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Diesel Vehicles: More Bang for Your Buck?

Clean energy and environmental concern are very important to us here at Fairfax Auto Repair, so it can be sometimes so surprising to see many American consumers still harbor negative feelings towards diesel automobiles. When speaking of diesel fuel, many people envision something out of a gothic novel—smelly, toxic, smoky, expensive, and bad for the environment. Diesel however, is not the same beast the public once knew, and I assure you the diesel industry has come a long way when it comes to the future of clean diesel. One particular version for instance, is Mercedes-Benz’ BlueTEC, as Bart Herring, General Manager of Product Management

Mercedes-Benz at USA, recently stated,”Modern diesel engines are clean, smooth-running, and above all, highly efficient. In Europe, around 50 percent of passenger cars run on diesel engines, and calculations indicate that if just one third of American cars ran on diesel, the country could massively reduce its dependence on foreign oil.”

The range of the GLK250 BlueTEC is 515 miles and fuel economy comes in at 24-city/33 on highways. In other words, you can drive from NYC to Washington DC or Boston round-trip on a tank of gas! Back in 2007, Mercedes-Benz pioneered its new diesel technology with a global premiere of BlueTEC. The E320 BlueTEC (210 hp, 398 lb-ft) was voted 2007 World Green Car for its remarkably low emissions. Mercedes-Benz then released a barrage of this model in 2009, featuring the next phase of BlueTEC technology with AdBlue exhaust gas after treatment. AdBlue is a water-based urea solution carried in its own small tank and metered into the exhaust in minute quantities, so the tank only needs to be refilled during routine scheduled maintenance. When AdBlue is injected into pre-cleaned exhaust gas, ammonia (NH3) is released, converting nitrogen oxides into harmless nitrogen (and water) in a downstream catalytic converter. Called SCR, for selective catalytic reduction, Mercedes-Benz believes this process creates the most effective method of exhaust gas after-treatment currently available. AdBlue injection helps make the diesel as clean as a state-of-the-art gasoline engine and meets exhaust emission regulations in all 50 states.

The result of all this science is combined fuel consumption for the ML320 BlueTEC of 20 mpg. The larger GL320 BlueTEC is rated at 19 mpg giving Mercedes-Benz the right to claim it the most fuel-efficient full-size SUV on the market and in 2013 Mercedes-Benz has refined the four-cylinder turbo diesel engine for this model which now boasts a competitive mpg of 24-city/33 highway. Mercedes notes that their new GLK model is the first diesel-powered entry in the mid-sized SUV market. The BlueTEC 4MATIC $38,590 (excluding $905 destination) is priced between GLK350 $37,090 and GLK350 4MATIC for $39,090. For your money, it makes sense to buy the diesel?