Technology on Newer Cars is Rightfully Enviable

Dear Car Talk:

My wife has a 2012 Mercedes E350 Bluetec. It has 33,000 miles on it. It looks new and gets 37 miles per gallon on the highway.

She envies the technology on my 2018 GLE 350. If I trade in her car, what would you recommend? She doesn't like my SUV. -- Don

Get her a nice 2022 S-Class, Don. What kind of husband are you? Letting your wife drive around in a mere E-Class with almost 34,000 miles on it? That's barbaric.

Actually, Don, if she likes her E350, she'll probably like an E-Class that's 10 years newer. And 10 more years up to date.

She's right to envy the technology on newer cars. Newer cars, like the current E-Class, have automatic emergency braking that applies the brakes if a car stops in front of you and you don't react in time. They have adaptive cruise control that maintains a set distance between your car and the car in front of you on the highway. They have blind-spot monitors that warn you when a car is coming up on your flank. And they have rear cross traffic warning to let you know when a car is coming down the street toward you when you're backing up.

Today's cars can nudge the wheel to keep you from drifting out of your lane, and some even monitor your eyes and warn you if you're getting drowsy on a long trip.

I know she probably likes the fuel economy she gets with the Bluetec diesel variant. A new gasoline powered E350 won't do as well. But it'll be quieter, and your neighbors won't hold their noses when she pulls into the driveway.

Or better yet, she could be an early adopter and go for Mercedes' brand-new, all-electric S-Class, the EQS. We just drove it, and it's fantastic. The only problem is that then you're going to envy her technology, Don.


Ready for a new ride? When the time comes to part with your old car, donate it to your favorite NPR station. They will turn it into more of the programs you love. Here's how.

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