© 2020 kertong © 2020 kertong

2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT-S

Let’s get one thing straight – this is an absolutely breathtaking car. To me, it is a modern e-type, but with modern performance and amenities. The front was long, bordering on phallic; but not nearly as on-the-nose about it as the e-type was.

I have always had a long standing respect for Mercedes-Benz as a brand as well. While I had never owned one myself – they always seemed to be the subdued and confident brand, in contrast with the young-money image BMW had.

Perhaps it was time to give Mercedes-Benz a go. Especially the AMG cars – hand built motors, with a killer soundtrack to boot.

Unfortunately, this car lasted less than 20 hours before I returned it. I blame the dealer (Mercedes Benz of San Jose).

I brought the car home and had a great time driving it. Kat and I went for a night drive that night, and she was absolutely in love with the balance this AMG hit between comfort, luxury, sport, and performance. Despite the big V8 up front (plus turbos!), the turn-in was crisp, sharp, and flat. The torque didn’t have that fat, down-low shove of a large displacement Corvette/Camaro motor, it was strong, and stayed linear and constant throughout the rev range. The transmission (a dual clutch auto-manual, my first ‘automatic’ car ever) wasn’t quite as crisp as a PDK, but to be fair I didn’t push it too hard so I may not have given it a fair shot.

While Kat ran into a McDonald’s to pick up some late snacks, I sat in the car fiddling with the menu to explore the amenities side of the car. For those of you familiar with MB cars, they have a feature called “Lane Keep Assist”. I noticed it was turned off on this AMG GT-s, so I turned it on. Didn’t think much of it, until 5 minutes later I got a “Lane Keep Assist Inoperative” alert.

I tried not to worry too much about it – but the next morning it was still there. Turning the feature off and back on again (a technique that usually works with many things in life), the error message kept popping up. I tried to toggle it while driving, and it started spazzing out and the error message started flickering on and off.

I was pissed. I was starting to think the dealership had turned it off on purpose. I didn’t want to make assumptions though, so I called my salesman to let him know of what was happening.

“Oh, if you disable the feature it goes away”, was his answer.

I drove straight down to the dealership and returned the car. They of course, tried to reset the battery and drive around to prove it wasn’t an issue; but of course it came back, and they were forced to admit it wasn’t an easy fix. Certified PreOwned my ass.

The worst was that despite cancelling this on Sunday morning, they cashed my $60,000 check on Monday. It took me 2 weeks of calling and threatening to lawyer up, for their “corporate office” to mail me the money back.

This is strike one against the Autonation dealership network. Sadly, this would not be the last.