Personally - I love the DuoSelect. It definitely matches the Sport GT's character better than the automatic. The auto is a really good gearbox, and for the majority of people buying the QP, it is the right choice. However we have a number of customers that bought 05 DuoSelect QPs that traded into 07 DuoSelect cars over going to an Auto. If you buy the car with the right expectations - its a sports car - its a paddle shifted manual not an auto - it has more maintenance costs than an auto - you're likely to love it. I think a lot of the knocks about this gearbox have been from owners who were improperly educated \ informed, and from the press that never bothered to take the time to learn the gearbox. In the past I said it would be like a journalist who has never driven a manual writing a negative article about a car because the car stalled when he couldn't run the clutch. The sheer number of journalists that still don't understand these gearboxes in general, and their proper use is a bit astounding.
The maintenance costs are pretty predictable. Clutch - about every 12-20k miles, depending on how you drive. The harder you drive, the more you use sport mode, the less you parallel park, the more you avoid a lot of reverse, the longer it will last. When you do a clutch, do the F1 pump at the same time. Its just good preventative maintenance.
Beyond that you've got normal stuff. Our full maintenance schedule - oil changes, brake fluid flushes, spark plugs, etc.. runs about $1k per 10k miles. I think clutch service runs about $5k, once every 18 months or so depending on how much you drive, and tires probably as often..
I can only comment on what these items cost at my dealership, others may have better insight to their real world costs.
In the end its a great car - its not the fastest in a straightline, but no factory Merc looks or sounds as good, and no other big sedan handles like the QP. It's the best in the segment, and a viable competitor to think about even if you're looking more for a sports car if you need some real-world use of the car too.. (backseats, trunk...)
Last edited by maserati of minneapolis; 01-15-2008 at 07:49 PM.