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New Member Lusting after a S550

 
Old 12-29-2016, 09:59 PM
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New Member Lusting after a S550

I'm Steve. Have owned mostly GM cars since I was an engineer there for about 30 yrs & went to their institute for my engineering degree back in the 80's.

Currently have a Lexus 2009 AWD LS460 w/ about 145k on it. Not as trouble free as I had hoped, but that's another story.

Have driven the current S550 and quickly came to the realization there is none better for the qualities I like at this point. Because of the cost, I'm interested in a used one, maybe 2015 model year eventually. I'm somewhat prepared for the fact that repairs may be high, but I realize when a car has as many features as does this car, repairs should be expected.

One of the options I would like is the night vision camera. Getting up in age, my night vision isn't what it used to be so I would like to have this aid. If anyone has this option, I would be interested in hearing your opinion.

Also interested in driver assistance eqt., so I'm interested in how well the lane keep assist, etc works in the Drivers Assistance Package.
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:59 PM
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Welcome
NVA is awesome, the best NV in the biz (it has fighter plane lock-on tech) and helps pick up pedestrians, dogs etc that you'd never see, even with 20/20.
The S is a nice car and there's plenty good CPO'd 2015's. You might however want to shop now for a leftover new 2016; the next 2 days are the best deals of the year.
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by jzqj55 View Post
I'm Steve. Have owned mostly GM cars since I was an engineer there for about 30 yrs & went to their institute for my engineering degree back in the 80's.

Currently have a Lexus 2009 AWD LS460 w/ about 145k on it. Not as trouble free as I had hoped, but that's another story.

Have driven the current S550 and quickly came to the realization there is none better for the qualities I like at this point. Because of the cost, I'm interested in a used one, maybe 2015 model year eventually. I'm somewhat prepared for the fact that repairs may be high, but I realize when a car has as many features as does this car, repairs should be expected.

One of the options I would like is the night vision camera. Getting up in age, my night vision isn't what it used to be so I would like to have this aid. If anyone has this option, I would be interested in hearing your opinion.

Also interested in driver assistance eqt., so I'm interested in how well the lane keep assist, etc works in the Drivers Assistance Package.
You can get incredible deals on 14's and 15's.
I would first look only at cars that still are under B2B, and absolutely purchase the extended warrantee if you plan on keeping the car.
CPO is also a recommended option, adds 1 year and unlimited millage, you can add an additional 2 years to that.
Take a look on AutoTrader, set your options, and the search is on. Don't limit yourself to local cars only. If the price is right, they can ship a car for ~$300- $900.
Night Vision is pretty amazing. I am surprised it is not a standard option on all law enforcement vehicles. At low speeds, when you turn it on manually, you will see people that you would not be able to see with normal vision, its simply amazing. It is set to automatically activate the display when driving I believe above 40MPH, if it spots a Deer, etc.. in front of the vehicle, it will activate nightvision on the dash. So far, I have never witnessed this happening, guess all the Deer, Moose etc. are sleeping...
Lane keep / Distronic plus is a bust. Its OK, but has a hard time on even the slightest curve. Car also has a hard time parking itself. Never use it since it hardly works when I try. Hits the curb 8 out of 10 times.
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Nice Ride View Post
You can get incredible deals on 14's and 15's.
I would first look only at cars that still are under B2B, and absolutely purchase the extended warrantee if you plan on keeping the car.
CPO is also a recommended option, adds 1 year and unlimited millage, you can add an additional 2 years to that.
Take a look on AutoTrader, set your options, and the search is on. Don't limit yourself to local cars only. If the price is right, they can ship a car for ~$300- $900.
Night Vision is pretty amazing. I am surprised it is not a standard option on all law enforcement vehicles. At low speeds, when you turn it on manually, you will see people that you would not be able to see with normal vision, its simply amazing. It is set to automatically activate the display when driving I believe above 40MPH, if it spots a Deer, etc.. in front of the vehicle, it will activate nightvision on the dash. So far, I have never witnessed this happening, guess all the Deer, Moose etc. are sleeping...
Lane keep / Distronic plus is a bust. Its OK, but has a hard time on even the slightest curve. Car also has a hard time parking itself. Never use it since it hardly works when I try. Hits the curb 8 out of 10 times.
It's operable at speeds above 35mph
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:32 AM
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s550
You could buy a used S-class highly optioned with 2-3k miles for scraps, not very much resale value here, plus some s-class buyers tend to be impulsive.
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Old 12-30-2016, 09:12 AM
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What is your budget.

Originally Posted by jzqj55 View Post
I'm Steve. Have owned mostly GM cars since I was an engineer there for about 30 yrs & went to their institute for my engineering degree back in the 80's.

Currently have a Lexus 2009 AWD LS460 w/ about 145k on it. Not as trouble free as I had hoped, but that's another story.

Have driven the current S550 and quickly came to the realization there is none better for the qualities I like at this point. Because of the cost, I'm interested in a used one, maybe 2015 model year eventually. I'm somewhat prepared for the fact that repairs may be high, but I realize when a car has as many features as does this car, repairs should be expected.

One of the options I would like is the night vision camera. Getting up in age, my night vision isn't what it used to be so I would like to have this aid. If anyone has this option, I would be interested in hearing your opinion.

Also interested in driver assistance eqt., so I'm interested in how well the lane keep assist, etc works in the Drivers Assistance Package.
You can get a 2016 121k msrp brand new s550 for 96k basically you get all the options for free. May br hard to find one with your night vision this late.
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Old 12-30-2016, 10:39 AM
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I have found the Distronic Plus, a must have option. It warns when changing lanes when another car is in my blind spot. I also like the cruise control in traffic. It has worked very well for me. I don't have the need to parallel park where I'm located, so I can't comment on that feature. Personally, I would not own a mercedes out of warranty, repair costs are prohibitive. They also depreciate like a falling rock. For these reasons, and the tax benefit for my situation, a lease is the best way for me.
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Old 12-30-2016, 11:04 AM
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At last count, I have owned over 60 brand new cars over my lifetime, all for personal use. Between 1993 and 2012, I had eight, new, top line Lexus LS sedans. When Lexus went to their hideous "spindle grill," I went to a 2013 S550. I'm now two years into my 2015 S550 sedan and a few, personal preferences aside, I can truly say it is the best car I have ever driven.
I happen to feel that the Driver's Assistance Pkg. is "THE" number one option EVER offered by any auto maker. Distronic Plus is absolutely amazing and I use it constantly. It's like having another pair of eyes watching the road, no matter what might distract you. I will not own another car without these amazing safety systems.
I have not had the Night Vision, but do plan on getting it when I order my next S550 in about a year.
Best of luck to you and welcome to MB.

Last edited by Streamliner; 12-31-2016 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 12-30-2016, 02:56 PM
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Greetings, I also have and like the NV. It highlights people, even on mopeds , and sometimes flashes them too. It even comes on by itself if it sees something and you have it on auto. It also darkens the cabin a bit as the screen dims down. If you turn off the command screen as well it makes for an even nicer drive at dark, well IMO.


Good luck
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by hyperion667 View Post
Greetings, I also have and like the NV. It highlights people, even on mopeds , and sometimes flashes them too. It even comes on by itself if it sees something and you have it on auto. It also darkens the cabin a bit as the screen dims down. If you turn off the command screen as well it makes for an even nicer drive at dark, well IMO.


Good luck
So here's something I just found out after having my MY15 S550 for 4 months. The NV screen can be set to it's own brightness level, separate from the regular instrumentation. You do this in the same way you can set the nav lady's volume, adjust it while it's active. With NV, just turn on the option with the button on the side of the dash, then, with the image active between the speedo and tach, use the knob between the 2 screens to set the brightness. It will adjust the NV image and leave the regular dashboard brightness alone. Pretty nice and consistent since the nav volume works the same way (adjust the volume when she's speaking)

BTW, NV is very nice, but I think it blinds oncoming bicyclists with the 'spotlight' function enabled. The Spotlight is the flashing light that points at the highlighted object on the NV screen (person or animal).
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:54 AM
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^hmmmmm......I'd like to be flashed to have the experience
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by hyperion667 View Post
^hmmmmm......I'd like to be flashed to have the experience
Maybe I should have said 'strobed'


tough crowd around here!
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jzqj55 View Post
<snip>

Have driven the current S550 and quickly came to the realization there is none better for the qualities I like at this point. Because of the cost, I'm interested in a used one, maybe 2015 model year eventually. I'm somewhat prepared for the fact that repairs may be high, but I realize when a car has as many features as does this car, repairs should be expected.

One of the options I would like is the night vision camera. Getting up in age, my night vision isn't what it used to be so I would like to have this aid. If anyone has this option, I would be interested in hearing your opinion.

Also interested in driver assistance eqt., so I'm interested in how well the lane keep assist, etc works in the Drivers Assistance Package.
@jzqj55

I'd be happy to share a few tips my experience in purchasing a CPO S550 about 4 months ago.

1) go CPO or extended warranty. There are threads on this site (use search), including one I recently updated about CPO costs. You don't need to buy the extended warranty from the dealer you get the car from, but you will really want to get one or the other of the CPO or extended. These cars have a ton of electronics on them and although the service managers and techs report that the W222 (S class) is very reliable and sorted out, the costs of repairs can be steep

2) there are a lot of used cars out there. It seems that it's very common to lease for 18 months (7-8k miles) so look around for a used one with the features and colors you want. You don't need to 'settle' for something unless you're in a hurry.

3) shipping a car across country will cost anywhere from $800-$1500 for covered transportation. This can be by truck or train. You can arrange this yourself and get better pricing than using a dealer to do it, unless you want to pay for convenience. I shipped my S550 from Chicago to San Jose via train (covered wagon) for $1500. It took a week. It was picked up at the dealer by the shipper and dropped off at my house. At both ends (dealer and house) it was loaded onto a trailer to take it to the train. It arrived a little dusty but with no damage. I'd do it again!

4) dealers don't have much margin in the CPO cars. Maybe a few thousand in the car and the cost of the CPO process itself. The CPO process adds about $2k to the price in my experience. Dealers will advertise cars as being CPO but may not actually do the CPO until you have signed the paperwork and paid. This is what happened in my case, so it took a few days longer before the car was ready for pickup. CPO is worth the cost since the dealer will do the oil change and service (A or B) as well as checking for various things like wheel tread and brakes remaining and replacing as needed.

5) if you get a car with the rear seat entertainment, as I did, be aware that the remotes are specific to the S class. Don't let them just grab any remote they have from the box in the back. These remotes retail for $600/each and the wireless headphones are also specific and pricey ($200/each). The remotes can be paired by the user apparently, but the headphones need to be programmed to the car. Make sure the dealer includes the right ones and demonstrates they are working correctly. Since I bought my car in Chicago, I didn't have a chance to check them and I'm still (4 months later) working with the dealer to get them!

6) a CPO car from the dealer should come with 2 sets of keys and 2 books (service manual and owners manual). I'm still also waiting for my books, but the dealer sent the 2nd kay a week after I received the car. Apparently they had to order it and forgot to do so until I asked.

7) don't be surprised about small scratches in paint or wood trim if buying used. Dealers aren't going to notice these, but you might after a few weeks of ownership. Thinks like the inner door sills plates can be replaced pretty easily and for low cost (the metal and plastic ones, not the illuminated ones) but scratches in the steering wheel and on the wood trim aren't as simple and will probably need professional help. (let me know if there are any good wood re-finishers in San Jose)

8) There's a list of service bulletins posted as a sticky note on this forum. This is extremely helpful since many of these are recent and an early build 2015 may not have some/all of these applied. Once you get your car, make good friends with your local MB dealer service manager and discuss anything on that list you think applies. I have a great service manager and he's been very helpful with that list on my car.

9) these cars are incredible! They are smooth, powerful and make commutes a lot more tolerable. Not everything works the way you might expect (e.g. active lane keep is good a low speed, but scary at high speed). Go out and test drive some new ones, figure out the options you want and then go scour the used car listings (cars.com, dealer listings etc). You may find that dealers in your area (like in the SF Bay Area) don't stock any CPO cars (probably because there's not much profit in them), so you may just have to shop outside your area. Knowing what the car is, feature wise, will be invaluable and could save you from buying something you don't want. When you know more about the car than the sales person, then you're at the right level to make a good choice

Good luck!

Last edited by RSouthern; 01-08-2017 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:54 AM
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What I meant was I would like to be outside to see what the flash does........if it's blinding or not......
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Old 01-28-2017, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by RSouthern View Post
@jzqj55

I'd be happy to share a few tips my experience in purchasing a CPO S550 about 4 months ago.

1) go CPO or extended warranty. There are threads on this site (use search), including one I recently updated about CPO costs. You don't need to buy the extended warranty from the dealer you get the car from, but you will really want to get one or the other of the CPO or extended. These cars have a ton of electronics on them and although the service managers and techs report that the W222 (S class) is very reliable and sorted out, the costs of repairs can be steep

2) there are a lot of used cars out there. It seems that it's very common to lease for 18 months (7-8k miles) so look around for a used one with the features and colors you want. You don't need to 'settle' for something unless you're in a hurry.

3) shipping a car across country will cost anywhere from $800-$1500 for covered transportation. This can be by truck or train. You can arrange this yourself and get better pricing than using a dealer to do it, unless you want to pay for convenience. I shipped my S550 from Chicago to San Jose via train (covered wagon) for $1500. It took a week. It was picked up at the dealer by the shipper and dropped off at my house. At both ends (dealer and house) it was loaded onto a trailer to take it to the train. It arrived a little dusty but with no damage. I'd do it again!

4) dealers don't have much margin in the CPO cars. Maybe a few thousand in the car and the cost of the CPO process itself. The CPO process adds about $2k to the price in my experience. Dealers will advertise cars as being CPO but may not actually do the CPO until you have signed the paperwork and paid. This is what happened in my case, so it took a few days longer before the car was ready for pickup. CPO is worth the cost since the dealer will do the oil change and service (A or B) as well as checking for various things like wheel tread and brakes remaining and replacing as needed.

5) if you get a car with the rear seat entertainment, as I did, be aware that the remotes are specific to the S class. Don't let them just grab any remote they have from the box in the back. These remotes retail for $600/each and the wireless headphones are also specific and pricey ($200/each). The remotes can be paired by the user apparently, but the headphones need to be programmed to the car. Make sure the dealer includes the right ones and demonstrates they are working correctly. Since I bought my car in Chicago, I didn't have a chance to check them and I'm still (4 months later) working with the dealer to get them!

6) a CPO car from the dealer should come with 2 sets of keys and 2 books (service manual and owners manual). I'm still also waiting for my books, but the dealer sent the 2nd kay a week after I received the car. Apparently they had to order it and forgot to do so until I asked.

7) don't be surprised about small scratches in paint or wood trim if buying used. Dealers aren't going to notice these, but you might after a few weeks of ownership. Thinks like the inner door sills plates can be replaced pretty easily and for low cost (the metal and plastic ones, not the illuminated ones) but scratches in the steering wheel and on the wood trim aren't as simple and will probably need professional help. (let me know if there are any good wood re-finishers in San Jose)

8) There's a list of service bulletins posted as a sticky note on this forum. This is extremely helpful since many of these are recent and an early build 2015 may not have some/all of these applied. Once you get your car, make good friends with your local MB dealer service manager and discuss anything on that list you think applies. I have a great service manager and he's been very helpful with that list on my car.

9) these cars are incredible! They are smooth, powerful and make commutes a lot more tolerable. Not everything works the way you might expect (e.g. active lane keep is good a low speed, but scary at high speed). Go out and test drive some new ones, figure out the options you want and then go scour the used car listings (cars.com, dealer listings etc). You may find that dealers in your area (like in the SF Bay Area) don't stock any CPO cars (probably because there's not much profit in them), so you may just have to shop outside your area. Knowing what the car is, feature wise, will be invaluable and could save you from buying something you don't want. When you know more about the car than the sales person, then you're at the right level to make a good choice

Good luck!
great write up. looking at a '14 CPO with 15,000 miles. MSRP 111,000 asking 71,700 think a bit high, going to test drive this week. current lease ending on a 750xi
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Old 01-29-2017, 01:24 AM
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I ended up with a 2015 CPO with 21k miles. Car is pretty perfect and is optioned the way I would have chosen. Great color combo too.

$122,700.00 sticker. I got $50,000.00 off that. Lease return after 22 months. Sat on the dealers lot for 2.5 months. I went in and did the whole song and dance. Walked out 3 times, they kept lowering the price...until I got to where I thought the deal was fair. They said they made no money on the deal...lol.
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Old 01-29-2017, 04:00 PM
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Congrats. If you haven't already, look into extending that CPO to the maximum term, there are vendors on this forum that may be of assistance for the best price.
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Old 01-29-2017, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Socalsteve View Post
I ended up with a 2015 CPO with 21k miles. Car is pretty perfect and is optioned the way I would have chosen. Great color combo too.

$122,700.00 sticker. I got $50,000.00 off that. Lease return after 22 months. Sat on the dealers lot for 2.5 months. I went in and did the whole song and dance. Walked out 3 times, they kept lowering the price...until I got to where I thought the deal was fair. They said they made no money on the deal...lol.
Congrats mano, lets see some pictures
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Old 01-29-2017, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by teksurv View Post
Congrats. If you haven't already, look into extending that CPO to the maximum term, there are vendors on this forum that may be of assistance for the best price.
Vendors? As in MBZ dealerships or third party insurance?

Seemed really expensive to extend it. I mean, big $$$. But that could just be the " stealership" wanting to make more $$$ off me.

Please inform.

Thank you!!!
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Old 01-29-2017, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Socalsteve View Post
Vendors? As in MBZ dealerships or third party insurance?

Seemed really expensive to extend it. I mean, big $$$. But that could just be the " stealership" wanting to make more $$$ off me.

Please inform.

Thank you!!!
I added 3 additional years Unlimited mileage for around $4,300- from dealer. Worth every penny!!!
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Old 01-29-2017, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Nice Ride View Post
I added 3 additional years Unlimited mileage for around $4,300- from dealer. Worth every penny!!!
Can any dealer do this? Or, does it have to be the selling dealer? If any dealer can, please inform me of the person and dealership that did this for you.

Thank you so much!

Steve
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Old 01-29-2017, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Socalsteve View Post
Can any dealer do this? Or, does it have to be the selling dealer? If any dealer can, please inform me of the person and dealership that did this for you.

Thank you so much!

Steve
Any dealer... They do have a bit of wiggle room..... I would ask the dealer that you will be bringing the car to for service. Tell them you would like to keep the business local, they should be able to work with you at least 5 to 10%. Otherwise, just call any dealer, even if they are not in the same state.
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Old 01-30-2017, 09:20 AM
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I drive a 2015 S550 4Matic. This is my third MB with NVA and Driver Assist Package (2013 S350 and 2010 E550). NVA is fantastic. It has steadily improved from the 2010 version. About the only areas that can be improved are: (a) oncoming headlight/ reflection from reflective signs rejection (it is far better than it used to be, but still some room for improvement), (b) breadth of field of vision (I would love to see it expanded another 15-20degrees to the right and left), and (c) my most outrageous wish - I would love to see it expanded to an augmented reality real time,full windshield display (probably not going to happen anytime soon). But, it is really very useful as it is today. I have diminished night vision due to multiple laser surgeries for retinopathy, and in all probability would not be comfortable driving on dark semi rural roads with frequent pedestrians at night, without it.

I would not buy a car without driver assistance package. The Distrionic is extremely good - after using it, a normal cruise control is painful to use. Hands off driving is NOT supported, as the car warns you if you hands are off the steering wheel for about 15 seconds. Unfortunately, it does not recognize the entire steering wheel, so it issues the warning if you are holding the wheel in the "wrong" place, but I deem this to be a minor annoyance. Lane tracking is dependent on good lane markings. Blind spot assist has saved me from a few accidents.

All in all these are great options. They are not perfect, but what is? I haven't found much that is, and I have found these options far more useful than not having them, and far better than other manufacturers' implementations of them.
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Old 01-30-2017, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by m3422c View Post
I drive a 2015 S550 4Matic. This is my third MB with NVA and Driver Assist Package (2013 S350 and 2010 E550). NVA is fantastic. It has steadily improved from the 2010 version. About the only areas that can be improved are: (a) oncoming headlight/ reflection from reflective signs rejection (it is far better than it used to be, but still some room for improvement), (b) breadth of field of vision (I would love to see it expanded another 15-20degrees to the right and left), and (c) my most outrageous wish - I would love to see it expanded to an augmented reality real time,full windshield display (probably not going to happen anytime soon). But, it is really very useful as it is today. I have diminished night vision due to multiple laser surgeries for retinopathy, and in all probability would not be comfortable driving on dark semi rural roads with frequent pedestrians at night, without it.

I would not buy a car without driver assistance package. The Distrionic is extremely good - after using it, a normal cruise control is painful to use. Hands off driving is NOT supported, as the car warns you if you hands are off the steering wheel for about 15 seconds. Unfortunately, it does not recognize the entire steering wheel, so it issues the warning if you are holding the wheel in the "wrong" place, but I deem this to be a minor annoyance. Lane tracking is dependent on good lane markings. Blind spot assist has saved me from a few accidents.

All in all these are great options. They are not perfect, but what is? I haven't found much that is, and I have found these options far more useful than not having them, and far better than other manufacturers' implementations of them.
I have been told several times there is no contact sensing for 15 seconds on the steering wheel, it is sensing if you move or have move pressure on the wheel. Several dealer complaints and other posts here yielded that.
wilfie is offline  
Old 01-30-2017, 11:24 AM
  #25  
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2015 MBZ S 550
Originally Posted by Nice Ride View Post
I added 3 additional years Unlimited mileage for around $4,300- from dealer. Worth every penny!!!
Was this 3 years AFTER the added CPO one year ( as in 5+3 ) or was it the standard warranty plus three ( 4+3 )?

Thanks!
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