Was there a manual? Yes, it was more than 100 pages long. Who hires a car and has time to read, digest and apply 100 pages of instructions?
What finally wore me down? It was the parking sensors which, in the narrow country lanes of Herefordshire went off, both sides, all, and I mean ALL, the time. Constantly. Non-stop. Literally. It reported blades of grass as I drove along. Then, when I pulled off to one side as another vehicle passed the crying wolf alarm didn’t change tone as I brushed against a small fence hiding two feet off the road in the grass, resulting in scratched paint and a bill for repair. Who in their right mind would design such a system?
Mercedes, that’s who. Name and shame. It’s an AMG convertible and it doesn’t even have enough boot space for my bog standard Samsonite suitcase.
I had to leave the bag behind the front passenger seat wherever I parked the car, just waiting for someone with ill-intent and a sharp knife to cut through the soft-top and nick it. No one did. That was just about the only good news of the entire time with the damned thing. And, of course, with the suitcase stuck there, one of the back seats became useless. It also meant that, instead of using the car as a mother ship with my main bag in the boot and carrying just an overnight bag into hotels, I had to hump a 20-odd kg bag across car parks, up narrow flights of stairs in 16th Century (or earlier) buildings – and, of course, down those same stairs.
Don’t buy this car used: the scuttle shake is so bad it will die of the motoring equivalent of Parkinson’s induced metal fatigue long before it breaks down.
Don’t buy a one new, unless you want to pose on empty roads – the alloy wheels are unprotected by the ultra-low profile tyres so they scrape kerbs that other cars would brush off. More bills when the car was returned, and then only because I was dodging lunatics in Croydon who, on two occasions, were intent on driving into the blasted thing and my evasive action forced me into, on one occasion, a “traffic calming” blockage in the middle of the road. I wasn’t calmed.
When the top is down and the sun is up, you can’t see out properly: reflections from the shiny trim dominate the view through the centre mirror and the driver’s door mirror is blinded by the glare from the seemingly chromed dashboard air vent. The middle of the windscreen has silvered reflection from the trim at the top of the dashboard. It’s all very pretty, very sporty and very bloody annoying.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the turning circle was too big for me to get into the entrance to the coaching inn I was staying in in Ledbury and after I’d turned round and approached it from the other side, I was stuck because someone had parked on the other side of the (main) road. Trying to leave, I couldn’t turn out, without shuttling back and forth. Thanks to the kind artic driver who patiently waited while I faffed about. He might have been laughing at the dickhead in the poncy car and who could have blamed him? He didn’t know it was basically a skip with a wheel on each corner, a German taxi with the roof chopped off. He couldn’t know it was absolute shit.