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Motor Trend's Head 2 Head Ep. 54: 2014 Tesla Model S vs 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550!

Discussion in 'Video' started by LuigiV, May 14, 2014.

  1. LuigiV

    LuigiV Member

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    #1 LuigiV, May 14, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016


    The Model S is once again featured on Head 2 Head. Enjoy.
     
  2. Calvin.K

    Calvin.K Member

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    Did Motor Trend buy a Second Tesla Model S? I know they already have a Model S in there long term fleet of vehicles.
     
  3. tenstringer009

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    I never quite understand the desire for automotive magazines to compare the Model S to the flagship models from Mercedes/BMW/Jaguar/Audi/etc. I always feel like the appropriate comparison is to the E-Class/5-Series/XF/A6(A7) instead. The S-Class starts at $93k, so of course it will be more refined than a model that starts at $70k (and originally was starting at $57k).

    I'd also be curious to see more common model comparisons (i.e. the non-p 85 versus a E550/550i or a 60 versus E400 Hybrid/ActiveHybrid 5). Granted, the big takeaway is that people consider Tesla in the same league as an automaker with over 80 years of experience.
     
  4. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    So the Model S outperforms it in every category except the interior and that was enough to declare the Mercedes the winner.
     
  5. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    You betcha! Buttons galore and disco lights rule.
     
  6. Zextraterrestrial

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    #6 Zextraterrestrial, May 14, 2014
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
    I hate buttons but disco lights are cool

    .. after actually watching that video I'm confused. What is better about the Mercedes? it makes you look rich?
     
  7. Newscutter

    Newscutter Member

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    I would not eagerly be waiting to see repair costs on a twin turbo Mercedes... or fueling it in the meantime. No rebates. No mention that you could get a Model S for much much less that still matches moves for most driving. The Tesla is SOOO much less expensive long term. It's a no-brainer. Motor Trend Fail.
     
  8. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Okay, that was a superficial "comparison review". A lot of vague adjectives were thrown around but little real analysis was performed. No mention of the much greater luggage capacity of the Tesla, the projected durability of the car (aluminum body, electric motor lifespan), TCO (minimal maintenance and low energy cost), lower impact on the environment, growing nation-wide network of charging stations (the range anxiety comments were simplistic and misleading), or the superior standing start acceleration compared to the Mercedes. The reviewer was smitten with the opulent interior appointments of the Mercedes: that seemed to be the deciding factor.

    As @tenstringer009 pointed out, just the fact that the first mass production vehicle from a start-up car company can be legitimately compared to the top-of-the-line model from one of the world's oldest and most respected auto manufacturers and not be chosen as superior because of fewer interior frills is mind blowing.
     
  9. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    I thought matching against an Audi A7/S7 would be more appropriate. Or a BMW 650i.
     
  10. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    They (disco lights) are cool, but eventually you'll want to come out of the carwash to replenish your supply of Twinkies and diet Coke, and then you'll have to face the buttons. That will overwhelm you and thrust you into a downward spinal of delusion and depression, at which point you are likely to shave your head, get a tattoo of Tyrion Lannister on your left buttock, and declare (at the top of your lungs, no less, and until you lose your voice) that you want to have babies with Brienne of Tarth.

    Not sounding so cool now, eh? I did, however, hear a rumor that in firmware version 19.73 there would be a disco lights app for the Model S.

    - - - Updated - - -

    We do have to give him props for specifying early on that the Model S outsells the Mercedes, which in turn outsells the other three cars combined. The conclusion being that the vast majority of people buying in that segment are not as blown away by the laser cut speaker and carwash entertainment as this tester.
     
  11. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    Ok, this guy makes some good points, but to me the interior is to Las Vegas and even though he showed charging at the supercharger when he mentions range anxiety how about saying something about being able to go from LA to NY or Vancouver. They
    keep comparing the Tesla to ICE cars and I do not think that is valid because you buy this car to never have to use gas again. I thought it did well against the MBZ.
     
  12. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    He does make some good points but picking the car entirely on the interior alone is odd.
    I agree with the comment above that the Model S should be compared more with the E class in terms of luxury.
     
  13. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    He didn't pick the Mercedes on the interior alone, although that was a big factor for him.
    One area the Mercedes cleaned the Model S' clock was in safety features such as lane keeping, adaptive cruise, auto braking.

    The cars are equivalent prices, so I think it is a valid comparison.
    When you are comparing cars in that price range, you expect all of those things.

    Now, their lack certainly does not overcome the pure performance, ride experience, etc where the Model S easily takes the crown.

    However, those are areas the Model S needs to improve if they want to compete with the other manufacturers on all points.
     
  14. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    But I like to be able to drive outside the lines (just like how I color). :tongue:

    I'll always have an issue with people who get in hunks of metal and hurtle down the road (surrounded by other hurtling hunks of metal occupied by flesh and bone) and rely on sensors and such to do what they should be doing, ie. paying attention; looking in their rearview mirror, in their side mirrors, over their shoulder, and straight in front, continually, while being able to stay in their own lane and obey the rules of the road.

    And I'll also always have an issue with people who don't inherently or instinctively know where the front, back or 'points' of their car are and require said sensors to keep them from hitting things when they drive or park. I am reminded of a particular Brady Bunch episode in which Marcia and Greg had a competition to see who would score better on their driver's test. One exercise was to pull the car up as close to a pylon with an egg sitting on top, without knocking the egg off. (Season 5, episode 15) And yes, as a teenager, I and all my friends had our own competition in the parking lot of a local mall.

    If those types of driver assist features are a requirement in a vehicle for someone to make said purchase, then clearly they will not be buying a Model S (until, of course, Tesla implements their autonomous driving features - in which case I'll be able to crochet on my way to and from the bowling alley, while playing the Tesla disco light app - that'll be cool).


    Does Tesla want to compete with other manufacturers on all points?
     
  15. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I agree. Wether they are truly needed or not people will compare them because of the price. It will require Tesla to get battery prices down I bet before they can since I doubt the $93,000 S class Mercedes has a $40,000 engine (the Model S equivalent of the battery pack). That leaves Tesla less margin for the nice things like the interior and other features.
     
  16. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    It makes you feel rich. If you are rich and bought the car then it justifies your purchase.

    I'm still waiting, not for me though, for Tesla to come out with a luxury package. That just seems like the right move for those luxury buyers that don't like the simple Spartan interior.
     
  17. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    The most profound difference between the two cars is that one is powered by fossil fuels the other not. With the serious threats the burning of fossil fuels present to the climate and life, that fact alone should have been the deciding factor. On that score alone the M-B is an antiquity -- one is degrading much more than other the quality of all life on the planet. On that scale all the other points are, well, pointless. Motor Trend sure as hell should be taking this into account in these kind of reviews. Given what we face, it's ignorant and irresponsible to do otherwise.
     
  18. iadbound

    iadbound Member

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    Good point, but this is an automotive "journalist." Typically such journalists love loud engines, 0-60 runs and tricked out lights. MPG/environment are low on the priority list. The fact that this guy, and Motor Trend in general, love the Tesla as much as they do is a measure of how much Tesla has accomplished with the Model S -- not that I've actually pulled the trigger on buying one yet.
     
  19. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    The E Class and 5 Series are much smaller cars.

    Most of us get upset they only compare Model S to other EVs, city cars like i3 and LEAF.

    Comparing to top MB and BMW models is what the automotive press should be doing.

    After early adopters trading in their Prius and Civics, sustained demand will come from people trading in the top full size MB,BMW, and Audi for Model S.

    The best comparison is the 6 Series Gran Coupe and MB CLS. And Audi A7/S7.

    Lets remember Model S $71k-$130k with ASP $105,981 last quarter.
     
  20. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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    Interesting review. I wonder if the "S" had a bit more interior tech would it have won in this review?

    What wasn't mentioned was the annual cost of ownership and the Customer Service relationship experiences between the two manufacturers. The S550's iconic status, the softer ride, and the interior is what won it this time but the "S" will soon become the hands down favorite.
     

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