By David Thomas on December 12, 2011
Most folks would jump for joy to find a car worth six figures in their driveway, but reality doesn't always live up to celebrity culture. As we experienced this year, a car decked out in ultra-luxury features from top to tire isn't always what it's cracked up to be.
Naughty: 2011 Rolls-Royce Ghost
It's not every day that you review a Rolls, and it did impress the neighbors when it was sitting in the driveway. But passers-by usually had the same reaction: a startled stare that turned to a slightly disgusted look. This was long before the 1% got such a bad name. The car itself was too isolated from the road — even for a Rolls — to enjoy. To make matters worse, there were some simple luxury features like sunshades on the rear doors that were missing. How much would that cost over the $250,000 sticker price?
Nice: 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
Even though we had half the time in the SLS AMG versus the Ghost, it was 10 times more rewarding. The 563-horsepower V-8 sounded terrific; the suspension was near perfect, and the steering responded like you're one with the machine. Maybe we're suckers for performance, but the SLS AMG was sexy, too. It even elicited an onlooker to ask if we were married. Now that's worth $190,000.
Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David