3 Point Motors moving forward
Motoring enthusiast FIV ANTONIOU speaks with 3 Point Motors Chief Executive Sam Curtis and reviews two of Merc's latest models
3 Point Motors Mercedes-Benz have been a Melbourne icon in the retail automotive landscape for almost half a century, in fact the company will be celebrating its 50th anniversary as a dealer in 2011 at their new premises scheduled to open later this year at 484 Heidelberg Road Fairfield.
From the moment you enter the front door the courtesy and care exhibited by 3 Point's 58 employees is evident in their friendly attitude and dedication.
I was very impressed by the enthusiasm, pride and patience shown by the staff in not only dealing with me but potential customers who were in the showroom at the time.
Chief Executive Dealer Principal, Sam Curtis, has just signed on with the company bringing with him an innovative and exciting vision to establishing 3 Point Motors as one of the leading Mercedes-Benz dealerships in Australia.
Sam, of Greek heritage, operated his own accounting firm for many years before turning his hand to the automotive industry, having spent 15 years as head of sales at another German car maker.
He made the move into the Mercedes camp two years ago where he held the position of General Manager-Sales for Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific and is currently very excited by the new generation CDI / CGI Mercedes vehicles as they are leading the world in fuel economy and low carbon emission footprints.
The opportunity for 3 Point Motors to expand and keep providing Melbourne with environmentally friendly Mercedes and AMG vehicles, is certainly going to be the highlight of my career. Not only are our sales important but more significantly is our after sales customer care and service that encourages repeat business.
So, our new larger premises just up the road will not only provide a 25 car showroom but also a modern state of the art service centre as well. You don't become the best unless you have a strong focus and commitment in delivering a premium level of customer service' said Mr. Curtis.
The current showroom on the corner of Station Street and Heidelberg Road will be retained as the company's Approved Pre-owned, Light Commercial Vehicle showroom and sales centre while the Kew dealership, located at 128 Denmark Street Kew, will remain for new vehicle sales.
'C' is for 'class'
The C 250 CGI Mercedes-Benz saloon with the BlueEFFICIENCY new generation 1.8 litre turbocharged petrol engine delivers more power from the previous Kompressor (supercharged) unit with less fuel consumption and a lower carbon footprint.
This C-Class Mercedes-Benz is very well finished and is full of big features, from climate control air-conditioning to the latest automotive electronic equipment.
The test 250 CGI vehicle came with the optional sliding/tilting glass electric sunroof, navigation COMMAND APS system including navigation, park assist reversing camera and cruise control. It's a car endowed with a high quality finish, character, versatility and style.
Settling into the comfortably hugging seats, I took the little black number for a spin around the Kew Boulevard and was very impressed. Punch the accelerator down and it picks up and goes with very little turbo lag.
The steering and sports suspension was as precise as tight in and out of corners with heaps of poke, road holding ability and well balanced braking.
Bristling with breathtaking performance, I particularly liked the menacing growl from the engine and the manner it responded to the throttle and manual gear changes.
I only assume if I had the full AMG option with the steering wheel gear change paddles, all round fat performance tyres and 6.3 litre V8, I would have had ten times the fun.
The Mercedes C-Class is very comfortable with lots of leg room and is super quiet (unless you tramp the accelerator that is). Controls are effortless to reach and with detailed easy to read instruments.
As with all of the current Mercedes range, safety is second to none, with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Acceleration Skid Control (ASR), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), 9 airbags and much more as standard equipment.
Best of all, fuel consumption for the 250 CGI is only 7.6litres/per 100 km. Drive it sedately or drive it with spirit, the C250 CGI C-Class is a car for all reasons.
'M' is for 'magic'
Stepping into the new M-Class Mercedes you cannot help but notice its functional and luxurious interior, spacious luggage capacity and all round great peripheral vision.
The tested Tanzanite blue, ML 300 CDI V-6, 3 Litre Turbo Diesel, with the AMG sports package, 21 inch AMG alloy wheels and 265/40 ZR tyres, looked a treat as I slowly rolled it out of the dealership and onto the road for a test drive.
The 7G-TRONIC, 7 speed automatic transmission felt quite smooth even when the 'manual' F1 style paddle shifters were utilised either side of the steering wheel.
Instrument displays and the COMAND APS multimedia system information was as easy to read as was to operate the voice activated phone, entertainment, navigation and park assist rear camera.
The vehicle is equipped with AIRMATIC DC adjustable air suspension which at the touch of a button, presents a choice of an additional two suspension settings.
Although a little stiff in sports mode, it produced the best performance / ride results, but for drivers that like the feel of a silky smooth soft drive - Use the comfort setting.
The constant four wheel drive's acceleration was very responsive and progressive. On applying the brakes, it stopped with effortless ease and behaved more like a sedan than a solidly built SUV. Nine air-bags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Electronic Traction System (4ETS), all integrated with safety and design arguably make this the safest four wheel drive in the market today.
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