Vehicles

Hipster Sedan Brims With Luxury, Heft, And Added Value

Posted on June 16, 2014 by - Also by this author

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All photos shot by LCT senior editor Tim Crowley at the Redondo Landing Pier, Redondo Beach, Calif.
All photos shot by LCT senior editor Tim Crowley at the Redondo Landing Pier, Redondo Beach, Calif.

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. — The newest, greenest, punchiest version of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class mid-size sedan comes in a clever, if not deceptive, presentation. I got fooled the first time around, which underscores this vehicle’s potential.

[SEE E250 LCT VIDEO HERE]

After driving it shortly after delivery, the engine power and performance made me conclude this sedan “must be a V-6,” as I told a colleague riding with me. I decided to check the monroney [price and spec sheet] given to me by the fleet delivery service. It stated the vehicle as a 2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 Cabriolet, 3.5-liter V-6 direct fuel injection.

Mercedes-Benz had delivered the wrong vehicle! I e-mailed them asking for the E250, 4-cyclinder, BlueTEC diesel that caught my attention while displayed at a Greater California Livery Association meeting in San Diego in April. A few hours later, I checked the rear of the vehicle, and oops, it really was an E250. Mercedes-Benz had e-mailed back stating I did indeed have the right car, but had been given the wrong monroney. They attached the correct one. I sheepishly replied that the ride, power and comfort tricked me into thinking it was a V-6.

With the E250 BlueTEC diesel sedan, Mercedes-Benz captures the polished designs and lines inside and out which define its latest generation of luxury sedans.
With the E250 BlueTEC diesel sedan, Mercedes-Benz captures the polished designs and lines inside and out which define its latest generation of luxury sedans.

Engine Eggs You On
And that episode reaffirms this vehicle’s premium asset: A 2.1-liter, I-4, bi-turbo diesel engine that delivers 195 hp. and 369 lb.-ft. of torque with a 7-speed transmission and all-wheel drive. That all adds up to a continuous encouraging mechanical smack on the rear end when you push the accelerator for power. The car obeys gracefully with added pep — smack, smack — as it surges forward. The power is especially noticeable going up hills, making you curious, how can four little wiggly cylinders do this?

Mercedes-Benz actually has a mechanical explanation: Bi-turbo, or twin turbos. A bi-turbo engine combines performance with efficiency to a previously unknown extent. It is made possible by a unique combination of innovative high-tech systems such as direct injection, twin turbochargers, air/water inter-cooling and the Controlled Efficiency ECO Start-Stop function. In plain English, this is not an old-school diesel clunker from the 1970s, which to this day makes many drivers, like me, think that diesel vehicles should function like the government: Noisy, dirty and slow.

[SEE LCT E250 PHOTO GALLERY HERE]

Saves On Fuel Costs
Lest you think all this power hits you in the pocket, the E250 BlueTEC gets a combined 32 mpg city/highway, and a stratospheric 42 mpg on the highway. This matters a lot once again now that fuel prices are climbing well north of $4 per gallon. The E250’s “eco mode” lets the motor turn off and restart when at a stoplight, thereby avoiding the snarly idle syndrome. It’s also a benefit when the chauffeur waits patiently in the driveway or curbside for a late client. The eco-mode works in sport mode, too, which gives the E250 extra kick for freeway onramp merges.

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