Have you ever wondered what you get for your money when you buy a car that is a more special than the run of the mill offerings? I don’t mean performance or creature comfort differences as these are quite obvious, but the little things that only a long term owner would notice.
I’ve had experience with two car brands in particular, Subaru and Mercedes. The cars that I am comparing here are a Subaru Outback and a Mercedes-AMG C63S.
You may get leather upholstery in the Subaru, but the grain of the leather is course, it doesn’t wear as well and doesn’t smell as nice. It’s the same if you compare the Mercedes to a Ferrari, the leather work is even more exquisite the more expensive a car gets.
The carpet in the Mercedes is also easier to vacuum. I do not know why this is, but I imagine that the tufts are more tightly packed together so the dirt doesn’t become lodged deep within the carpet so when you vacuum it, it comes out easier. As I’m chief car cleaner in our home (by choice) this is an important thing for me.
There are more lights in the cabin, so it’s easier to see stuff in the car when it’s dark. For example there are lights under the front seats so you can see in the foot well of the rear seats easy. This is very important for when you are cleaning all of your children’s belongings out of the car at the end of a busy day.
THE INFO-TAINMENT SYSTEM
It took me years to figure out how to use the satellite navigation system in the Subaru and in the Mercedes I was able to use it first time. Also the Mercedes will let you input data even while you are driving whereas the Subaru did not.
I know you should not try to input navigation into the car while driving, but this is handy so the passenger can input it for you while you concentrate on driving the car.
However there is no reason for you to manually input data into the navigation or physically change radio stations because the voice control on the Mercedes actually works! The Subaru had voice control and the salesman told us that it was useless and didn’t work so I did not use it once in the car.
The voice control also seems to learn from you as well. My husband’s name is in my phone listed under the nickname I call him and this is a bit unusual. But after the first few goes the lovely voice control lady knew what I was talking about when I asked her to call him and I did not have to repeat myself over and over again.
Another nice feature I’ve noticed is when you make a call and the air conditioner fan is on a high setting, the car dips the fan to make it easier to hear the person on the loud speaker. I was really impressed by this small touch!
The car also has an awesome camera system that offers a ‘birds eye’ 360° view of the car, so scratching a wheel on the kerb should be a thing of the past.
The Bluetooth connection is easy to use and also easily connects to your music as well. The system also copes well with multiple phones and it’s easy to select a different phone, when your partner drives the car for example.
THE MERCEDES HAS SOME CLEVER FEATURES
The Mercedes is smart and does little things to make your life a whole lot easier. For example it has touch open/lock on all four doors that detects your key and enables you to access the car without manually unlocking the car. This isn’t the cool part though, it actually detects if your key has been left in the car and will not lock the car if it is in there.
This was handy because when I first washed the car I would put the key in my pocket and the car would constantly lock and unlock as I touched the doors while washing it. I then discovered if I left the key in the centre console to car would not lock at all. Cool, eh?
Another handy feature is that the boot has a ‘kick to open’ function. If you approach the boot with your hands full of grocery bags and you have your key on you all you need to do it kick your foot (in the air not actually the car) under the centre of the boot and it opens, just like magic. What a brilliant idea this is!
The steering wheel also tilts up when you exit the car, so you do not bump you leg on it as you get out.
The final smart thing I like about the car is to do with the engine management system. It does not allow you to over rev the engine while in automatic mode when it is cold. It simply shifts up into the next gear if you put your foot to the floor.
There is also an option the see a digital read out of the engine and gear box oil temperatures and the colour changes from blue when it is cold to grey when it is warm, so that you know when the car is ready to have some fun. This is about ten minutes after you start driving it by the way.
To be honest I’m still learning about all the cool things that the Mercedes offers. But it certainly isn’t all to do with that V8 bi-turbo engine, mostly yes, but not completely.
These are just some of the small things you get when you buy a car that is a bit more special than your everyday models. Of course things like the build quality and creature comforts are better, but this is to be expected; it’s also the little things that mean a lot to.