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Mercedes E350 4Matic rental gives me new appreciation for my Model S

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by SuperCoug, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. SuperCoug

    SuperCoug Model S Res #7734

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    225
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    I had a new hood installed on my Model S last week after my neighbor backed into my car and his Hertz supplied me with a very nice Mercedes E350 4Matic for 3 days as my rental. First, let me say that I owned a Mercedes C300 4Matic prior to my Model S and I loved it. I considered it an excellent car and I look back on it fondly. However, it's clear to me that my Model S has ruined me for any other car. This is the first time I have driven a E350 and I had high expectations given my respect for Mercedes. However, I was stunned how critical I found myself judging this car over the 3 days because it was far inferior to my Model S in every conceivable way! Here are a few of my observations:

    1) Ride quality. Compared to the Model S I found the Benz had an oddly "floaty" feel. It did not feel sure footed and planted like my Model S. Despite how softly sprung the E350 appeared I was completely shocked when I drove over a set of speed bumps that I cross every day and the impact almost dislodged my fillings. I seriously thought it would glide over the speed bumps like a 70s Buick based on how spongy the suspension felt around town. I should note the Benz cornered well and stayed flat through the turns.

    2) Steering. This is where the Tesla's adjustable steering feel has my completely spoiled. The E350 felt extremely soft for a German car and there was WAY too much play in the wheel. I'm certain my C-Class did not feel as loose as this E-Class did.

    3) Controls. Again, the incredible GUI of the Tesla has spoiled me. I forgot how difficult it can be trying to figure out a dashboard that has at least 20 buttons, knobs, and switches. Even though it was very similar to my C-Class and it felt quite familiar in general I still found myself looking at all those controls and thinking "Do you really need all of those? What the heck do these switches control?"

    4) Brakes. Regenerative breaking is pretty freakin' awesome. We already knew that so it's no shock that I found the amount of braking required on the Mercedes to be more than expected. I think they have done something in the automatic transmission to improve gas mileage that disengages to prevent engine braking because it felt as if I was rolling freely when I coasted towards a stop light. The brakes themselves were quite good but it was a bummer how much I had to use them.

    So, that's pretty much it. We all knew the Model S was great but I guess I didn't realize how much better it was than some of the other luxury car options.
     
  2. ACDriveMotor

    ACDriveMotor Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2013
    Messages:
    815
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Can you share what type of S you have? S, P, or +? Do you have air ride?
     
  3. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,585
    Location:
    Redding, CT
    I'm driving a rental in Seattle this week and the lack of regen always throws me for a loop. I expect to easily pace highway traffic with one pedal and it takes some adjustment to go back to two pedals.

    The rental is a Dodge Avenger so I didn't have any expectation regarding performance or handling.
     
  4. SuperCoug

    SuperCoug Model S Res #7734

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    225
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    I have a 60 kWh with the air suspension and 19" wheels.
     
  5. Aussie

    Aussie Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Messages:
    116
    Location:
    Was Norcal / Now Australia
    Interesting. I found myself driving an Audi A7 the other day and had to think how much Tesla still has to do. The car was a lot quieter at higher speeds, a lot more support systems and equipment. Don't get me wrong, I still love my Model S but the competition isn't sleeping.
     
  6. leonari

    leonari Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria, Austria
    I am glad the Tesla doesn't have all these "assistants". Until driverless cars will be the law I want full control over my car. I don't want my car to be able to brake for me, or keep me in lanes or all this crap. Traction Control, ESP etc. are enough for me. I love to drive and to have amazing infotainment in my car. I'm a good driver: Not a single scratch on my or somebody else's car in the last 14 years. The only assistant I would appreciate is a self parking system that always protects the beautiful grey 21" alloys and can park the car flawlessly in the tiniest spots .
     

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