Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Marietta, GA
Vehicle: 2014 BMW i3, 2014 BMW i3, 2013 Smart ED, 2005 SLK350
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Thanked 94 Times in 62 Posts
Which is better "Green" car or Badge?
I had my car in for service again and got a C300 loaner. We've been thinking of getting another car to replace my SUV for commuter duty, at least when it's not snowing and had a lot of interest in taking an extended test drive. The C300 AWD Sport we received had about 700 miles on the odo, auto transmission and P1 package. I think it has an MSRP around $37,000.
After driving the C300 in NYC traffic and on highways to the NJ shore over the weekend, I can't say that it's much better than say a Toyota Prius for everyday normal driving. I also only managed about 23 mpg (US gallons), even though I was trying to drive very economically at the speed limit. On the highway we got a high of 26mpg, but our NYC trip killed that average. On a similar trip in the Prius we averaged around 45 mpg, with I'm sure far less carbon emissions.
I found the quality of the C300 interior materials to feel and look much cheaper than that of the SLK. There were some uneven panel gaps. I would also say that the interior quality of the rental Prius we have had in the past is the same quality or better. Some of the dashboard plastics in the C felt surprisingly hard and cheap. The C300 did have doors that felt very nice when you closed them, very solid feeling.
Maybe we're use to stiffly sprung cars, but the ride in the C300 felt floaty and we were starting to feel a bit carsick after a 1.5 hr ride to the beach. The soft suspension was nice in NYC though.
Overall this car costs about $6,000 more than a loaded Prius with all the features / options. With similar options the C would be $14,000 more than the loaded Prius. I'm not convinced, in this case that the MB badge is worth it, plus the added running costs. The Hybrid, Green, image that Prius has is also worth something around the people I know. Also around where I live it appears that the there are tons new of C300s running around. I do think though that the C is probably a safer car than the Prius when you are in an accident.
In our current environment, is the MB badge on their cheapest, entry level, car still more prestigious than the current popular "green" car?