You don't have to own luxury to drive in it. Starting January 30, car2go is renting brand-new Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Austin. The car-sharing service, identifiable by its blue and white smart cars, will transition to a majority Mercedes fleet by the end of 2017.
The two new options are the 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA (a four-passenger coupe) and GLA (a five-passenger SUV). Both come equipped with rearview camera, adaptive braking, Bluetooth, navigation, heated seats, sunroof, and satellite radio.
The partnership is a natural one as Mercedes-Benz, smart, and Austin-based car2go are all under the umbrella of Daimler AG, a German automotive corporation.
"Mercedes-Benz has been a strong partner of car2go since we launched in 2009, delivering car2go's original network of smart fortwo vehicles," said Paul DeLong, CEO of car2go North America, in a release. "Today our service is an important part of over 800,000-plus people's lives, and it's so satisfying for us to be able to reward our members with incredible new Mercedes-Benz car2gos that are just as good at taking people on long weekend getaways as they are at running errands and making short trips with friends."
Car2go will maintain its easy membership structure and continue charging for time used; fuel, parking, insurance, and maintenance fees are all handled by the company. Mercedes vehicles will cost $0.47 per minute, $19 per hour, or $79 per day, which is more expensive than the smart fortwo's rates of $0.41 per minute, $15 per hour, and $59 per day.
Austin, Portland, Seattle, Washington, Toronto, and Vancouver are the first cities to snag these posh new rides. The service will roll out to additional North American cities within the year.