Diesel vs. gas - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 11-15-2011, 09:00 PM
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Diesel vs. gas

I have a BlueTEC on order, but I'm a little confused by the FuelEconom.gov Find a CarFind a Car figures. If you compare the 350 gas and diesel side-by-side, the diesel gets about 15% better mileage (55 city/45 hwy split) but uses virtually the same amount of petroleum per year and has virtually the same carbon footprint. Anyone have any insights? I thought I was doing the "right thing" with the diesel, but these figures are unconvincing that the extra $1,500 is worth it with the diesel prices as they are in the US (same or higher than premium).

Greg Lake Oswego, Oregon, USA
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#2 (permalink) Old 11-15-2011, 10:33 PM
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The best reason for the current BlueTec diesel in the ML is best for towing major boats or major trailers, it certainly has monster torque.

You forgot to add the cost of the BlueTec diesel additive, generic urea is affordable but if you use the MB brand additive the cost can add-up

The new 350 gas V-6 is Mercedes very best MB V-6 yet, up 15% in fuel efficiency from the 350 it replaces, up 32hp, higher and broader thru mid on the torque curve, revs like a Swiss-Army-Knife... with direct gas injection and added thermo efficiency by engineering a cast-iron-line-free block (ionic lining tech taken from AMG) the gasser is one-heck-of-a-fuel efficient gas banger and currently undermarketed and undervalued.

In the ML it scoots quite well, reving up thru mid-range smoothly with a bit of snarl.

The increased quietness in the ML cabin also works against the diesel - ride in the cabin of the new gasser - then roll down the driver's window and you will see just how far the 166 has come over the 164... then after riding in the cabin of the 166 gaser, riding in the 166 diesel cabin you find even the reduced diesel noise of the BlueTec aggravating.

I cut my teeth on MB diesels in the 80's, and yes they have come light years with BlueTec, but the new V-6 350 is as solid and smooth like a well made Swiss Army knife, and the 166 is the best chassis/cabin for a ML yet.

The new ML is a winner, especially with the November incentives ($2000 certificate + negotiated dealer discount let's say $1000 + USAA/MBCA/etc discount if you got it + 1.9% financing to 66 months + up to $1500 paid 1st two months payments) have no idea what the incentives will be at your delivery time, but with Nov sales this strong I can't guarentee Jan or Feb will be this trong.

Three out the door this week already in our 2nd tier small market area, literally one as it came off the truck, fortunately more coming in this week..many 2nd tier forecasted wrong and are sitting empty or just 1 or 2 in stock.
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#3 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 07:38 AM
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Besides the monstrous amounts of torque, I think you'll find the diesel will provide real-world gains over the petrol version. I wouldn't worry about it.


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#4 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 07:50 AM
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Besides the monstrous amounts of torque, I think you'll find the diesel will provide real-world gains over the petrol version. I wouldn't worry about it.
My main reason for wanting to try the BlueTEC was for perceived environmental advantage. I don't intend to do any heavy towing. But if it's carbon footprint is the same as the gasser and it also won't save me in fuel costs over the 6 or so years I'll have it, I am rethinking that decision.

Greg Lake Oswego, Oregon, USA
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#5 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by GregW / Oregon View Post
I have a BlueTEC on order, but I'm a little confused by the FuelEconom.gov Find a CarFind a Car figures. If you compare the 350 gas and diesel side-by-side, the diesel gets about 15% better mileage (55 city/45 hwy split) but uses virtually the same amount of petroleum per year and has virtually the same carbon footprint. Anyone have any insights? I thought I was doing the "right thing" with the diesel, but these figures are unconvincing that the extra $1,500 is worth it with the diesel prices as they are in the US (same or higher than premium).
Driving a diesel or gas is more of a personal choice, I prefer the diesel torque as the R-Class loaded is quite heavy, we do many trips and with 80mph on cruise control it returns 27-28mpg (real world MPG, not the test MPG), this is Florida highway, flat like a pancake, driving 200miles straight.

Also when driving highway it will pass with almost no effort going from 65 to 80mph, but i vibrates and makes more noise than a gas engine, especially as ours is the older CDI version.

I have to say I have not tried the new 350 gas nor diesel so I'm not sure what I would prefer, but deep down my guts still love the low end torque from a diesel it gives a more relaxed driving feeling not have to rev high to get power
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#6 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 08:44 AM
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Greg, it sounds like you are doing lot of second guessing at this late stage of your purchase. You already made the decision to go with the diesel. No matter which way you go now you will always be doing the "what if" thing after you take delivery. Usually first decision is the correct one. No matter what you decide it will be the correct one for you. I'm not going to advise you on what to do but just say good luck and enjoy your new vehicle.
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#7 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 09:15 AM
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I have a diesel coming any day now, but like you I've had second thoughts. Gas prices have dropped in my area, but diesel prices have not, so right now there is a pretty big cost disadvantage per gallon for diesel.

I've decided to stick with the diesel nonetheless because:

1. I think I'll like the torque in day to day driving

2. I only tow a few times a year, but when I do I pull 6000 lbs.

3. Never had a diesel and just want to try it.

That said, I think there is no economic advantage at today's diesel prices; probably a disadvantage. That could change anytime, though.
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#8 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 09:48 AM
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Diesel vs. gas data

Here is the comparison on FuelEconomy.gov. It's based on 15,000 miles per year and 55% city/45% hiwghway. You can change the mileage, mileage split and fuel cost.


Greg Lake Oswego, Oregon, USA
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#9 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 09:57 AM
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Advice

Thanks for all the advice. Since I have to wait for the Lighting Package I have time to decide (don't know if that's good or bad). The factors for me in my decision are:
  • We drive about 10,000 miles/year, mostly urban/suburban, and will keep the vihicle about 6 years
  • We don't tow heavy loads and seldom have more than 2 people in the vehicle
  • Diesel prices in my area usually above Premium, and seldom even equal
  • There does not appear to be much of an environmental advantage to the diesel
  • My wife drives the car daily, but when I drive it I'm coming from a high-reving M3
  • The $1,500 premium for diesel may not be ammortized, considering my mileage, fuel prices and interest

Greg Lake Oswego, Oregon, USA
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#10 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 10:06 AM
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Could it be possible? The charts and graphs above are incorrect? My 'rithmatic says the BlueTec uses 107 gallons less fule based solely on the combined numbers above and the stated 15,000 miles/year. 107 gallons of fuel is more than 0.1 barrel of oil. Gummermint numbers are suspect. Add in the internet myth/fact that the EPA is too conservative on diesel MPGs and the Gummermint numbers get more suspect.

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