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2003 Mercedes-Benz AWD Line by Jim McCraw (1/27/2003)
The S-Class and C-Class sprout all-wheel drive to make it a hat trick.
“Great news, kids. We're taking a brand new Mercedes M-Class to Texas to see Papa Gene this Thanksgiving.”
“Does it have a DVD player?” Sara asked.
“They're available,” I said.
“But does it have one?” she asked again, pointing to the SUV in the drive. Funny how clear-eyed a sixth-grader can be when her prospects during a 20-hour cross-country road trip are at stake.
I bowed my head and answered, sheepishly, “Not this one, I’m afraid. But we’ll figure something out.”
“Ugh,” she groaned and sidled off.
Mary Elizabeth and Morgan had their own priorities when they heard the news. “Does it have extra seats?” Mary asked. “You mean a third row?” I countered; “well, one’s available.”
“But does it have one?” Mary asked, pointing to the SUV in the drive. I bowed my head again and averted my gaze. There’s something piercing in the look of an inquisitorial high school senior. “Um, not this one,” I had to admit. “But, hey, there's plenty of room in the middle row. And anyway, we need the luggage space.”
Like a funky Motown chorus section, Mary and my 10th-grader Morgan grunted, “Ugh,” in unison and sidled off.
The fact of the matter is that I was determined to cross the country in as efficient and compact a manner as possible. I’ve been making my share of disparaging noises lately about the appropriateness of all these humongo-SUVs hoarding our road space and swilling our fuel. So to prove a point, and to enlist my happy damn family involuntarily into my scheme, I decided to leave behind a humongo-SUV that arrived unexpectedly for an evaluation and whose name I shall leave to the imagination.