The purchase of a sedan, SUV, coupe or convertible with the three pointed Mercedes Benz star on the hood is a very big moment in most people’s lives. This is the mass market car brand that people truly aspire – in an almost religious way – to own. By parking a vehicle from Mercedes Benz on your driveway you proclaim to the world, “I have made it!”
While that reputation was built on years of solidly engineered cars that exceeded owner’s expectations, Mercedes did go through a little quality hiccup when it explored the idea of “cost cutting.” Cost cutting may improve profits but it pisses off customers who thought they had bought a car of unimpeachable quality.
Thankfully, Mercedes Benz has changed its ways and now realizes that its future will only be safe if it is making their customers happy and not necessarily just the shareholders. As such 2010 really is an excellent year to be shopping for a Mercedes Benz. From top to bottom there are gems hidden all over the now quite expansive Mercedes Benz lineup of vehicles.
But unfortunately trying to pick the best Mercedes for you can be quite confusing. As such, here are ten of the smartest buys in the 2010 Mercedes lineup. Because even though you have enough money for a Mercedes Benz doesn’t mean you like to just waste it in some unseemly and profligate manner. That’s more the domain of Lexus buyers anyway.
Mercedes C300 Sedan
Buying a premium built Mercedes sedan has never been so affordable thanks to the C300’s $35,300 base price and the fact that this car can frequently be leased at incredibly appealing rates. While the C300 does have a rather expansive options list, you do get as standard a 228 horsepower V6 engine, 7-speed automatic, automatic climate control, an 8-speaker audio system and most of the essentials. You may, however, want to spring for the optional iPod integration (which really should be standard) and the easy to use COMAND navigation unit.
Mercedes E550 Sedan
Some may say that the latest E-class sedan was a visual step back thanks to its more angular lines but I say it gives this highly esteemed luxury sedan a far more solid and macho air. And what could be more macho than smoking people at the lights with a smooth 382 horsepower V8 engine? This is especially true when you know that punk in the Subaru WRX just thought you were driving the somewhat vanilla Mercedes E350 V6 variant.
Mercedes S400 Hybrid
Usually when you are buying a hybrid version of a car it is more expensive than its gas powered sibling but that is not the case with the Mercedes S400 hybrid. It gets 26% better fuel economy than a basic V8 S-class model, gives you a sizable federal tax credit and puts out a highly respectable 295 horsepower with the V-6/electric motor combo. Yours for the “bargain” price of $87,950.
Mercedes E350 Coupe
This sexy and lithe two door (the successor to the milquetoast CLK coupe) is powered by a wholly adequate 268 horsepower V6 that quite possibly get shamed by what’s under the hood of your neighbors BMW 335i coupe or Audi A5. But who cares when your coupe looks this good? And besides, you want to be sure that people get a good look at you as you drive by.
Mercedes CLS550 Sedan
This is the banana shaped sedan that made Jaguar abandon old world luxury. In all honesty, however, this is a very important car because it inspired many an automaker to start making “four door coupes.” How a four door can be a coupe is beyond the realm of comprehension but apparently it has to do with drastically reducing rear headroom to make way for a sloping (and sporty?) design.
Mercedes GLK350 SUV
This entry level SUV was wisely priced in the low-$30,000 range and has brought many new buyers to the brand. Also, this baby SUV’s hipster cachet was elevated when it premiered for the first time as the personal ride of the Samantha Jones (Kim Catrall) character in the trend setting “Sex and the City Movie.” Square sided and blocky, the stylish and well built GLK feels a bit like a C-class with an elevated ride height.
Mercedes GL550 SUV
With a standard 382 horsepower V8, seven seats, 21 inch AMG wheels and enough stylistic attitude to scare even a Suburban, the 2010 Mercedes GL550 SUV is the family car you would buy yourself if you won the lottery. Prices start at $82,850 before options (and all Mercedes models have options).
Mercedes ML350 Bluetec SUV
The diesel engine in the ML midsize SUV may only pump out 210 horsepower but it also offer a utterly ridiculous 400 pound feet of torque which means this is one seriously fast family hauler once it gets moving. Plus, instead of averaging 13 miles per gallon you will get 25 miles per gallon highway (or so says the EPA). The diesel engine is also now finally clean enough to pass California’s rigorous air quality standards. It isn’t badly priced either at about $49,000 nicely equipped.
Mercedes SL63 AMG Convertible
Although there are AMG versions of most Mercedes models, the ridiculously powerful 6.3 liter 518 horsepower naturally aspirated V8 really belongs in this stunning folding hardtop convertible. Not only is the SL beautiful in a way that can only be described as timeless but with the handbuilt AMG motor installed under the hood you likely won’t ever forget driving it either. The 2010 Mercedes SL63 is definitely one of the coolest Mercedes models ever.
Mercedes CL65 AMG Coupe
This is the oft-forgotten S-class coupe that comes with the oft-forgotten, AMG assembled 6.0 liter 12 cylinder engine that pumps out an entirely unnecessary 604 horsepower. There is absolutely no need for a car this big to only offer room for four, the 12 cylinder engine is overly complex and highly thirsty yet there is a ridiculous beauty to this endangered style of touring coupe. In a few years, this car will be illegal.