I drove my car this morning and realized I bought it on December 29, 1998. It is now 15 years old and is still fine late 20th century technology. The car has 120,518 miles and I am driving fewer and fewer miles each year on the car as it and I both get older.
It is 2.8 liter V6 C Class Mercedes and the only hassle with the car is it chews up tires. The set on the car now is the fifth set (fourth replacement). I just replaced the tires a few weeks back and got Uniroyal Tiger Paws as they are made by Michelin and are pretty affordable. $425 for all four tires with balancing, new valve stems, and disposal charges for the old tires that were down to the bare tread.
My friend Sudhir has a 7 year old Acura (similar size if not larger than my C Class) with 120,000 miles on his car and he is still on his second set of tires that need replacement soon. He drives more freeway miles and does not have a driveway like mine that is at 37 degrees angle. I drive city miles with a lot of hills here in Marin County. I also need to take all the junk in the trunk out of my car, but there is no doubt the Mercedes is harder on tires than the Acura. I will investigate and report when I find out the real reason why other than my bad driving.
The 15 year old car has a six CD player and can also play cassettes. It has a very fine Bose stereo system that plays music like Stairway To Heaven in perfect pitch. It has fuel injection and gets an average of 22 MPG in my city (more like town) driving. The fully synthetic oil only needs changing every 10,000 miles (8.5 quarts though) and the car suits me fine as it is fully amortized and still rides like a Mercedes.
The new 2014 C Class Mercedes with a V6 is the C 350 that does not get much better mileage than my old car. It sure goes faster and has much more power and is a really nice looking car but it still only gets 23 MPG combined. I also wonder how long the tires will last on those 17 inch wheels and how expensive the will be to replace.
When I decide to replace the 15 year old beauty, I wonder if I will simply get a Prius. In 2015 the C Class will be offered with a plug in hybrid option but I doubt I will buy this car as plug ins make no sense from a green point of view unless of course you are Mr. Marsh in Seattle driving that Nissan Leaf 35,000 miles a year on a green grid in perfect weather for long battery life. I’d imagine the plug in hybrid C class Mercedes will have extremely short tire life.
When I replaced my tires a few weeks back, the store manager told me that he is already replacing tires on Tesla Model Ss with only 15,000 miles. It seems the drivers of those heavy cars are burning tires with rapid acceleration and eating up tread with the heavy mass of the Model S. I will ask Dr. P how his tires are doing. Remember Dr. P is the guy in Orange County who commutes 100 miles a day to and from work in his Model S so can go in HEV lane. Dr P must have about 12,000 miles on his Model S now.
A friend of mine Mr. J just purchased a Model S in New Jersey. Mr J lives 3 miles from his work and will not drive more than 10,000 miles a year. Mr. J did not buy the full moon roof option as he read my blog that he would freeze in winter with that option. I bet that Mr. J will actually use less kilowatt hours per mile than Dr. P but it could go either way. I shall report real data from Dr. P and Mr. J. I wish Dr. J was also my friend as he was one of the greatest basketball players ever.
There once was a guy named Dr. J Irving Bentley who is famous for dying in a reported case of Spontaneous Human Combustion.
Maybe he drove a Model S and not a Bentley.
Dr. P and Mr. J I sent you both asbestos underwear for your Xmas gift but UPS is late in delivering.