I must confess, I had been a Lexus guy since 1990. I've owned 5 Lexus cars and have loved every one of them (my '93 red SC300 with stick is one of my all time favorite cars). My wife has always been a Mercedes fan having owned 4 of three pointed star vehicles since I've known her (15 years). When it was time to buy a new car recently (June of 08) I test drove the new Lexus IS 300 and ES350. I also thought I'd take a look (and drive) the new BMW 328. I had always read and heard about this being "the standard for drivers cars"...
I was duly impressed with the new IS...very luxurious, nice handling (albeit a bit lite feeling in the steering and I really couldn't "feel" the road at all as it drove with that famous Lexus "riding on a cloud" feel) and pretty darn good power. It was typically Lexus in it's excellent build quality (the interior was amazing luxurious) and their service has been nothing less than stellar in my experience. The IS seemed like it was designed for a younger person but even as a 50 year old I could see myself in this car...
On to the BMW dealer where I met a very nice older salesman (perhaps in his early 60's) with whom I enjoyed meeting. This guy knew his product inside and out and was able to answer any and all questions about the new 3 series. I took the new 328i for a spin and to be sure it lived up to all the hype as a pure "drivers car". Great acceleration, Porsche-like cornering and all around fun to drive BUT, the "ride" was extremely rough and bumpy (partly because of the "runflats" that come standard on the 3 series and partly because of the very tight sport suspension). A great car to be sure, but just not what I was looking for as a daily driver.
Just before I was headed back to the Lexus dealer I called my wife to tell her I was going to buy the Lexus. She asked if I had taken a look at the new C-Class Sport. I told her I had not and she strongly suggested I take a look before buying the Lexus SOOOO, off to the Mercedes dealership where she had purchased all 4 of her Benz's I went (although my mind was pretty much already made up to buy the Lexus IS300. I just had to figure out which color to get...
Well, after seeing the new C300 Sport I was needless to say very very impressed with the styling of the car. I hadn't really liked the previous iterations of the C-Class much but THIS one really caught my eye. After talking to the internet-sales/Fleet manager I was told they would beat any price quoted to me by either Lexus or BMW and by any other Mercedes dealer. They REALLY wanted to sell me this car...I called a few other dealers in the area and got price quotes and they all were around the same general area but my wife really loves this dealership and they have always taken very good care of her.
I took a ride in a black on black C300 sport with auto transmission and iPod integration (I connected my iPhone to it during the test drive and really liked having my music at the touch of the steering wheel buttons with the readout in the speedometer) and very quickly I found that this car was the perfect middle ground between the sporty BMW and the sexy luxurious Lexus.
It had EVERYTHING I was looking for:
Solid build quality
Aggressive and sporty but classy styling
Luxurious, comfortable and smooth ride
Excellent engine with plenty of midrange power
Good gas milage
And of course that prestigious "Three Pointed Star" right smack-dab in the middle of the grille!
45 minutes later I was driving home with that same car I test drove (had it not been for my vacillating back and forth between the black and the white colors for 20 minutes, I would have been out of there in less time!)...
The dealership had the car washed and prepped in a very short time and I was now the proud owner of my first (and hopefully the first of many to come) Mercedes Benz Automobile and six months later I am just as excited to drive it as I was on that first test drive!
My wife was thrilled and she even prefers to take the C for short trips around town instead of her '06 CLK Convertible (which I really like driving as well
Anyway, that is my story!