Apples and Oranges? Comparing the Kymco Agility 125 and the Mercedes SL500
I was riding my Kymco Agility 125 yesterday on my way to the health club. The weather was cool and overcast, fairly typical for early November...
As I was cruising down the road, a big smile spread across my face. This happens a lot. Riding a scooter makes me happy. It really does. I probably look like a crazy man to those driving in the other direction, but I smile nevertheless...
Feeling on top of the world, an interesting thought crossed my mind. I started comparing the joy I was experiencing with the pleasure one has driving a high end sports car.
I thought about how my bike stacks up to the beautiful Mercedes SL500.
At first glance, one might think, "How can you compare these two? They are apples and oranges..."
One is a two wheeled scooter made in Taiwan, the other a high end German automobile.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized how the two had more in common then most would guess...
So I broke my comparison into 7 categories: Power, Handling, Fun, Function, Price, Costs to maintain, and finally Wow Factor/Looks...
Kymco Agility 125 vs. Mercedes SL 500
http://www.kymcousa.com/showroom/sco...125_Studio.jpg Vs. http://www.carsession.com/news/image...500-Review.jpg
The Kymco Agility 125 is powered by a 125 cc engine, which generates 9.3 horsepower.
The Mercedes SL500 has a V8, which generates 429 horsepower.
Big win for the Mercedes.
The Kymco is a 2 wheeled bike weighing 232 pounds. It darts around town with ease.
The Mercedes is a beast weighing just under 2 tons (3950 pounds). With its surprisingly soft suspension, the car handles more like a luxury car than a sports car. If you are not careful, you can find yourself in a ditch if you make many aggressive manuevers.
Kymco wins for handling.
Both are lots of fun. Driving with the wind in your hair (OK, I am bald) is a pleasure owners of both can enjoy.
However, I smile like a crazed fool when riding my scooter. I have never had the same feelings when driving anything with four wheels.
Advantage again goes to the Kymco, probably coming as a surprise to many..
Both the scooter and the car are two seaters. Neither is suitable for driving with small children or car seats.
Both also have limited storage. The scooter has a trunk under the seat, while the Mercedes has a small trunk in the rear.
Riding a scooter, the driver is vulnerable to the elements.
The Mercedes, however, comes with both a soft top and a removable hard top. This makes it good for rainy or cold days. It also has air conditioning for driving in the summer heat.
Finally, the Mercedes has fantastic traction control, making it drivable through the winter. I would not drive my scooter in the snow.
The advantage here goes to the car.
The MSRP on the Agility is $1,899.
The Mercedes retails for $105,500.
Cost to operate/maintain
Maintaing a scooter is cheap and easy. I filled up the tank today, and it cost me $3.88.
Basic maintenance like oil changes and headlight replacement can be done quite easily on the Kymco, even with little or no mechanical expertise.
The Mercedes, however, is a different animal, and the costs are exponentially higher. I would never consider doing any work on the Mercedes. Many complex parts and technology. Any repairs should be left to professionals.
Finally, the cost of a new set of tires on the SL 500 is about the price of a new scooter.
A big win for the Agility 125.
This is a close category.
They both look great in red, and both draw plenty of attention.
One can certainly argue that the car is better looking, but I downgrade the Mercedes slightly for the "What is this guy trying to prove?" look you receive when you are driving a car that costs as much as a small home.
I rate this category a draw.
Bottom line, both of these vehicles are fun to drive, and both get a lot of looks. I have owned both, and honestly, I enjoy my Kymco more than I did the Mercedes.
So if you are looking for a fun, econonomical, environmentally friendly vehicle that is suprisingly functional, buy a scooter.
If you must experience German automobile engineer, I understand. I like German cars too. However, I recommend you still buy that scooter, and with the $100,000 you save, go pick yourself up an Audi A6.
They look great in red too, have a big trunk, and will still leave you with $50,000 to play with.
Naperville Scooter is on Facebook.
Hyundai Accent with 6 spd man trans - around$16,000 and up to 40 MPG
Kawasaki Versys - around $10,000 with accessories
Kawasaki KLX250 - around $6,000
BMW C650 Sport - around $12,000
Kymco movie 150 - around $4,000
And that leaves $2,000 to play with:D
You can keep the Audi.
And I'd keep the bikes I already have:D:D
Hi Klaviator! Thanks for stopping in!
If they are so closely matched, how come Janis Joplin sang "Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz" rather than "Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Kymco Agility"? :)
kymco wasnt invented yet!
I love it! Neat comparison; will cancel my Mercedes order now :D
Thanks for sharing!!!
Hi Hexnut, Starbuck, Klaviator, Forde, and Ferrix. Thanks!
Well, different strokes for different folks? I hope we don't make all our purchase decisions based on Janis Joplins thoughts?
Also, she died at 29 (I think). That is when I owned my Mercedes. Perhaps an age thing...
I wrote this for fun, obviously. However, my point is 100% serious. I have more fun riding a scooter than I did driving that car. Much more fun...
Great thread. I've owned an Agility 125 for a bit over 4 years now - my total maintenance and repair costs have been zero. That's right, not one penny. Dealership sold it to original owner with a free maintenance package thrown in. My average mpg has been 85 but I have seen 91 mpg more than a few times. Fun for the dollar is extremely high. I've driven the SL500 and it is a tank. The Agility is so much fun, I sold all my motorcycles and bought a Yamaha Tmax to replace them.
This comes up in the world of scooters too. I'm actually fairly immune to the allure of brand name so I often get to argue about the tangible merits of Taiwanese and Japanese scooters vs Vespa... but there is simply no point. Vespa fans, especially those hardcore fans of their vintage models are not interested in tangible benefits of owning a modern scooter. They simply want a Vespa - for its history, image and associations that exist in their mind, not in reality.
Two wheels are simply much more fun.
What more can I say?
Hi Klaviator, Ferrix, and Soboy.
I stand by my review, even though it was for fun, and have owned both...
Klaviator, great quote. I will use that!
The SL500 was a tank. I had a 95, made an aggressive maneuver, and ended up in a ditch. Fortunately, neither me or my passenger, an absolutely stunning brunette (she was out of my league. An advantage to the car!), were hurt. I am not the best driver, and a more skilled one probably would have kept control. I had previously owner a few other German automobiles (Porsche, Audi) and believe I would not have lost control with either of them.
this subject reminds me of a quote in 'glengarry glen ross' when Balwin yells 'I drove here in an $80,000 car what did you drive in on?' I wish the reply was 'why did you need an $80,000 car to get to the same place I did in the first place?
oh I would add, I dont know how often people approach someone driving an SL500 to ask questions which then starts a conversation but I will say while on my scooter I am always being engaged into a conversation.
I don't like new cars and have no desire to own one, unless it was just a basic transportation appliance, and then it would be a small pickup, like a Chevy Colorado, base model with A/C. I am currently using a $4000 2001 Chevy Malibu for transportation, and it is so boring I can't even consider it a car. I do like cars, especially vintage sports and muscle cars. I think the most fun I've ever had in any car was my old 1971 Porsche 911. It was not pretty, but I had the mechanicals sorted out, and some suspension mods. This car was very basic and very rough. It didn't have anything it didn't need, not even a heater. It's ride was bone jarring, but the engine had a sweet raspy sound. This was a car that took skill to drive right. Get sloppy with it and it would bite you hard. I never crashed it, but had some hairy rides (also known as fun) Todays ares are so refined and computer controlled they are no longer fun, even the high dollar exotics. The manufacturers have done their very best to isolate you from the driving experience, and their goal seems to be complete isolation. All control inputs are controlled by computers, to protect you if you get in over your head. Most of the danger (and the fun) has been engineered out of them. I would love to have that old Porsche back, but now they are expensive classics, most have been totally restored, and are collecting dust in some wealthy persons garage. The only time they get out is to go to car shows. What a shame.
Many of the old bikes were similar. Many had power, and they could also be made to handle very well, by someone who knew what they were doing. I remember the 1983 Kawasaki Eddie Lawson Replica. Now that was a sportbike. Watch some early '80s superbike racing, and it will blow your mind what those guys did with those "old tech" bikes.
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