When 1) Premium gas goes north of $2.30/gal; 2) you change jobs and started commuting 50 mi/day roundtrip on one of Atlanta's most congested roads and 3) the tranny in your 2002 Lincoln LSE is replaced at 26k miles, you buy a Benz turbodiesel. The new diesel technology is going to tramp hybrid into the ground IMHO. It's not the road warrior the LS was, but it's darn close. Cabin is much better suited to the long commute - better seats, stereo, NVH isolation. Torque spoils you immediately; HP has no meaning when the car locomotive pulls you to an easy 80mph cruise with no sign of power dropoff. I try not to subscribe to society's definition of success, but I feel like I've arrived in m E320 CDI.
Torque! Capri blue metallic moves from blue to purple to black depending on the light. Overall refinement of the car from powertrain to the smooth wheel edges that aren't curb targets. The not- so-subtle diesel clack at idle. Puddle and footwell and ambient lights. Curvaceous dash panel. Panache.
What, no compass? $2.95 per call for TeleAid directions if I don't have the luxury package? Cheap HVAC and radio control rotary knobs. Dealer experience was atrocious (what ELSE did they forget to mention?) No more free maintenance in '05 (sheesh). Longevity of command control buttons on the wheel?