BMW i228 convertible

Mercedes C300 is a Suitable Sacramento Realtor Vehicle

mercedes C300

Elizabeth Weintraub and 2016 Mercedes C300 in the Sacramento rain, with her Porsche in background.

If you had asked me yesterday morning what kind of car this Sacramento Realtor was going to buy on Saturday, I would not have said a 2016 Mercedes C300. For one thing, it’s a four-door and considered a sedan, so the photos online did not appeal to me. I like a sportier car. Which is why I drove a Porsche Boxster. And why I left home in the rain thinking I would probably buy the BMW 228i convertible. Niello BMW has such a vehicle on the lot, metallic black with a red interior, goes from 0 to 60 in 5.7 seconds.

bmw 228i

BMW 228I convertible with Elizabeth Weintraub

Plus, Niello BMW over on Fulton is a nice dealership to deal with. Everybody is laid back. The Consumer Report customer satisfaction ratings for BMW are much higher than for Mercedes. On top of that, Mark Cornell at BMW is a friendly, straight forward kinda guy. But so is the sales manager, Jose Armenta, at Mercedes. Yet, Jose gave me a much better deal on my Porsche trade-in and more of a discount off the C300 than BMW offered. I thought since Niello also owned the Porsche dealership that it would have offered more for my Porsche than Mercedes, but that was an incorrect assumption.

Let’s just say that for two cars priced very closely to each other, it would have cost an extra $9,000 to buy the BMW. So financially, it made more sense to choose Mercedes, but money isn’t everything. More important, I really wanted a more comfortable ride. I’ve had decades of bouncing around in first a Mercedes SLK and then a Boxster, and I now prefer a smoother ride, without feeling every single bump in the road. However, if I happen to get too nostalgic about it, the C300 features a function that can change “comfort” ride to “sport” and even “super-dooper sporty.”

Mercedes C300 dash

Dash of Mercedes C300

The other cool features of the C300 are safety related such as blind assist, it actually warns you if another vehicle is in your blind spot when you change lanes. Its windows fold in for tight parking spots in the City. If you kick your foot under the rear bumper, the trunk opens. The downside is I could not download my address book to the communication center. It got to the J’s before it was full. But I can use Siri to call through the car’s bluetooth, which provides amazingly clear reception.

I love the panoramic sunroof, so it’s like a convertible without so much raw wind. I can also clear curbs with the sporty front end. Three times I’ve had to fix scratches on the underside of the Porsche bumper. The Mercedes C300 is much smarter than me. Yup, I’ve finally bought a car that is capable of doing more things than I will probably ever have time to discover. Plus, it will look good photographed in front of my listings. Many of my listings have featured my Porsche in the street. Just so buyers can say: “Oh, look, the neighbor drives a Porsche!” 

OK, so it’s not the 2016 Mercedes GLA I had ordered last fall. That new delivery time was too nebulous. I also think Jose felt like they messed up with the first order and wanted to make this experience better, and he even mentioned he was grateful I gave them a second chance. Not every buyer will give a dealer a second chance, when you think about it. I know some buyers would have stomped out, but I’ve been around on earth long enough to know that it’s not so much the mistakes that happen, it’s what they do to rectify it.

A big thanks as well to my team member and friend, Barbara Dow, for helping me shop for a new car yesterday. It was a good thing now the GLA did not arrive on time. Sometimes mistakes work out for the better.

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