver 27 city/37 highway mpg. With predominantly highway travel, this gives it a range of 600-700 miles per tank. The Bluetec replaces the diesel-powered E320 CDI, which was an impressive car, but the new diesel is better and cleaner. It's designed to run on the ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel introduced into the U.S. starting October 2006. Mercedes' first V6 diesel, the Bluetec features all the latest high-tech goodies, including turbocharging, a variable nozzle turbine, four valves per cylinder, exhaust gas recirculation and a third generation of CDI, the common-rail direct-injection system that delivers fuel to the engine at an incredible 23,000 psi (compared to 100-250 psi in a typical gasoline engine). Yet the technology matters less than the results. The diesel V6 puts out a modest 208 hp, but is backed up by a resounding 400 pound-feet of torque that begins as early as 1600 rpm. In other words, this baby hauls. There's no smoke to be seen or smelled. Four after-treatment units in the exhaust stream help make the Bluetec V6 the cleanest diesel powerplant in the world. (Initially, it will be sold in 45 states only, but Mercedes-Benz expects that a further evolution of Bluetec will allow diesel Mercedes to be sold throughout the United States in 2008.) We drove the E320 Bluetec sedan through the deserts and mountains surrounding Las Vegas, and it exhibited all the attractive traits of the gasoline-powered Benzes, and more. As well as being as smooth and quiet as any of the world's luxury sedans, Bluetec comes with a powerful character all its own, owing to the massive yank of torque that pulls the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds, only a tenth of a second behind the gas-powered E350 sedan. In other words, forget everything you know about diesel-powered cars built in the 1970s, '80s or '90s. Slow starting? Not anymore. Like all diesels, the E-Class version still needs electric glow plugs to heat the combustion chambers before starting, but we never noticed. Unpleasant odors? You'll still experience that oily diesel smell at the truck stop when you fill the E320 Bluetec's tank, but once the filler cap is back on and the car is running, there will be no unpleasant fumes inside or out of this E-Class. Excessive engine noise? At idle, during warm-up, we heard the rapid tick-tick of diesel noise more loudly than anything coming from the gasoline-powered E350's engine, but once underway, there was zero difference in the amount of engine noise reaching the cabin compared to other E-Class models. That extra bit of noise is more than offset by the Bluetec sedan's excellent benefits. With 400 pound-feet of torque, more even than the E550 boasts with its V8, the turbodiesel V6 makes a winner of the E320 Bluetec in almost any stoplight derby. The 3,860-pound sedan, though no lightweight, jumps forward quickly enough to spin the back tires just by jabbing the right pedal, if you've switched the traction control off. Its turbocharger also provides a level of immunity from the power-robbing effects of high elevation, as we discovered in our climb up Mount Charleston northwest of Las Vegas. And on one quiet desert road, we reached the electronically limited top speed of 130 mph without breaking a sweat. That said, there's nothing like the E550's V8 power for smooth, exhilarating acceleration. This V8 is sweet from idle to the 6000-rpm redline, and with 382 hp and 391 pound-feet of torque (up from 302 horsepower and 339 pound-feet in the E500), the E550 flies. From a stoplight or from 70 mph, there's a deep well of torque underfoot and plenty of acceleration, good enough to take it from 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. Throughout our first drive of the E550, on the high-speed autobahns of Germany and over the twisting roads of the Bavarian Alps, it provided a stellar combination of performance and luxury, sharp handling and passenger comfort. In short, the Mercedes E550 is as nearly perfect a sports sedan as has been developed by anyone. The seven-speed automatic transmission improves acceleration, performance and response, but it also enhances fuel efficiency when compared to a more common five-speed automatic. Gear changes are barely noticeable, especially in the higher gears. This transmission allows significantly quicker acceleration for highway passing situations. And it doesn't have to go through every gear: Step on the gas and the transmission will skip down to the appropriate gear, switching from seventh to fifth, for example, and from there directly to third, meaning two downshifts instead of four. Both of the transmissions also offer three individual driver-selectable shift programs to alter the shifting characteristics from comfort to sport to full manual gear selection. The 2007 E63 AMG sedan and wagon operate on another plane entirely. Their race-bred naturally aspired 6.2-liter V8, which is being offered in a variety of Mercedes models, delivers 507 hp and 465 pound-feet of torque, compared to 469 hp and 516 pound-feet of torque in the outgoing E55 AMG. The previous models got their power courtesy of an intercooled Lysholm screw-type supercharger, which helped rocket them from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, but the new, big V8 makes the cars even faster: 4.3 seconds from 0 to 60 mph. Plus, the new V8 emits less harmful emissions than the supercharged engine and weighs 55 pounds less. The 6.2-liter V8 is the first Mercedes engine to be totally engineered and built at the AMG facility, and the firm put every bit of its long motorsports experience into it. The all-aluminum engine features four valves per cylinder, a variable intake manifold made of magnesium, variable camshafts and a special low-friction cylinder wall treatment, but the most important part is it performs and growls like a big V8. The five-speed automatic in the E55 AMG has been replaced by a more efficient seven-speed automatic with AMG-tuned Speedshift programming. Like the five-speed, it shifts quickly up or down (though without the throttle blip of some manu-matics), doesn't hunt back and forth for the right gear, even in hilly terrain, and it rarely shifts unless the driver changes the angle of the gas pedal, which is good. When the driver prefers, an auto-manual shift mechanism allows a high level of control over gear selection. Either by toggling the shifter left or right or using the paddles on the steering wheel, the transmission shifts quickly up and down at the driver's discretion. The system will hold the selected gear indefinitely just below the 6000-rpm redline, but it won't let you bump the engine off its rev-limiter without shifting up a gear. Should the mood strike, a driver can run through the gears or challenge a curving stretch of road almost as if it was a fully manual transmission. Drivers who like that sort of thing might gripe about the lack of a blipped throttle during downshifts like some other transmissions of this type deliver, but that's a minor point that will be moot to almost everyone else. Most of the time, we simply put it in Drive. Even the high-performance E63 AMG is so quiet that the driver forgets just how powerful and fast it is until the throttle is opened up.

Summary
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class offers a wide range of choices, but all have the attributes that have made them a benchmark among luxury cars. Every model delivers a combination of safety, luxury, practicality, performance, status, and cost of operation that's difficult to match. This remains an iconic car in a market segment crowded with good cars.

Permalink 12:54:57 am, Categories: Announcements [A], 1911 words   English (US)

New 2007 Mercedes Benz SL550 From $1,099/mo $99,975 1-888-861-8080

BASE MSRP: $94,800
321 AMG Sport Package
High Performance Tires
Steering Wheel Gearshift Paddles
AMG Body Styling
18" AMG twin-spoke Aluminum-Alloy Wheels
P1: Premium I
Active Ventilated Seats
Dynamic Multicontour Seats
Xenon Headlamps
Corner-illuminating Foglamps
Keyless Go
Gaz Guzzler: $1700

TOTAL OPTIONS: $10,790
DESTINATION CHARGE: $775
TOTAL MSRP: $106,365
Easy Auto Leases Price $99,975

2007 Mercedes SL550
Low Mercedes Prices Discount Mercedes Auto Leases
AMG And Premium 1 Packages
All Colors-Options Nationwide Delivery

The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class of two-seat roadsters has been significantly upgraded for 2007. These were wonderful cars before, and they're even more wonderful for 2007. For 2007, all SL models get revised styling, with new front, rear, and side sheetmetal along with new interior decor. The entry-level model, now called the SL550, gets a bigger, more powerful engine, and a new seven-speed automatic, giving it a big boost in performance and a sportier sound. The SL55 AMG gets more power as well. The steering and active suspension have been upgraded on all the 2007 models, sharpening the handling. At the same time, these cars provide grand touring intimacy, for quiet conversation or unimpeded stereo performance. New upholstery materials give the cabins a richer appearance. Drop the top and they deliver comfortable, top-down motoring, putting the wind in your hair, and whisking your troubles away. Buffeting is well controlled, so you don't even have to put up with much wind. Few sports cars can boast a continuous 50-year history like the Mercedes-Benz SL can. First offered as a two-seat 300SL roadster in 1957, the SL-Class brought heart-stopping good looks, fuel injection, independent front and rear suspension and disc brakes to the sports car party, and has been in the Mercedes-Benz lineup ever since, leading the applied technology in the sports car segment with things like the disappearing steel top, radar, sonar, active hydraulic suspension and composite brakes. Today we have the safest, quickest, flattest-handling and prettiest SL-Class cars in half a century. The SL-Class comes in one body style, a two-seat roadster with a steel retractable hardtop. The SL550, SL600, SL55 AMG, and SL65 AMG deliver varying levels of performance, however, ranging from fast to faster. The SL models compete in the luxury sports car segment with the BMW 6 Series convertible, the new Jaguar XK, the Porsche 911 Turbo cabriolet, and the Aston Martin V-8 Vantage.

Model Lineup
The 2007 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class comes in five distinct flavors, starting with the most popular model, the SL550 ($94,800) with its new 382-hp 5.5-liter V8 engine and new seven-speed automatic. The SL600 ($132,000) features a 510-hp 5.5-liter V12 engine. Since this is the 50th anniversary of the SL, there will be a limited run of 550 50th Edition SL550s, all with brown leather interior, pewter paint, and black ash wood trim, a handful of special options made standard, special trim and matching 50th Edition luggage. The high-performance SL55 AMG ($128,800) features a supercharged 5.5-liter V8 and special tuning by AMG. The SL65 AMG ($186,000) is powered by a 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12, rated at 604 horsepower and a staggering 738 pound-feet of torque. Both AMG versions, in addition to their special front, rear, side, and interior trims, sport seats, and AMG alloy wheels, have a new dashboard information display that includes for the first time a RaceTimer feature that will track lap times, lap length, average speed, and top speed. The SL65 AMG gets an electric trunk closer, aluminum steering-wheel-mounted shift levers, a complete carbon fiber interior, and a center high-mount stop lamp in white instead of red. The safety package leaves nothing out. All SL-Class models comes with ABS with huge disc brakes, ESP electronic stability control, traction control, ABC automatic body control suspension, front and side air bags, and an automatic deployable rollover hoop behind the seats. Options include a comfort package, wood-and-leather trim package, AMG Sport package, hands-free communication package, bi-xenon headlamps, Distronic cruise control, Parktronic park assist, run-flat tires, the Keyless Go entry and starting system, and the Panorama roof option, all at about the same prices as the 2006 model.

Walkaround
For 2007, the Mercedes SL-Class sports a more aggressively styled front air dam, a new front grille and chrome-trimmed fog lights.The SL550 (which will still be called the SL500 in most other markets) has the least body adornment within its bolder, sportier new design envelope. The designers have given the SL550 a much more aggressive front-end appearance, a new lower air dam, new front lamps, a bigger grille, and new sill plates inside the doors. The taillamps are new, with white rather than red lenses, as are the 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels (alternate 18- and 19-inch wheels and tires will be optional). The SL600 and SL65 AMG will carry front fender badges reading V12 Biturbo, while the SL55 will be badged V8 Kompressor. The two AMGs will share body panels, noses and sills, while the SL550 and SL600 share design details.All of them are absolutely gorgeous.The folding and disappearing power top raises or lowers in just 16 seconds.

Interior Features
The designers have increased the level of luxury inside this already beautiful interior for 2007, by specifying more expensive leathers, woods and carpeting throughout. The main instrument cluster has been redesigned, with new chronometer graphics and additional leather stitching on the binnacle. New aluminum trim panels are coordinated with a new burr walnut wood trim. New, softer leather is used on the seats and panels, and new colors, black and red, have been added. Cockpit comfort in the SL550 as well as the other models is superior, with a huge range of seat and steering wheel adjustability, and the seats are supremely comfortable and containing. This is a two-seat sports car, however, and there's still that wall behind the seats that restricts seat travel and may make taller drivers fidget around, looking for the best compromise in seating comfort. All of the controls are in the same places as on the 2006 model, albeit surrounding by more aluminum trim, and they're easy to use, including the COMAND system and the navigation screen. With the steel top up, you have the kind of grand touring intimacy you want with your driving partner. In 16 seconds, you have the open-air cruising mode, and with the side windows up and the conversation panel flipped up behind the seats, you can converse with your partner in a normal voice, or listen cleanly to the stereo right up to about 100 mph when the wind noise will win out. Sirius Satellite Radio with six months of free service has been made standard equipment on all models. The in-car hands-free communication system can use either Bluetooth connectivity (to use with your Bluetooth-compatible cell phone) or a multi-handset interface, each of which is sold separately from the car through dealerships. An electric trunk lid opener button has been added for 2007. A power trunk lid closer will be added but won't be on early 2007 models. The luggage cover, which keeps luggage from interfering with the stowed top, is now removable, to add more luggage space in the tiny trunk. If you're planning on carrying more than a weekend's worth of luggage for two, though, you're out of space already. The SL offers 10.2 cubic feet of trunk space with the top up, 7.3 cubic feet with the top down. The folding and disappearing power top raises or lowers in just 16 seconds.

Driving Impressions
You can't argue with more horsepower, more torque and more gears to put them through. Not in this segment, you can't. The larger, more powerful V8 engine that comes in the 2007 Mercedes SL550 rips through the gears in the new seven-speed automatic at a furious rate, if you want it to. When you prefer to cruise, it just sits back and relaxes, upshifting and downshifting silently. The new V8's exhaust system has been re-engineered to give a much more throaty, sporty sound at wide-open throttle. It settles into a nice burble at cruising speeds. While most German cars are limited to 155 mph by an industry agreement, how quickly you get there is another matter entirely, and the SL550's V8 will get you from rest to 60 mph much quicker, in about 5.5 seconds. Every chance we got, we mashed the throttle pedal down into the carpet at stop signs and traffic signals, and the electronic systems allowed about two turns of the tires before taking over control and keeping the car pointed straight ahead, every time, like launching a rocket. Very confidence-inspiring. In terms of steering and handling, the 2007 SL has even more chops. The steering ratio has been quickened up so that left-right transitions happen more quickly, there is more feel in the system at the steering wheel, and it tracks better. The second-generation Automatic Body Control (ABC) active suspension system, now standard equipment, has been altered radically, so that it controls body roll, pitch, dive and yaw about 60 percent tighter than the original system, and makes fast driving on challenging roads a very rewarding experience, without beating up the two occupants with a rough ride. We've also driven the silky smooth S600 with a 510-hp V12 that packs 612 pound-feet of trip-shortening torque as well as the SL55 AMG with a V8 also rated at 510 horsepower, but with a mere 531 pound-feet of torque. Which model? The SL600 is the one we would buy if we could afford it and justify its price. Its quiet, smooth demeanor, the refinement of the ride, along with its incredible performance (0-60 in the low 4-second zone) and brilliant handling make it the ultimate of luxury sports car. Its turbocharged 5.5-liter V12 engine boasts 510 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with the heavy-duty five-speed automatic to handle the huge torque output of the engine. The SL55 AMG, with supercharged power, lightning shifts with or without the manual shifter paddles, completely different ABC suspension calibrations, bigger, more powerful brakes, and huge tires, is rougher-riding than either the 550 or the 600, with 0-60 times of about 4.5 seconds, louder at the exhaust tips, but oh, so much fun to drive, so much more masculine looking, and more agile than the other two versions on a country two-lane road. The supercharged 5.5-liter V8 engine gets more power for 2007, to 510 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque.The SL65 AMG is the quickest SL of them all, accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just over four seconds flat. It uses the 6.0-liter twin-turbo V-12 engine, rated at 604 horsepower and a staggering 738 pound-feet of torque. Regrettably, we have not driven the new SL65 AMG. The sensible SL to buy, if buying an SL can be sensible, is the SL550. It delivers plenty of performance. Its new 5.5-liter double-overhead-cam, 32-valve V8 engine delivers 382 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. That's 80 additional horsepower and 52 foot-pounds more performance than the previous SL500, a car that was already quick. And the more expensive, more powerful models don't get the SL550's new seven-speed automatic. All the versions we drove had enormous acceleration, but they also had huge brakes with ABS, EBD, ESP and traction control, enough braking power to pull down small buildings with a single stomp, with excellent pedal modulation and linearity. Over the years, we have driven every version of the SL including restored 1957 models, the square-topped Pagoda models of the Sixties, the fixed-roof and removable roof 450 SLs of the Seventies, and down through the rest of the line, and enjoyed every one. These are beautiful, beautifully made, stately luxury sports cars made in small volumes for customers who tend to be repeat buyers. Today, we have the safest, quickest, flattest-handling and prettiest SLs in half a century, and MBUSA is trying hard to keep the lid on the luxurious prices.

:: Next Page >>


Click For A Call

Excellent Auto Deals Low Automotive Pricing 1-888-861-8080


   Mercedes Benz Information

2008 Mercedes Benz US News 1-888-861-8080

Mercedes Benz Pictures, News, Prices, and Vehicle Information. Low Fleet Prices and Discount Auto Leases. We Offer a New and Innovative Way of Buying or Leasing Your New Mercedes Benz. Providing The Newest Mercedes Benz News, Pictures, Vehicles Information and More.

| Next >

April 2014
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
<<  <   >  >>
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        

Search

Categories


Misc

Visit Our Partners

  •  Subscribe in a reader


    Add to Google Reader or HomepageAdd MercedesUsNews.Com 1-888-861-8080 to Newsburst from CNET News.com
    Subscribe in NewsGator Online
    Subscribe in FeedLoungeAdd to netvibes




  • If you want to be on the cutting edge of the luxury automotive industry, there is no better source for the latest information on all Merecedes-Benz models, from the 2007 C230 Sport to the all new S550, than MercedesUSnews.com. Whether you're looking for an E350 or the latest 6.3 Liter AMG models, MercedesUSnews.com is the place to get informed. Subscribe to our MercedesUSnews.com blog and check it often for the most up-to-date innovations in the Mercedes-Benz world. Make comments, ask questions, stay informed. Subscribe today!




    Online Auto Loans