Fleet Manager Magazine - Issue 05/1984 - Silver-York Sovereign vs CMT Regent 3000ti
Looking at a parking lot of a five-star hotel, there is clearly one car dominating: The CMT Regent, the current benchmark as “boss-car”. Sometimes you’ll see a Silver-York, a brand with excellent reputation among luxury enthusiasts.
Why the businessmen preferred the CMT? Lighter, more economical, faster, a lot more agile and a modern design. We all remember how flashed we were when it came out in 1975. Now, nine years and two since it’s mild facelift, it still looks great.
But in our opinion, the car next to it looks no worse. It is the new generation of S-Ys Sovereign.
So, our latest poll showed us that most Gasmean companies spend around $ 30.000 for cars for their leading employees. The Sovereign for $ 30.600 offers a brand new 5,8 liter V8 with 188 horsepower, the CMT for $ 30.300 only has a 3 liter V6 engine. But it is turbocharged and delivers 210 horsepower. Looks like a balanced competition.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS AND INTERIOR
Both are landyachts with a length of over five meter, so there will not be any complaints about interior space. The trunks are giant, and so is the standard equipment.
Wood decor, finest leather, modern computers, good workmanship - both cars have the same level of luxury and refinement. While the CMT still has a rather futuristic interior with “wrap around” wood bar, additional digital gauges in the center console and a giant armada of vents, the S-Y features a very conservative layout that is not less fascinating. But such things like opening the door by pulling the armrest, that’s pure CMT stuff. The S-Y avoids such futuristic stuff and sticks to a massive chrome door handle. This has worked for decades and will always work.
Both cars are five-seaters, as electrical adjustable rear seats with heating and venting are only available with the V8 model in the Regent.
The Regent is the much lighter car, as its panels are made of aluminium. As it was developed within the oil crisis, saving weight had been one of the objectives. You can feel this on the road, as the Regent is nimble like a midsize. Since 1982, the Regent comes with a computer-controlled four-speed automatic (except 2500 tiS). The gearbox is quite fast considering it’s an automatic, avoiding long breaks. Turbo engines are poison for luxury cars, and a V6 isn’t the smoothest. We got this engine as answer to the second fuel crisis. Knowing this, CMT gave it a slightly reduced throttle response, as waspish behaivour should be killed.
Nevertheless, the car is fast. 8,7 seconds to 100 kph, 201 top speed and 15,6 liter consumption keep what the brochure promised: “V6 consumption, V8 performance”. The Regent has a suspension of DW in front and Semi Trailing Arm in the rear - nothing special, tuned for understeer which is rare on a RWD vehicle. Sometimes this is annoying as you don’t expect that from that large sedan.
The S-Y can not deny that the CMT had been an inspiration. Four independent wheels on double wishbones, smaller dimensions, less weight. The brand-new engine is indeed slower that the CMTs, needing 10,3 seconds and making just 186 kph at 18,8 l. But you need to see it in comparison to the predecessor that was dull and thirsty. The power of the Sovereign is sufficient, and if there is something to blame then it’s the slowly and soft-acting three-speed automatic gearbox.
While the test-drive we convinced ourselves that it is still a true Silver-York. Although the CMT has a totally new and innovative air suspension, the Silver-York defeats the rival without using such complex features. The ride is pillow-like, the interior noise is quiter, the steering more dampened but still a lot more precise than before, and on a twisty road cornering isn’t too far behind the Regent. In fact, S-Y transferred the feel of the old landyachts perfectly into a contemporary shape. Oversteering is rare but can easily be caused on purpose, but the car stays controllable even for unexperienced drivers. We were truly surprised how well it handles considering its setup is ultra-soft.
The $ 300 less for the CMT are nothing to consider, as the hightech loads the Regent features cause more need for service. In fact, the CMT isn’t cheaper anymore after the first service, which could kill it in this comparison if it’s intended to buy a car in larger amounts for a fleet. The consumption might be lower, but the Regent urges for premium, the Silver-York accepts regular, so you save money with the CMT only if you drive giant distances with it, like a leading sales representative.
Considering the high level of latest electronics, the CMT is surprisingly reliable, although we see an advantage for the Sovereign as it’s less complex and offers the same excellent workmanship like the CMT:
Hard to say if the Silver-York passes the CMT. We would say it does not, but they drive in the same league. THe Regent can already feel the hot breathe of the Sovereign in it’s neck. The level of comfort in the Sovereign is just miraculous, and the giant expertise of S-Y in luxury car building can be seen almost everywhere, especially in refinement and reliability.
The CMT can carry more load, got stuck later in our offroad course, handles overall better, has more power and pleases us by having a slightly larger interior.
As the Silver-York gets very close to our old and new benchmark, its much lower long-time owning cost might be deciding for private buyers, and your car policy might exclude the CMT for its gadges that are difficult to maintain. Not to forget the fact that the Sovereign saves taxes with a three-way catalytic converter. The Regent does not need one to go below the allowed maximum, but in a few years the owers might add a converter the car isn’t used to, while S-Y buyers do not have to care at all.