Cadillac or competing brand model ? Why ? Discussion, 1992 Sedan deVille v. 1999 Mercedes Benz S320 in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; Yeah, I know it's not a very direct comparison, but hey, I own 'em both, I figure I'll compare em!
Yeah, I know it's not a very direct comparison, but hey, I own 'em both, I figure I'll compare em!
The 4.9 is an old school beast. Loads of low end power, muscular V8 sounds and a rough idle. Lightning quick takeoffs are the norm here, It will literally beat almost any other daily driver four door sedan out of the hole, and I've had it spin the inside drive wheel through first gear before. Midrange is good too, but get to about 65-70 and it seems like it hits a brick wall. Acceleration above about 73 is LETHARGIC. Oh well though, these aren't high performance sedans by any stretch so I shouldn't complain.
The "M104" 3.2L DOHC I-6 in the Benz is all technology. 228hp and 232 lb/ft from a motor that's only 195 CID...very impressive! It uses all the state of the art gizmos to get it too...variable valve timing for the intake valves, dual overhead camshafts, two stage tuned resonance intake manifold, etc etc. Now it's not an overly fast engine, but it's got a nice wide powerband and you don't can cruise around all day and not hit 3,000 rpm. It doesn't have much in the way of low end power, but the midrange is good and it really starts to wake up at about 3500-4000 rpm. Under heavy acceleration, it revs quick and stays in the engine's sweet spot as much as possible...very nice.
The 4.9 feels and sounds harsher, whereas the 3.2 is nearly silent (aside from the noise coming from the intake manifold) under normal acceleration, but you'll hear it's swan song upon heavy acceleration.
Cadillac: pretty good (I'd get anywhere between 13-16 in town and 23-25 highway)
Benz: pretty damn good (18-19 town, 24 highway)
Cadillac's tranny is better. Can't beat the 4T60-E for a tranny...smooth, almost imperceptible shifts when cruising and fast, abrupt shifts when under heavy acceleration. The Benz has a nice tranny too, but I hate how it acts when the engine is cold. It stays in the lowest gear as long as possible so the engine will hold the high RPMs, thereby warming up the 02's ASAP, making the fuel economy better. I hate how it feels, but understand why it's done and therefore, I'm *ok* with it. Otherwise, it's a very good tranny...very smooth, but it shifts fast and w/o any BS under heavy throttle and it's quiet.
Both are great looking cars, but I think the Benz has the better overall design. I simply think the W140 Benzes, especially the 97-99's, due to the small changes, are some of the best looking four door cars ever put into production by anyone. I can't really describe why I think so, but I just do, and I have since they were new. But I must say though, the 91-93 deVilles, especially the Sedans, are still some of Cadillac's best designs ever IMO.
Now when I say handling, I mean how well does it fare down a curvy road that I drive down on my way to and from work. The deVille was *OK* down this road, but the Benz is spectacular, especially considering the sheer weight of the car (4500 lbs). I can follow the inside white line in the lanes with no problem...can't do that in the deVille...I get massive understeer if I try.
The Cadillac has better pedal feel, but the Benz has better braking performance.
The Cadillac is dynamite from 0 to about 45 and then weans off gradually until it hits a brick wall at about 75. The Benz is mediocre until about 35-40 then starts to gradually wake up. By about 75-80, I'd like to think that she could keep up with an LT1 B/D Body from a rolling start. Highway acceleration in that car is amazing, especially for a little 6 cylinder in a car of that size. Very little throttle input is needed to accelerate more than you actually need.
Both are very smooth cars...the deVille is smooth in your typical American "I feel like I'm the captain of the Queen Mary" way. In the Benz, you feel like you're the captain of a business jet. It's just smooth, no bobbing or floating at all.
The steering feel in the Cadillac was pretty good...just a bit of dead zone in the center, but other than that, it had good road feel. In the Benz, it's amazing. There's no dead spot, and it takes about the same amount of effort to turn as in the deVille, but it's much more direct. Brilliant.
Upon your first sit, you'd think that the deVille would be much more comfortable because the seats are so soft and cushy, like sitting on a marshmallow, but in the long run, the Benz's firm seats cause less fatigue. The Benz has better lower lumbar support and the Cadillac has better higher lumbar support (the part by your shoulderblades). Also, the Benzes seats have pretty good side bolsters, and for all intensive purposes, the deVilles are flat (if they weren't so deep...)