2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec Diesel 12-Month Review and Report

By Jonathan Spira on 8 October 2012
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It’s uncanny how our long-term cars seem to hit 10,000 km (6214 miles) at the one-year anniversary mark.  Indeed, such was the case with our 2011 Palladium Silver Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec sedan.

Over the past year, since taking delivery at the Mercedes-Benz Kundencenter in Sindelfingen, Germany (Sindelfingen is a town near Stuttgart and the site of the automaker’s assembly plant), the E350 has visited a number of cities in Europe and the United States including Maastricht (Netherlands), Cologne (Germany), Arnheim (Netherlands), Bremen (Germany), New York City, Kennebunkport (Maine), Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), and Washington, D.C., among others.

Our relationship with the E350 Bluetec got off to a good start. On the initial drive from Sindelfingen to Maastricht, fuel economy was a promising: 7.4 l/10 km (31.78 mpg) – and it was to get even better.  On its initial trip in the United States, a 474 km (295 mile) drive from New York City to Kennebunkport, Maine, the car used only 6.2 l/100 km (38 mpg).  That trip was part of a 10-state (plus the District of Columbia), 2508 km (1559 mile) drive.  In 35 hours of actual driving over a two-week period, the E350 BlueTec used 6.7 l/100 km (35.1 mpg).

This put the Benz in the same fuel-economy league as our BMW 335d, yet the E350 is a far bigger car.  Where it’s not in the same league is in acceleration.  While the Benz is no slouch, rated at 6.6 seconds for a 0-60 mph run, the BMW 335d can get there in 6.0 seconds and the difference is noticeable.  The E350’s engine develops 400 pound-feet of torque compared to the BMW’s 425, and its curb weight is 4,059 pounds (1,841 kg) versus the Bimmer’s 3,781 pounds (1,715 kg).

GERMAN-SPEAKING DIESELS

The diesel passenger car market in the United States continues to remain the sole domain of German car makers, although that will change in 2013. Indeed, with the recent entry of Porsche, all five German automakers (Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen) offer at least one diesel.

Mercedes offers the most variety as a luxury car maker, making a diesel engine available in the GLK, GL, ML, S-Class, and of course E-Class.  Only Volkswagen, the volume leader for diesels in the U.S., offers more oilburners.

Indeed, last year Mercedes celebrated its 125th anniversary. The automaker is not only credited with inventing the diesel-powered passenger car in the 1930s but also with having invented the automobile as we more or less know it in 1886.  Many of its diesels from two or three decades ago are still on the roada today and the resale value of its diesels remains high.  This is reflected in the very high residual value of the car for leasing customers.

Click here to continue to Page 2One Year of Driving the E350, Cruising the Autobahn, and Virtual Drives

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