IN THIS ISSUE
-Introducing The All New A-Class
-The 2020 Reimagined GLE
-Destination: The Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara
-Featured Restaurant: Louie’s By The Bay
A MESSAGE FROM FLETCHER JONES
With all the rain we’ve had this winter, it’s great to see Newport Beach and the surrounding hills so green. This year’s Spring driving season will be especially scenic in your new Mercedes-Benz. And speaking of new, the innovative A-Class and the completely redesigned GLE (featured in this issue) have finally arrived. Fletcher Jones Motorcars has a huge selection of these highly-anticipated models, plus nearly 1000 other Mercedes-Benz to choose from. After a year of remodeling, I’m proud to say Fletcher Jones Motorcars has never looked so stunning with two new gallery-like showrooms and more complimentary 5-star amenities than ever before. What would the World’s Finest luxury automotive dealership look like? I believe our vision will exceed your wildest expectations.
-Fletcher Jones Jr.
INTRODUCING THE ALL NEW A-CLASS. Finally, a Mercedes-Benz filled with innovative high-tech, safety and comfort options that won’t break the bank.
The 2019 A-Class sedan has finally arrived and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Finally, a Mercedes-Benz filled with innovative high-tech, safety and comfort options that won’t break the bank. The initial delivery will consist of the base A 220 which comes with front wheel drive and the A 220 4MATIC® version which has all wheel drive. Both feature a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four delivering 188 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque and the sole transmission is a 7-speed dual-clutch unit. More powerful options will eventually be added, including sporty A 35 and A 45 models from Mercedes-AMG®.
“Hey Mercedes” provides access to onboard apps and vehicle controls.
The A -Class boasts the first application of the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system that employs natural speech recognition and artificial intelligence to learn the driver’s habits over time. By responding to “Hey Mercedes,” the A-Class provides access to onboard apps and vehicle controls. Standard equipment includes active braking assist, hill start, hold function and crosswind assist. Other standard items include a panorama roof, multifunction steering wheel, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, LED head and taillights and 17-inch wheels. The standard screens each measure 7.0 inches across but can be updated with 10.25-inch units. You can order the Driver Assistance Package to add useful electronic driver aids and the Burmester premium audio system to make your favorite tunes sound that much better.
MERCEDES-BENZ 2020 GLE Bigger, Better and More Beautiful!
Sometimes a redesign is more or less a refresh on the original design. The fourth generation of the midsize Mercedes-Benz SUV is a ground up reimagining of the popular SUV. You’ll be able to choose between the rear- or 4MATIC® all-wheel-drive GLE 350, which comes with a 255-hp turbocharged inline-four, and the 4MATIC® all-wheel-drive 362-hp GLE 450. Both engines pair intelligently with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The GLE450’s turbocharged inline-six gets a boost from a 21-hp electric motor sandwiched between the flywheel and the transmission that adds a quick jolt of torque when needed.
The GLE’s new platform benefits from a 3.1-inch-longer wheelbase, which expands rear-seat legroom by 2.7 inches. The second row is simply
arena-like, and the split bench can slide forward to increase cargo capacity or to share the wealth of space with occupants in the newly available third row.
Cars are getting smarter and the new 2020 GLE is no exception. This isn’t just smart – it put in late nights at the library, read up on advanced theory, and wiped the floor with its dissertation. It’s the Einstein of SUVs.
Style-wise, the new GLE has a much softer tone. The grille is larger, the Mercedes-Benz tri-star logo is still located front and center, and depending on the trim, the GLE wears either a single, central chrome bar or a pair of them. The body itself is wider by half an inch and longer by four inches – and more rugged, too.
It’s the second Mercedes-Benz model (after the new A-Class) to adopt the advanced MBUX infotainment system. The new 12.3-inch screens are beautiful. The graphics are crisp and clean and the layout itself is hugely improved. The streamlined touchpad is a big upgrade. But generally you don’t even need to be hands-on. The “Virtual Assistant” voice control function is MBUX’s biggest talking point. It’s like Amazon Alexa or Siri for your car. Whisper the phrase, “Hey, Mercedes,” and it comes to life – no yelling or robot speak for the highly-advanced system to understand you. Ask the system to “turn the passenger temp to 70 degrees,” or “change the radio station to Watercolors,” and the virtual assistant executes the command flawlessly.
It has two superb suspension setups: a standard active suspension system and a new, optional E-Active suspension with body control. It makes for an ultra comfy ride even on the roughest roads.
The GLE actually leans into corners (it body angle by up to three percent), as a motorcyclist would.
And for off-roading, the GLE can take on the tough stuff with a “Rocking Mode” that – as the name suggests – rocks the car up and down. The GLE can essentially “jump” itself out of a tough situation, whether it be sand or mud, until gaining traction. No other SUV can do that.
If you never experienced the upgrades and advancements in this new 2020 GLE, you probably wouldn’t know what you were missing. But once you get behind the wheel and become accustomed to these new ergonomic automated features, you will never want to go back.
HOTEL CALIFORNIAN, SANTA BARBARA A New Reason To Drive North.
Santa Barbara has always been proud of their reputation as a sleepy little beach town but now things are heating up. The Funk Zone—a new neighborhood teeming with the creative vigor of artists, vintners, and chefs—has injected the quiet little Spanish Colonial with energy, and new businesses – all fighting for space. The extensive renovation of the storied Hotel Californian, which was famously demolished right after being built by a 1925 earthquake, is luring Los Angelenos up for the weekend in droves. A few steps from the beach in the walkable Pueblo Viejo District, the reimagined hotel provides a stunning home base for visitors looking to spend a weekend wandering from the beach to the tasting rooms but still making it to bed by 10 p.m.
The best part of the Hotel Californian isn’t its closeness (a thirty-second walk) to the Santa Barbara beach. Nor is it the Spanish Colonial lobby or the guest rooms covered in twenty-seven different styles of Moroccan tiles – and those are pretty nice too. The best part isn’t even its history as a city landmark and its recent expansion to a five-building resort that includes a decadent spa, a café serving fresh granola and French pastries, and a restaurant with squid ink pasta worth the two hour drive from LA. The best part is the Funk Zone. There, in the middle of Santa Barbara’s downtown area, is this “funky” little neighborhood, every inch of it filled with entertainment for days: fifty California-wine-tasting rooms, local breweries, art galleries, quaint cafés serving house-made sandwiches, and charming Craftsman-style homes.
And it’s one block from the Hotel Californian. But when you do make it back to your room, expect momentary confusion. The Martyn Lawrence Bullard–designed, Moroccan-inspired fixtures, oxblood leather headboards, and assertive tiles feel more like summer in Tangier than Santa Barbara. But a morning espresso on the balcony watching surfers catch the early waves plants you firmly back in California, in wine country no less. After the inevitable wine- and cheese-heavy night in the Funk Zone, a few hours in the Majorelle spa—essentially a Californian interpretation of a Moroccan hammam—with its steamy chambers, hot and cold circulation-boosting treatments, and skin-polishing, aromatic scrubs. Oh, and there are always the striped loungers by the rooftop pool for sand-free tanning and late-morning siestas that are the hallmark of a good vacation.
A New Restaurant Celebrates A Friendship
Adjacent to our favorite eatery, Billy’s At The Beach, is the new Louie’s by the Bay. Two old friends who’ve made history in the Southern California restaurant business have partnered on their latest culinary venture; Piero Selvaggio, owner of Valentino’s in Santa Monica (which closed after 46 years on New Year’s Eve) and Ron Salisbury, owner of El Cholo restaurants and The Cannery. Ron (86) spent a year trying to convince Piero (72) to jump back into the business he’d thought he was retiring from. As most people wouldn’t consider starting a new restaurant in a location that was formerly The Ritz Prime Seafood, a tough sell, these two veterans know their special sauce will likely lead to great success. Selvaggio, a native of Sicily, immigrated to New York as a teen and speaks with an Italian accent. He’s genuine at the core, with a hint of Old World charm and runs the operation with a watchful eye. Their common ground is an obsession with quality. They didn’t care that the first owners spent $5 million building out The Ritz Prime Seafood. With the help of Costa Mesa-based Hatch Design Group, they kept the display kitchen and bathrooms but ripped everything else. They arranged with the landlord to clear out the big yachts blocking the waterfront view and installed windows to bring in sunlight and afternoon breezes off the bay. Driftwood and gray barn siding, naturally weathered by the sea, give it a nautical air. To add to the homey feel, they put in a book and wine case and a brick fireplace. The furniture has been covered in a soft tartan plaid which adds even more warmth to the setting. Now the 6,800-square-foot, 200-seat space has a posh East Coast feel. “It’s Ralph Lauren meets the Hamptons,” says Todd Hatch, principal of the design group, who worked on the project with his father, Jeff Hatch, as a consultant.
Salisbury christened it Louie’s by the Bay after Louie Zamperini, the track star turned war hero, and subject of the Angelina Jolie-directed movie “Unbroken. ”Zamperini apparently befriended everyone. One night at El Cholo, Salisbury’s parents said that they wanted to get out more. Zamperini volunteered to babysit 4-year-old Ronnie. After Salisbury grew up, he and Zamperini became close friends. There will be no pictures of Zamperini in the restaurant, but Salisbury hopes its atmosphere will evoke his spirit. “Louie was just like Piero,” Salisbury says. The menu by Chef Antonio Orlando will include a few Valentino signature pasta dishes plus delicious steaks, seafood and salads. Although Louie’s is brand new, the two veteran partners are making sure it feels like it’s been there for years.
I know I’ve reviewed them before, but today calls for another. I write this to any person who has ever gone to a car dealership and waited hours being put off by people who could care less. The service at Fletcher Jones (Irvine) is unbelievable. The second you park, a person walks out asking how he or she can help. And then it becomes this sprint to see who can give the best service. I have never, and I mean EVER, experienced better service. Sure, their cars are extraordinary, but man oh man, I love being treated like I matter. Today that’s how Rob Draper, candy Avalos, and new man Mick made me feel. I would never go anywhere else.
-Dr. Christian M.
Got my new car today! Beautiful Black coupe C300! Tommy and Kevin both helped me close my car and were seriously so amazing!!! Beyond helpful, super sweet and made me feel really taken care of and special. Every single person at Fletcher Jones has been incredibly friendly and helpful! I’ve honestly had the best experience!!! Excited to be in my first Mercedes! Thanks, Tommy and Kevin, and the entire Fletcher Jones staff! I will definitely be a returning customer.
The entire FJ Team (Joey, Gulo, Joon Lee, and Ovi) was impressive. Very responsive, knowledgeable and professional the entire way. My husband and I felt. Everyone listened, answered our questions and concerns, and seamlessly got the deal done. We live 45 miles from the dealership and it was worth the drive. FJ is #1 in the country so why go anywhere else?
On Tuesday, February 26th, my wife and I took her 2014 Mercedes Benz GLK 350 to Fletcher Jones MC Newport Beach for some much-needed upgrades to the onboard navigation system. I spoke with Payden Evans via telephone before my wife and I arrived to coordinate what would need to be done during this upgrade. We were met by Payden when we arrived. His courteous and professional manner was beyond what we could ever have imagined. He was very polite and very accommodating. My wife and I have owned many cars in our lifetime, we have been and experienced all different levels of customer service. But Payden took it to an entirely different level. He handed us over to the service technician and promised us our car would be upgraded in record time. He was right! This level of professional customer service needs to be recognized. His professional demeanor and outstanding knowledge of our vehicle navigation system were in a word – extraordinary! Although we live an hour away, because of Payden my wife and I have decided to always have our vehicle served at Fletcher Jones Motor Cars NB. Payden “ROCKS”.
-Brian and Beverly
Just bought a Mercedes GLE 350 from Fletcher Jones. The experience couldn’t have been better. Over the years I have bought several cars from this dealership. Every time and especially this time, I was treated with incredible politeness and eagerness to make it an enjoyable experience. I particularly want to commend James “JB” Siribandan for his candidness and pleasant manners. He was direct and honest and went through the steps of the sale efficiently without any ‘sales maneuvers’. He was helpful every step of the way. Bradley Cooper – Yes! That is his real name -was fantastic at the financing department as well… polite and informative. Payden helped with the introduction of the car, going over every detail patiently and with great humor. On the whole I was extremely pleased to have bought a car from Fletcher Jones and I do hope I will have future opportunities as well. I can unreservedly recommend this dealership.
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