Friday morning I was just minding my own business when I stumbled on an ad with a heading AMG Test Drive Weekend. On closer look turns out you can fill in some details and book a test drive for any AMG model or so they said. Being in Bloemfontein I knew that, that would be way too good to be true. The submit button constantly ended up with error so I went back and selected the call back option. Within 2 minutes I got a call from Mercedes-Benz head office asking me a few questions, one of which was which model would you like to test drive. I replied with my favourite car that Mercedes makes, S65 AMG sedan. I know, you would expect me to want something more edgy like the GT or the SLS but no, my favourite car Merc makes is the S65 sedan.
The lady confidently tells me no, they book the cars, it will be there. This was because I expressed my doubts that, that car would be in Bloemfontein for test driving. She then said she would organise with the dealership, John Williams, to have the test drive. Kabelo, a sales rep from John Williams contacted me, we made an appointment. Little did I know that the appointment is clearly more of a guideline as it was completely ignored. I ended up waiting more than an hour. It's like going to the doctor, it's always an issue if you are late but if you are on time you will wait at least 40 minutes to see the doctor. That was only my second disappointment because as I suspected John Williams didn't have the S65 AMG but it's much younger cousin, the C63 AMG S.
As you can see I'm using the term younger very loosely. I sat next to the technical expert as he took me through the car. I get mesmerized by these cars to the point where the basics escape me but more about that later. He takes it out puts it through it's paces, show you what it's like when it pulls, brakes, etc. Nothing like when the launch control throws it off the start line or at least that's what it feels like.
Then comes my turn. He pulls off to the side of the road and we switch. Now I would like to think I know a little bit about cars and Mercs in particular. For some reason That I cannot for the life of me explain, I want to adjust the seat the way I would in my Civic. I know in Merc the controls are on the door, they are in the shape of a seat for goodness sake. So I had to have something I know pointed out to me. The car was easy to drive, once it was going. It quickly reached the 150 kmh that the expert had limited it to. Naturally that didn't feel fast because my Civic can easily do that. I guess it makes sense to limit it in public test drives open to anyone to make sure we don't get ourselves into trouble.
Slowing it down to a set of traffic lights was effortless. I then made my second mistake that I for some reason always have to do at least ones in an automatic car. I brought it to a stand still with my left foot. Yep, you have guessed, my muscle memory was looking for a clutch. I bet if I had it for a bit longer though I would quickly adapt. It was also my first time I was in a car that has that self parking technology. It was quite cool to see it pull itself into a bay with very little input from the driver. It's a great car and I would buy it without hesitation. I do wonder what the S65 AMG is like...
Now the whole experience would have been perfect if it wasn't for the lady sales rep that took upon herself to come shout the technical expert about how long he is taking while we, the clients, are in the car. She was so entitled, so rude to him. I don't know how long he was expected to show off a car like this. I still wanted to see the engine and boot space but she was already insisting in putting the next clients in. When I buy my Merc, it will be from John Williams because before that very moment I have had great experiences there. But it certainly won't be from her. The most unprofessional display of disrespect for a coworker I have witnessed in a long time, completely ruined a great experience.