By on April 17, 2019

It’s getting increasingly difficult to decide what constitutes a luxury vehicle these days. Premium manufacturers seem preoccupied with technology and providing customers with entry-level compacts they’re supposed to pay big money for. Fortunately, things get clearer as you move up the food chain. Nobody would think to doubt the S-Class’ luxury credentials, and Mercedes-Benz is now ready to offer the next generation of the self-proclaimed S-Class of SUVs.

We’re talking, of course, about the large and luxurious GLS. All-new for 2020, the model boasts a longer-wheelbase, more interior space, a “carwash” mode, and an active suspension paired with the brand’s very first mild-hybrid V8.  (Read More…)

By on April 16, 2019

Mercedes-AMG is updating the GLC 63 model line for 2020, not that it really needed to. The performance variants of this compact crossover already trounce their mainstream counterparts in terms of looks — even the oddly squat GLC “Coupe.”

However, as the manufacturer was not content to simply rest on its laurels, it decided to provide a brief but well-rounded list of upgrades. (Read More…)

By on April 15, 2019

Image: Daimler AG

Not everyone’s attention is on New York City this week. Half a world away, Auto Shanghai presents another stage for automakers to show off their upcoming models.

For Mercedes-Benz, Shanghai serves as the venue for a new concept that appears almost ready to enter production: the Concept GLB. A quick perusal of MB’s naming strategy points to this vehicle slotting between the entry-level GLC crossover and the popular GLC. Looking at its measurements, it seems the GLB sits just a few microns below its larger sibling, with room for more passengers, to boot. (Read More…)

By on March 29, 2019

The Mercedes-Benz-sponsored “In-Car Gaming Challenge” isn’t exactly breaking news. Daimler made the announcement almost a week ago, with the story only gaining traction online thanks to a slower-than-usual news cycle. Frankly, we originally planned to ignore the topic entirely — until we realized no one discussed the broader implications.

That probably sounds more ominous than it should. Essentially, Mercedes is trying to diversify its business by getting into video games. But the potential ramifications stemming from that change could be felt across the automotive industry in the coming years. Daimler isn’t just seeking game-related business ventures — it’s trying to figure out how to make life inside an autonomous vehicle more appetizing. (Read More…)

By on March 27, 2019

The unlikely alliance between BMW and Daimler, solidified earlier this year, is in the opening stages of producing something tangible. The duo are already said to be working on a joint platform for electric vehicles, which the German business publication Manager Magazin claims will underpin a new EV from BMW.

Called the i2, the battery-powered subcompact is to be slotted beneath BMW’s existing i3. While rumored to be similar in size, the i2 will abandon the i3’s carbon fiber body in an attempt to minimize costs and broaden appeal. Daimler would follow by producing its own version, likely using Mercedes-Benz’s EQ sub-brand.  (Read More…)

By on February 27, 2019

In an introductory post last week, I detailed a couple of cars I was considering as a replacement to my decade-old Infiniti M. The comments (some filled with unusual anger) prodded me to add another car to the list.

A week later, I can tell you that two of those former options are absolutely out of the question.

(Read More…)

By on February 21, 2019

Some heavy thoughts are weighing on my mind lately; some might even call them urges. And those urges are telling me to sell a blue Datsun sedan and get something else. Should I give in?

(Read More…)

By on February 13, 2019

What happens when a tuning company takes an already luxurious coupe and adds more of everything? The answer is this Mercedes-Benz SEC AMG from 1986.

(Read More…)

By on January 24, 2019

Daimler is updating its “Mercedes me” app to include on-board purchases via a virtual store, available across the globe. With the 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class, B-Class and GLE, customers can even order some optional equipment online after purchasing their vehicle. According to the manufacturer, customers can subsequently purchase digital radio, smartphone integration with Apple Carplay or Android Auto, and enhanced navigation. Think of it like downloadable content (DLC) in video games or new apps for your phone, only for your car’s MBUX infotainment system.

While it’s handy to have the ability to add optional equipment remotely, we’re always hesitant to praise anything that monetizes digital content. DLC and microtransactions have really pitted the gaming community against publishers, resulting in some pretty heinous schemes to nickel and dime the customer base. Now, the trend has moved beyond the borders of that industry and into the automotive sector.  (Read More…)

By on January 22, 2019

Cooperation is commonplace among automakers. Chrysler has worked with, or been purchased by, just about everyone at this point, but it’s far from the only manufacturer to get chummy with a rival company. Ford and Volkswagen are busy discussing their future together and Toyota tapped other brands to help it co-develop performance models like the 86 and Supra.

Despite their longstanding and occasionally bitter rivalry, Mercedes-Benz and BMW could be the next duo to cozy up to one another. According to German outlet Handelsblatt, BMW chairman Harald Krüger and Daimler management board member Ola Källenius are currently examining the possibility of an automotive alliance.  (Read More…)

By on January 17, 2019

2017 Infiniti QX30

The littlest member of the Infiniti crossover family appears ready to turn in its badge at the end of its product cycle.

Infiniti’s bite-sized crossover, called the QX40 QX20 QX30 (thanks, Johann), and the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class are a set of twins resulting from a tawdry relationship between Mercedes-Benz and the Japanese brand. Based on remarks made by Infiniti reps at the Detroit Auto Show, it doesn’t appear there will be a redux.

(Read More…)

By on January 17, 2019

Mercedes-Benz has announced pricing for its new A-Class sedan while throwing the gauntlet Audi’s way. The 2019 A220 starts at $32,500, which happens to be the exact cost of a base A3. The cars even share an identical $995 destination fee.

Considering both models feature 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engines producing 188 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque, we anticipated similar MSRPs. But Daimler might as well put a photo of the A3 in crosshairs on the A-Class’ window sticker.

Cheaper than the uninspired (and soon to be revamped) CLA by a few hundred bucks and roughly $1,500 less than a GLA crossover, the A-Class sedan is now Mercedes’ most-affordable model in North America.  (Read More…)

By on January 4, 2019

Mercedes-Benz managed to hold onto its heavyweight title in luxury sales for the third year running, at least as far as the United States is concerned. Though the domestic match was close — BMW’s 311,014 deliveries in 2018 were only a few thousand units shy of Mercedes’ 315,959. In fact, BMW volume improved 1.7 percent against 2017 while MB sales were down 6.3 percent, with most of the ground being lost in the second half of the year.

During that same time frame, Tesla sales exploded. By year’s end, the luxury EV manufacturer had 182,400 domestic deliveries under its belt — nearly four times the volume witnessed in 2017.  (Read More…)

By on January 3, 2019

Trademark applications filed by Daimler with the United States Patent and Trademark Office may indicate a soon-to-be expanded lineup for its premium line of Mercedes-Maybach vehicles. According to some detective work by AutoGuide, the automaker recently filed three applications with the USPTO for vehicles using the names GLS 600, GLS 680, and S 680.

While it wasn’t alway the case, Mercedes currently uses automotive designations above 600 to denote vehicles reserved for the ultra-luxury Maybach sub-brand. The GLS-Class’ trim presently tops out at 550 before qualifying as an AMG-enhanced model. While that doesn’t guarantee a Maybach SUV, it does make it a likely prospect. At the very least, it would seem Mercedes wants to introduce a more lavish GLS in the near future.  (Read More…)

By on January 3, 2019

Last time on Buy/Drive/Burn, we perused three rear-drive, metal folding roof convertibles from 2010. But some of you seemed less than pleased with the convertible trio. Sad!

Keeping this in mind, today’s Buy/Drive/Burn ups the ante with three more convertibles, each costing over $90,000. Today’s convertibles sport luxury makes, rear-drive, and large engines to match their price tags.

(Read More…)

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