My parents decided it was time to replace the 2003 gas guzzling Ford Expedition with something more fuel efficient and something that would legitimately last 10 years plus without trouble.
It came down to the Lexus RX 400h or a Mercedes Diesel. Its a car for my mother; dad wanted the RX 400h, I wanted to get the diesel. I took mom to test drive both; she liked the Lexus because it has some feminine appeal but she also liked the body style of the ML class.
I had done my research and was worried about battery replacement issues after the warranty period on the Lexus. I started a thread actually on LegacyGT.com (i'm a Subaru Legacy owner myself) called Diesel Vs. Hybrid and it turned into 15 debate and it is still going. I was also impressed with the mileage that was reported on Edmund's.com that seem to be around 27 mpg (what is it reported at on the sticker) highway in the ML class.
We test drove an R320 CDI and an ML350. Mom liked both but thought the R class looked too minivan-ish. I tired to get her into a E-class for the 36 mpg highway mileage but mom didn't want it.
The dealer obviously didn't have a ML diesel and no other dealer around wanted to give theirs up on the hope the could sell them with high prices for gas and lower diesel prices (i guess). Thus we order one ... It will get here at the end of September lol.
I have questions as to how well the engine cold starts. It can get quite cold in nebraska but I have heard good things from an R-class diesel review that was taking into the mountains for a ski trip or something and the reviewer said the car performed nice and got 26 mpg overall or something. He didn't mention any cold starting issues at least.
I'm kind of vaguely aware of common-rail diesel technology and i'm not even sure if this new engine even use glow plugs. There was no wait time for the diesel in lot when drove it for what would usually be plug warm up time. You just turned the key and the car started. There was a light diesel rumble but nothing horrible or anything. Once cruising on car was VERY quiet.
Advice, explainations lol.