Best in Class 2012 Aspirational Luxury Car: Mercedes-Benz C-Class
2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award
The top satisfying car in the Aspirational Luxury Car Class for 2012 is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The C-Class wins not by achieving top scores in many categories in AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award research, but by having a solid performance in most. It is top rated in only one category, Cupholder Design and Size. While this may seem very minor, it is rare for a German vehicle to even think of having a good cupholder. With a possible high score of 5.0 on each of 48 characteristics, owners of the C-Class rated the car 4.7 or higher on several, including: Overall Satisfaction, Vehicle’s Reputation, Brand’s Reputation, Exterior Color, Exterior Styling, Fun to Drive, Reliable/Dependable, Feeling Safe While Driving, Safety Features, and Overall Quality. The lowest satisfaction from owners of the C-Class were in fuel economy, rear seat comfort, cargo capacity and flexible seating.
The flagship sedan market today probably has the most competitive set of entries we’ve seen in years. The Audi A8, Jaguar XJ, BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS460 and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class all are eager to showcase just what the brand is about today and where technology is going in the next few years. They all have their own unique way to navigate between iPod playlists and the nearest Chipotle on the navigation screen. Some are better than others. Some have better audio systems than others. Some have more powerful powerful engines or sportier suspension tunings. Some just make people drool more than others. Once you dig in and realize how well respected the S-Class is around the world and look at the 2011 S550, you begin to understand what the hype is all about.
The E-Class is the top ranked Premium Luxury Car in AutoPacific’s 2011 Ideal Vehicle Research. Its owners indicate that there is little they would change about their new car with a few notable exceptions. They would like for the E-Class to be easier to get into and out of and they would like more room inside. They definitely want more power and would not sacrifice power for better fuel economy. They most like seat comfort, the car’s responsive handling and its styling. The E-Class handily wins its class outscoring the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 5-Series that were tied for second.
Cadillac’s owners’ cumulative scores for each Cadillac model in AutoPacific’s 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction research have given Cadillac a win in the race to be best brand overall. Cadillac outpoints Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Lincoln and Buick (top Popular Brand). This is Cadillac’s seventh win in the past eleven years. Winning so often is testament that Cadillac is selling to buyers who really appreciate their vehicles.
The Cadillac Escalade Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle is the only Cadillac winning its class outright, but the CTS, the STS, the DTS and the SRX scored well enough to move Cadillac into overall leadership.
For a complete list of winners and description of the Awards, click here.
Ask yourself this the next time you’re driving next to some high-zoot luxury or sports car: what kind of person is behind the wheel? Maybe a doctor or lawyer? Maybe a business executive of some sort? Now ask yourself this: who’s cooler, a doctor/lawyer/executive or a rock star? If you are like most people, you’d say it was the rock star.
I would then have to submit that a Sprinter is cooler than most luxury vehicles out there. Ok, I have truly gone off the deep end. Or have I?
If you read our F1 post from several days ago, the world known as Formula One was on the brink of becoming CART Wars, PART II. A majority of the teams who race in the international F1 Championship were prepared (so they said), to launch a breakaway series, due in large part to their dissatisfaction with the requirements set forth by the governing body and its president, Max Mosely.
On August 3, I finally returned to one of my favorite summer events, the annual Meadow Brook Concours d’ Elegance. Held the first weekend of August every year since 1979, this Concours is one of the premier events of its type. Not quite as prestigious as the Pebble Beach Concours happening the weekend of August 16 (yes, the same weekend as Detroit’s Woodward Dream Cruise), Meadow Brook has earned a strong reputation. For me, it’s simply a chance to wander among cars from storied brands of today and yesterday. Delahaye, Packard, Auburn, Duesenburg, Pierce-Arrow, Studebaker, Peugeot, Ferrari, Cadillac, Lincoln, Chrysler, Rolls-Royce, the list goes on and on.
As you enter the Concours d’Elegance, the show starts.
Meadow Brook is home to a mansion of the same name built by the widow of John Dodge, one of the two Dodge brothers that helped establish the automotive industry we know today. The home and its property now belongs to Oakland University. Aside from the sheer joy and pleasure of celebrating the automobile as an art from, the event’s purpose is to raise funds for upkeep of the 88,000-square-foot mansion and its grounds. Seems a fitting choice of fundraising event.