I've been driving BMWs for the past 13 years (1998 328is Sport, 2000 528i Sport, 2004 545i Sport), and so was hesitant at first to try a Mercedes Benz. But it's been on the bucket list, and I've always admired the looks of Mercedes C and E Classes, so I decided to 'get it out of my system' and give a 2009 Black on Black e550 AMG Sport a try. Thus far I have been very pleased. While it does not handle like a BMW, it for sure has some neck-snapping acceleration. The engine has an alluring growl to it, and with 382hp and 391lb feet of torque, this car rockets you to 0-60 in 5.2 secs, and does so with gusto. In fact, this car, unlike my BMW, really doesn't understand 0-60. It seems to more understand 0-80, and if you blink your eyes (while keeping the accelerator pedal depressed) it will be 0-100 before you know it. In short, Mercedes has mastered the art of the naturally-aspirated powerplant, and I take my hat off to them for it. No turbo nonsense; it's a straight up, highly-tuned 32 valve V8 that makes 95% of the cars on the road miniscule tick marks in your rear view mirror with a toe tap of the accelerator. The 6-speed automatic transmission with AMG steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters is still not a true manual, but gives you a good amount of control for changing gears. The different suspension and shock settings (comfort, sport 1, sport 2) do make a concerted difference in how the car handles. The car scores a 10 in the looks department inside and out - it's absolutely beautiful to look at. And the seats, driver position, and steering wheel position are dialed in well. Comfort and convenience also score high marks (blutooth, satellite radio, gracenote DB that decodes your CDs and shows title and tracks, nav system, heated memory seats). The trunk seems somehow cavernous compared to my 545i, even without having split fold rear seats. Thus, while giving up some handling to its BMW counterpart, my Mercedes is a black beauty, fast as heck, and exceptionally comfortable. Thus I've dubbed this car simply the 'Luxury Rocket'.
The best car I have ever owned! Power! Technology! Performance! Now, the customer service received at Carmax in Sterling VA is seconded to none! I've never received such great service from any car dealership in the past 25 years. I recommend Carmax to all of my friends. They back up their cars 100%. Purchasing was easy as pie, I think it took 1 hour from start to finish. Got my hard tags 2 weeks later. Done!
The performance of this vehicle is amazing and it accelerates like the missile on the freeway when needed. On the other hand, even it equips with a turbo V8, when you are not pushing hard, it gives the average fuel economy 27-28 mpg. Once I made a freeway trip and stayed within 65-70 mph, I made 33mpg on average, which is same as the regular 4-cylinder cars. In terms of the comfort and craftsmanship, it is a Mercedes and it meets my requirements.