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Late 2008, Mercedes Benz will clean up its diesel GL, ML, R class SUVs with Bluetec, making them 50-state legal. MotorWeek kicked the tires on the GL320 CDI (see video below the fold) and they seemed to like it. The diesel version of the GL ($54,225) will be $2,500 cheaper (yes, cheaper) than the gas version of the GL450 and will get thirty percent better mileage (18 city, 24 highway). The video review also says the GL is a 3 litre V6, has 215 horse power, 389 lb-ft torque and 7,500 towing capacity. 2008 is the coming out year of clean diesels in America and this is the best entry we have seen so far. There are no compromises with the diesel GL on price or power, so it should be a good barometer of diesel's acceptance in the US.


[Source: MotorWeek]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 6 Comments
      • 6 Months Ago
      Or should say Benz...same shit when it comes down to it.
      • 6 Months Ago
      A $2500 discount implies that Mercedes is willing to accept much smaller margins to develop the market. Diesels and T2B5 exhaust gas aftertreatment equipment are a lot more expensive to produce that gasoline engines and three-way catalysts.

      There's also a federal tax credit for clean diesel cars, provided you're not subject to AMT:

      http://www.dieselforum.org/policy-insider/energy-efficiency/federal-clean-diesel-tax-credit/

      Curb weight class: 5400 lbs
      Emissions: Tier 2 Bin 5

      Baseline fuel economy: 15.9MPG (assume: diesel)
      Combined fuel economy: 20.7MPG (diesel)
      Gain 1.30
      Fuel economy credit: $400

      Ironically, the conservation credit is based on gallons of gasoline saved over the lifetime of the vehicle. Since diesel vehicles never use any gasoline at all, I'll assume this is supposed to mean the energy equivalent volume.

      Lifetime distance: 150,000 miles
      Savings: 150,000/(1/15.9-1/20.7) = 2188 gal diesel
      Gasoline equivalent: 2188 * 0.850/0.735 = 2530 gal
      Conservation credit: $750

      Total credit (estimate only): $1150
      • 7 Years Ago
      Now wouldn't it be nice for BMW to actually put this engine in a car that makes sense...not in some ridiculous 7 passenger barge.
      • 6 Months Ago
      that was the most boring car show segment i have ever seen, apart from the that the price seems to follow the same trend as europe, for your information BMW seem to make the most efficent diesel luxury cars over here at the moment, that car is being taxed off the road over here because of its high fuel consumption, the usa is far behind when it comes to fuel consumption, or should that be far ahead.
      • 6 Months Ago
      PS: Of course, you may still want to think hard about whether you really need an SUV at all.

      Mercedes also offers an E-class diesel sedan that gets much better fuel economy than the GL diesel. However, the 2008 model only meets T2B8 and weighs less than 6000lbs, so it is not eligible for any federal tax credit at all. Talk about perverse incentives!

      I imagine that Mercedes is already working on an updated version of the E320 CDI sedan that does meet T2B5, now that EPA and CARB have accepted urea injection technology. If so, this updated version would need to weigh at least 4000lbs to achieve baseline fuel economy that will make it eligible for a federal tax credit. The current model only weighs 3860lbs.

      Baseline fuel economy 4000lb weight class: 19.8MPG
      Fuel economy 2008 model (T2B8): 27MPG
      Est.* fuel economy future model (T2B5): 27.5MPG
      Gain: 1.39
      Fuel economy credit: $400

      *Urea injection improves fuel consumption because there is no need to periodically purge an LNT trap by enriching the air-fuel mixture. Against that, you have to buy urea solution but the tax credit computation does not account for the crude oil used to manufacture it.

      Lifetime distance: 150,000 miles
      Savings: 150,000*(1/19.8-1/27.5)= 2121 gal diesel
      Gasoline equivalent: 2450 gallons
      Conservation credit: $750

      Total credit for a future T2B5-compliant E320 CDI (estimate only): $1150

      Note that as for hybrids, the tax credits are only available on purchases through Dec 31, 2010 and, are phased out after the first 60,000 eligible vehicles (all eligible alternatives to conventional gasoline from that manufacturer combined).
      • 6 Months Ago
      I don't get the poor MPG of this suv. I would take a Tahoe Hybrid that starts around 50,000. It still gets better mpg in the city with 21/22. Diesel fuel is around 60 cents higher per gallon than regular where I live. Cost less to purchase, cost less to drive, I would take the Tahoe.