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Discussion Starter #1
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).
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #4
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.
 

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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 :D
 

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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.
Mike
 

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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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Discussion Starter #8
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.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
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
 

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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.

Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter #11
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.
Your math is correct. If you do a straight conversion of gallons/year to barrels/year it comes out 18.8 for gas and 14.9 for diesel. Is there something in the refining process that makes the difference? I thought diesel was less refined. Looking at the figures for the E350s, the diesel comes out even worse.
 

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Even though oil supports all of my habits, our business is about in the middle of the total process between exploration and the retail pumps. From what I recall, gasoline comes off first. Gasoline requires more work & additives to make it palatable for modern engines. Then they ruin it with ethanol. I have no clue why diesel fuel now costs way more than the premium gasoline we have been burning for over 12 years. Back in the Stone Age diesel was WAY cheaper than the $0.30/gal. gasoline I used in my 1961 VW Beetle. Go figure.
Based solely on your drivng habits & intended uses, I don't think diesel makes dollars and cents sense for you. My brother has a Ford F-250 big honking diesel truck and pulls a gigantic 36' fifth-wheel trailer. He needs that type of power plant. Folks like you and me not so much.
Good luck!

Wayne
 

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on the diesel you generally dont pay a guzzler tax, insurance is less, resale value is higher, and it moves better than the regular gasoline v6. generally if a good diesel option is available, take it!
 

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You won't pay a Guzzler Tax on a gasoline vehicle rated for 19mpg average. You will pay a "Diesel Guzzling Tax" at purchase and every time you visit the pump. Diesels are folks driving 50,000-100,000 miles a year and/or hauling 3-4-6 tons of stuff.

Wayne
 

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in canada diesel is cheaper than octane 87, in the US I know it costs more (for now); nevertheless, I would go bluetec for my above mentioned reasons.
 

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It's pretty even. No significant advantage in fuel costs either way (in the USA), especially after considering the diesel urea costs. Buy the one that you enjoy driving the most.

Have you test driven both types? This is the only real answer to your question.

DelJ



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.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It's pretty even. No significant advantage in fuel costs either way (in the USA), especially after considering the diesel urea costs. Buy the one that you enjoy driving the most.

Have you test driven both types? This is the only real answer to your question.
I have driven the new gas, but only an '11 diesel. It was fine, but a little slow to respond to the pedal. I guess I'm not so concerned about the economics as the sustainability side and the driving experience. It may sound weird to consider the environment when my DD is a 420 hp M3 that gets 16 mpg on a good commute. However, I like to live a balanced life and make up for my excesses elsewhere.

My wife will probably not notice the difference between the two engine types, except she can go longer between fillups, but must make sure the station she stops at has ULSD. I would probably prefer the driving characteristics of the gas version, but I drive it only about 10% of the time, and that's mostly on trips where the range is appealing. Looking at it that way makes the diesel sound more rational. Sorry to put you guys through my wishy-washiness!
 

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Hey, I have been driving my 07 ML CDI since new. Here is what I can say. I normally get 650-700 miles per 26 gallon fillup, mostly highway, 29 MPG on a good day.:D
Even at the higher cost we pay in USA per gallon for diesel, it is still cost effective as the real world MPG is so much better than the premium fueled gas model. People I have met with gas models claim real world MPG of 19. Also ULSD is the standard fuel here in USA so refuelling is not an issue.
Must caution you that there is a Mercedes bulletin (and owners manual) claiming that you must refuell with no more than 5% biodiesel. No one, even the techs at the 3 dealers I went to could officially advise what would happen if someone used higher. Best I heard is that if done continually, it may "foul something up" For me stations with higher biodiesel are actually very hard to find. I have run as high as 20% in the past and have 100K miles now. Bluetec's are a little different though, so check into that.

The 2012 has a different engine block design, and the redesign of the vehicle to me is SWEEEET. 245 hp/445 torque was noticable when I test drove one, and the regular suspension felt as good as my Airmatic.
Overall, I have never meet anyone who regretted a diesel, and most people that ride with me can't tell it's diesel. Even more so on the 2012. I myself as a CDI owner could hardly hear the motor, much less tell you it was a diesel.
Enjoy it, and welcome to the club.:D
 

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