Mercedes-Benz Prices 2014 B-Class Electric Drive

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The 2014 B-Class Electric Drive, Mercedes-Benz's new four-door electric vehicle hatchback, will arrive at dealerships in July with a price tag of $42,375, including a $925 destination charge. The B-Class Electric Drive could be eligible for federal tax credits of as much as $7,500, in addition to state and local credits. The luxury EV initially will be available only in 10 states, including California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont, with nationwide expansion expected to be announced next year. The EV version is the only variant of the B-Class available in the U.S.; gas and diesel models are sold internationally.

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive: Up Close

The automaker says the electric motor, powered by a lithium-ion battery pack, is equivalent in power to a three-cylinder gas engine making 177 horsepower and 251 pounds-feet of torque. Mercedes-Benz estimates a zero-to-60 mph time of 7.9 seconds and a top speed of 100 mph. The automaker also said charge time for 60 miles of range should take less than two hours on a 240-volt outlet; the vehicle's maximum range is estimated at 85 miles. When the B-Class originally was announced, its range was expected to be 115 miles; that figure is 30 miles more than the estimated range now being reported.

By Matt Schmitz | April 30, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2008-2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

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Vehicles Affected: About 252,867 model-year 2008-2011 Mercedes-Benz C300, C300 4Matic, C350 and C63 AMG luxury cars manufactured between Jan. 26, 2007, and July 13, 2011

The Problem: A poor electrical ground connection may result in the dimming or failure of the taillights; this reduces the ability to warn other motorists of the driver's intentions of stopping or turning, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Mercedes-Benz will begin notifying owners in June and dealers will replace the bulb holders if necessary, as well as any corroded connectors, for free. The automaker said parts are not currently available, so owners will be sent a second notification, expected to be in August or September, when parts are available.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Mercedes-Benz at 800-367-6372 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236, or visit www.safercar.gov, for more info.

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By Matt Schmitz | April 29, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 69 model-year 2014 versions of the GL350 Bluetec 4Matic, GL450 4Matic, GL550 4Matic and GL63 AMG SUVs; only vehicles manufactured Nov. 4 through Nov. 15, 2013, are affected.

The Problem: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reporting that the second-row seat bottom may not fold down low enough to allow access to the child safety seat anchors. Improper child safety seat anchorage increases the risk of injury in a crash. According to Mercedes-Benz, there have been no customer complaints or injuries regarding this issue.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace the affected second-row seat components for free.

What Owners Should Do: Mercedes-Benz will start notifying owners in May. Owners can call Mercedes at 800-367-6372 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 for more information. 

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By Jennifer Geiger | April 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 BMW 435i Gran Coupe Photo Gallery (24 Photos)

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What's in a name? Well, if you're referring to the 2015 BMW 435i Gran Coupe, it means a four-door luxury car that goes by the name of a two-door without much explanation as to why. As Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman — clearly perplexed by this latest addition to the BMW variant inundation — previously described it, the 435i Gran Coupe is basically the 4 Series coupe with a stretched and minimally raised roofline — oh, plus a new name.

More 2014 New York Auto Show Coverage

If you're going to be in the Big Apple between Friday and April 27 and want to sort out the BMW naming-convention confusion for yourself, the 435i Gran Coupe is making its debut at the 2014 New York International Auto Show.

Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Matt Schmitz | April 16, 2014 | Comments (4)

2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe Photo Gallery (33 Photos)

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The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG coupe, the track-tuned version of the "regular" S-Class Coupe, is like a sequel to a Reagan-era action movie: more of what excited people about the original, but amped up to the extreme. Luxury-performance die-hards can get in on the action later this week at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, where the S63 AMG coupe was unveiled today.

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What onlookers will see outside is not dissimilar to the S-Class Coupe, save for additional air-cooling grilles, side sills and a rear diffuser, along with larger wheels and AMG badging. Its inside is also amped up with unique graphics and fonts on the displays, exclusive Nappa leather sport seats, a three-spoke sport steering wheel and more AMG badging. Under the hood, however, drivers will find quite a difference in the twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8 — mainly in the form of 577 horsepower and 664 pounds-feet of torque, propelling the coupe from zero to 60 mph in an exhilarating 3.9 seconds.

Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Matt Schmitz | April 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

Mercedes-Benz Teases 2015 AMG GT

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Mercedes-Benz is planning a new AMG GT for 2015, but it's only offering us a glimpse of the supercar's interior — for now. The automaker released pictures at a New York International Auto Show preview event and promises more details will follow.

More 2014 New York Auto Show Coverage

The 2015 AMG GT follows the SLS AMG as the second sports car to be developed independently by Mercedes' AMG performance arm. The automaker confirmed V-8 power and supplied two interior images depicting a cabin lined with red leather and what looks like carbon fiber, along with an emphasis on design that favors both sport and luxury.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe: First Look

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Competes with: Bentley Continental GT, Rolls-Royce Wraith, Aston Martin DB9

Looks like: An even badder, bolder S-Class Coupe

Powertrains: 577-hp, twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8, seven-speed automatic transmission, standard all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: fall 2014

More New York Auto Show News

Mercedes-Benz introduced the new S-Class Coupe at the 2014 Geneva International Motor Show and has just unveiled a more potent performance version. The new 2015 S63 4Matic AMG coupe takes everything that is already outstanding about the S-Class Coupe and cranks it up to crazy levels in the way only Mercedes-Benz's in-house AMG tuners can.

By Aaron Bragman | March 19, 2014 | Comments (0)

Study Ranks Owners' Ability to Afford Their Cars by City

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Can you afford your car? Obviously, the answer to that question is more complicated than "yes" or "no." But far more often than you might imagine, it's the latter, according to a study of the nation's 25 largest metropolitan areas by Interest.com. Now you can gauge your own financial solvency as it relates to your household vehicles — or just use the info to justify your condescending smirk/head-shake combo as your neighbor drives by in his new luxury sedan.

2013 Year-End Sales Preview

"Too many families are spending way too much on new cars and trucks," Interest.com Managing Editor Mike Sante said in a statement. "Just because you can manage the monthly payment doesn't mean you should let a $30,000 or $40,000 ride gobble up such a huge share of your paycheck. You can get a great car for much less and use the savings to invest in yourself."

The study calculated how much a household can afford to spend on a car or light-duty truck using the so-called 20/4/10 rule: a down payment of at least 20 percent; a financing term of no more than 48 months; and principal, interest and insurance not exceeding 10 percent of a household's gross income. Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Boston led the charge in ability to afford vehicles, while Miami and Tampa, Fla., car owners were at the bottom of the list. The nation's three largest cities were clustered toward the middle of the list of 25, with New York at No. 10, Chicago at No. 12 and Los Angeles at No. 14.

By Matt Schmitz | March 14, 2014 | Comments (3)

Apple Unveils CarPlay for Volvo, Mercedes, Ferrari at 2014 Geneva Motor Show

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Having already revolutionized the way people around the world buy and listen to music, communicate with one another and generally manage their daily lives, Apple is taking its innovation on the road. The tech giant today at the 2014 Geneva International Motor Show announced the rollout of its latest bid to dominate the in-car operating-system market: Apple CarPlay — touted as "the best iPhone experience on four wheels." Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will lead the way in offering CarPlay to their customers starting this week, to be followed later by BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota, according to Apple.

AAA Wants to Protect Personal Data With Connected-Car Bill of Rights

The system allows iPhone users to access all of their content while in the car, with minimal distraction, Apple stated in a news release. CarPlay is available as an update to iOS 7 and works with Lightning-enabled iPhones, including the 5s, 5c and 5 models.

"Once iPhone is connected to a vehicle with CarPlay integration, Siri helps you easily access your contacts, make calls, return missed calls or listen to voicemails," Apple said in a statement. "When incoming messages or notifications arrive, Siri provides an eyes-free experience by responding to requests through voice commands, by reading drivers' messages and letting them dictate responses or simply make a call."

By Matt Schmitz | March 3, 2014 | Comments (3)

2011 Models Less Reliable Than 2010 Vehicles, J.D. Power Study Finds

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Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac led J.D. Power and Associates' 2014 Vehicle Dependability Study, which tracks problems per vehicle from original owners of 3-year-old cars — in this case, 2011 models. But overall problems rose 6 percent versus last year's study of 2010 models, the first time since J.D. Power's 1998 VDS that reliability in late-model cars has declined.

Does Reliability Affect Luxury-Car Sales?

Among non-luxury brands, Honda (sixth overall), Toyota (eighth) and Subaru (12th) ranked highest in the 31-brand study. Hyundai, Jeep, Land Rover, Dodge and Mini rounded out the bottom five.

Vehicle dependability, which J.D. Power expresses in problems per 100 ("PP100") vehicles, rose to 133 PP100 in the 2014 study. A year ago, it was 126 PP100 — the lowest in the 25-year study's history. Drivetrain problems led to most of the increase, the company said, as four-cylinder engines and large diesel motors accounted for more problems than conventional five- and six-cylinder engines.

By Kelsey Mays | February 12, 2014 | Comments (6)

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