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2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet

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Very Nicely Done “Front and Rear Six” The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a dramatic mid-cycle update that takes a relatively milquetoast car and gives it a striking personality make over.  The major change is a much more aggressive front end appearance including all-LED headlamps with integral running lamps.  The lower front fascia includes larger scoops and is accented by a chrome strip at the leading edge of the front air dam.  Given these are the sporty models of the E-Class, the coupe and cabriolet include Mercedes’ bold three pointed star in the grille opening.  All-in-all, the front appearance change practically makes the E-Class coupe and cabriolet look like all-new cars.


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Mercedes S-Klasse Premiere – Sturm und Drang!

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Mercedes-Benz premiered its all new S-Class sedan in Hamburg on May 15, 2013.  Held at the Airbus factory where final assembly of the Airbus A320 and A380 is occurring, Mercedes took advantage of an over-the-top venue for an over-the-top introduction to their new Flagship.  While an introduction like this should showcase the car (which it did), the showmanship used by Mercedes in this occasion was second to none.  A very official looking YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U94OftPwcAc) shows the event up to just before Deiter Zetsche announced Alicia Keys who was sitting in the back of the center stage S-Class.  They probably were prevented from showing her performance for contract reasons, but it was pretty darn good.  She even worked very well with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra that was playing original compositions prior to her arrival.


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Mercedes S-Class – Most Ideal Vehicle and Premium Luxury Car

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AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) recognizes the vehicle that best hits the target its buyers demand.  Winning an IVA shows the product planners, engineers and designers of the manufacturer understand what their target customers want and have created the vehicle to best meet their demands.

S-Class Dominates Porsche Panamera for IVA Win: The 2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class comes closest to the ideal of any vehicle – car or truck.  In the Premium Luxury Car class, the S-Class out-points the second place Porsche Panamera by 72 rating points.  Having eighty-percent or more of owners rating a characteristic ideal is outstanding.  Getting a score of ninety-percent is even more impressive.  Ninety-percent or more of S-Class owners rate these characteristics ideal:  exterior size, interior lighting, passenger roominess, driver’s seat comfort, ride and handling, tires and ease of getting in and out.  Eighty-percent or more of S-Class owners find these additional characteristics ideal:  driver’s seat visibility, cargo space, exterior styling, wheels, power and acceleration, interior storage features, safety features.

The Mercedes S-Class also won AutoPacific’s 2012 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Best In Class Premium Luxury Car.

Infotainment System – The Only Close Miss for the 2012 S-Class: The only feature S-Class owners weren’t enthralled with was the infotainment and entertainment system.  With 79% of the respondents saying the system was ideal in the S-Class, this was a close miss.  About 17% of S-Class owners would like more/better infotainment technology than they have now.

You can find an Autobytel review of this IVA award winner at  http://www.autobytel.com/auto-news/awards/consumer-s-ideal-cars-revealed-in-2012-iva-awards-112116/

For a complete summary of all AutoPacific 2012 Ideal Vehicle Award results contact karin.turner@vehiclevoice.com and title your email “IVA Results”.  A copy of the results will be emailed to you within 48-hours.


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Mercedes-Benz GL – 80% New for 2013

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Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTEC

Mercedes’ (@mbusa) top of the line SUV, the 7-passenger GL (#2013GL-Class), is new for 2013.  As the top selling premium luxury sport utility vehicle, GL certainly is a healthy profit contributor to parent company Daimler AG.  Built at Mercedes-Benz Tuscaloosa, Alabama assembly plant, 53% of GL production is sold in the United States.  The 2013 GL is the second generation GL and continues to be derived from the platform that also underpins the 5-passenger ML.  About 80% of the GL is all new for its second generation.  We had a chance to drive several versions of the new GL at its global press preview in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


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Mercedes-Benz S-Class Most Satisfying 2012 Car

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Best in Class 2012 Premium Luxury Car:  Mercedes-Benz S-Class

2012 Mercedes-Benz Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award

The top satisfying car, and top rated Premium Luxury Car for 2011 and 2012 is the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the sedan flagship of the Mercedes lineup.  The S-Class scores top of class satisfaction ratings in 33 of 48 attributes contributing to AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award.  This is a gargantuan feat.  With a possible high score of 5.0 on each characteristic, S-Class owners rated the car at 4.8 rating points or higher in Exterior Size, Ease of Getting in and Out, Seating Capacity, Image, Vehicle Reputation, Brand Reputation, Exterior Styling, Interior Styling, Braking, Handling, Ride, Quietness, Easy to Use Controls, Feeling Safe While Driving, Safety Ratings, and Overall Quality.  They were least satisfied with the fuel economy of their S-Class and the price they paid for the privilege of owning such a prestigious car.


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2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Most Satisfying Aspirational Luxury Car

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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.


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2012 Mercedes-Benz ML Most Satisfying Premium Luxury Crossover SUV

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Best In Class 2012 Premium Luxury Crossover SUV:  Mercedes-Benz ML

2012 Mercedes-Benz ML Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award

Owners of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML give the Premium Luxury SUV top ratings in nineteen of forty-eight characteristics measured in AutoPacific’s 2012 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research.  The ML gets top marks for:  Overall satisfaction, Cargo Capacity, Ease of Loading Cargo, Vehicle’s Reputation, Exterior Color, Exterior Styling, Braking, Handling, Ride, Quietness, Quality Feeling Controls, Visibility, Environmental Friendliness, Feeling Safe While Driving, Safety Features, Safety Rating, Overall Quality, Collision Avoidance Technology and Durability. With a possible high score of 5.0 rating points for each attribute, a rating of 4.6 or higher can be considered to be very good.  ML owners give the SUV scores of 4.6 or higher in:  Overall Satisfaction, Exterior Size, Seating Capacity, Driver’s Seat Comfort, Ease of Loading Cargo, Vehicle’s Reputation, Brand’s Reputation, Exterior Color, Exterior Styling, Interior Styling, Feel of Interior Materials, Power and Acceleration, Braking, Handling, Fun to Drive, Reliable/Dependable, Ride, Quietness, Quality Feeling Controls, Instrument Layout, Visibility, Feeling Safe While Driving, Safety Features, Safety Ratings, Overall Quality, Collision Avoidance Technology and Durability.  ML owner give the vehicle ratings of 4.0 satisfaction points or lower in:  Fuel Economy, Price, and Recyclability.  The ML owners are clearly very satisfied with the characteristics of their new SUV and the Mercedes brand certainly contributes to its position atop the class.


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2011 Mercedes-Benz S550: A Winner in Many Books

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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.


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Luca trumps Max: New Era in Formula One Announced

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Thumbnail image for fia-chef_max-mosley_ferrari-boss_luca-di-montezemolo.jpgIf 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.


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AutoPacific Announces 2008 Ideal Vehicle Awards

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IVA main.jpg

Tustin, California, June 30, 2008 – An “ideal” is defined as an excellent or perfect example. In the annual Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA), announced today by automotive research and consulting firm AutoPacific, owners rate their new 2008 model year cars and trucks by how close they come to their ideal, as measured by 15 key vehicle attributes. The cars or trucks that owners would change the least are the most ideal.


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