Two Mercedes-Benz models, the ML 250 BlueTec 4Matic and the Mercedes-Benz B200 Natural Gas Drive, have been named the most eco-friendly cars in their class by the popular German auto magazine Auto Test, which awarded them the title "Winners in Green."

The environmental car ranking, published annually, is based on a dozen criteria, including fuel consumption, pollutant emissions, manufacturing, recycling and the environmental systems of the manufacturer.

This is the second straight year the ML 250 BlueTec 4Matic has earned the top spot for an SUV, for its energy efficient direct-injection, turbocharged, four-cylinder, 204-horsepower diesel engine. It can accelerate from 0-60 mph in nine seconds and get 40 miles per gallon while emitting just 158 g/km of CO2 (combined). It has a range of just over 1,000 miles. 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class models are priced between $81,400 and $177,900.

The Mercedes-Benz B200 Natural Gas Drive features a 156-hp engine that is more than 16 percent more efficient than its predecessors. The model also includes a three-gallon gas tank, which extends the 350-mile range of the natural gas tank. If the natural gas tank goes empty, the vehicle switches automatically to run on regular gas.

The B200 Natural Gas wagon debuted at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. The B200 is available with a manual transmission or the 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission. It is due to arrive in dealerships in Europe at the beginning of 2013.
Show full PR text
AUTO TEST WINNERS in GREEN! 2013: M-Class and B-Class are the most environmentally friendly

Stuttgart – The renowned German environmental research institute "ÖkoTrend" has ascertained that the Mercedes-Benz ML 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC and Mercedes-Benz B 200 Natural Gas Drive are the most eco- friendly cars in their class. Both models have thus now been honoured as "Winners in Green" by the magazine AUTO TEST.

The independent research institute "ÖkoTrend" in Germany has been analysing and evaluating products according to ecological criteria and in terms of the social and environmental responsibility of their manufacturers since 1995. The environmental car ranking, published annually, is always awaited with great interest. The environmental credentials of a broad range of cars are thoroughly assessed in twelve different categories on the basis of extensive data accumulated by the Institute. The categories include fuel consumption, pollutant emissions, manufacturing, logistics, recycling and the environmental management system operated by the manufacturer.

For the second consecutive time, the top spot among the SUVs has been taken by the Mercedes-Benz ML 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC. When it came to the compact MPVs, first place also went to a Mercedes-Benz – the B 200 Natural Gas Drive. Specialist journal AUTO TEST has therefore honoured both cars with the title of "AUTO TEST WINNER in GREEN! 2013".

The Mercedes-Benz ML 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC owes its top ranking among the SUVs to, amongst other things, its state-of-the-art four-cylinder diesel engine, which features both direct injection and turbocharging. From a displacement of 2143 cc the car delivers an output of 150 kW (204 hp) and impressive torque of 500 Newton metres. This allows it to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 9 seconds and to use a mere 6 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, while emitting just 158 g/km of CO2 (combined). It is therefore able to travel a distance of up to 1500 kilometres without the need for refuelling. The Mercedes-Benz B 200 Natural Gas Drive operates on the basis of Monovalent+. This means that the engine runs as a general rule on natural gas, but that the vehicle also has a small, 12‑litre petrol tank on board to cope with any emergencies. Should the natural gas tank at any point run empty, the vehicle will switch automatically and imperceptibly to run on petrol.

Thanks to its natural gas drive system, the CO2 emissions of the 115 kW (156 hp) engine in the B 200 Natural Gas Drive have been reduced by more than 16 percent. Furthermore its exhaust gas emissions are significantly cleaner than those of a vehicle running on petrol or diesel, while the fuel costs are around 50 percent lower than for the equivalent petrol-engine model.

Because the driver is not able to actively select the petrol operating mode, the B 200 natural Gas Drive is certified as a natural gas vehicle and thus able to benefit from tax incentives. The range of the vehicle in natural gas operating mode is around 500 kilometres.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      American Refugee
      • 2 Years Ago
      The ML starts at 81 grand? The car industry has lost it's mind. I really, really don't understand people spending that kind of money on a freaking lifted minivan. I never will. At half that price it would be reasonable, if expensive. 81K?
      icerabbit
      • 2 Years Ago
      "2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class models are priced between $81,400 and $177,900". Does it really? In the US the ML is listed starting at $47k gasoline & $51K diesel. The MB M-class lists in Europe at 46500 Euros for the 250 diesel ( exchange converted $61k USD ). So where does the $81k-$178k range come from? Surely pricing could and should have been fact checked.
      Tweaker
      • 2 Years Ago
      Of course the Germans won't take procuring the oil into the "eco" account, they don't have to pay for its security.
        Val
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Tweaker
        That model runs on Natural Gas, and germany has own deposits, and imports almost all of their natural gas through pipelines from norway, holland and russia. Please, enlighten us, how much is the expense of the US military to "secure" those nations?
          Tweaker
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Val
          ummm, no, the article very specifically names a diesel. Try reading it again.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can we stop giving people props for driving 4000-5000lb SUVs around already? Maybe a car like this can run on natural gas or diesel but it still consumes almost double the energy of an econobox or even a mid-sized sedan, due entirely to it's huge aerodynamic footprint and weight. For god's sake, the ML350 bluetec only gets 20/25mpg on diesel. An old heavy low-tech VW Golf from the early 2000's could get double that fuel economy. Leave the lipstick off the pig and let's see it for what it is!
        bluepongo1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Wow @2WM, relax, take deep breaths, o.k.? This is just an eco-posermobile, a fashon statement, and a maintainance money pit, like any hybrid. The folks who want to throw money at complex stuff like this Benz don't want small and simple, you will not change their minds.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        @blue Think about what 2wheel actually said. Sure it is posing! Sure it is a heavy behemoth. And it being built is no problem to me (people want to pay enormous sums of money, not my business). However... Giving it an award for most environmental vehicle in class? Okay, maybe that class has few options. However. Lets imagine that the Excusion (when being built) added a diesel hybrid option. Then they look at it, the suburban, and maybe the land cruiser (although probably only the suburban would be in the gigantic behemoth class), and say, 'since the Excusion diesel hybrid is better than the only other vehicle in its class, we are going to give it an award for being environmentally friendly.' Really? Rather silly.
          bluepongo1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Not silly, deceptive. I agree with your post and @2wm though. Speaking as someone who used to own a '67 250 SL British Racing Green w/ tan leather interior and a '67 280 S Euro white w/ blue MB Tex interior, I think my point about Benz owners not caring about weight/ greenwashing issues still stands.
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        2 wheeled menace I agree with your sentiments. But it's important to remember that it was ill-conceived, ineptly applied government regulations that created the fashion for this sort of vehicle.
        icerabbit
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        I agree that SUVs have bad fuel economy and that most people probably would be better served with a regular vehicle vs driving an SUV or truck. But, is everyone to drive in an econobox? Or motorcycle? Or bicycle? ML 250 Diesel fuel economy between 5,4 & 7,6 l/km. That is between 43 and 31 mpg US. I think that is quite an achievement for an awd vehicle. Those numbers are far better than the average fuel efficient fwd sedan in the US. Including Volkswagens and Golfs. Of course the ML 350 Diesel does worse with 6,3 - 8,4 l/km or translated 37 - 28 mpg US, but again, that would seem to be on par with the average US vehicle sold today. Fueleconomy.gov doesn't want to load for me today, so I can't get their take on the fuel economy. All in all. I think for the people who need awd, ground clearance and towing capability, that MB gave them a great option. Hopefully they'll continue to improve the fuel efficiency.