Hello again, as always the "friendly" Norwegian [
ansan - 2/25/2005 3:48 PM
I can see that you just found yourself another "good" reason for buying a Lexus RX and that you know for a fact that the rear seat folding mechanism (which, buy the way is a of greatest importance) is a great step backward at a time when non of us have actually seen the new ML in real life and tried this out...
But of course, it might be possible that you have seen the light while all Mercedes-Benz engineers are left in the dark...
No, Ansan, it's not as much about "finding" reasons for getting the RX400h and not the ML320CDI, not at all, in fact.
I understand - seeing that apparently you run some kind of parallel MB dealership/customizing shop for a living - that the mere insinuation that someone might consider buying other than MB gives you allergy. Curt Rich also earns his living selling MB's, so I also understand his "allergy" towards other brands.
While we have not been unhappy with our past MB/DC products (a total of 8 vehicles, three still in service), we're not married to these car brands, and if a new model does not bring significant progress in most areas, we will consider to look elsewhere.
And yes - to us the ease and practicality of the rear seat folding mechanism IS of importance, and the traditional design on the W164 IS to us a big step backwards. We very rarely use the rear seat for transporting people, but lots of other things, and the rear seats of the '90 Explorer, the present Tucson/Sportage, and - yes - the Lexus RX are a lot more practical in everyday use. Funny as it may be, the RX can transport long, slim objects (say IKEA boxes) better than both W163 and W164 because the rear seat is split 40/20/40.
Of course, our final decision will depend on what the prices are, and - if the difference is acceptable - how the W164 looks "in the flesh".
And yes - we're still a bit skeptical about the increased fuel consumption of the new OM642 diesels: the official mixed consumption is 9,4 l/100 in both 280 and 320 CDI variants, whereas the "old" I-5 270 CDI uses 9,1 l/100 in standard 163 hp form with the 5-speed auto (and less when Carlsson-modified to 190 hp). You have a new-generation common rail injection, a significantly lighter, lower, more aerodynamic body, a new SEVEN!-speed auto, and yet the fuel consumption goes up. Slightly, yes, but it still increases.
And even though you're biased against anything non-MB, you must admit that the way the Lexus engineers have thought out the rear seat and cargo area on the RX is quite good. Have you ever tried to find a place for the luggage cover of the W163?? And also, the integrated shopping bag holder is something they MIGHT have thought of in Stuttgart (or Vance).
I wish you luck with your business - with the Norwegian price level being what it is, you're surely not taking the easy way [